Annual Cru Film Project debut soon
Apr12

Annual Cru Film Project debut soon

Eight years ago, two professors made a vision into a reality. Department of performance studies in the Communication and Media Studies, Dr. Diane Howard said she and Director of computer graphics design in the BCIS Department, Ms. Donna Teel began the Cru Film Projects to “give our UMHB students hands-on experience in the process of producing films from script to screen,” Howard said. Not only do the two professors want communication, film and graphic design students to succeed now, but after graduation. “We work at simulating a real-world film production process, so that our students are prepared to work on film sets and on film productions in real-world work,” she said. On April 18 this spring’s film, Choice Decision, written by sophomore computer graphic design major Sadie Meador, can be seen in Brindley Auditorium at 4 p.m. Other showings are April 19 at 11 a.m. and April 20 at 5 p.m. Pre-production begins each fall , and continues into the early months of spring. By this time, “film faculty have identified film students who would serve well in key leadership positions …. student director, first assistant to the director, student editor and assistant to the editor,” Howard said. Senior communication major Trey Hazelton worked on set as the gaffer. “It’s the lighting person during the filming,” he said. “For post-production, I’m the assistant editor, which is my main role.” Hazelton has never been part of a film production but he has learned more from working hands on. “I have to always be paying attention and ask questions, but at the same time it’s fun,” he said. The student director is chosen by Howard and Teel. This year, senior communication major and film minor Ashley Ramirez takes the leadership role. Her job has not been a simple task. “The biggest obstacle was learning my role as director. After doing other film projects, I was used to taking charge of the many details that go into these productions, costumes, schedules and props,” she said. Being the director of Choice Decision, she has to concentrate on the story and actors. Ramirez was one of the directors for Stunt Night. With this event, the cast had more freedom to create their own characters. “They told me what they want to do and I said ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ They told me what they needed, and I took care of it for them …. I kept things organized and easy,” she said. Casting calls were posted, a free workshop was provided and auditions were held on campus. After finalizing the cast, Ramirez and her crew began working fervently. Not only students are involved, but professional...

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Seniors take last shot at Stunt Night
Mar29

Seniors take last shot at Stunt Night

They have lived in living room closets and game rooms for years. When college students were children, they were played and loved dearly, and visions of playing either board games, or being addicted to a Nintendo, Play Station or any kind of video game are forever embedded in memories. It’s that time of year again, the time when classes compete against each other in the ultimate campus competition — Stunt Night. Games have been chosen as the theme. The individual classes are performing their representation of different forms of gaming. Senior class is portraying the classic video games they grew up with, like Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong and Sonic the Hedgehog. Creativity has been limitless for this group. Senior nursing major Andrew Kester has played a part in the annual Stunt Night event his whole college career. “The first two years, our class was rough, but last year was golden …. This year we are just building off last, and it’s only going to be better,” he said. Kester said their show is “incredibly witty and really funny,” which is what Stunt Night is all about. While the cast continues to practice for the big show Friday, April 1, many other students are working hard to make sure every detail is perfect for the performance. Senior elementary education major Rebecca Widmer is one of those. “I love Stunt Night and have really loved being a part of it every year that I have been at UMHB,” she said. Being a resident assistant has held her back from being part of the cast. For the past two Stunt Nights, she was not able to fully commit to attending every practice, so she works behind the scenes. “The seniors are amazing and so easy to work with, so it really makes my job fun and easy,” she said. Widmer and senior marketing major Julia Bishop are working together. The two have been brainstorming different ideas of what they’ll use for costumes and props. Most of which have been handmade during any free time they have. “Julia, some of the other seniors and I have thought of some really creative things to incorporate in the skit …. I think it will truly be a performance loved by all,” Widmer said. She is eager to hear laughter from the audience. “All of the classes have been working super hard to make their skits perfect,” she said. Senior psychology major Adam Fischer enjoys the practices because “all the fun you get to have with friends is just translated into a production.” Fischer gets to work with his close circle of friends, and is ready...

