Independently-Made Media

1225 Words5 Pages
For decades, Champaign-Urbana has inspired a long succession of independently-made media created by citizens, academics, and students wishing to enrich and inform their friends and neighbors in ways avoided by commercial outlets. This has encompassed print, radio, theater, music, the Internet, and the fine arts. However, the most ill-used form of modern communication to disseminate viewpoints and expression from a local perspective is arguably the one falsely believed to be the province of studio impresarios and celebrity egos―the cinema and its domestic offspring, television. Consumer-priced technology improved and expanded so rapidly through the Nineties and into the new century that the videographer has found him- or herself with plenty of effective production tools and work flow options to aid in shooting and editing quality footage without the time and cost concerns associated with traditional film production. Should the videographer be in the right place at the right time with the competence to tape cleanly and confidence to stand their ground while doing so, she or he may come away with material that not only preserves our community’s history―warts and all―but shows by example how to improve its future as well. A recent example, however inadvertent, is John O’Connor’s recording of Champaign mayor Jerry Schweighart’s “Barak Obama is not an American” comment made at the city’s West Side Park. We should also recall the “Citizens Watch” videos made by Patrick Thompson and Martel Miller, depicting suspect interaction between C-U police officers and African-American residents. Certainly, we’ll mention the progressive work of UI journalism professor Jay Rosenstein, including the upcoming documentary about the landmark Vashti... ... middle of paper ... ...the two core teams – Nicole Pion, Katy Vizdal, Brian Dolinar, Laura Fuhrman, and yours truly for IMCFF, and myself and Sanford Hess for NAFF – to formulate what would make for good cinema viewing and great food for thought. Of course we now ask, “What locally-produced films will we see at these events next year?” Take up your camera in arms and then take advantage of several potential resources – including the IMC, Urbana Public Television, Champaign Government Television , UI-7, Parkland College Television, and the monthly Champaign Movie Makers meetings at Class Act Interactive – to enhance your skills and meet fellow citizens with whom you can collaborate. You can also keep tabs on local activity and viewing opportunities at C-U Blogfidential ( Until then, we can’t wait to hear you yell, “Action!” -- 30 –
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