MTSU student media projects premiere at Belcourt e...

MTSU student media projects premiere at Belcourt event

More than 40 projects by MTSU electronic media students debuted May 9 at a special “First Look” media festival at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville to showcase the variety of programs and talent at the university.

EMC First Look logo web

Media professionals from across the Midstate were invited to the premiere event to “see the next generation of talent” in film, news, video, photography, animation and new media, according to Billy Pittard, chair of the Department of Electronic Media Communication in MTSU’s College of Mass Communication.

”Our students have been creating some very impressive work that has barely been seen outside of the classroom,” Pittard said.

“We realized that making their work more visible would be a big win for our students, our community, and our industry. This show is a big part of that effort to let their work be seen.”

The official selections for the First Look event were:

  •  “Conscience Makes Us Cowards” by Ryan Rehnborg; “Mold of Mortals” by Evan Caddell; Mancipo” by Sam Willey; “Wayward” by Jacqulyn Swanson, Shawn Anfinson and M. Jones; “Still Life” by Shayna Strong; “Gone” and “Winner” by Kelly Rozell; “A Time Gone” by Seth Tallman and Jeremy Ball; “Last Night” by Erik McInnis; and “Case 54” by Kati Baird.
  • Movie title animations, including “Swing” by Josh Rhoton, “Head Chef” by Brent Day, “TimeKeeper” by Brent Cherry and “The Way Out” by Junyan Wong.
  • A montage of multi-camera special events, including the “Blue Spark Awards,” produced by Laken Bowles and Haley Miller and directed by Joshua Lockhart; the Metro Nashville Public Schools “Academies of Nashville Video Awards Show,” produced by Kelsey Lebechuck and Matthew Binford and directed by Colby Graham; the Middle Tennessee 2013 Regional Spelling Bee, directed by Matthew Binford; and the National Pro FastPitch Softball Draft, produced by Brittany Pinkston and Johnathon Kornblee and directed by Tyler Shapard.
  • A montage of multi-camera on-location coverage, including the Capitol Records Street Party and the seventh annual Chet Atkins Tribute Concert, both produced by Colby Graham and directed by Zack Eagles, and Phil Keaggy’s “On The Ph’lip Side” produced by Andrea Mann and directed by Graham, and a multi-cam volleyball event produced by Graham and directed by Eagles.
  • Animated works, including “Walking (Front)” by David Higdon, Chris Dyer, Preston Nalls and Cassidy Morgan; “Lip Syncs” by Alex Baldwin, Dyer and Jake Thomas; and three very short animations comprising “Rube Goldberg,” by Bobby Pugh, Alex Baldwin and Allison Murphy.
  • Public service announcements “We Love Nashville,” by Sam Willey, “Don’t Drive Drunk” by Justin Wright, Jon Miller and Michael Welsh and “Shopping Cart” by Felicia Chunn, Sarah Gaume and Junior Cadet.
  • A music video montage featuring “Home to Me” by Samantha Young, “All Grown Up” by Shawn Anfinson, “Rap Music Vid” by Bobby J. Brooks, “Fashion Fever” by Georgus Rhodes, “Elvis and Molly” by Adrianna Lamb and “Wilson County Fair” by Joshua Lockhart and Sam Willey, along with “Virginia,” a video teaming EMC Professor Amy Macy and Professor Tom Neff’s lighting class.
  • Short films “Seashells” by Evan Caddell, “College Nuts” by Phillip Dixon and “Identity” by Nhu Duong.
  • A sports animation intro by Josh Rhoton; a main title project, “Local Color,” by MTSU’s SIGGRAPH Student Chapter; selected portions of the “Pa’s Fiddle” PBS project by Clay Tipton and Lauren Levins and a “Home Cooking” intro by Tipton; and a news package on “Gas Prices” by Nader Issa; a “Juicy Moo Shoo” trailer by Chris Ranker.
  • “Journeys in Community” by the Project Real Class, edited by Seth Tallman and Denton Cole and produced by Jeremy Whittaker,
  • Still photographs by Davion Baxter, Savannah Hamlet and Sara Hill.

First Look is the brainchild of professor Neff, an Oscar nominee and Emmy winner best known as the founder and former CEO of the Documentary Channel.

Billy Pittard

Tom Neff

“We are very fortunate that he joined the EMC faculty to teach in our video and film production program,” Pittard said. “He also created the First Look program at the University of Southern California while he was a student earning his M.F.A. He pitched the concept to our department, and here we are!

“Tom partnered with Dr. Clare Bratten, also on our EMC faculty, to produce this event. We are very grateful for all their hard work.”

EMC students recently brought home top honors in multiple statewide categories at the Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters College Career Day and Tennessee AP College Broadcasters Award ceremony on campus.

“Our students used to work primarily in the media and entertainment industries, but now pretty much every business and institution have become ‘publishers’ and need all the kinds of content our students create, like videos, social media management, photography — the list goes on,” Pittard added.

“This is the next generation of media talent that will help drive our economic engine. Everyone needs what these students can do.”

For more information on the Department of Electronic Media Communication at MTSU, bookmark its blog at