EMC students document once-in-a-lifetime trip

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Department of Electronic Media Communication students traveled to Puerto Rico as part of the new 4940 Advanced Production Maymester 2016 course taught by Paul Chilsen.

The unique educational opportunity gave production students the chance to explore the culture, cuisine and commerce of the island while creating a new kind of travel TV show.  The group traveled to different places within the tiny U.S. territory and compiled hours and hours of video to document the locals and landscape. Students took turns filming, being on camera and logging footage.

The class recorded the trip not only through video but by keeping a daily “journal” on Facebook complete with photographs. https://www.facebook.com/mtsupr2016/

The 12 days were summed up in a post by junior Josh Leedham:

Day 12:

What an adventure! That about sums up the trip.

The trip was only 12 days, but it felt longer. We met many new people, tried many new foods, and have had experiences that will stay with us forever. As I sit here typing this final entry of our adventures, I can look back and say that we have all, in our own ways, grown as individuals and that growth will help us further down the line in our career paths that we love. From the rain forests and beaches to the food trucks and salsa dancing, we have been surrounded by a different culture and have learned to appreciate it in all its complexities. Puerto Rico is definitely a destination for everyone to visit at some point. You will not be disappointed when you go.

To everyone who has been following along with our journey, we’d like to say thank you for your support and the love that was sent our way.

Adiós por ahora Puerto Rico.


Now back in the States, the class is working together to edit the footage into a 30-minute, documentary-style television program. “The three weeks of … class time were used traveling for two weeks and then a week of logging footage and doing some initial rough cuts,” Chilsen said. “We do not have a cut of the trip/show as of yet. That will come this fall in the Advanced Editing class. I had purposefully built the class that way in order to be realistic about class schedules — but more importantly, of course, to extend the learning!”

Chilsen has taught video production and film theory for more than two decades and has authored numerous academic articles on digital film and media literacy. The Puerto Rico course is based on a class he developed while teaching film production at Carthage College, a private liberal arts school in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Chilsen is currently a full-time temporary EMC faculty member.


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