Media Day 2013: Students explore video as storytelling medium

by Jessica Strothman, Victoria Baltzell – Grand Junction High School

When originally looking at a video made by a friend or even a professional, one may think it could be easy to do on their own or even the opposite – it can be more complicated than they know.

Different people view videos with completely different opinions on the medium showing how much potential it has to expand.

To start just by letting “the camera roll,” said Greg Mikolai. Mikolai teaches Video Productions 1, 2, 3 at Colorado Mesa University and is also the digital editor with production duties both at CMU as well as PBS.

Monday morning at CMU video students gathered with Mikolai and video editor, Sam Kilman to learn more of what they already knew dealing with the news medium. One of these students, Jeremy Poland, senior at Grand Junction High School, chose to do a story on an ongoing set of chemistry experiments.

At around a 90-degree angle to the experiment itself and a 180 to the student (of choice) Poland said, “it’s going to be all about what she is doing… and it’s going to be glorious.”

Level of comfort is a large part of this confidence though; “I [make videos] all the time, I used to make videos on YouTube,” said Poland, “I think I started making videos in 6th grade.”

Kilman on the other hand attended CMU “for four years, before as a student,” and now works at the university full time with a major in Mass Communications and New Media.

“I’m also the founder of the campus TV station here so I concentrate more on broadcast,” said Kilman.

He, like Poland has much experience with working with Mass Communications if not more. “I started working for a production company when I was 14 so I was pretty big into the video stuff,” Kilman continued by saying, “I didn’t become a Mass Com. student until my junior year of college.”

Originally, Kilman started out as a secondary education history major and soon began editing for the Mass Communications department as a history student. It wasn’t until they mentioned he would make a good Mass Com. student that he actually took it into consideration and switched majors.

Now, he states, “I’m the media asset coordinator so I’m in charge of ordering all the equipment for Mass Communications. I assist with video production and photo journalism classes, I also work part time for marketing so I work on recruitment videos and viral videos and stuff like that.”

This sets up the standard for what quality really is.  The difference between a cheap camera verses one that drains your savings according to Poland is that “it just looks good, it doesn’t look like a cell phone anymore.” And to some people this can make quite the difference, “I think people prefer high quality productions over webcam or lame looking stuff because it looks good. Its mainly just because people like good quality rather than awful quality that they can make themselves.”

And being known as a high quality video maker, “it’s pretty cray,” remarked Poland.

However, Kilman changed the point of view by stating, “I think the quality depends on who all is there; if someone captures more of a subject than the person who had something that is high quality video,” it’s obviously going to get more views.

“The event is defiantly more important than the video. It’s all about what you have,”

For example, “If someone is able to do it with higher quality equipment than of course someone is going to view that; but if someone has better footage, even if it’s not as high quality, it’s what people are going to go after.”

Over all video can be a way to make or break a story. Depending on the person both over all story quality, what’s happening in the video and  definition quality can affect how popular the video can become as well; it is all lies in the eyes of the beholder and the effort placed to find a balance between these three items in order to receive the best quality.

Media Day: An enlightening journey

The Media-Day: An Enlightening Journey

By: Christien Mackey and Vanessa Johnson, Delta High School

Our journey starts in Room 255, the setting resembles a intimate conference room, where the instructor Greg Mikolai explains the inner and outer workings of a video camera to the enthused video broadcasting media day students as well as sending them comforting words “ We don’t want you to feel like your bring shoved out of an airplane without a parachute, so don’t worry”. Soon after we leave the room we ‘re off to the great outdoors to behold exciting performances such as a Martial Arts scene by theatre majors Lane Heinz, and Bryon Carlson. The scene was one of excitement and illusion, the two theatre students performed acts of combat with martial arts weaponry, specifically staffs.  Just a few yards away onlookers gathered to view a stunt that involved two beds of nails, a cinder block and a sledgehammer. In between the beds of nails, laid a brave soul by the name of Tom Morrison. The demonstration that was being done along with Morrison was the wielder of the sledgehammer, a man named Dirk Terpstra. These two showmen were demonstrating the laws of Physics by slamming the cinder block into the beds of nails while Morrison lay between them. An onlooker, Dessa Christian, would tell us that the performance was, “One of the craziest things that I have ever seen.” While the performance of the martial arts was being viewed, video media- day students looked on with bright smiles. The moment the two men started their exciting dance of staged kicks and punches, the video students instantly began snapping away and recording the scene. The members that recorded the event were, Shannon Hobbs, Zeeda Nkana, Collin Sowell, and Jessica Stranger.  The whole experience made us feel as if we were in the video production class along with the other students, even though we are merely Journalists.

