Friday, November 20, 2015

SC State "Bulldog Walk" Fashion Show

My TV Production/Editing students here at South Carolina State University produced quite an entertaining fashion show in class today.

Mufasa Shaw and Kyre Cox were the hosts, with Alexis Rabb in the control doing a smooth, professional job setting up everything and executing the production to perfection.

Alexis ran the production by way of the NewTek Tricaster "studio in a box" unit we have.

Thanks to all of the models for participating in the "Bulldog Walk" fall fashion show. Thanks also to the rest of the production staff today: Ericka Moore, Terrance Hamlet, Lynn McGrier and Devante Williams.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stephen and Craishaud's Entertainment Chat!

Today, my Television Production and Editing students did another "live" program in the TV studio. Stephen Wells and Craishaud Foulks hosted (click here!) "SC State Sound and Sight", an 8 minute discussion of current and past favorite movies and music and performers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Kizoa Slideshow: Magnolia Cemetery in All its Splendor

Kizoa is a fun, easy to use, slideshow and collage program for creating colorful presentations put to music and an array of special effects and animation.

I created this Kizoa slideshow about Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston. I have written two books about this grand 19th Victorian necropolis. You can read about them on another blog I have called BirdsEyeViews. 

Magnolia Birds - Kizoa Online Movie Maker

There are just a few easy steps to embed a Kizoa slideshow onto a Blogger post. After copying the HTML code while in Kizoa, start a new post, write a few sentences to set up the presentation, then click to HTML from Compose (in the post template's top left corner), paste the code into the template, then switch back to Compose, hit Update, then View blog, and then your slideshow should be there.

Kizoa is free, up to a point. So just sign up and start creating! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kiiyah Skywalker Invades Crawford Communications!

It's a bird, it's a's a Skywalker!?

Thanks to communications student (and SC State cheerleader) Kiiyah Stokes for demonstrating her cutting-edge transportation device. She let several students try it outside. Fun for all, and no one get hurt either!

Check out this Skywalker music video I found on YouTube.

It looks like Skywalkers and similar boards range in price from $200-$300- so you have better been really nice to get this expensive gift!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

SC State Sports Talk with Devante Williams and Javonte Neal

This is a second TV production interview we shot and recorded in the SC State Communication Program's studio on the second floor of the former Crawford Engineering Building.

Christian Manning jumped at the chance to direct this sports talk segment with classmates Devante Williams and Javonte Neal. Everyone did a great job, including the students operating the studio cameras and the ones in the control room assigned different tasks.

This week the class, divided into three groups of five students, will begin to organize their own studio interview productions. What a great facility we have for such excellent hands-on learning!

Here are some photos I took during the production:

Video Interview: Kyre Cox- Student/Soldier

In my Basic Television Production (BC 320) course a few weeks ago, we did our first production in the Communication Program's fine television studio. Students operated the three cameras, another was the floor director, and several others were with me in the adjacent control room.

On set was Christian Manning and the classmate he interviewed, Kyre Cox. In October Kyre's National Guard unit was called up to help with the flooding disaster that swept South Carolina earlier in the month. Kyre spent two weeks collecting debris and helping homeowners dealing with the unprecedented- in its scope and destructiveness- natural disaster.

For this first production, I set up the control room's  NewTek Tricaster "studio production in a box" unit. Students observed and were later given step-by-step instructions and one of them, Christian Manning, would be at the helm for the next studio interview.

This first production has plenty of glitches! I was a bit rusty on running the board, doing the switching and directing. Lots more hands-on experience in the weeks ahead for the students- and I.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

iMovie "Picture in Picture" Video "Quick Takes"

This is a neat assignment we are tackling in my Electronic (Digital) Media Production II class. Weeks ago, the students did a green screen project blending photos of themselves with background images under the general theme of "Where Do You Want To Be?"

Now, the stakes and skills have been raised with this new green screen "Quick Takes" project. The idea is to gather three short video clips on three different topics, one of which has to be a timely news or sports story.

Then the students, using their smart phones or other cameras, shoot themselves or have a classmate videotape them against a green screen as they give their comments and thoughts about the video they speak over.

