Backpack Travel Production

In early 2020, we held our third International Backpack Production trip. This time, a 10 day travel experience to London, England and Paris France. It was a great experience and the next step in creating immersion experiences that allow exploration of the creative within. This video shares highlights from the story.

Lights, Camera Classroom: Los Angeles

As part of the milestone celebration, we headed out to Los Angles to meet with alumni and provide networking opportunities for students. This was also a great opportunity to immerse in production. We participated in a full day production shoot of The Sleeping Lion, a short film, written by alumni Rob Goodwin. We worked with a great team of industry professionals that provided a real-world experience of working on a film production. This video highlights the experience.

Backpack Travel Production: Newcastle Study Tour

In early 2019, I created Backpack Travel Production, a class that provides students with the skillsets in content capture, using mobile devices and technology, with the focus on traveling light, but utilizing essential technology for multimedia production.

The Newcastle Study Tour was the fulfillment of a concept that I had to provide an opportunity for students to travel abroad for 10 days and explore the United Kingdom (London, Newcastle and Edinburgh). This video shares highlights from the story.

4K in the UK – A Newcastle Experience

Guest Writer: Lauren Fabiszak

It’s an indescribable feeling returning to a place that has so much significance in your life. Since spending the entirety of my junior year of college abroad, Newcastle, England has become that place for me.

During my months there, I became involved with Newcastle University’s television station, NUTV, as producer of some of their entertainment programming. When I showed some of their content videos to Professor Jay, we saw potential for collaboration between the two stations and immediately began the planning process for what would become “4K in the UK” teaching sessions. This was the first of its kind for Loyola University and to GreyComm. We spent the fall semester months in planning for the classes via web conferencing and communications. The arrangements were all set, but it didn’t feel real just yet.

In fact, wasn’t until I was actually sitting in one of the Newcastle classrooms again that my memories came flooding back, and it was surreal to see Jay standing up there and teaching.

Starting the first session felt like everything had come full circle and was the way it was meant to be. Students were introduced the class to Jay’s teaching style, “edutainment”, which is technical training in an entertaining manner that is interactive and is learner centered.

Jay teaching on Video Standards at Newcastle University

The first half of the day entailed professional approach to video editing with Adobe Premiere. These tips, as Jay mentioned, are intended to take the video editor from a basic level and then move them to a level of intermediate operation and use. I definitely benefitted from the strategies and shortcuts. The second half of the day entailed backpack video production, a process where students were instructed in field production through the use of mobile devices and cameras to gather media content to stories across platforms. The Newcastle students had great things to say about the experience, and this was only day one.

It was great to see many of the same people return for this second day sessions, along with new students that signed up and joined in on the learning. As the hands-on learning progressed, it was reassuring to see the increase in student excitement to learn more and ask questions. We worked more with video editing, this time with Photoshop for broadcast, and more video editing with the focus on high dynamic range, wide color gamut and color grading, just to name a few.

We headed over to Quayside to begin the backpack shooting session on the River Tyne. Jay worked with aerial drone footage and captured timelapse video of the landmarks. Standing at the water’s edge, back in Newcastle again but this time for a completely different experience, one based on extending service to others, was incredibly gratifying. This ended the second day of the training session.

In the blink of an eye, the final day of the 4K in the UK sessions had come. Prior to the class, Jay connected with the group at Angel of the North for some more drone action.

As a way to wrap up, the last session included a “What are those buttons on my camera” portion that featured a live demonstration with Canon and Panasonic digital cameras. They were encouraged to bring their own equipment, which many did and learned through application of what was learned.

Newcastle – Day Three teaching – “What Are Those Buttons on My Camera”

This seemed to excite everybody the most, since some the students were not accustomed to having a professor individually work with them on the equipment they will use in the professional world. I thought that spoke volumes to how invaluable these workshops were to students and am thankful of the dedication to bringing these workshops to fruition.

We filmed reviews from many students about what they learned from the sessions in total. My favorite was from a young lady that said “I feel like all that I’ve learned in my course over 3 months, I could have learned with these sessions for one week”.

Being able to connect not only with British students, but with those from all over the world (Spain, India, Belgium, Netherlands, and more) in our mutual passion for and desire to learn more in media production was a truly exclusive and eye-opening experience. I really felt that Professor Jay and GreyComm had made a difference in these students’ career journey, and it was obvious that this was only the beginning of a new venture that will extend to even more international outlets in the future.

It made me realize how much of a blessing GreyComm has been to my time at Loyola, because this kind of teaching is so rare, yet incredibly needed.

4K in The UK

I had the opportunity to teach a three day video production class “4K in the UK” at Newcastle University, in the city Newcastle, England. The experience consisted of short modules that covered advanced video production techniques, photography, aerial videography and backpack travel production. It was a great opportunity to explore a new environment in the classroom and in the campus and beautiful city.

I was pleased to see that my time there was so well received. I was even asked if I would come again to teach there, given the experience. Moments like these are ones that last a lifetime and validate the passion that I have for teaching technology and preparing the next generation for success in their chosen field.

This video below shares testimonials from the students that participated in the event.

SMPTE Hollywood

SMPTE – Hollywood Experience

In Fall 2017, I was privileged to receive an award from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, better known as SMPTE.

The organization is best known as the creators of timecode, a essential part of any video production. Even more impactful is their development of worldwide standards as it relates to the acquisition, transfer and deployment of analog and digital visual content.

I joined the organization a few years back, and connected students with the organization in order to provide a pathway towards greater learning of technology and broadcast standards. This is important, as students need to have a firm foundational understanding of the creative, but also the business and technical pillars of the broadcast industry. We produced a short video at that time that summed up what would soon grow into a rewarding experience. Since then, many students have gone on to achieve great success in post-graduation employment. As a result, our group became a benchmark for student chapters in this global organization.

