Opportunities for students interested in film direction and production have grown at Wake Forest, both in and out of the classroom. WAKE TV, the student-run campus television station, has filmed nine sports segments for ESPN-U, which have aired during basketball games this year and on ESPNU.com.
“ESPN-U, through their campus connection program, established a network of 70 colleges, and Wake Forest was asked to participate,” says junior Brent Lindley, president of WAKE TV. “We put out a call for help with the project and 200 students signed up for the general crew.”
Students developed the ideas for the spots and worked with the athletics department to obtain game footage and interviews. WAKE TV members provided the voice-over narration and edited the segments. One segment, on the men’s soccer team, can be seen on the ESPNU Campus Connection Web site.
Several of the segments focus on mentorship and how, for example, the football team helped Gelo Orange, a native of Haiti, find his place on campus, and the women’s golf team helped Cheyenne Woods handle the pressures that come from being Tiger Woods’ niece. WAKE TV’s latest assignment is a follow-up story on Orange, who has family affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti.
“A year ago, this wouldn’t have been possible,” said Lindley, a communication and history double major. “Because of the team’s creativity and group effort, WAKE TV has changed dramatically. In 2008, Alex Saks (’09), then WAKE TV’s president, directed the first Reynolda Film Festival for college and graduate student filmmakers to showcase their work. This led to more classes, a new documentary filmmaking program and additional production opportunities. Students have more community connections, and that’s leading to more options for graduates.”
Faculty in the communication department have worked with Lindley to find projects to spark his interest and help him gain experience. “We worked together to develop interesting projects, and now, with the film festival and the ESPN-U project, I’ve been able to develop a strong resume,” he said.
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