Local high school media advisers discuss law and ethics

by Amanda Wight, Caprock Academy Sophomore; Taylor Petschl, Montrose High School Senior; Alex Waege, Montrose High School Sophomore; Joe Arebalos, Montrose High School Sophomore

Karen Wagner, president of the Colorado High School Press Association (CHPSA), came down from Denver, Colo. to educate advisers from several different high schools on the ethics of Press Law.

Controversy and ethics weigh heavily on advisors and students alike and with the CHSPA certification training now available, advisers have access to press law regulations.

“It is going to make it so the advisers can actually go back and teach their students better about what it is that they can and cannot do; it is going to empower students in the right way, not in terms of going out and covering controversy just because, but showing students here is how you can actually make a change in your requirement, which is really what journalism should be about,” Wagner said.

In order to be certified in Colorado Press Law, one must undergo an eight-hour presentation, which highlights the different ethical issues, such as responsibility, fairness, honesty, accuracy, independence, accountability and how to minimize harm.

Wagner urges advisers to become aware of the different laws associated with press.

“I think having an uneducated adviser is about the worst thing you can have in a student publication because they are apt to find themselves in situations with the students where they are in trouble, where the publications are getting censored and where students are actually getting the skills that they should be getting, being a part of the staff,” Wagner said.

Educating advisers will inform different high-school run publications informed of what they can and cannot do in the newsroom.

“I like the legal aspect of having certification and knowing you have the umbrella of protection.” Montrose High School Chieftain adviser, Lynette Palmer said.

The additions to the Colorado State Law will provide protection to advisers when dealing with controversial stories.

“It is going to come back to us, hopefully, adding on to the Colorado State Law, in terms of not just student protection, but also adviser protection, so advisers can still be punished for students doing things that they should not, so while students can be saved, advisers can still lose their jobs over something that they did that was actually legal,” Wagner said.

Dan Flenniken, Media Day organizer, talks about why it is important to learn about Press Law here at Media Day.

“We are a long way from a lot of things that happen on the Front Range, so it is important for the advisors to gather,” Flenniken said.

Combat and theater combine at CMU

by Gabby Stanford, Madison Ragar, Megan Glymph, Kylie Smith

When discussing theater and the emotional props that come with it, you will find that it entails actual fighting but the people that are apart of it are not harmed, they just simply act. This form of acting is called, stage combat, extremely different from martial arts. Lane Heinz, actor in the theatre arts, said, “There’s actually a pretty big difference between martial arts and stage combat. I don’t practice martial arts, I just do stage combat.”

Stage Combat is a “Physical chess game” said Heinz partner, Bryan Carolson. Not only does theatre include acting, but also includes a physical aspect that involves the body and mind.

When interviewing Carolson’s partner, Heinz, “ there is only a certain amount of space, and a physical rush.” Carolson has not only been acting in theatre and stage combat but has also endured Karate, Muay Thai, and grappling. These are all forms of fighting that Carolson has been part of his whole life. Although he only started martial arts five years ago he seems to be extremely skilled.

Carolson also loves theatre. He says that, “theatre was always an interesting way to look at humanity through acting… it is able to create love, happiness and sadness.” But for both, “it’s a win.”

Heinz takes stage combat further than just a hobby, ”It’s something I definitely want to be well versed in. Stage combat is just the ultimate form of acting.”

Heinz also said, “In a show it’s the climax of the action, the biggest part of the scene.” Acting has been a huge part of his life, “I have been doing theatre since I’ve been in diapers, and I’ve been doing stage combat for seven years.”  Heinz plans on theatre being his career after college.

For both gentlemen stage combat is rewarding. Heinz said, “When people really believe it, it’s a great rush.”  The theatre arts will always be in Carolson and Heinz’s lives because it allows them to express themselves and also gives them a great foothold in acting that will allow them to continue to use these skills in their careers.

Rec Center important to CMU students

by 
GJHS Jonah Howe – sophomore, Sam Melchor – sophomore, Ben Arja – sophomore
Caprock Academy Emily Drake – freshman and Emma Crick – freshman

“The new building was a big step up in the school, “ said Carolyn Wiltse, graduate-assistant for the center. “As soon as we opened this building I’ve seen a lot more participation in the gym, a lot more participation in group activities and a lot more people caring about their fitness because they have a decent gym to come to.”

