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2010 Alum Ray Harrington To Screen Documentary “Be A Man” in Bangor

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Two years ago, 2010 NESCom alum Ray Harrington, had an idea. Now all those months later, the finished product will be shown in Bangor as an advanced screening. Be A Man, a new documentary by Harrington has been a labor of love for the comedian, husband and father. We caught up with Ray after the film had its first screening (an exclusive for Kickstarter supporters) at the Comedy Connection in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Q: From the idea, to the first screening, how long was the production of the documentary?
A: From the initial idea to finally being able to screen the film this month, it has been a two year process. Two years! There’s a moment somewhere in the middle of all of it where passion has to change to determination. It has been an incredibly fun, stressful, and at times very hard process to go through. It’s almost two different projects. The experience of shooting the documentary, the difficulties of being both the subject and the director was odd at times. But the Director of Photography was wonderful in taking the helm behind the camera when I had to be 100% present in front of the camera. The other, wholly different experience was post-production. The editing process was monstrous and being done by just myself and our editor, Joey Fallon. At some point, the film just became what I did. Everyday. Wake up to emails and calls, work on the film all day, be with my wife and son in the evening, then run out to a comedy show at night, get back and work more on the film before going to bed.

Q: Where did the idea for the documentary come from?
A: My wife and I were talking a lot about having kids and we were just starting to let things take their course. I had been talking to my friend and fellow comedian, Derek Furtado a lot about my worries and fears of being a dad. The fact that I didn’t have a father growing up really concerned me when I thought about becoming a father myself. One night, I was talking on the phone with Derek and I said, “I don’t know how to be a father. I don’t even know how to be a man.” And it was an immediate moment of realization for both of us that the image of manhood we’ve been given is changing drastically and rapidly. The things that, in childhood, I had always thought were manly but never had experience with. Fighting, Drinking, Cars, Shaving, Clothing, Women. All things I never knew. Could I learn about them all so I would have that to pass on to my son? And would they make me any more manly?

Q: What was it like to following the process through all the way?
A: We started shooting in September of 2013 with the thought that we would have things wrapped up by the time my son was due in March. The post-production phase was the longest though. With hours of footage capturing everyday life and hours of footage capturing the events we shot, it was a big undertaking. Add to that a newborn baby and a comedy career, and it was next to impossible. Thankfully, our editor Joey Fallon is amazing. I worked closely with him for 10 months non-stop, building this film.

Q: What was the budget for Be A Man like?
A: Our budget was small. VERY small. It’s crazy to look back and realize we made a feature length documentary for $11,000. And it’s good! We started with $5,000 from investors. Stand Up! Records was wonderful in backing us from the start. I’m a comic on the label and when I told Dan Schlissel about it, he was immediately supportive. Then it was the guys at the RI Comedy Connection and a fellow comic, John Porch who all believed in the project and wanted to help. We were able to take that money and cover all of the gear we would need. After the production, we realized we needed money that we hadn’t expected needing for sound mixing and color grading. Luckily, our editor has a lot of connections in London and we met with Soho Square Studios who loved the rough cut we had and were just as passionate about the project as we were.

Q: What was (2011 NESCom alum) Joe Giordano’s role in the production?
A: When I initially had the idea for Be A Man, I knew right away that I wanted Joe on board. We had worked together on a few sketches at the New England School of Communications and we worked really well together. I knew I wanted Joe as my Director of Photography immediately and that we wouldn’t do the film without him. As the director and the subject, I would need to trust the DP entirely to be capturing the moment. Joe was the only person I trusted to see it the same way as I did. It’s also wonderful having a friend behind the camera during some really personal things being shot. There’s a warmth in the final film, a sense of real friendship that I think carries over to the viewer as well.

Q: What’s the most exciting part of the phase Be A Man is in now?
A: It’s the audience. Last night, we screened the film for the very first time to an audience. To hear the roars of laughter and how much people were laughing was astonishing. We felt the film was really funny, but the reaction last night blew me away. And to hear a pin drop during a serious moment is fantastic. We had people in tears by the end of the film and I couldn’t believe it.

