Senior Film/Video Showcase 2014

•April 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment


Come join us on Thursday, May 1, at 7pm (6pm reception) in the Inscape Theatre on our Greenspring Campus for our annual Senior Film/Video Showcase, featuring short films completed by members of the class of 2014.

If you’re curious to see some of the posters that the students have made for their films, you can first come check out the Preview of Coming Attractions exhibit in the School of Design Gallery on our Owings Mills North Campus, which opens on Thursday, April 24, at 6pm.

. Preview of Coming Attrcations

More Photos from Our ADG Creative Visit Last Week

•April 16, 2014 • Leave a Comment

On Thursday, April 10, 5 students from the Art Department and 5 students from the Film/Video Department accompanied Barry Dunkin (Office of Career Services). Amanda Hostalka (Chair, Art Department) and Christopher Llewellyn Reed (Chair, Film/Video Department) to visit ADG Creative, in Columbia, MD. We had fun, and these photos prove it! [All photos taken by Jon Barnes, of ADG Creative]

Stevenson Film/Video and VCD Students Visit ADG Creative in Columbia

•April 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here we are – 5 Film/Video and 5 VCD students at ADG Creative, in Columbia, MD. Fun career-focused visit!


New Film and Moving Image Curriculum Officially Starts Now!

•March 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

FilmMovingImage_All Tracks

The Maryland Higher Education Commission officially approved our new major – Film and Moving Image – in January of this year. We scrambled and quickly wrote and revised all of the courses we needed for next year, getting them approved just before the start of the Fall 2014 registration period. As of now, the first two years of our Department’s curriculum looks just like the grid, above. All rising Sophomores (Class of 2017) and incoming First-Year students (Class of 2018) will be on this new curriculum, while the rising Juniors and Seniors will remain on the previous Film/Video/Theatre curriculum.

Here is the text from the first part of our MHEC proposal:

The proposed “Film and Moving Image” major – adapted from its previous incarnation as the “Film/Video/Theatre” major – will educate its students to be adaptable lifelong artists, craftspeople, and learners who are capable of maintaining focus, resilience, self-control, and motivation through both success and failure.  Graduates will be able to navigate the ever-changing technological landscape while developing and maintaining an original and personal aesthetic vision and be able to effectively communicate this vision to others.  Students will learn a wide array of equipment and software to complement the major’s commitment to teaching film and moving image history and technique.

In their final year, students will demonstrate the skills acquired in their chosen area of expertise by creating a capstone project and by developing a portfolio of work for distribution in a variety of current media outlets. 

Graduates will emerge as flexible and capable practitioners of filmmaking – be it on film, digital media, or the next emerging format – who can work both alone as self-starters or collaboratively in groups, and be Directors, Writers, Producers, Cinematographers, or Editors.  In addition to the basic requirements of the major (Directing), therefore, students will choose one of the following 4 specialization tracks: Cinematography, Editing, Producing and Writing.  This will allow the revised major to better align with Stevenson University’s motto, “Imagine your future. Design your career.”

Note that our new major offers 4 separate career specialization “tracks” - Cinematography, Editing, Producing, Writing – and that students start choosing their track in the Sophomore year.

We’re excited to offer the new program!

And now – an open call to all current Stevenson students: we would really like to have a Stevenson-designed new logo for the new major. Our previous Film/Video logo was designed by Visual Communication Design major Chris Jaeger, and we love it:


Now, however, we would like something that reads “Film and Moving Image,” using either that full text and/or the official new abbreviation FMI. We’d also like to see more than just a single icon, but perhaps a vision of how that icon might work in tandem with text like “flexible” and “adaptable.” We’re interested in putting this on t-shirts, letterhead, discs, labels, etc., so imagine a variety of applications when you design the logo.

Submissions are due on Monday, April 21, by 5pm. Please send them to me at We’ll announce the winner by Friday, April 25, the last day of regular class meetings of the Spring 2014 semester. The winner will get to see his/her work on the new Departmental t-shirts we will print for all students for the Fall 2014 semester, and receive complimentary copies of whatever we make.

I look forward to seeing what you design!

Nice image from our FIVTH335-02 Lighting Class

•March 21, 2014 • Leave a Comment

2014-03-20 - FIVTH335-02


Students from Professor Exsul Van Helden’s Spring 2014 FIVTH335-02 Lighting Class prepare a dolly shot in our soundstage.

SXSW2015 – Here comes Stevenson!

•March 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment



I just got back from a preliminary research visit to the SXSW Festival.

If you want to see my impressions of the trip, you can check out one (or all) of my four blog postings:


It’s a great annual event, in Austin, TX, at which there are film screenings, panel presentations, keynote lectures, technology exhibits, and so much more (not to mention the music component, which I completely ignored while there).

Next year, in the Spring 2015 semester, I will be offering a “Special Topics” (FIVTH402) course, entitled “Emerging Trends in Film & Digital Media,” which will have, as its centerpiece, a trip to SXSW. The dates will be March 14-21, 2015.

The approximate cost of the trip will be: $500 for roundtrip airfare + $700 for hotel accommodations (if students share a double room). The passes to the festival range from $500 (if one buys FILM only by the start of September) to $1700 (if one buys PLATINUM – which grants access to Film, Music and Interactive – and wait until the last minute to do so). For food, it’s whatever one wants to pay while there.
I am going to work with a travel agent to pre-book the flight and the hotel, and then come up with a deadline by which students need to pay that travel agent to book the trip (and there may be different deadlines at different prices). We’ll really need to start reserving spaces by mid-Fall, at the latest, as everything in Austin sells out quickly. It’s too early to book the package now, but stay tuned for more info from me. For passes – see below so on how the prices worked this year:
Badge Prices Fluctuation
Once students have booked the trip and bought a pass – they will then be able to register for the “Special Topics” course.
I am happy to report that almost every film screening I attended (I saw 21 films in 7 days, which sounds like a lot, but I could have done so much more …) had the director and/or crew and/or cast at the Q&A: folks like Wes Anderson, Diego Luna, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Josh Hartnett, Patrick Wilson, Jeremy Sisto, Kate Lyn Sheil, John Gallagher, Jr. (and those are just the ones whose names I thought you would recognize). There were many keynote speakers, including Lena Dunham and Nicolas Cage, for film, and Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, for Media. There was also an extensive trade-show floor in the expo hall where many vendors – including Adobe, Sony, Black Magic, Sennheiser, LaCie, and many more, hawked their wares, offered discounts and free t-shirts and free workshops. There were panels galore, only a few of which I attended, since I wanted to see films. I didn’t even try to attend music events . . .
I look forward to hearing, soon, from those who are interested. I can best be reached at

“Better Living Through Chemistry” Directors Visit Stevenson Film/Video Department

•February 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment
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Thanks to Jack Gerbes at the Maryland Film Office, on Wednesday, February 26, Stevenson University hosted a preview screening of Better Living Through Chemistry (which opens nationally on March 14). Co-Directors/Co-Writers Geoff Moore and David Posamentier were present for a Q&A afterwards. Today, they attended Film/Video Professor Exsul Van Helden’s FIVTH335-ON2 Lighting Class in the School of Design Soundstage on our Owings Mills North Campus.

The film was shot in Maryland, and some of our Film/Video students worked on it.


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