The new recreation center has become a beacon for athletes across the western slope. Since it’s inception, the fitness center has hosted events ranging from basketball summer camps, all the way to holding Special Olympics events.  These summer camps have not only used the new basketball courts, but also the remodeled pavilion.  The pavilion once being a cafeteria and a bookstore, has been renovated into another gym where intramurals can have adequate space to practice and improve their skills when the main gyms are crowded.

Holly Chapman, a student employee at the pavilion, remarked, “The pavilion is mainly used by basketball, tennis, and indoor soccer teams. “

Not only is the recreation center for the dedicated athletes of CMU, many students and community members use the facilities to get some exercise and stay in shape.

“We are definitely involving the community a lot more with the way the recreation center is set up now,” Wiltse said. “We have a lot more alumni and community members coming in.”

Although it seems like there is no more room to expand, CMU is already talking about broadening the already massive center.

“There is talk of expansion, even more on the recreation center,” said Wiltse. “We have grown so much as a campus that we will need more space very soon. “

Moon Cheese Mondays at Media Day

by Andrea Lielkoks, grade 9, Grand Junction High School; Joy Gates. Grade 11, Caprock Academy; Karen Coty, Grade 11, Caprock Academy and Victor Jaszkowiak-Gebbie,Grade 10,Caprock Academy

What comes to your mind when you hear the words cheesy, delicious, hot, saucy, soft, and THE MOON? Eating a slice of Domino’s pizza on a Colorado Mesa University lawn while attending Media Day?

Media Day is filled with tons of fun for all with all of the interesting topics, classes, the hands-on activities and finally lunch, with all the bizarre conversations that come with it.

Three Roaring Fork High School students, Madison Handy, senior, Ruby Lang, sophomore, and Jessica Hardin, junior, had quite the interesting conversation over their pizza. The range of topics included the salary of the homeless in big cities, getting cheese from the moon, and watching “guys fight with sticks” Lang said, in reference to the martial arts demonstration.

When discussing the morality of using the moon as a source of cheese, Lang was decidedly against the proposal of whether this should happen. “No, because what about the food for the moon people?” Lang said. Handy asked, “If the cheese is made out of milk, is the moon a cow?” Such are the rambling conversations of the average high school student.

Jeff Thoele, a senior mass communications major who delivers pizza in his spare time, also had thoughts on the subject. He asked, “Where else are we going to take it from? Is it more moral to be exploiting a cow’s resources?”

Leslie Pratt, junior mass communications major, stated that “compared to other moon cheeses I’ve had, this is not as high quality.” When asked about the quality of the pizza, Thoele said, “I plead the fifth, for fear they may incriminate me!”

Why choose this pizza of questionable quality, you might ask? Mr. Flennikan, Associate Professor of Mass Communication, explained. “When it comes down to it, pizza’s cheap,” he said. “We wanted to do something free. Plus, we don’t have a budget for media day. We do it out of… the department [of mass communication]’s budget.” The total cost of the pizza came to $251.56 with a generous 50% discount.

Despite the sub-par moon cheese pizza, Media Day was a massive success. When asked to describe their day in five words, Victoria Baltzell and Jessica Strothman said, “Informative, Interesting, helpful, educational, and talkative.” Whether it was the classes, activities, or conversations on the morality of moon cheese, students of all interests were able to find a topic that appealed to them at Media Day, 2013.

Exceeding the Boundaries of Physics and Chemistry

by Cedaredge High School students: Jessica Sullivan- Junior, Savannah Herman- Senior Lars Knutson – Junior, and Sierra McHugh- Junior

Boom! The shock wave echoed throughout the campus of Colorado Mesa University on March 4, 2013. The physics and chemistry class had just imploded an oil barrel to a fraction of its original size.

This is one of the three mind-blowing physics and chemistry demonstrations performed just outside of the science building.  Using science, students performed acts that defied the mind.

The first astonishing act involved a sledgehammer, two nail covered boards, and a fearless human guinea pig. Student Tom Morrison had to trust the laws of physics as Dirk Terpstra smashed a cinder block into pieces upon Tom’s chest. The cinder block at the time was resting on one of the two nail covered boards he was sandwiched between.