Q: What’s next for the film (following the advanced screenings)?
A: After the first advance screening in Rhode Island and the screening at The Bangor Mall Cinemas on June 28th, we’ll be doing a few more advance screenings in New England. Portland, Mass, New York, Connecticut. But I was really excited about having Bangor see the film first. Coming from Bangor and having built a lot of who I am here, meeting my wife here, I wanted to show it to people in Bangor for the first time in a special way. Of course, being a microbudget film, the screenings will help us raise funds to begin the film festival circuit and get this film shown across the country. That’s when we’ll look at our options for distribution and seek out potential streaming like Netflix, etc. But our main goal is for this film to be seen.

The Bangor area screening of Be A Man is scheduled for June 28th, 7pm at Bangor Mall Cinemas. Tickets are available online HERE.
For more information on Be A Man, visit beamanthefilm.com or like the movie on Facebook.

The Nite Show To Air Special Produced With Husson Alive: the NESCom Experience Students

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The Nite Show with Danny Cashman will present a special edition of the show with high school students taking over as guests and members of the crew. “High School Nite” will air on Saturday, May 30, and was produced in conjunction with Husson Alive: The NESCom Experience

“We have been looking forward to this for quite some time. The high schools in Maine are such a resource for tremendous talent and personalities that it was easy to find great guests for our show,” said Nite Show host Danny Cashman. “On top of that, despite doing a high school themed show, my transcript continues to go unchecked, keeping my dirty little secret alive that I never passed high school English…or science.”

Viewers of High School Nite on The Nite Show will notice guests hailing from high schools in Maine. Among them, Nick Danby of Bangor High School, who is ranked 2nd in the country by the National Speech and Debate Association, will be interviewed on the show. Alex Quinn, winner of individual awards for outstanding musicianship at both the Maine State Instrumental Jazz Festival and the Berklee High School Jazz Festival will be sitting in with the show’s house band, the Jump City Jazz Band on trumpet. The Division II winners of the Maine State Vocal Jazz Festival – the Unified Harmony Show Choir, made up of students from Stearns and Schenck High Schools in Millinocket and East Millinocket, respectively, will perform a selection from “Wicked” on the show. And a guest announcer from Dirigo High School even joins Nite Show announcer Joe Kennedy for the show’s introduction.

“Everybody loved everything about this taping,” said Cashman. “We hope that students, families, and towns will enjoy it, and we hope it becomes an annual event for us.”

Husson Alive: The NESCom Experience brought together high school students from ten different schools in Maine and New Hampshire to learn about NESCom for a day. Those students spent the day working on everything from marketing to video and audio production. At the end of the day, many students were involved in the actual production of the show, including running camera and technical directing High School Nite on The Nite Show.

High School Nite on The Nite Show will air in the show’s regular timeslots, statewide, on Sat., May 30: WABI TV5 (CBS) in Bangor at 11:30 p.m.; WPFO FOX23 in Portland following Major League Baseball and the FOX23 News at Ten (likely between 10:30 – 11 p.m.); and WAGM FOX8 in Presque Isle at 12 midnight.

The Nite Show with Danny Cashman is a late night talk show based on national shows hosted by the likes of David Letterman, Johnny Carson, and Jimmy Fallon. The 30-minute weekly show originates from Husson University’s Gracie Theatre in Bangor and features an opening monologue, a comedy bit, a guest interview, and usually a performance guest in every show. The show also features a live house band, The Jump City Jazz Band, Joe Kennedy serves as the show’s announcer, and the show is taped before a live studio audience. Previous guests have included folk singer/songwriter David Mallett, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, Gov. Paul LePage, The Count from “Sesame Street,” Sen. Angus King, Miss Maine USA, Rob Bartlett of “Imus in the Morning,” F. Lee Bailey, former Major League Baseball player Matt Stairs, singer/songwriter Noel Paul Stookey, former host of “Double Dare,” Marc Summers, the Rustic Overtones, comedian George Hamm, MMA fighter Marcus Davis, and many more.

Tickets for future shows are available through the show’s website, www.theniteshowmaine.com.  

 

Video Production Grad’s Star Wars Fan Film Wins Top Award

The force is strong with these ones. Iron Horse Cinema recently took home top honors at the annual Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, CA. Their Star Wars fan film “Star Wars: The Lesser Evil” was chosen by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy as her favorite fan film of the event. The film was directed by 2009 Video Production graduate Sy Cody White. White is Creative Director for New Jersey-based Iron Horse Cinema and was on hand to accept the award with his colleagues.

