Each fall students return to the classroom and share what they did over the summer. Faculty at the New England School of Communications also have summertime tales to tell and here we’ll highlight just a few of the interesting ways they spent their break.
Audio Engineering Associate Professor Walter Clissen stayed very busy working with world-renowned artist Jose Feliciano recording a new Django Reinhardt tribute album by Feliciano and Viennese guitarist Harri Stojka at LA-Clip Studios in Vienna Austria, rehearsing and recording Feliciano a the Academy of Contemporary Music/Metropolis Studios in London, and mixing Feliciano’s new album Latin Street 2015. In addition, Clissen continues to mix Front-of-House for Feliciano’s live shows including his performance at the Henley Festival of Music and the Arts in London.
Entertainment Production Coordinator and Instructor Ken Stack spent part of his summer working as Scenic Designer for the upcoming October run of The Producers at the Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth, ME. Plus he wrote the script for the next installment of WHSN’s award winning old-time radio drama Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery & Imagination, slated for a live broadcast from the Gracie Theatre on Friday, October 28th.
Video Production Assistant Professor Todd Eastman traveled to Atlanta, GA to work as Director of Photography on concussion awareness videos produced for the Brain Trauma Association. The production was filmed on an Arri Alexa as A cam with a Sony FS7 Steadicam (just like the one we have here at NESCom) as B cam.
The National Association of Broadcasters have announced the finalists for the 2016 Marconi Radio Awards, recognizing stations and personalities for excellence in broadcasting. In the noncommercial station of the year category one of the finalists is WHSN 89.3FM, the student-run radio station at Husson University.
NONCOMMERCIAL STATION OF THE YEAR
KPCW-FM, Park City, UT
WHSN-FM, Bangor, ME
WRHU-FM, Long Island, NY
WSDP-FM, Canton, MI
WSOU-FM, South Orange, NJ
WHSN 89.3FM is operated by the Radio Broadcasting students of the New England School of Communications at Husson University. The winners of the Marconi awards will be announced on Thursday, September 22nd at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show during the 2016 Radio Show in Nashville, TN. View the full list of Marconi award finalists
Husson University has announced that it received a $1 million gift from a source who wishes to remain anonymous. The gift will be used to create a new interdisciplinary learning space for students enrolled at Husson’s New England School of Communications (NESCom) and College of Business. Once completed, this facility will be dedicated to the conceptualization, marketing, management, and production of virtual reality presentations. The learning space will be a part of the Innovation Wing in Husson’s proposed new College of Business building.
In extending the appreciation of the University community for this generous gift, President Robert Clark noted that the gift from a member of the business community reflects a strong commitment to the vision of excellence in professional academic programs that Husson offers. “It’s a terrific reflection of the confidence that the donor has in supporting Husson’s future and ensuring that its mission of professional education is enhanced.”
“Students at the New England School of Communications and the College of Business will both benefit once this innovative new learning facility is completed,” says Husson University College of Business Dean Marie Hansen, Ph.D. “It will give Husson the infrastructure we need to promote the interdisciplinary study of virtual reality.”
Hansen continued: “Virtual reality has so many workplace applications. Marketing, healthcare, education, science and other disciplines could all one day be using virtual reality to help increase their organizations’ productivity and profitability. Technology like this helps keep NESCom students current and ensures that they’ll be work-ready upon graduation.”
The $1 million gift covers the advanced software and hardware that will need to be integrated into this space. Constructing this facility in the proposed College of Business building is also more cost effective than trying to add a new wing to the existing Wildey Communications Center.
“Giving students the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning with cutting-edge technology is what NESCom is all about,” said Edward Goguen, academic director and assistant professor/audio coordinator at the New England School of Communications at Husson University. “In my experience, innovative thinking when combined with the latest communication tools, gives students the educational foundation they need to achieve career success.”
Advancement Vice President Sarah Cary Robinson feels that this gift is as innovative as the technology it supports: “How appropriate that this lead gift for the Innovation Wing of the new College of Business building represents its own form of innovation. Our benefactor wished to support two seemingly divergent focus areas – communications and business. We came together and talked about programs and synergies. In the end, we were able to structure a gift with a single focus that will strengthen learning opportunities for both NESCom and the College of Business. Now that’s innovation! As we move forward raising funds for the College of Business building, we look forward to similar conversations with other individuals who understand and support our vision.”
As part of the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP), interviews with four of Maine’s WWII veterans were recorded and sent to the Library’s collection. The interviews were conducted by students in New England School of Communications’ Journalism Program at Husson University. A news conference featuring the four participants will be held on campus May 2nd at 11:00AM at the Wildey Communications Center. The local media are invited to the event to learn more about the project and talk to the Veterans and students.
Veterans Galen Cole, Norman Rossignol, Paul Wilbur, and Harold Beal were contacted through Cole Land Transportation Museum and interviewed at Husson University’s New England School of Communications (NESCom). Rossignol, a Bangor vet who served in World War II and the Korean War, when asked what he learned in the military responded, “It made me value life… I’m not rich, but I’m comfortable.”