This was the first time the class had performed this experiment, and Tom had no fear in his eyes at all. The first cinder block that was smashed on his chest was not hit hard enough and barely broke. He then exclaimed, “Let’s do it again!” Proving his trust in science. The second cinder block was hit with enough force to shatter it, and Tom escaped with only a few imprints of the nails on his back.

This team of physicists then began a new demonstration using atmospheric pressure to implode a 55-gallon barrel. Heating the barrel to a high temperature excited the molecules so they were farther apart than the molecules in the atmosphere.

After heating the barrel with propane until it was extremely hot to the touch the team turned it over into a small plastic pool filled with cold water then dumped ice onto the top, and then proceeded to pour liters of cold water onto the outside. The audience waited patiently for any sort of reaction. Suddenly, a loud boom was heard throughout the campus, shocking all bystanders.

When the barrel was plugged and cooled rapidly, the molecules inside lost energy and slowed down creating a partial vacuum.  The atmospheric pressure then crushed the barrel like a can when stepped on.

The grand finale to their experiments showed the effects of liquid nitrogen. It has a freezing point of -200 degrees Celsius so anyone can imagine what it would do to a delicate flower or a small balloon.

The flower shattered into millions of little pieces as if it were made of glass after it was submerged into the liquid nitrogen for a few minutes.

The balloon shrunk when dipped into the nitrogen and then expanded to its original size when taken out and exposed to the temperature of the air around it.

The physicists succeeded in blowing the minds of all of the students that were watching the demonstration or even just walking by. They proved many laws and showed many people that physics and chemistry can be more than just numbers and letters in a textbook.

Graphic Design: the art of self-expression on computers

by Caprock Academy Junior Amelia Watson, Cedaredge High School Junior Carly Wieben, and Cedaredge High School Junior Jake Wieben

“[The point of the seminar] is to get the high school students to think about graphic design as a career.” Nancy Ruspil, a CMU professor of Mass Communications, said. Graphic design is an art and a form of communication. It combines information and creativity to deliver a message in a way that catches the audience’s eye.  It opens many doors for advertisement and communication careers.

This seminar at CMU’s Media Day, March 4th, 2013, gave the students the chance to create advertisements for their school using computer software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. “We can teach the technology easily, but students need creativity and passion.” Nattana Johnson, the owner of Monument Graphics and Communications, said. Students need to be interested in computer design in order to create significant work.  “I’ve always liked art, but I’m not that good at drawing.” Ivone Rodrguez of Montrose High School said. This art form allows individuals to express their artistic creativity using the precision of a computer. “Graphic design tells a story.” Nicole Blake, a CMU Mass Communications major, said.

The most important part of graphic design is the ability to develop a concept ideal for the message being conveyed.  Most would not expect the amount of background research needed to create an efficient graphic. One never knows what to expect when starting a new design.

Many people were involved in this event. Those responsible for setting up the stations were volunteers who have backgrounds in computer and graphic design. Students interested in entering the advertising world participated in the day-long workshop. Tanner Smiths of Roaring Fork High School stated, “I was looking into taking college classes in [graphic design].” He, along with many other high school students, is already considering a career in computer design.

There is a wide variety of fields that require a deep knowledge of computer illustration. Most people see these designs in print such as newspapers, magazines, movie posters, etc., but the same skills are used in industrial pre-production blueprints for auto-body and computer architecture. The designer’s mind is always busy no matter what field he is in.

It is rare to run out of ideas for images; often it is hard to pick between many good ideas. If a designer encounters a mind block, it is helpful for them to take a break, go for a walk, or just relax. Inspiration can be found in countless places. Often things like a shadow falling across a park bench can inspire a fantastic idea. Many designers find graphic design to be an excellent form of self-expression.

Computer illustration can be a daunting undertaking, but in the words of Nicole Blake, “Don’t be afraid; it’s very intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing, but you have to just jump in.”

VIDEO: Physics Mayhem at CMU Media Day 2013

The students who recorded this video failed to include names or school with their project. Media Day is an annual event held by Colorado Mesa University. The event brings together high school students from all over western colorado to learn more about careers in the media.

VIDEO: CMU Recreation Center Profile CMU Media Day 2013

Colorado Mesa University Media Day is an annual event that invites high school students from all over western Colorado to discover careers in the media. This video was shot and produced by Alyssa Urban, Taylor Scofield and Eden Laase from Fruita Monument High School.