Month: September 2013

TCF Professor Wins Hyundai Production Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Bruce – he is a finalist in the Hyundai “Lens of Loyalty” Competition.  This comes with a $10,000 production grant!   Twenty-five schools were invited to submit treatments showing how their fans show loyalty to their school.  From those submissions,  7 finalists were selected.  These finalists will use the grant money to produce a mini-doc on their subject and compete for the grand prize in November.   Dr. Bruce won with “Houndstooth: Tradition. Community. Loyalty.”


Scriptwriting Contest 2013: $8,500 in Prizes

UA Student Scriptwriting Contest

First Place: $5,000
Second Place: $2,500
Third Place: $1,000

Bonus: One script will be produced by Seinfeld director Tom Cherones on location in Tuscaloosa!*


Before submitting a script, please read the full guidelines, available here.

  • All work must be original, written by a University of Alabama undergraduate or graduate student.
  • Script should be a short feature, 20-30 minutes in length.
  • No elaborate sets or locations; must be able to shoot the script in/around Tuscaloosa. No car crashes, explosions, or special effects.
  • Scripts must be in proper format, with correct grammar and spelling; must be bound by 2 brads only–top & bottom left margin.

Decision of the judges is final.

How to submit your script:

  • Submit two copies of your script to the TCF Office (room 484 Phifer Hall) 
  • Include the contest submission form (click here or pick one up in the TCF office)

Deadline for submissions is December 6, 2013!

*To be produced by a student crew from TCF 442.

TCF: The Week in Review

Congrats to Dr. Andy Billings – he was quoted in the New York Times while promoting his new book, The Fantasy Sport Industry: Games within Games. Here’s the link to the NYT article:

And here’s the link to the info about his book:

Congrats to Dr. Michael Bruce and his students, who were featured on Campus Clash on Fox Sports this past Saturday. This was really nice exposure for our program. Here’s a link to their piece:

Dr. Matt Payne is a featured scholar on Joystick Warriors: Video Games, Violence & the Culture of Militarism, which has an official ship date of October 15. This is some nice national recognition for Matt’s work on gaming. You can read more about this film at:

If you watch the Emmy Awards Sunday night, keep an eye out for Dr. Kristen Warner! She is making a return visit and will be working the crowd.

Movie Co-sponsored by TCF: SPECTACULAR NOW

On Monday, September 23, the Ferguson Theater will be screening James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now, starring Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Miles Teller (Project X). The film starts at 7 p.m. and doors open at 6:30 p.m. The filmmaker himself will be there to answer questions after the screening.
This feature film has never been screened in Tuscaloosa, so come see it now while it’s FREE for everyone! Think big Hollywood premiere on a Tuscaloosa scale.

Here’s a Crimson White article on the event:

Students can strut the Hollywood red carpet Monday, Sept. 23, as the Ferguson Theater hosts the one-time Tuscaloosa premiere of “The Spectacular Now,” a film directed by James Ponsoldt, starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.

This Crimson Carpet event is the result of the collaborative efforts of multiple campus organizations, including the Honors College, Creative Campus, Black Warrior Film Festival, Student Producers Association and the telecommunication and film department.

Greg Wagner, the director of alumni and organizational relationship development for the Honors College, originally approached Rachel Raimist, the co-director of Creative Campus and assistant professor in the TCF department, with the opportunity. Two Creative Campus interns, Danny Ryan, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film, and Katie Howard, a junior majoring in public relations, are co-leaders of the event.

When Wagner began organizing the event, he invited director James Ponsoldt to attend the Tuscaloosa premiere as well as to host a Q-and-A session after the film, which Ponsoldt accepted. Wagner expects all students attending the event, regardless of major, to enjoy and learn from Ponsoldt.

“There’s going to be an emphasis on the process. So anybody can learn what it’s like to work on a project and see all the hands that go into it. They can learn about critical thinking and teamwork and analytical skills, and just being hungry and fearless,” he said.

In addition to the Q-and-A session with Ponsoldt after the film, students can also come early to see the director briefly before the event.

“We’re doing a ‘Crimson Carpet’ event. We are encouraging students to come and dress up, and treat it like a fun, celebrity red-carpet event,” Ryan said.

Students will be able to take photographs on the Crimson Carpet with their friends, as well as with Ponsoldt, that will be uploaded to Facebook and Twitter.

Howard said he hopes the addition of the Crimson Carpet event before the film and the Q-and-A after will reiterate the high level of appreciation that the organizations involved have for Ponsoldt attending the Tuscaloosa premiere. A VIP breakfast is also scheduled where select students and faculty will be able to speak with Ponsoldt. Howard said she holds the Sundance award-winning director in high respects.

“I’m interested to learn how to make it big in the industry while also keeping your own identity,” Howard said.

Kristen Warner, an assistant professor in the TCF department who has seen the film, believes Ponsoldt’s down-to-earth personality contributes to the organic and appealing unraveling of the simple plot line.

“(Ponsoldt) is not what they call ‘terribly Hollywood.’ He is a very normal guy,” Warner said.

Both Wagner and Raimist have also seen the film and agree that the majority of students will be able to empathize with the genuine authenticity displayed by the characters and the small-town atmosphere created in the film.

“On the surface it appears like what could be seen as a thin coming-of-age teen movie, but it’s not; there’s so many layers in terms of the storytelling and the performance and the way in which he’s directed the film; it’s rich,” Raimist said.

While all students attending the event will be able to enjoy the film and learn from the director, Raimist and Warner hope that their students in particular take advantage of the opportunity to meet with a director personally in Tuscaloosa, without having to travel to New York City or Los Angeles. Instead of learning from books and articles, students will be able to learn expressly from the director himself, they said.

Wagner hopes that the event will attract a large audience and he has plans to continue bringing in different members of the entertainment industry for similar events, as well as a variety of other people to “share their intellectual capital with our students,” he said.

The film is free to attend and will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23, in the Ferguson Theater.

TCF Students Intern at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater

TCF students working at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
TCF students Sheena Perryman, left front, Taylor Kern, far left, and Holly Jackson, right, set up video cameras at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Thursday before the Casting Crowns concert. The amphitheater offers University of Alabama students experience with film and audio-visual equipment, and the venue gets high-quality video production without the cost of hiring a professional team.. Tuscaloosa News | Dusty Compton

From the Tuscaloosa News:

As Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Director Wendy Riggs sees it, an internship program that puts University of Alabama students behind cameras and banks of audio-visual equipment during concerts and other events is a win-win for everyone.

The students get practical experience producing live video at events, and the amphitheater — which likely could not afford the level of audio-visual production otherwise — gets a high-quality video product.

Riggs said the arrangement has also been popular with bands that have played the amphitheater because many tours don’t bring along their own video production.

“It has really been a great opportunity. At this point, I have already done a couple of big-name concerts,” said Alex Beatty, a 21-year-old senior from Orlando majoring in film.