New Camp COFAC class helps high school students produce videos

Why simply watch videos when you can produce them? Camp COFAC at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point gave teenagers professional experience doing that.
College of Fine Arts and Communication faculty members typically welcome high school art and music enthusiasts to a week of learning and experiencing college life. This year for the first time, they also welcomed 12 high school students eager to learn about video production.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and for them,” said Assistant Professor of Communications Chris Shofner, who led the new video course. “We have students coming from very diverse backgrounds. For some, I need to hone their skills. With others, I need to teach fundamentals. They seem to be having a good time, but it’s not just about fun. It’s a unique and interesting experience. And students don’t need to audition. If you’re interested, join us next year.”
Shofner’s class created a story about paranormal investigators, reminiscent of Scooby-Doo characters, who look into paranormal activities in Stevens Point. Students started with video pre-production including scripts and storyboards. They proceeded through lighting, camerawork and acting. They concluded with post-production techniques such as editing.
Day two of the camp involved clapperboards, Teleprompters, lighting, sound and camerawork.
Shofner pointed to class participant Lee Goodman, who had been operating the clapperboard, the familiar filmmaking device that helps synchronize picture and sound with a sharp "clap."
“The purpose of the clapperboard is to give something visual and something auditory so we can line them up,” Shofner told his class. “What does the audio person say?”
Class: “Speed!”
Shofner: “What does that mean?”
Class: “The sound is ready.”
“When we start the camera we want to make sure the red light is on,” Shofner said. “We don’t want the action to start right away. When I yell ‘action,’ that’s when you take off with your beautiful script… Action!”
That was the cue for Gina Nagro, of Ashland.
“Good evening, Stevens Point,” she said. “This is your 6 o’clock news. I’m Melinda Greenstorm.”
Nagro introduced a news story of the estate of the infamous Birdman. The home, which was about to be torn down, had baffled paranormal investigators because of its strange occurrences. Nagro’s pace guided a student assistant who operated the Teleprompter with a foot pedal.
Hands-on activities like these prompted Goodman to travel from St. Louis after learning about the class through a Google search. At age 17, Goodman runs his own photography and videography side business called Goodman Image. He thought Camp COFAC’s video-production class would be a golden opportunity, and he was right.
“It’s really cool how two total strangers here can become friends,” Goodman said. “We’re together with music camp students and art camp students all in the same hall. We have a little college experience and we get to learn new things. This class is helping me prepare for my professional life. (Shofner) is an amazing teacher. He’s full of great knowledge.”
The class ended with an airing of the video production June 28. Shofner said he would like to offer the program again next year and hopes to accommodate more students.
Those interested in taking the video-production class next year should watch the Camp COFAC website at the Camp COFAC Facebook page at more information. Next year’s camp is scheduled for June 21-27.
UWSP adds broadcast journalism class (with video)

​Chris Jones, Stevens Point Journal Media

STEVENS POINT — In the age of an ever-changing media market, universities across the country are looking at ways to make their students more marketable when they graduate, and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is no different.
UWSP communication students in a new broadcast-journalism workshop class Tuesday used their new journalism tools in front of the camera as they ran through a 30-minute newscast consisting of original local news content and stories picked up from a licensing agreement with CNN, one of the first SPTV broadcasts since 2004.
Students had the chance to operate cameras, coordinate a video and audio team, report and direct the entire production, both in the classroom and in the studio.
Senior communication major Joshua Philon, who directed anchors on the set, said that offering a course that teaches students the skills they need in broadcast journalism is a great step for the university.
“It’s looking up, and this is a lot of input (from the university) saying that they believe in the students, that this is important,” he said. “The world is centered around a lot of media and a lot of video. These skills are very vital to how we get out information and everyday news.”
UWSP communication professor Jim Haney said the university invested nearly $150,000 in new technology in hopes of revitalizing the university’s communication degree efforts. The broadcast will be in digital high-definition as opposed to the analog technology last used in 2004.
The man behind the new push toward broadcast media is newly hired professor Alex Ingersoll, who teaches the course and acts in an executive producer role for the news team. Ingersoll said he is excited to see what his class of about a dozen students will produce.
“Getting them to the live show environment, they’re like, ‘Oh, wow, OK. This was different that what I was expecting,’” he said.
Students have learned how to create, shoot, edit and report their own original content throughout their communication studies, and senior communication major Ian McKay who directed the video production, said he thought the newscast went well.
“There were a couple of minor mistakes, some on my part, some just mental errors,” he said. “Overall, it was a good, decent show.”
Communication professor researching in-law relationships
The Wall Street Journal Page Content
By Elizabeth Bernstein
Jim Brown knew he was in trouble before his mother finished asking the question. "Am I a better cook than your wife?" she asked, calmly stirring a pot on the stove in her kitchen.
With his wife, Joy, standing next to him, Mr. Brown stammered and stuttered. He prayed—"for a trap door to appear," he says. Finally, he did the only thing he could think to do: Tell the truth. "I said that my wife is a better cook," the 50-year-old owner of a Duncanville, Texas, auto-repair shop says.
The fallout? "Biblical," he says. "There was wailing. Gnashing of teeth." Even his wife got mad—telling him that he had been insensitive to his mother.
Trivia 44: That's Not All Folks!