NESCom Alum Robert Nesbitt Nominated For Three Boston/New England Emmys

New England School of Communications Journalism graduate Robert Nesbitt (’11) has been nominated for 3 Boston/New England Emmy awards for his work at WCSH 6 in Portland, ME. The nominees for the 38th Boston/New England Emmys were announced today in Dedham, MA.

Nesbitt has been nominated in the following categories:

NEWS SPECIALTY REPORT ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT
Inmate Artist WCSH

Rob Nesbitt, Reporter

MAGAZINE FEATURE/SEGMENT
Bone Marrow Brothers WCSH

Rob Nesbitt, Reporter

VIDEO JOURNALIST
Wheel Chair Dog WCSH

Rob Nesbitt, Reporter

The 38th Boston/New England Emmy Awards ceremony will take place Saturday, May 30th.

WHSN Radio To Feature Audio Engineering Student Recordings

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WHSN 89.3 FM, campus radio station for Husson University is set to showcase the student work of NESCom Audio Engineering over the past academic year. On Wednesday, May 6th at 8pm, WHSN will air a special broadcast titled the “NESCom Audio Year In Review”.

Students taking CT 431 Advanced Music Production over the 2014-2015 academic year recorded 11 different musical acts as part of their course work. Each student was charged with selecting a musical act to bring to the studios of the New England School of Communications at Husson University and were responsible for all aspects of the project including recording, editing, mixing and mastering.

WHSN’s “NESCom Audio Year In Review” will include one song from each of the 11 projects and will include interviews with some of the students, giving them an opportunity to share their experiences with the recordings. Also included in the special will be Thom Johnston, Dean of the New England School of Communications.

“NESCom Audio Year In Review” will air Wednesday, May 6th at 8pm on WHSN 89.3 FM in the Bangor area and streamed online at whsn-fm.com

Timelapse Video Shows Work That Goes Into The Nite Show

Students of the New England School of Communications at Husson University handle all production aspects of the Nite Show, which airs nearly statewide on television stations in Portland, Bangor, and Presque Isle, Maine. As the students worked on the set for tonight’s taping at the Gracie Theatre, student Alan Wardwell shot a time-lapse of the 2+ hours it takes to assemble the set.

NESCom Entertainment Production Presents Once On This Island

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The New England School of Communications Entertainment Production degree program at Husson University will present the award-winning musical, Once On This Island in the Gracie Black Box Theatre April 17th-19th. This is the third musical to has been presented in the school’s experimental theatre space. In 2013, Studs Terkel’s Working – The Musical launched the space as an intimate alternative performance facility on the Husson campus, to be followed by sell-out performances of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee last May.

Once On This Island is a rousing, Calypso-flavored tale of one small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice. From the TONY Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Seussical, Ragtime) comes this Olivier Award-winning Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale The Little Mermaid. This show garnered eight TONY nominations for its Broadway run, including Best Musical, Book and Score. Following their Off-Broadway debut with Lucky Stiff, a musical farce, Ahrens and Flaherty knew they wanted to tackle something with greater emotional depth. Browsing for ideas, Ahrens stumbled upon the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy in a used bookstore. The book was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, and Ahrens responded instantly to the novel’s poetic language and to the simple beauty of the story. Her writing partner, composer Stephen Flaherty, was attracted to the novel’s Caribbean setting, which would allow him to create a score that was theatrical, but inflected with the rhythms and sounds of the story’s locale.

The story focuses on Ti Moune, a peasant girl, who rescues a wealthy boy from the other side of the island, Daniel, with whom she falls in love. Unbeknownst to Ti Moune, the pompous gods who preside over the island make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death, the stakes being Ti Moune’s life. When she pursues Daniel, who has returned to his people, Ti Moune is shunned because of her lowly status. But her determination and capacity to love proves more powerful than society’s prejudices and the whims of the mischievous deities.

