Apr 17

Little 500 and the night show

Today we saw a bike race, and you can see the part just before they started:

The 30th Women’s Little 500 race was won by Kappa Alpha Theta — the time in the middle of the front row here at the start. This was their third victory in the last four years and seventh all-time championship. That’s the most of any team. The women’s race is 25 miles long and was an entertaining way to spend an hour. Also, many of our students were broadcasting or covering the race, so it was fun to see the familiar faces hard at work throughout the facility.

Some of the women that won this race, by the way, came into the studio for our morning show a few weeks ago:

Anyway, after the race, it was back on our usual side of campus, more of our hard working students were producing the series finale of Hella Late with Rob Sherrell our late night host treated his live audience to a rap battle. There were some talented people there. I watched from the audience. This guy won.

Here’s my friend Rob, who hosts that show:

Rob Sherrell

Rob Sherrell is a writer, a comic, a filmmaker. He pitched and co-produced Hella Late. He’s also a standup comedy major. His first professional gig, after school, is directing a documentary in Thailand in just a few weeks.

I asked him, How’d you get that?

“Because of this, because of IUSTV,” he said.

He’s such a cool guy. Smart, thoughtful, funny. He’s got a quiet drive and a prominent, eloquent urgency. He’s one of those, you just know, he’s going somewhere.

He’s about to graduate, so like all of the seniors, you’re ready to hear of the big things in their future.

We say, “Hey, come back and talk about your careers and give the current students hints and tips. And also give us some of your money.” But first, we knew them when.

Apr 17

Friday work is easy work

This is the one where I brag about people doing extra work for no other reason than because they want to do it.

Here’s the hosts for the morning show. One of the young ladies is in the Media School. The other is a business student. She appears on two or three different shows each week. She just enjoys it, and this is a show they’ve developed this semester themselves.

Today’s guest was Mitchell Paige, who was a receiver at IU. He’s getting ready for the draft. In a few months he’ll be the guy in the NFL who is gritty, smart, has good hands, a nose for the football and all of those other cliches. Nice guy.

So, just three more people to say I knew them when, I suppose.

This evening I went over to the other studio to watch Hella Late, the evening show which is also new this term. Rob Sherrell is the host, and I will say I knew him when, too. He’s a standup comedy major. He developed the curriculum himself. And then he went out, with a small crew and found a larger crew and, together, they’ve built this show.

This is what he sees when he’s looking out to four cameras, hoping to make an audience laugh and think:

And in the next room, on a Friday night, a room full of students producing the program. They could be anywhere:

But instead of being stereotypical students on a Friday night, they are there. And that’s never not impressive to me.

Apr 17

At the conference

Had a few presentations to take part in today at the Southern States Communication Association’s annual conference. This one was with all of my political communication scholar friends:

It is humbling to be at the end of the table with a group like that, let me just say.

At the end, after we had speculated on the Trump campaign and not enough on the Clinton campaign, and after the question and answer period, someone asked if all of these Smiths are related. Someone said that there were the two pairs. And Larry Powell there said he was to blame for two of us. The Yankee and I had met in the graduate school program he chaired, and solidified the start of our friendship in one of his classes and now, seemingly moments later, here we are.

And, later, I got to take part in this really cool presentation:

I showed a lot of clips of shows and class exercises. Most of the shows I’ve embedded in this space, previously. One of the film professors sent me to the conference with this mini-documentary.

My Grandpa‚Äôs Garage was the final project in a documentary filmmaking class, which introduces students to a variety of styles, approaches, and techniques, like personal essay, stop-motion, use of archival materials and so on. One of this group’s biggest challenges, as you’ll see, was curating the volume of information. There was a lot to search through and consider, there were varying production formats to consider, and to find a way to the path that leads to a well-woven, engaging story. And it is that. It is specific. It is quite personal — and yet there are universal elements and themes here for viewers:

My Grandpa's Garage from Adrienne Grace Wagner on Vimeo.

Adrienne Wagner directed the project, working with two other students: Cadence Baugh and Blake Phelps. It was featured at the Heartland Film Festival, and was one of five finalist in the Cine Golden Eagle Competition. Other finalists were films from NYU, Berkeley and Syracuse, so the implication is that it stands next to traditionally outstanding peers.

Most of the IU students do. It is so neat to be around such talented people, and a treat to show off their work.

Mar 17

I should start thinking of titles first

We shot a show this morning and did more studio things this afternoon and in between I talked about podcasts and tripod parts and managed to have a late lunch. But I also had chicken fingers for lunch, checked in on a one-on-one interview and the late night show. Chatted with the dean, he’s a nice fellow.

Oh, and there was this student-produced pilot episode of a television show:

It was another gray sky day, however. I’m pretty much over this view, which I found when I got home this evening:

And later we played our favorite hashtag game:

Mar 17

“We’re up! We’re up!”

In the studio, you sometimes find yourself standing in just the right spot with just the right light near just the right piece of glass. I looked up and there was the jib camera, just waiting patiently to be used.

jib selfie

I doubt that is what the jib camera had in mind.

Yes, the cameras think of things like that. If Disney can anthropomorphize all of the animals and Pixar can animate all of the toys, why isn’t one of them doing all of that with the electronics? Especially in this great age of the Internet of Things.

Yes, I imagine it would be a prequel to the Terminator series. So?

In the studio this morning, two cyclists from the Theta team stopped by for an interview and a demonstration. They put their bikes up on rollers and then invited the morning show hosts to give it a try. It was predictable and funny and cute:

Of course I rode one of the bicycles. That means house, hotels and now the workplace. You can never ride a bike indoors enough that the novelty wears off, if you ask me.

Softball game this evening, watched the right team set all kinds of crazy runs records. (They should have us back more often as we are clearly good luck.) Barbecue tonight. A bicycle ride, outdoors this time, tomorrow. Good start to the weekend, that.