For this project, we are using iMovie, which is available on the Macs in one of our program labs.
Here's what I put together to help give the students a better idea what this assignment involves.

I found iMovie very user friendly for this project. I look forward to seeing what my students produce!

The above video was rendered to QuickTime. The below video is an MPEG4. I'm trying to decide if one looks better than the other.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Green Screen at S.C. State" Prezi Presentation

SCSU's colors are red and white but today in Columbia the school color was green as S.C. State senior communications major Kris Bennett and I gave a Prezi presentation at South Carolina Educational Television to members of the South Carolina Media Educators Association.

I gave an overview on the Communication Program's television studio. Three of the studio's four walls are painted bright green to allow for chroma key, which is a special ffects/post production technology for layering or compositing color hues. Think local TV weather reports in front of a big map- the meteorologist is standing in front of a green screen.

I also highlighted some of my classroom green screen projects and students who come to the studio to shoot against the green walls for various school, club and other projects.

Kris spoke about the "Bulldog Bite" YoutTube show she produces on campus for her fellow SC State students.

At SCETV in Columbia with senior Kris Bennett

Here is the Prezi I put together for our presentation to the S.C. Media Educators Association.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Lighting- It's Essential to Quality Video Production!

In my television production class we are getting into lighting. Proper lighting must be achieved or your video is going to look shabby and unprofessional. We are fortunate at South Carolina State University to have a wide array of studio and field lighting gear, including some Smith Victor KT1500U lighting kits like the one below.
Communications senior Jasmine Dodd checks out a field lighting set up
Students will be doing an exercise in three point lighting. They will post photos of themselves and classmates in various lighting arrangements. Three point lighting is a professional configuration commonly used by both photographers and videographers.

SC State student Khadijah Johnson used our TV studio for a project having to do with her hair fashion business.
Khadijah Johnson backlight! 
Tweaking the light locations and brightness levels can help achieve desired effects. In this case, her hair is highlighted by some backlighting. 
I'll try to get a nice smile out of Khadijah next time! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Action Sequence Video

In my Television Production and Editing course textbook, Chapter 4 is titled "Shooting Video in the Field." The video assignment I gave the students is one of the options in the chapter, which is to "shoot a simple sequence in which you edit action in the camera. Shoot only those scenes you want to use on the air, in the order you want them to appear, with action as closely matched as possible."

With the help of S.C. State communications major Lynn McGrier, we produced this video. The simple concept is to shoot Lynn going in and out of shots, as she leaves a classroom and makes her way out of the building.

A little bit of editing was necessary to make the clips and sequences tighter. I also added title and end pages and found a piece of music on my favorite royalty free music website to accompany the action. Fun little Friday class exercise for the students and I! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

SC State's TV Studio Comes To Light!

In my television production class, the students are learning the thought and planning processes in videography. Whether for film, television news, sports or features, or commercials, there are common processes. Among them is the idea of sequences and steps in accomplishing an act.

As a demonstration, I put together this video showing the various steps involved in opening and turning on the Communication Program's television studio.

Once the raw footage was shot, the next step was to trim each shot to three or four seconds and arrange the clips in an orderly, logical flow. Editing is much easier when the video is shot in sequential order. That's not always possible, but in this case it was.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Communication Program Get New Audio Equipment

S.C. State's Communication's Program continues to make improvements in facilities and resources.

This week the program took delivery of three high end Allen & Heath XB14-2 Compact Professional Broadcast Mixers. The consoles have vast audio mixing and broadcast capabilities. They will be used in classes taught by Mr. Gil Harris, a longtime SCSU instructor and Bulldog football public address announcer.

Program director Dr. Shafiqur Rahman praises the school's Title III staff for helping acquire this professional equipment that will enhance the learning experience of communications students and help consolidate classes to the second floor of the former Crawford Engineering building.

Communications Instructors Gil Harris (left) and Patrick Harwood with the new broadcasting equipment

Friday, September 18, 2015

Time Lapse Videos (iPhone 5)

One of the many cool and fun features of smart phones is the time lapse video capabilities. I've only done a few of these, but they are neat to do. Minutes of video is condensed to six seconds. Here are some examples. I call this first one, simply, "I-26", a route I am very familiar with through my daily commutes from North Charleston to Orangeburg (and back). This was taken in June 2015, my first-ever iPhone time lapse effort.

