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Alum Greg Wonder Helps Tell The Story Of Dennis Viollet – A United Man

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?

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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.

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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.

For more information on Dennis Viollet – A United Man, visit dennisviolletdocumentary.com
For more information on Greg Wonder visit gregwonder.com

Audio Engineering Student Begins Work With Hip Hop Producer Jahlil Beats

Nick Papmitrou Working In NESCom Studio D

Nick Papmitrou Working In NESCom Studio D

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.

Journalism Students Harness New Technology For Broadcasts

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.

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NESCom Students To Once Again Set Sail With Country Cruising

For the fourth time, students studying Live Sound Technology at the New England School of Communications at Husson University will set sail in partnership with Cruise Production, a Florida-based company run by ’90 alum Tim Cabral.

Cruise Production

Students and faculty will travel to Miami for the 7 night Country Cruising 2015 event that includes performances by 32 country music acts. Headlining this year’s Country Cruising trip is Neal McCoy along with Trace Adkins, Craig Morgan, Joe Nichols, Parmalee, and Lindsay Ell. The cruise leaves Miami on October 23rd with stops in  Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay, Key West, and Grand Cayman before returning to port on the 30th. While on-ship, students will work with the numerous live shows taking place throughout the trip aboard the Norwegian Pearl.

More information on the cruise is available at http://www.countrycruising.com

Former Dean Haskell, WHSN 89.3FM Recognized at Maine Association of Broadcasters 2015 Awards Gala

Mark Nason, Chair of the Maine Association of Broadcaster Board of Directors and Ben Haskell, 2015 inductee to the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Mark Nason, Chair of the Maine Association of Broadcaster Board of Directors and Ben Haskell, 2015 inductee to the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Saturday night, the Maine Association of Broadcasters recognized the hard work of the broadcasting industry at their 2015 Awards Gala. Held at Hollywood Casino in Bangor, the night brought the industry together to celebrate the award winners and congratulate the latest inductees into the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

The Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees for 2015 are a 33-year veteran of Maine television, Rob Caldwell of WCSH-6 in Portland, and the New England School of Communications own Benjamin Haskell. The retired Dean and longtime broadcaster was inducted for his decades of work at NESCom, training future generations of media professionals.

WHSN's 2015 Maine Association of Broadcasters awards

WHSN’s 2015 Maine Association of Broadcasters awards

In addition to the countless NESCom alum who received awards, WHSN-FM was recognized for work in Community Service and News Feature. WHSN’s long running AS4MS MS Society benefit concert was honored with both the first place in the Public Service-Unsponsored category and the MAB’s 2015 Commitment to Community Award. The Commitment to Community Award includes a $500 grant from the association to the charity involved. Accepting the award was Mark Nason, Zack Hewins and Eric Cooper of WHSN-FM along with Sue Tidd from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter.

Live Sound Student Works With The Science Of Naval Noise Control

Cantalupo in a Jacksonville, FL shipyard

Cantalupo in a Jacksonville, FL shipyard

Troy Cantalupo, a Live Sound Technology student at the New England School of Communications at Husson University, spent the summer of 2015 working with an unique aspect of sound. Cantalupo has been working as in intern with Noise Control Engineering of Billerica, MA. Noise Control Engineering is an acoustical engineering consulting firm that specializes in noise and vibration control for the naval industry. Their work involves both commercial and government contracts.

As a technician working for Noise Control Engineering, Cantalupo spent his summer managing the lab (including in-house calibration of accelerometers, sending out instrumentation for third-party calibration, and repairing and building equipment). However, he didn’t just work in the lab. I addition to managing the laboratory, Cantalupo;

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Testing Vibration on Bulkheads from Airbourne Noise (Speaker off Frame)

•Did on-site acoustical surveys, most notably being in Jacksonville, FL on a sea vessel trial.

•Programmed VBA in Microsoft Excel including automating post-calibration data crunching and designing an equipping scanning and tracking system.

•Performed electrical and acoustical testing on the company’s in-house designed sound level meter system and software against industry standards to determine its accuracy rating.

•Performed research testing on damping rating of ship bulkheads.

“I would like to stress the fact that the skills I learned at NESCom,” says Cantalupo. “Technical, professional and social skills all directly played roles in my success in this company. Thank you to the entire staff for the guidance over the years”.

For more information on Noise Control Engineering, LLC click here

Marketing Students Receive Honorable Mention in National Competition for DIRECTV

Four students at New England School of Communications at Husson University received an honorable mention for innovation and market research in the Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge national marketing competition that included 200 entries from universities throughout the US. The challenge was to create an integrated marketing campaign to help DIRECTV increase refer-a-friend program participation among its existing customers.

Senior Marketing Communications students Kendra Jackson, Kaity Patnode, Emily Pinneo and Video Production student Nicholas Maney formed Team DIREKKT. The team’s approach was to identify a new target market for DIRECTV and then create COMMUNITV, a mobile gaming application that would allow people to play a trivia game, win prizes, and easily refer friends to DIRECTV. Their submission included a 60 second video advertisement. The 2015 competition was conducted during the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.