Thousands of people across the globe will tune into the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s WWSP 90FM campus radio station April 19-21 to compete in the world’s largest trivia contest.

“Trivia 44: That’s Not All Folks!” begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 19, and ends 54 hours later at midnight on Sunday, April 21. This year’s contest pays homage to the mistaken Mayan calendar as the campus station marks 45 years of broadcasting. Audiences may listen to the contest at 89.9 FM or online at
Registration is $30 per team and must be completed in advance at the 90FM studios, between 3-7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, April 15-18; and between noon and 6 p.m. on Friday, April 19. Teams can also register online at, where complete rules, team listings and registration information are available. All Trivia profits are used for scholarships and general operations of the radio station.
New to the festivities this year is “The Trivia Kick-off Gig: A Beatles Tribute,” a concert featuring local bands The Hi-Matics, Haunter, and Farmer Dave and The Crops. It will be held Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Basement Brewhaus of the Dreyfus University Center on campus. It is free and open to the public.
The Trivia Kick-off Movie will be shown Friday, April 12, at midnight and on Saturday, April 13, at 10:30 a.m. and midnight at Rogers Cinema, 2725 Church St., Stevens Point. Admission is $3 to this to-be-announced movie.
The annual Trivia Kick-off Parade begins at 4 p.m. Friday, April 19, in Lot Q at Fourth and Illinois avenues. It continues on Maria Drive, Isadore and Portage streets to College Avenue, Reserve, High and Fremont streets to Sims Avenue, ending at P.J. Jacobs Junior High School.
During Trivia, eight questions are broadcast on 90FM each hour, and teams have the length of two songs to call in their answers. A variety of special questions include those that require a treasure-hunt around Stevens Point. Teams with correct answers are given an equal share of the 2,000 points each question is worth, with a minimum of five points and a maximum of 500 points. Trophies are given to the 10 teams with the highest point totals.
Trivia began in 1969 with 16 teams and was first broadcast on 90FM the following year. The nonprofit, student-run radio station is the largest of its kind in the Midwest. In addition to Trivia, WWSP hosts Dylan Days, Jazzfest, Beatlesfest and Radiothon as part of its annual programming.
For more information, contact UW-Stevens Point student Mitchel De Santis, WWSP program director, at 715-370-0649, or Jim Oliva, Trivia coordinator, at 715-321-0601.
Communication Graduate to Give Chalk Talk

Terry Porter '85
Assistant Coach
Minnesota Timberwolves

Photo courtesy of the
Minnesota Timberwolves
Chalk Talk with Terry Porter '85

Keep the March madness going into April with match-up of basketball artistry led by a UW-Stevens Point alumnus.

Terry Porter '85 (Communication) is proof Pointers rise to the top and stay there!

Connect with Terry and fellow Pointers as the Minnesota Timberwolves take on the Detroit Pistons, Saturday, April 6, at the Target Center.
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