Next is time lapse I made in August 2015 at a spooky old abandoned house I came across off Highway 17 north of McClellanville. The videos are six seconds in length.

Finally, here's my "Day at the Beach" (Sullivans Island) time lapse made this summer. For some reason, this clip is only two seconds, so watch quickly!

I'm looking for more opportunities for time lapse videos!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Green Screen Fun: Where Do You Want To Be?

Our TV studio's "green screen" walls have been in demand this semester. Already this semester, three or four students and student organizations have booked time for various video and still photography projects.

So this got me thinking that my Electronic Media Production II students should be exposed to the capabilities of green screen or chroma key technology, as it's also called. What this allows us to do is superimpose a background to the photo or video shots against a solid green backdrop. Blue also works.

Here are a couple before and after examples. I processed in Adobe Premiere Elements, which we have in our Dell and student computer labs in Crawford.

I used PhotoShop in the second image to crop the black border.
Here's another version of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. This one has some action of me running! Thanks to my students Stephen and Marcos for taking a few shots of me against the studio green screen.  One tip, it would look better if I was shot from farther back so I would be smaller in the action shot.

In the shot below, I had the camera back several feet from the above one, when taking the photo of me against the Green Screen. I may have been too close to the wall in the one below. Some green is bleeding over on the outline of my shirt. 

In Adobe Premiere Elements, here are the steps to take your green screen image/video and put it against the desired background:

For still shots, the final step, missing from the above, is to hit the camera icon to save as a still shot the image the cursor is on in Adobe Premiere Pro.It will be saved as a bmp file format, which can be uploaded or inserted to your Blogger post. 

Here is a screen capture of where the two shots should go. Your green screen background shot goes in Video 2 and your background image in Video 1. 

o remove the Green Screen effect, right click on taffected clip, go to Remove Effects (note: you must have that clip highlighted or clicked on for this step to work)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Video Sequence Example: TV Studio and Control Room Set Up

To demonstrate a how-to step-by-step sequence shooting and editing video, I chose to show the steps involved in getting SC State's Communications Program's television studio set up for a production.

The studio is on the second floor of the Communications Program facility in the former Crawford Engineering Building.

Here is what's involved before the "lights, camera, action" can take place!

I can't wait to see the sequence videos my students produce and share on their blogs!
Also, the music in this video, a tune called "Daily Beetle," is courtesy of the free music website

Thursday, August 27, 2015

5 Shot Sequence Shooting Method

In my TV production class this semester we are learning about video sequence shooting, or what the author of this article calls  the "five shot method."  By whatever name, the thought process involves planning shots, step-by-step and seeing the video in your mind before and during the shoot.

For my example, I chose to show five steps involved in turning on the department's TV studio:

Wide Shot: This is a wide shot of the TV studio in use. I would use this shot first in a sequence because it lets the viewer see right away where the action is taking place.

Medium Shot: Now we take you inside the control room where the director/switcher runs the show!  A microphone-headset connection allows the director and/or other control room people to communicate with the camera operates and "talent" on the set.

Medium Shot: We clearly see both the interviewer, Destinee Chambliss, and her guest Jessica Edwards, an ROTC student at SC State.
The studio is green so that different sets can be brought up digitally. Click here for more on green screen effects. 

Close-up Shot: Tight shot through a monitor of Jessica Edwards, with her name at the bottom. The Tricaster video producer is used to create the "virtual set" background by way of chroma key technology.

A true behind-the-scenes- image from behind the set with a view of the studio cameras, the crew operating them, and some studio lights.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Communications' Television Studio In Action!

In this video, we see the steps involved in setting up the very fine TV studio on the second floor of Crawford Communications on the campus of South Carolina State University.

Once the studio and control room are prepared, it's time for...Lights...Cameras....Action!!!