This invitation was for a SMPTE award that would be honored in Hollywood, California at the Loews Hotel, located at Highland Avenue and Hollywood Avenue, right in the heart of “tinseltown tourism”. The event took place during the same time as the Latin Grammys, so the Loews Hotel was packed with people throughout the day. In the daytime, we had a chance to mingle with performers, dancers and producers of the Grammy program, which was a cool experience.

Attending the event with me was my life partner Julene and brother Vernon. It was a black-tie affair, so we stepped on the red carpet in style and had to floss a little just because. It felt like an episode of Extra, the news magazine TV program. There were interviewers and photographers there, which enhanced the Hollywood red carpet feeling. There were interviews with Broadcast Beat and a few other organizations there. I enjoyed the experience, and had a opportunity to flex my Spanish muscle during an interview with That’s What She Said.

SMPTE Red Carpet Interview from hjdthree on Vimeo.

During the awards, there were recipients in the industry who were pillars in broadcast, some which have made influential contributions to this day. Randy Ubillos, the developer of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere and Dave Corley, founder of DSC labs, a recognized world leader in test chart production, specifically, the Chroma DuMonde chart, which is regarded as Hollywood standard for image calibration.  of broadcast equipment, were some examples.

When it was time for my acceptance, initially a video played summing up my dedication to student media and letting the audience know more about me. After that, the host/escort brought me to my stage side position. It was a great feeling to receive the award in front of a diverse audience of broadcasters, engineers and people who have revolutionized the broadcast world.

I now understand how people sometimes get lost when exiting the spotlight/stage. Thankfully, I reoriented myself quickly and made it backstage to another interview. To my surprise, it was post-award interview, and the interviewer asked about my next steps and plans. I’m dedicated to this educational flow and am determined to make the technology and techniques adaptable to learners of all ages.

Broadcast Beat Interview – SMPTE 2017 from hjdthree on Vimeo.

This event was a confirmation that now is the time to go forth in the path of dreams and destiny.

This event was a overwhelmingly positive experience and feeling. It had always been my dream to make it to Hollywood and walk the red carpet, following in the footsteps of a media pro. Now that I’ve achieved this, I’m inspired to keep pushing in this field that I hold in the highest regard as my passion and keep pressing towards the high mark.  

San Antonio Flow

San Antonio Texas – Lights, Camera, Classroom

I was invited to speak at the National College Media Convention at San Antonio, Texas. Held in a different state each year, this conference attracts radio and video outlets from colleges and universities from across the US. I brought along students from Greycomm, as I wanted to expose them to students from other schools to learn of their operations and get a chance to see my teacher/trainer style that I apply during conferences.

I always give my all when teaching these types of classes and hope that it makes an impact. I taught Advanced Video Production techniques with Adobe Premiere and After Effects at the San Antonio conference a few years back in 2013. A few years later, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the class session aided in changing a person’s career path. He is now a post-production editor at FUSE network.

To know that my impact had an influence of that magnitude affirms this passion that I have and is a reminder that I have more to accomplish in this education field.

One of my students, Mary-Elizabeth was originally from San Antonio, so she was able to show us the sights and help avoid making bad tourist dining decisions. She stressed the importance of checking out Whataburger, the burger spot best known in that region. The In-N-Out burger joint, which I have experienced many times in California, was over a half hour away, so I would have to rely on my experience from the previous month in California to determine which I liked best.

The patty melt was my meal of choice and it was good, but I’m still devoted to the Double-Double Animal Style that can be found at In-N-Out restaurant. 

I’m definitely down to go to Whataburger again though, since the food was quite tasty/good.

Afterwards, we did timelapse at the Alamo. In addition to DSLR, We worked with the goPro Hero 5 and DSLR to compare the similarities and differences of the results from the two cameras.   

I didn’t mention earlier that the conference date coincided with the weekend of Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This is a day where so there were many people there dressed in Halloween and skeleton costumes. It took a moment to get adjusted to that vibe, but I will say the clubs and events taking place that night were thriving. They were “getting their life in” that night for sure.

The next day was presentation time. I was excited to present my material from my new e-book, “What are those buttons on my camera.” We covered the advance features found on professional cameras and I shared techniques on achieving quality video through the use of those advanced camera features.

During some of the downtime, I decided to take the crew on a #backpackvideo shoot on the Riverwalk. They worked with still cameras and more goPro, while I decided to work more on my mobile video techniques using iOS and Lightroom.

My next session, The Basics and Beyond, covered the advanced features found in MILC (mirrorless interchangeable lens) and DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras. This was a hybrid course that provided a bridge from still photography to DSLR cinematography knowledge and professional techniques and features.

After the class, we ventured further around the city to bring the experience full circle. During that evening, we had the chance to do night photography of the neon carriages. The people were friendly and gave us the charming Southern hospitality treatment, with a special spur that encourages and enlightens you. It’s a great, rich history that was even more rewarding to behold a second time.

As this conference ended my fall teaching circuit, i must say that this year’s San Antonio experience was fulfilling. I had the opportunity to contribute to this educational flow and my lifelong passion of educating learners of all ages about technology and techniques. I’m looking forward to an awesome 2018 season of even more opportunities to connect and create bridges toward greater realms of learning.

His session gave me a lot of confidence to further my knowledge of these editing programs and create more cohesive and ambitious projects.

Walt Lily
Student - NC State University

I learned a lot from this session to help my fellow sta and me produce our ongoing video series, and I understand the intricacies of operating the equipment to a much greater degree, thanks to Dunmore’s excited and user-friendly approach.

Walt Lily
Student - NC State University