The NESCom production is staged by Jeri Misler, the Director of the Gracie Theatre, who is well-known to the Bangor Theatre community through her work with the Gracie as well as the Penobscot Theatre Company and Winterport Open Stage. Jeri will be assisted by the musical talents of Ben McNaboe, a music director and teaching artist at numerous high schools, Penobscot Theater, and Stages Performing Arts Academy. In addition to music directing, Ben also plays in pit orchestras on both reeds and keyboards having appeared in over 50 musical theater productions around New England. Together, Jeri and Ben have been working with Husson’s Musical Theatre Performance class, and other students within the Entertainment Production and Live Sound Programs to rehearse, design and produce this entertaining and uplifting musical.

The performances of Once On This Island are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 17 & 18 at 7:30 PM and on Sunday, April 19 at 2:00 PM.   The Gracie Black Box Theatre is located on the second floor of the Gracie Theatre on the campus of Husson University. General Admission tickets are available at the door before each performance. Ticket prices are $5.00 Regular Admission and $3.00 Student admission.   Seating is limited to 50 seats for each performance, so get there early, and be prepared to become enchanted!

 

CSP Donates Mobile Recording Unit to NESCom

The fleet of mobile production units at the New England School of Communications at Husson University grew by leaps and bounds thanks to a generous donation by CSP Mobile Productions. CSP is based in Saco, ME  and is one of the fastest growing mobile HD and digital television production companies in the US.  The company donated their Unit 6 audio truck to NESCom for use as both an experiential learning lab and a mobile recording unit.

Inside the truck is a 2-room recording control room centered around a Yamaha PM-1D 96 input digital console. The racks include processing from TC Electronic, DBX, Eventide, Yamaha, and Lexicon. Genelec and Yamaha monitors as well as a closet of microphones round out this fully operational “studio on wheels”. “We are fortunate to have supporters of the New England School of Communications at Husson University, like CSP Mobile Productions” says Thom Johnston, Dean of NESCom. “The gift of this unique mobile audio studio to Husson, with all of its technology, will give our students the opportunity to take their mixing skills on the road.”

Future use of the unit will include both class room applications, stand along remote recording, as well as coupling with the existing NESCom HD Mobile Productions Unit.

José Feliciano Album Mixed in NESCom Control Room E by Walter Clissen

Walter Clissen with Executive Producer/Manager for Jose Feliciano Helmuth Schaerf

Associate Professor Walter Clissen with Executive Producer/Manager for Jose Feliciano, Helmuth Schaerf. Photo by Larry Ayotte

Spring break is a time for students to take a break from their studies, to relax, and to catch up with friends. For the faculty however, spring break is a chance to spend some serious time working on projects both in and out of the classroom.

Walter Clissen, Associate Professor in the Audio Engineering department at NESCom at Husson University spent the majority of his spring break working on a musical project that spans the globe and brings together world-class talent. Clissen is in the mixing stage of a new album by artist José Feliciano in NESCom’s own Audio Control E. The project, which will be released as an album, has Feliciano playing guitar along with members of the Sofia Symphonic Orchestra and soprano Arno Raunig. It features operatic arias for castrati composed by Mozart which have never been transcribed for guitar.

The album is being mixed in both stereo and Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound  and will be released later this year.

Students Participte In NESN Next Producer Competition

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Five Video Production students at the New England School of Communications at Husson University are finalists in the Next Producer competition being held by NESN (New England Sports Network).

Heather Andrews, Dave Roberts, Ryan Carignan, Nick Young & Justin Foster worked as part of a team to tell the story of what it takes to cover a live sporting event. “We push that a broadcast team is just like a football team” says Andrews. “One team, one goal, striving for perfection, and going for the win (or in our case success)”.

NESN’s Next Producer competition is a new series that will officially premier on NESN on April 6th. The seven-episode run will air the student-made short films following Red Sox post-game coverage. The student filmmakers will get access to and input from two Hollywood producers with ties to New England – television Hall of Famer and Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner and Co- creator/Executive Producer, Brad Falchuk (Glee, American Horror Story, etc.). Falchuk is a Newton, Massachusetts native and passionate New England sports fan. Werner and Falchuk will coach the finalists to improve their films and pick the winner.

You can view & vote for the NESCom entry into the competition HERE. Help support the great work of NESCom students by sharing the voting link with friends and family.