The NewTek Tricaster allows for use of virtual sets and the switching among the three studio cameras. I'ts a real neat systems that, with a little bit of training, has the students doing lots of interviews and other projects.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Improvements in the Communications Program!

Over the summer there were many improvements to the Communication Program's second floor classrooms, labs and other facilities in the old Crawford Engineering Building. Plus, a new staff member has been added to assist in all areas of students services and faculty support.

A major upgrade is in the three main classrooms, rooms 203, 205 and 208. New StarBoard systems have been added.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cookbook Author Holly Herrick Interviewed in Communications TV Studio

Communications major Destinee Chambliss conducted a high quality interview with Charleston-based cookbook author Holly Herrick on April 9.

The interview was recorded in the S.C. State Communications Program's television studio located in Crawford Hall, new home to the growing program.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Recent Graduates Share Success Stories at Communications Colloquium

At the debut Communications Colloquium on April 15, three recent college graduates, each working in broadcasting, encouraged students to focus on what they really want to do in their careers, then pursue those goals with vigor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

S.C. State's Bulldog Nation!

Come to the campus of South Carolina State University and there's no question what the school's mascot is: the BULLDOG!

Bulldogs can be seen everywhere around campus: in front of buildings, on fences, by pools of water, on walls, sidewalks and signs. This slideshow shows you how S.C. State loves its bulldogs, and how bulldogs love S.C. State!

Bulldogs on Campus - Kizoa Video Maker

This slideshow was prepared with a really neat and fun free slideshow program called Kizoa. Check it out at

Monday, March 30, 2015

Magic's Keys to Business Success: Hard Work, Smart Decisions

The much-anticipated March 26 visit to South Carolina State University by Hall of Fame hoopster, post-NBA business tycoon Earvin "Magic" Johnson was all anyone in Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center could want.

Johnson, founder and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, was engaging, anecdotal, humorous at times, and full of important advice for success in the business world and life in general. 

Magic Johnson kept in casual walking in the aisles of SMH
"I grew up poor but my dreams were never poor," was just one of dozens of inspirational remarks from Johnson before a large crowd of SCSU students, staff, faculty and other friends of the school. 

Johnson told of his early post-basketball business successes with movie theaters and Starbucks shops in urban areas. 

In these clips, Johnson talked about how basketball prepared him for his business career and how he remains careful, frugal even, with his money. Johnson said he has only two cars. Why? Because he says he is careful with his wealth and because he only needs two cars. 

SCSU's School of Business arranged Johnson's visit as part of its 43rd Annual Business Week. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cookbook Author Holly Herrick to Visit SCSU April 9

Public Invited to Book Signing From 11-Noon
Charleston-based cookbook author, food blogger and writer Holly Herrick will speak to South Carolina State University students on Thursday, April 9. She will also have a book signing that is open to the campus and Orangeburg-area community.

Herrick has written seven books, most recently "The French Cook- Soups and Stews" published by Gibbs Smith in September 2014. This is the third entry in her French cook series, which also includes "Cream Puffs and Eclairs" and "Sauces." She has also authored "Food Lovers' Charleston and Savannah- The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings," "Tart Love- Sassy, Savory, and Sweet," "Southern Farmers Market Cookbook," and "The Charleston Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Heart of the Old South."

On April 9, Herrick will speak to Patrick Harwood's digital media class about her savvy use of social media to inform and market. Then she will be interviewed in the communications program's television studio by students in his TV production course.

In between those two classes, Herrick will be available to sign and sell copies of her cookbooks from 11 a.m.-noon in the television studio located on the second floor of the former Crawford Hall Engineering Building on Gaillard Street across from a Bank of America ATM machine.
Author Holly Herrick 

 "As a child, I loved cooking from our garden with my Nanna, but decided I wanted to be a journalist 'when I grew up,'" Herrick writes on her website,

She graduated cum laude in journalism at Boston College, then in subsequent years "with good fortune and a dash of tempered bravery" moved to Paris to study cuisine and pastry at the prestigious culinary school Le Cordon Bleu. 

After graduating with Le Grande Diplome, "life and subsequent travels" took Herrick to many places: New York, Chicago, rural France and Jackson Hole, Wyo.

