Thursday, November 15, 2012

December 1st, save the date!


Seniors James McCallion (left), Liam Halferty (middle), and Jordan Greer (right)

Westminster College's Broadcast and Digital Communications Department would like to formally invite you to the third and final session of the department's 2012 Capstone Documentary Showcase. This portion of the showcase will feature the work of senior students James McCallion, Jordan Greer and Liam Halferty. The event will take place on December 1st at 3:30 in Mueller Theater, located on the second floor of the McKelvey Campus Center. Each student will present their capstone documentaries of the following various topics. 

"A Modern American Dream: The Souheil Obaid Story."
By Jordan Greer

The film will follow Souheil Obaid and his journey from living in his home country of Syria to immigrating to the United States and becoming a successful business owner.  The film will look to show a positive example of the current “American Dream” as opposed to the common media focus on illegal immigration. 

You can find out more about Jordan's film by clicking here.

"Dirty Politics"
By James McCallion

In 2008 the United States Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting campaign funding from corporations and unions.  This in effect created Political Action Committees or Super PACs.  Super PACs now make large contributions to political candidates.  A portion of this money helps make negative campaign ads.  This documentary will investigate the effects negative campaign ads makes on voters in the 2012 presidential election.

To discover more about James' film, click here.

The Heartbeat of Lawrenceville
By Liam Halferty 
Nearing its 100th year anniversary, Saint Mary’s Lyceum has long been a place for the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lawrenceville to come together to enjoy the various festivities held at this historical venue. This film will highlight how through economic and social trials and tribulations, the Lyceum has remained open because of hard-working people that put in countless hours to keep this century-old building, that is so rich in history, up and running. 

To see more about the documentary, click here.

 A short preview of my film :


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Giving back to those who gave so much

Through the creation of this documentary, 100 years of oral history is being preserved in form of a short film. This film will not only be dedicated to and intrigue those whose lives have been affected in some way by the building, but all viewers can appreciate the story of this century-old landmark, and the way an urban community has come together over the years to keep it running.

Lawrenceville has long been a place of hard-working and determined individuals, and the way in which the Lyceum has been able to stay open through tough social and financial times speaks volumes for the people in the area. The focus of this documentary is highlighting how good has overcame a bad situation, when a group of people came together to save a building so rich in history from closing. The way some of the characters in this documentary have dedicated their life to Christian values of sacrifice and loyalty to their community, definitely meets the service learning outcomes of Westminster. This film will be made to honor those individuals, and the community of Lawrenceville as a whole.

One benefit from the service learning mission that this documentary connects with is that "involvement with important concerns helps students understand issues, builds their passions, and gives them skills." Before creating this film, I thought of the idea of the story through my past experiences and ties with the community of Lawrenceville, the people of the neighborhood, and the Lyceum itself.

I knew that it was a place of hard-working, service-oriented people that have dealt with the rise, and more importantly, the fall of the neighborhood and their parish. These people definitely emulate the service learning statement of Westminster College.

My efforts in creating this documentary also connect with this benefit of service learning because through the production of the film, I have realized the passion I have gained for this topic. The skills I have learned in my three years as a broadcast communications student have helped me along the way, but the skills I am gaining in building relationships and the experiences from this production are much greater and more important in the grand scheme of things.

Westminster's Service Learning Mission

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Music to my ears

Sound can be vital to making a video or photos memorable and unique. This is especially true in a movie or documentary. In my film, I will showcase music from two local musicians and friends of mine, Matt Rheingrover and Roscoe Rhoden.

Both of these musicians graduated from Central Catholic High School in 2009 with me.

Rhoden is an aspiring music producer in the Pittsburgh area. He is a graduate of Full Sail University, with a degree in Recording Arts. Rhoden has worked with artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Devin Miles, Scolla, and Pittsburgh Slim.

Rheingrover is a senior Electrical Engineering major at Penn State University, but creates music in his free time. He prodced Mac Miller's "Another Night" off of Miller's mixtape, The High Life.

Both artists have a vast background in music, from rock to hip hop, from guitar to piano, they can play it all. The music they provided can be used in different situations, such as the first part of the documentary highlighting the history, as well as other parts of the film.

Click here to listen in on some of Roscoe's work

Click here to listen in on some of Matt's music

"Another Night" by Mac Miller, produced by Matt Rheingrover

As far as natural sound goes, the most important scenes in my film featuring natural sound will be shots from the holiday tournament at St. Mary's Lyceum. The natural sound from these games will capture the essence of the historic building, better than just no sound at all, or an empty gym. The audience will be able to feel the energy of the 100-year-old gymnasium.