Two mass communications classes created national award-winning videos.
The corporate video class created a short film about sexual assault and how to prevent it. The concept was suggested to the class by Joey Croslin, chief human resources officer and then Title IX coordinator.
The class worked with the Title IX coordinators to develop the idea. Students wrote two separate scripts, and the coordinators chose the one written by Jamison Keefover, mass communications junior.
The story follows a girl who goes to a party and has too much to drink. Her friends watch out for her and keep her from going home with the drunk guy who tries to touch her and get her to drink more.
“The pre-production was really long, but the shooting and editing was all done after spring break,” Keefover said. “We took over Chance Johnson’s house and did one shot through the entire place. It took a lot of takes, and the timing was complicated. For example, I was on the phone with a girl in the bathroom and would tell her when she needed to come out.”
Andy Gibson, OCU-TV station manager and artist-in-residence, ended up shooting and editing the video because of time constraints, so the class entered it in the faculty competition.
“Because I did all the editing, we couldn’t in good faith enter it in a student competition, even though they were crucial in scripting and planning it out,” Gibson said. “I’m proud of my students and their hard work, and I’m thankful for the actors, students from other departments and friends of friends that came to help out. Multiple colleges worked together to create this.”
The video took first place in the video promotional/educational category of the 2016-2017 NBS-AERho Professional and Alumni Production Competition, a national video competition for mass communications student and faculty across the U.S.
The film was also shown at OCU freshmen orientation in the fall. Click here to watch the video.
“It’s an important project because it’s an important topic,” Gibson said. “It gives some signs to look for. Having been here for 10 years, I’ve heard the stories, and it scares me. I realize this will probably never be completely erased from university culture, but hopefully it can be lessened.”
Students in the press watch class also won first place in a National Broadcasting Society competition under the student Public Affairs/Interview Program category. Their video, created in the fall semester of 2016, discusses how the press covers politics.
Press Watch, which became a class in 2012 through a grant, is offered every two years, during election seasons. Students watch political coverage on different platforms and read political news articles online. As a class, they debate stories that potentially present ethical issues, and then bring in political science and journalism professionals from the area to interview and discuss political news coverage.
“It’s a unique opportunity that I think you don’t get at a lot of bigger universities,” said Wendy Brunner, associate mass communications professor. “I can evaluate the class and tailor it to what the students want to address.”
The class posted four episodes throughout the semester. All four have won regional or state awards, but the national first-place winner was produced by Alumnus Justus Huddleston and hosted by Ashten Vincent, political science/mass communications junior. Click here to watch the first-place episode.
“Of the seven students, three had never had one broadcast class before, and least two had done nothing in political science, but they created this show and collaborated to put it together,” Brunner said. “It was amazing to have students with such different skill levels work together, and it says a lot about the quality of the students and their work ethic.”
The winners from each class were given a plaque, certificate and national recognition.
“We were extremely excited to find out we won because we were going up against Mizzou, OU, OSU, and big journalism schools,” Keefover said. “To win is pretty crazy.”
The mass communications department is hoping to continue the press watch class and video submissions, Brunner said.