This Class Project Gets High Marks

This Class Project Gets High Marks

BC-produced video has helped local charity attract sponsors, funds

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

A promotional video made by Boston College students as a class project last semester has raised $50,000 for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.


Adj. Asst. Prof. William Stanwood (Communication) with students Tiffany Shih and Chris Bodnar, who helped produce a promotional video for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind. (Photo by Justin Knight)
The team of underclassmen in Adj. Asst. Prof. William Stanwood's (Communication) class in television field production had never done a video before they volunteered to make one for the charity.

The six-minute tape highlights the Team with a Vision 5K Run and Walk, a road race the Massachusetts Association for the Blind sponsors each fall in Brighton, and which this past October drew 22 blind runners who competed tethered to sighted companions.

The video has helped the charity attract thousands of dollars in support from corporate sponsors.

"We got great experience in editing, taking what we learned in class one step further," said co-producer Tiffany Shih '03, a marketing and communication major from Lexington, Mass. "But we also got to contribute to a great organization."

Co-producer Chris Bodnar '03, a history and communication major from Ridgefield, Conn., said: "I liked how we were able to do everything from scratch with this project.

"We shot it, wrote it and edited it together. We spent over 30 hours in the lab editing a six-minute video."

Jeffrey Moran '03 and Thomas Pelissero '03 helped with the camera work, while Bodnar, captain of the men's fencing team, did the narration.

The video features an interview with WBZ Channel 4 anchorwoman Lisa Hughes, honorary chairwoman of the Team with a Vision 5K Run and Walk. She ran the race this past October with Joseph Quintanilla '98, the event coordinator, who is blind.

Quintanilla had been a student in Stanwood's class at BC and approached his former teacher for help in producing a promotional video for the annual road race.

The video-makers shot footage at the road race, which follows Soldiers Field Road and Greenough Boulevard in a 3.1-mile loop around the Charles River.

Editing was done by computer, using a bank of five digital non-linear editing systems now available on campus to BC students. The project was finished in an all-nighter that stretched from 8 on a Friday to 6:30 the following Saturday morning.

"It was something so important - not just a class project. That's why we got so enthusiastic about it," said Bodnar.

Stanwood, a television-production veteran who has created award-winning programs for companies such as IBM, Mass General Hospital, John Hancock, and Sun Life of Canada, said his students did "an extremely professional job" on the assignment.

"The stakes were higher for their production," he said. "They were working for a real-world client, on something that had to be good."

Their grade? "If I could have given them an A-plus-plus, I would have," said Stanwood.

For more on the Team with a Vision 5K Run & Walk, see the event home page: www.twav.org/index.htm.

 

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