VPG Helps Guide Students to Success in a Creative Way

January 31, 2017


 (OIT Video Producer James Borrego shares insight on the filmmaking process with the "Black Woman, Beyoncé, and Popular Culture" class.)


In the fall of 2016, the Office of Information Technology's (OIT) Video Production Group (VPG) collaborated with UTSA's Associate Professor Kinitra D. Brooks, Ph.D. in the Department of English to offer multimedia training and insight on the filmmaking process for the course "Black Women, Beyoncé & Popular Culture" (ENG 3613/AAS 4013/WS 4953). The assistance provided by Senior Producer James Borrego and Multimedia Specialist II Jose Carrillo supported students as they completed a three-minute avant-garde film project consisting of four components: script, storyboard, video, and analysis.

The course, taught by Dr. Brooks, uses pop star Beyoncé Knowles' 2016 audiovisual project, Lemonade, to study "sociocultural issues that are most prominent in black womanhood through black feminist theory, literature, music, and film" according to the course description. This course demonstrates innovation and has made headlines worldwide on the internet in several news media groups including International Business Times, ABC News, Cosmopolitan, and higher education publications, increasing the university's visibility.


(OIT Video Production Group Producer Jose Carrillo address the Black Woman, Beyoncé, and Popular Culture class)


Carrillo and Borrego spoke to the class about "Creating Engaging Videos: Demystifying the Process," encouraging students to use whatever device they were comfortable with. During this presentation, students were introduced to the phases of video production: pre-production, production, and post-production. In addition, Carrillo assisted students with identifying and using available editing apps and tools to create their video project, including WE-Video, iLive, and iMovie. On October 19th, the VPG staff also provided hands-on technical guidance to Dr. Brooks' class, in a computer lab setting, to help assist them with completing video project.

At the end of the course, the student videos were presented at the Lemonade Film Festival hosted by Dr. Brooks on November 30th. During this festival, 15 student films were presented in front of a panel of six judges including both Dr. Brooks and Borrego. The top four videos were rewarded with an A in the class, and all participants were exempt from taking a final for the course, making them all winners in the end.  Borrego stated, "This project allowed students to expand their creative talent and student success was rewarded in a creative way."

As part of OIT's strategy to support the university to achieve Tier One status, OIT seeks increased opportunities to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff. Borrego stated that the course, "… gives us an opportunity to share our film and video experience and knowledge with students who are now required to create videos or digital artifacts to help bring meaning to their learning. Students nowadays are immersed in digital technology, and now they are tasked with using that technology to develop digital content to help them digest the subject matter."