Pictured: Chad Stevens (right), a documentary filmmaker and MJ-school assistant professor, works with MATC student Jeffrey Camarati during a session on video storytelling.
With two semesters of courses behind them, members of the fifth Master of Arts in Technology and Communication cohort gathered at the UNC School of Media and Journalism last week for an on-campus residency.
The residency offered an opportunity for these working professionals, who had collaborated online throughout the first year of the program, to reconnect in person. The students also worked with MJ-school faculty members, crafted video projects, began work on their next course and visited nearby Duke University for an experience in virtual reality.
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While the vast majority of instruction in the MATC program occurs online, students at the summer residency began their study in MEJO 715: “New Media and Society” with sessions led by course instructor Rhonda Gibson. The course, the students’ fifth in the program’s prescribed curriculum, will continue through the summer term.
Much of the time on the residency schedule was devoted to instruction in video storytelling from visual communication instructors Chad Stevens and Shaena Mallett. The students then set out on their own to shoot and edit video profiles of their classmates.
The students also enjoyed presentations from Stevens and Mallett on the filmmakers’ own documentary projects, and from Steven King on the future of media. Instructors from the cohort’s remaining classes introduced themselves, and program alumni shared advice about the final thesis projects the cohort will tackle in its final semester.
The cohort traveled to Durham to experience the Duke immersive Virtual Environment. Unlike virtual reality headsets, the DiVE lab allows users to stand in the middle of a virtual world projected onto the four walls, floor and ceiling surrounding them.
The week concluded with 12 faculty members offering their varied expertise in video production, audience development and strategic communication to students. These small-group coaching sessions provided students with feedback on clarity of message and technical video skills such as lighting and video editing.