The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center is an oral history program that preserves audio and video recorded interviews of America’s wartime veterans.
River City Cinema, in partnership with NESCom at Husson University will host a screening of Malian music documentary The Will Have To Kill Us First on Thursday, April 21st at 7pm a the Gracie Theatre.
They Will Have To Kill Us First: Malian music in exile is a feature-length documentary following musicians in Mali in the wake of a jihadist takeover and subsequent banning of music. Music, one of the most important forms of communication in Mali, disappeared overnight in 2012 when Islamic extremists groups rose up to capture an area the size of the UK and France combined. But rather than lay down their instruments, Mali’s musicians fought back.
Director Johanna Schwartz will be on-hand for a Q&A following the film.
Admission is $10 for the public with free admission for Husson University students with student ID at the door. Tickets are available online or at the door the night of the screening.
Each year the Entertainment Production degree program at NESCom at Husson University produces a musical in the Gracie Theatre‘s Black Box Theatre. For Spring 2016, the Entertainment Production students will present Jesus Christ Superstar with shows running April 15th, 16th, & 17th.
Tickets will be available at the door. $3 for students and $5 for general admission.
Greg Wonder, a 2010 graduate of the New England School of Communications has been hard at work over the past 3 years working on the documentary Dennis Viollet – A United Man which was recently finished. Wonder took some time out of his busy video production schedule in Los Angeles to talk with the NESCom Blog to talk about the project and its plans for the future.
NESCom Blog: Bring us up to date on what you’re doing in Los Angeles and how you became involved with Dennis Viollet – A United Man?
Wonder: I’m based out of Los Angeles and as far as entertainment employment goes, this is really the best place for it. My work consists of many things like writing, directing and producing but my day to day job is really as a cinematographer, video editor, and colorist. Editing/color are the things I end up doing most since there’s far more demand for it. I am a freelance contractor but the bulk of my work comes from the same company and we work on a variety of different things from fashion/makeup brands to beverage companies.
I became involved in the project through simple networking. Rachel Viollet (the film’s director/producer) and I met through mutual friends when we were both new to LA and she mentioned that she wanted to make this documentary about her father. She liked my work and the two of us got along really well so she brought me on as the DP, editor, and co-producer.
NESCom Blog: So who is Dennis Viollet and what is his story?
Wonder: Dennis Viollet – A United Man is a documentary about a Manchester United legend who played back in the 50’s and 60’s. He’s one of the best players to ever come through the club and actually still holds the record for most goals in a season. After his professional career in England he came to the United States and played a huge roll in popularizing the game over here.
NESCom Blog: With a subject that spent time in both England and America, did you have to shoot in both countries?
Wonder: The first thing we shot was a couple of short interviews in LA of Rachel and the consulting producer Kim Waltrip (producer Hit & Run)for an indiegogo campaign. The campaign raised enough money for Rachel and I to travel to England for a week and shoot our first batch of interviews. We spoke to men like Denis Law and Sir Alex Ferguson who are legends in the sport which was pretty amazing. After England, we traveled to Jacksonville, FL which is where Dennis spent the second half of his life, and shot the remaining interviews for the film. We shot Rachel’s interview in LA and also was able to grab one with the global ambassador for Man U as he was passing through town on business.
NESCom Blog: How did the film challenge you as DP/Editor?
Wonder: The creative process of editing a documentary is quite a challenge because there is no script. You create an outline of the general story you want to tell but it largely comes down to sitting in the booth and piecing together a story with the available soundbites and presenting them in a way that makes sense and is compelling. We didn’t want to rely on voice over to tell the story, but rather tell it completely through the interviews so I spent a lot of time sifting through hours of footage to find the little soundbites that would work well together. Rachel also transcribed every interview, which was helpful because she could read through them and offer suggestions for what might work well in a particular section or pick out pieces I may have overlooked.
Director Rachel Viollet with Greg Wonder
NESCom Blog: Tell us about the film’s debut in LA and the plans for future screenings/festivals/awards?
Wonder: We screened the film at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles and it was very well received. Seeing my work on the big screen was a great moment. It was definitely a personal milestone for me. We also screened it the following weekend in Jacksonville, where Dennis spent the latter half of his life, which was really cool since the story is so personal to the city. We have also been selected as the opening night film for the Manchester Film Festival in England on March 3rd which is exciting.
NESCom Blog: What did you learn in the process?
Wonder: I learned a LOT about soccer! Both about the game in general and it’s history in England and the United States. I also learned how to strip my kit down to the bare essentials. When you have to carry every piece of gear by yourself all over a foreign country, it pays to be selective.
NESCom Blog: How did your time at NESCom prepare you for what you do today?