“We were impressed with the quality and level of strategic thinking presented among the entries which clearly demonstrated an understanding of integrated marketing,” said Sondra Wellmerling, senior director of marketing at DIRECTV. “A job well done to all of the participants and special congratulations to the finalists.”

The winners of the Marketing EDGE 2015 Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge can be found here.

Students Spend Summer Experiencing Feature Filmmaking

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Summer may be a time of rest for many students, but for two students from the New England School of Communications at Husson University, it’s a time to jump feet-first into new experiences and opportunities in the movie industry.

Audio Engineering 2015 graduate Alex Knowles of Chester, VT job shadowed for two days on the set of Central Intelligence, a film being shot in Boston starring comedian Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. During his days on-set, Knowles worked under head Audio Mixer Tom Williams. “I learned a lot of mixing tricks from Tom Williams, how and when to blend microphones, which mic to choose, and other mixing choices” says Knowles. “I also learned about Union work, IATSE, specifically the structure and why it’s important to workers”. Knowles adds that the best part was getting any and all of his questions answered. “Tom Williams and his team were very welcoming and enthusiastic with their answers”. Central Intelligence from New Line Cinema is set for a June 16th, 2016 release date.

Meanwhile across the city of Boston, another movie was being filmed; the much-publicized Ghostbusters movie featuring an all-female cast of ghostbusters including Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Kristen Wiig. NESCom Video Production Sophomore Zachary Greaton of Saco, ME was given the opportunity to work as a Production Assistant on-set. Greaton said this about his experience “I learned a ton about the chain of command on such a large set…which involved hundreds once 2nd unit came on board”. Ghostbusters from Sony Pictures is set for a July 22, 2016 release date.

NESCom Works To Record Greenlight Maine TV Series

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Green means go, Green means Husson and this week at the New England School of Communications at Husson University, green also means Greenlight Maine. Faculty, students and alumni are working with the creative and production team of Brian Corcoran, Con Fullam, and Nat Thompson in a venture called Portland Media Group (PMG) on a new show called “Greenlight Maine”.

Greenlight Maine, which is produced by PMG with production management by NESCom, involves Maine entrepreneurs competing for a prize of more than $100,000 to invest in their businesses. Along the way, they’ll receive mentoring from corporate, media and marketing executives.

The production of the show is no small task. Over the course of 7 days, NESCom faculty, students and even a few alumni are working to tape 13 half-hour episodes that feature all 26 semifinalist entrepreneurs of the Greenlight Maine competition that was held earlier this year. Each episode includes interviews with the semifinalists and presenting their “pitch” to a panel of three judges. Each show has a new set of judges, the list of which reads like a “Who’s Who” in Maine.

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PMG recruited an impressive group of sponsors which includes:
Bangor Savings Bank
Bernstein Shur Counselors at Law
Central Maine Power
Darling’s
Day’s Jewelers
Finance Authority of Maine
Don Foshay’s Discount Tire & Alignment
Hancock Lumber
Husson University
IDEXX Laboratories
L.L. Bean
Memic
Moody’s Collision Centers

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The show utilizes 6 cameras, full wireless audio, custom EVS workflows and a completely redesigned and rebuilt TV studio for the Show. The set, which is the creation of NESCom Entertainment Production assistant professor Brave Williams, has an entirely new “look and feel”. It fills the entire television studio at the Wildey Communication Center. Video instructor Kris Bridges is the director with support from faculty John Easton, Ed Goguen, Steve Vachon, Rick Davis, and Eric Ferguson.  1992 NESCom alum Nick Woodward has joined the crew as well as NESCom staffers Matt Bryant and Steve Toothaker. Recent graduate Heather Andrews and current students Cody Chaisson and Nick Evans are also part of the team.

Greenlight Maine will air on WCSH 6 in Portland and WLBZ 2 in Bangor starting September 12th. PMG and NESCom are in considering a follow-on show to be taped within the next 6 months. For more information on the program and the competition, visit www.greenlightmaine.com

Audio Engineering Grad Recognized For Work In Portland, OR Theatre

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Jake Newcomb

2014 Live Sound Technology graduate Jake Newcomb was recently recognized for his work in the Portland, OR theatre community.

Jake Newcomb, a 2014 NESCom Audio Engineering graduate, was recently recognized for his work by his peers in the Portland, Oregon theatre community. Newcomb received the Crew Member Spotlight award at the 2015 “Drammys”, an annual celebration of dramatic performance and production. The awards were handed out at the on June 29th at the Newmark Theatre in Portland. The Spotlight awards of the event are presented by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance.

Since graduating from the New England School of Communications, Newcomb has worked for the Northwest Children’s Theatre located in Portland as a sound board operator and sound designer.