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Health fair benefits community, students

More than 50 vendors from health and wellness related businesses in the area gathered March 25 in Mayborn Campus Center Arena for the 12th annual UMHB and Community Health Fair, known as Health Quest. With a variety of exhibits, the fair offered information and demonstrations for students, faculty, staff and the public. Campus Nurse Debbie Rosenberger is in charge of the event and works yearlong to ensure that it provides the campus and community with access to the important healthcare information and services available to them. “We do the health fair for a couple of reasons,” Rosenberger said. “One is to increase health awareness. Also, it is to be a resource to students.” Rosenberger said the vendors from the free and reduced-cost clinics in the area, as well as free services offered throughout the day, are some of the most valuable aspects of Health Quest. “We have a pretty good component of our students who don’t have health insurance, and we want to give an option,” she said. Other represented  businesses included Belton Eye Center, Fitness Equipment Unlimited, Scott & White Hospital and many more. “Vendors vary from year to year,” Rosenberger said. “I think people have been pretty happy with what’s been here, and there’s been a wide variety of things folks can do.” The Central Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse was one organization present to inform and educate the public. Felix Rubert, the representative from CTCADA, hoped that by attending the event, he could help bring awareness to students in a relaxed environment. “We don’t want to force it on you not to do drugs,” he said. “But, you can come over to look at our things, and if you have questions we can provide answers.” Rubert thinks that the key to the organization’s mission is education, which is the purpose for attending. “You’re going to make a choice one way or the other. If you learn enough about it, you can make an educated choice,” he said. Along with information, the event also offered exercise demonstrations, free massages and smoothies and door prizes. Sophomore business major Michael Murphy was enticed to come to Health Quest after attending last year and hearing about this year’s big give-away, a Kindle. “I came last year, too, and it was fun. And, when I heard they were giving away a Kindle, I came,” he said Sophomore psychology major Kristina Zufall is a student worker for counseling and health services, which puts on Health Quest, and thinks the event was successful. “We had a bunch of students come in, especially around lunch time,” Zufall said. “It’s been really awesome.”...

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Campus revival to focus on God’s grace
Mar29

Campus revival to focus on God’s grace

A revival is coming. Speaker Afshin Ziafat and the Jeff Johnson Band will be ready to speak truth and worship underneath a big white tent in the middle of the Quad beginning Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m. Everybody from campus and the surrounding communities are welcome to attend the three-night event. Freshman graphic design major Diana Fadal is on the publicity sub-committee. “I like being responsible for things week by week,” she said. The planning process has taken a year for the revival steering committee to prepare. Not only does everyone have a list of duties, but they are encouraged to reach out and build relationships with others. Fadal’s best experience so far is “getting to pray all together and interact with people outside of the committee.” A theme was decided in October 2010. After talking about the vision of how the committee should present the event to the university and community, grace came to mind. Fadal believes “Ocean of Grace” is a perfect fit for this year. “So many things have been popping up as confirmation,” she said. “It could only have been made by God.” After deciding on a theme, the full committee chose a verse to represent it. 2 Corinthians 15:10 says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace to me was not without effect”. The verse was selected because to the committee, there is no denying God’s grace covers all, can humble all and change all. “It just reminds me of how abounding His grace is for me. Sometimes I forget that and take it for granted,” sophomore math major Melissa Donham said. Freshman graphic design major Jacob Brenton serves on the publicity committee, and will attend his first Revival at UMHB. “I’m looking forward to seeing all of our heart work come to fruition, and seeing people who may never have given Jesus a thought get real with Him,” he said. Those attending revival, the speaker, band and all fine details have been prayed for since the forming of the committee. She is also ready to see how God continues to work in the committee. “I am excited that people are excited,” Fadal said. “I can’t wait to see who all comes and hear how God rocked their world and changed them.” Donham hopes the evenings run smoothly. “One thing I’ve always told myself is that no matter if we, as the committee, don’t get everything accomplished that we hope to, God will still be working at Revival,” she said. “He can use anything for His glory. That’s my prayer for this...