In 2000, she moved to Charleston where she wrote food, restaurant and travel reviews for The Post and Courier. Since then she's written for many regional and national publications including Southern Living and Food and Wine, winning writing awards along the way.

She published her first book, "The Charleston Chef's Table" in 2010.

Her visit to South Carolina State University is sponsored by the Communications Program, which is part of the Department of English and Modern Languages.

For more information, contact Patrick Harwood at 803.536. 8839 or

Cover of Holly Herrick's latest cookbook
Released by Gibbs Smith publishing on Sept. 1, 2014, Herrick's seventh book is "The French Cook- Soups and Stew."

In it, the lover of France and French cooking "jumps into bowl after bowl of glorious French soups with inspired abandon and a generous dose of classical technique."

Additional information about her S.C. State visit can be found on Herrick's website.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Many Faces of Legend James Brown on Display at SCSU's Stanback Museum

I really enjoy taking my classes to the I.P. Stanback Museum for its amazing James Brown exhibit. The legendary singer and performer known by several nicknames- "The Godfather of Soul," "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Soul Brother Number One" and "Mr. Dynamite," among others- passed in 2006 (on Christmas Day) at age 73.

But his legacy and influence live on in colorful, tangible forms- his costumes, shoes, furniture, and vast hair product- in this well-designed and organized display at the museum. The exhibit is officially titled, "The Influence of James Brown: His Imprint on Music, Dance, Style and Politics."

South Carolina State University is one of a few institutions to be selected by the legal system, amid contentious Brown estate battles that have waged for year, as depositories of his belongings. The Stanback Museum staff has done an outstanding job of representing the legendary artist's many faces, dimensions and influences (Michael Jackson, Usher, Prince and Mick Jagger each call Brown an important influence in their own styles and artistry).

Michael Cassidy (pictured right), the museum's installation manager, gave us an insightful tour. He and fellow guide Davion Petty share with visitors many stories for Brown's storied career, which was recently featured in the 2014 film, "Get On Up" starring South Carolina native Chadwick Boseman as "Mr. Dynamite" himself.

The Stanback Museum's Facebook site includes an interesting link to a Huffington Post article titled "5 Ways James Brown Made An Impact on American Culture."

The piece describes Brown's lasting influence in this areas: social activism, politics, music, education and style.

The museum's Michael Cassidy attempted to sum up the exhibit's tribute to James Brown in Vine's very limited six second forum:

A quote on the wall caught my eye as nicely articulating Brown's legendary fashion sense and style. It's from singer, producer, rapper and DJ Mayer Hawthorne: "James Brown's the perfect example of flashy but classy. Classy does not have to mean boring. His gear was flamboyant but without being so over the top."

Catch it while you can! South Carolina State's James Brown exhibit continues until August. Call the I.P. Stanback Museum for hours and tour information at 803.536.7000 or 1.800.260.5956.

Finally, while I'm no experiment the hundreds of songs James Brown wrote and recorded during his long, distinguished career. The exhibit here on campus has inspired me to listen to him more. I have a James Brown Pandora station, for example. My favorite song of his is clearly this one: "Cold Sweat." Check out him performing this classic from 1967! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's All About The...Lighting!

In my television production class we have been studying the importance of lighting. As an experiment we went into our TV studio and the students and I took pictures of each other with different lighting arrangements. Here are some of the results:

Cailyn Barnes is shown with lighting just from the studio's ceiling lights. None of the powerful and subtle TV studio lights are turned on in this shot.

Cailyn is lovely (as always!) but if this was for a real television interview or program, the lighting on her needs to be much better.

Some main studio TV lights have been turned on now. The lighting on Jessica Edwards is noticeably better than Cailyn's. But it's almost too harsh. The main or key light is too much directly in her face.

This is an example of flat lighting, which our textbook says produces "uninteresting pictures with little depth and modeling."

So we need to make some adjustments to achieve a nicer, more flattering lighting combination.

This is much better with a three point lighting arrangement. We've adjusted the key light so it's more at an angle to her face. A fill light, with a less bright, softer exposure, is to her right and high, so the right side of her face is lit. And another subtle light was placed behind her to her left. This backlight shines on her hair and helps give her a nice glow.