Wonder: The biggest thing NESCom helped me prepare for was the incredible work load you encounter in the real world. I had at least one video project due every week (usually more), which takes up a lot of time if you want them to be any good. I can remember many nights at NESCom where I was the last person to leave the building and the first person back the following morning. In this business it’s not uncommon to work 12+ hour days, in fact I’ve worked over 20 hours straight before. And then if you’re interested in producing your own content it all has to be done after that or on your days off so you really have to learn to budget your time and put in the work.
NESCom also really helped when it comes to being a one-man-band. Between all my courses I was challenged to learn about many different aspects of production which has enabled me to handle just about any part of it. Obviously you want to work with a team and find the best people suited for each position, but budgets don’t always allow for that so you often end up having to do the jobs of about 4-5 different people. If you are able to handle these sorts of tasks it’s going to make you far more employable than your competition.
New England School of Communications at Husson University students often go on to do great things after graduating. But for one Audio Engineering student, great things are already happening, thanks to their work as a MIDI producer. Sophomore Nikolas “Nick” Papamitrou, who came to NESCom from Massachusetts, has recently begun working with hip hop Producer Jahlil Beats and is soon to be signed to Beats’ new label, Tandem. To find out more, we spoke with Nick about his musical background and his current projects.
NESCom Blog: What is your audio background & when did you start creating music?? Papamitrou: Music has evolved around my Mom’s side of the family. Her side of the family is extremely musically inclined, so I get all my musical genes from her. I started playing guitar around 14, and then started producing music around 15, and finally getting into MIDI producing at 16 after my younger brother started doing it before me, giving me the inspiration. I was into rock at the young age, like Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath, so i always tried to record drums and guitar and a make a song using just a small mic and an interface with Garage Band. As I got older, I got out of that phase and my brother Alex, by the producer name of “Xander”, started making hip hop beats, giving me the inspiration to also try it out, since I loved hip hop so much.
NESCom Blog: How did you find yourself working with hip hop Producer Jahlil Beats? Papamitrou: I’m a huge Twitter guy, and I find that twitter is an extremely important tool for music. One day about a year ago, I tweeted a video at Jahlil Beats of a beat my brother and I made, and he Retweeted it, and followed me back, giving me the opportunity to actually message him personally. He asked me to do a collaboration with him. One day he hit me up on snapchat messenger and asked for my number and also asked if I wanted to be part of Dreamchasers 4 (a mixtape by rapper Meek Mill) with him, and obviously I’m gonna say yes, and thats what changed everything for me. We made a beat for the rapper Meek Mill, the introduction beat for Dreamchasers 4 with Meek Mill ft. Lil Snupe & French Montana. Jahlil also talked about upcoming projects he wants me to be part of, one of them being an EP with Skrillex, as well as another project with a huge collaboration of Skrillex, Tom Morello, Jahlil Beats, and now, me. In addition, there are some independent artists that we may work with, such as Rick Ross, ASAP Ferg, and more Meek Mill.
NESCom Blog: Your about to signed to a new record label called Tandem. Tell us about the label. Papamitrou: Tandem is a record label owned by the Roc Nation-signed producer Jahlil Beats. He is trying to sign talented Hip Hop artists as well as some producers, and to give opportunities to those people trying to make it in this game. Its going to be a huge record label. A couple of weeks ago, Jahlil Beats calls me up, asking me a ton of questions, like where Im from, am I signed, and such. We discussed, and now Jahlil Beats is going to fly me out to Philly to sign me to his new label Tandem as a producer.
NESCom Blog: What projects and artists have your been working with? Papamitrou: Currently working on the project with Skrillex, Jahlil Beats, and Tom Morello. I’m also part of a new single with Meek Mill. Nothing has been released yet, but will be soon. Of these projects, I’m most proud of my EDM tracks with Skirllex and Jahlil Beats because it really shows my true colors as a producers.
NESCom Blog: How do you create your music & what Is your process? Papamitrou: I create my music with a software called FL Studio, the same software Jahlil Beats uses. My process is usually to come up with the melody first, then add drums. I’m extremely 808 Trap driven, and love having my kicks overpower so it really hits your chest.
NESCom Blog: Why did you choose the Audio Engineering program at NESCom at Husson University? Papamitrou: I choose Nescom because of its Audio Engineering, being affordable, and allowing to touch equipment at whatever year you are. The education system is great, and so are the teachers and the environment. One of my favorite things about NESCom is the people, and the the hip hop. A lot of hip hop heads here at NESCom, and thats all I’m about.
At the New England School of Communications at Husson University, finding ways to push technology in journalism is part of our mission. Last week students experimented with broadcast quality and signal feed challenges using an iPad as a camera that can send a live feed back to the station using Skype. Students can now use the new Talk Show Skype TX hardware, which has been installed in the NESCom Video’s Master Control that allows for broadcasters to harness Skype technology with improved audio and video for broadcast.
For the same newscast, students fired up the new robotic camera and lighting in the newsroom for internal remotes. As with many live broadcast situations using new technology, there were challenges but the students worked through them to deliver the broadcast. Here are some pics showing the new set-ups.