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Music, film, technology rule SXSW
Mar29

Music, film, technology rule SXSW

Written by Sarah Rank, Kirby Franze During the week of spring break, Austin held its 25th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival. The 10-day event showcases different facets of emerging talent from several areas. Each year, the festival provides plenty of material over three basic divisions: music, film and interactive. Hundreds of musicians from around the world travel to the city to be a part of the festival’s tradition by spreading their individual sound to thousands of attendees. The musicians share the same dream of becoming discovered because of their unique style. SXSW contains more than 80 stages in downtown Austin for maximum entertainment around every possible corner. The film aspect of the festival gives prospective film makers valuable information and experience to put toward their future careers. Aspiring film makers dive into SXSW to absorb new trends and methods happening in the film industry. The festival showcases information and examples on almost every type of film. SXSW focuses on experts who share their intelligence on innovative technology, ideas and gaming for the interactive   portion. UMHB’s own Design Cru  attended the five-day interactive segment of SXSW. Director of the computer graphics design program Donna Teel traveled to Austin along with six students to hear from industry experts in the fields of Web, film and 3-D. “The students went to five or six seminars each day, took notes and will be sharing their findings and experiences at the next Design Cru meeting,” she said. Teel also returned to SXSW on her own for several day-trips to attend additional seminars and workshops as well as the tradeshow where much of the networking with businesses occurs. This was Teel’s ninth year attending SXSW. Senior computer graphics design major Josh Benitez traveled with   Teel and the rest of the Design Cru to SXSW. Benitez explained how this year’s interactive portion was the largest to date. “There was an estimated 18,000 people in the interactive areas alone,” he said. Benitez favored mingling with the crowds of the convention where he passed out his own business cards to heavy hitters in the design and development field. “I met one of the lead programmers for Facebook. He was there for the interactive section to pick up new tips and tricks for development. This was just one of the interesting people I met in the hallway or waiting for a panel to start,” Benitez said. He looked at the event as a hands-on learning experience. “It’s one thing to sit in a classroom with a professor, but it is different than going out in the world and applying what we have been taught.  SXSW gives students the chance to listen...

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Film has nearly Limitless potential

As it turns out, an age-old myth can make a compelling groundwork for a movie. Bradley Cooper stars as struggling writer Eddie Moora in the new movie Limitless, a film that turns out to be more or less about opening your eyes and allowing yourself to see. The plot is based around a magical pill called NZT that allows people to access the full 100 percent of their brain power. Of course, modern science has proved the idea false that people can only access 20 percent of their brain, but suspension of disbelief is the name of the game. Personally, I think this movie is a fantastic piece of cinema. The script is clean, and each character has a compelling story to tell. Moora is a writer struggling just to survive in the city. Robert De Niro plays the head of a giant stock-trading corporation and Anna Friel plays the small but mysterious part of Moora’s ex-wife. For the most part, the movie is fairly streamlined. The only real hiccup in the plot comes from Moora’s initial acquisition of the drug. Walking down the street after another dead-end interview, Moora bumps into his drug dealing ex-brother-in-law Vernon – aka cheesy plot device – played by Johnny Whitworth. His sole purpose is to give Moora the magic pill and then inexplicably dies 10 minutes later. Everything picks up from there, however. Moora quickly discovers that, while on the pill, he is able to “see” almost everything. He is able to remember books vaguely glimpsed years before. He can manipulate the stock market to make $2,000,000 in four days. And he is able to work his way into a job as a consultant for the most powerful businessman in the city, Carl Van Loon (De Niro’s character). For the first 40 minutes, there isn’t even much conflict for the characters, and I was still compelled to find out what was going to happen next. It is a rare film that can keep me invested if there isn’t a struggle for the characters to overcome. But once problems do start cropping up, they come fast. People who have taken the drug start dying left and right, and Moora is left running for his life from a mysterious hunter and trying to survive the effects of the pill. Most of the special effects enhance the experience in ways that perfectly accentuate the movie. When Moora doses himself, he describes the feeling as his mind getting clearer and brighter. At the same time, the movie itself becomes crisper, and all the colors take on a vibrant hue. Also, to display how much faster his...

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