Jessica seems happier too about this lighting set up!

Another example of effective three point lighting is this image of Franklin Haigler.

You can see how the fill light to Franklin's right illuminates the right side of his face.

The backlight behind him on his left side gives Franklin an interesting glow around his head.

Looking pretty GQ FH!

I like this YouTube video on three point lighting.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's the Word? Topic: MEAC Men's Basketball Tournament

In speaking about the fun social media application Vine in class yesterday, I demonstrated how quick and easy it is to post a six second video. My Electronic Media Production II class includes several students involved in the recent Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) men's basketball tournament in Norfolk, Va.

The South Carolina State University Bulldogs won one game in the tourney before falling in the next round. Player Patrick Kirksey and cheerleaders Destinee Chambliss and Kendra Piglar gave quick responses to the question about the best thing about the tournament in Norfolk.

S.C. State finished the season with an overall record of 11-22, 7-9 in MEAC play.
Steps to post Vine videos on Blogger: (insert URL in HTML setting)
In Blogger when you are in the New Post part, write a few or more lines to set up your Vine video. When you are ready to put in the embed URL (go to your Vine video and click on the three dots--... but vertical--next to the video which will show you ways to share the video. Click on embed and copy the URL that comes up.)
When you are posting in Blogger, the blank page has the words "Compose" and "HTML" at the top left of the screen. Normally it is is Compose. But to embed your Vine video, at the point in your post where you want us to see the video, switch from Compose to HTML. In HTML you'll see all the code. Paste in the embed URL. Then go back to Compose. Your video will now be seen!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Blog List- Advanced Television Production Spring 2015

Marquis Barley                  Bulldog Blog                        
Cailyn Barnes                     Skool Daze                         
Daniel Bradley                   dbradinfo                             
Destinee Chambliss           Your Favorite                       
Jessica Edwards               Bellissima Thoughts              
Franklin Haigler               The Haigler Herald                
Perrion Manns                  PBody’s Blogs                    
Jerel Palmer                      BulldogBlog                        

Thursday, January 29, 2015

EMP II Class Blog List

Student Blog List
Electronic Media Production II
BC 203-01
Spring 2015
Crawford 205

Raven Barker               Words With West          
Cailyn Barnes               School Daze                  
Noah Bell                     Noahsnotes                   
Destinee Chambliss       your favorite, xoxo        
Tyberius Cravens          The Cravens Chronicle 
Sharah Drakeford         Bucket List Thoughts    
Deandrya Gadsden       Daze With Drya           
Patrick Kirksey             Ballin’ With Patrick     
Wesley Lemon              Shaad Yappin            
Perrion Manns               PBody’s Blogs           
Constance Maybin         FrFr                           
Tantalis Newby         Restricted Air Space       
Tre’Sean Paige           trepaigeentertainment    
Aumari Peters           Area Code Live World Wide
Kendra Pigler            From a Girl’s World        
Ashley Simmons        What’s Going On Ashley  
Shandice Sluch          The S Spiel                      
Shay Stiney                Shay’s Scoop                  
Jalen White               Bloody.Jay’ with the say   
Ciara Williams          Making Sense With Ciara

Thursday, January 22, 2015

First Blog Post! Due Tuesday, Jan. 27

  • Homework for Tuesday, Jan. 27: Write a blog post based on the questions raised in the Sept. 22, 2014 Time magazine cover story, "Never Offline" about the new Apple Watch. A second article is also posted on our class Pinterest board about the Apple Watch.
  • In your blog post, address these issues:
    • Is the Apple Watch and all that it can allow you to do and monitor something you can see yourself getting? Why or why not? 
    • What do the writers say are the benefits/plusses of this new "wearable tech" 
    • And what do they see as potential negatives? 
    • Sum up your feelings about having such a device as this or similar ones become part of our lives in the years and decades ahead
    • Include a few images of the watches (add captions) in your post and at least two links to related articles
    • Post should be at least 250-300 words. Carefully proofread so that there are no typos, spelling or grammar errors
      "Early 2015" is the vague release date of the Apple Watch