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Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

Training Camp Preparations | Media Events

Posted by David Safin on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 09:07 AM
It's that time of the year when we begin preparing for the arrival of the Steelers and the tens of thousands of fans who come from all of the country to watch practices

It is for that reason that we invite members of the media to campus so we can brief them on what we are doing to prepare for this massive influx of people. 


President Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B. (above) leads the press conference. Behind him (from the left) are...
  • Mr. Steve Brown, Director of public safety 
  • Fr. Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., executive vice president 
  • Fr. Anthony Grossi, O.S.B., bookstore manager 
  • Mr. Larry Hendrick, director of facility management 
  • Mr. Dan Keeley, executive chef 
  • Ms. Julia Molnar-Bish, catering director 

Of course, I was there recording the comments made by Br. Norman. Fr. Paul (below right) was also kind of enough to do an interview with me and my volunteer assistant for the day, Luke Fetkovich (below middle).  


Here is the video I put together from the two clips.

For the complete camp schedule, visit the Steelers official website.

Photos taken by Jack Krall. Visit Flickr to see more from this set.  
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Topics: communication, digital media, broadcasting, public relations, Saint Vincent events, Steelers, Pittsburgh

Early Literacy Quick Clips | Video Production

Posted by David Safin on Mon, May 20, 2013 @ 14:05 PM
On occasion, I have the privilege of collaborating with the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. My most frequent collaborative effort is serving as the voice of their app videos. Here's my voice in their video for the app, Go NiNi!

Last summer, I lent my skills as a videographer for two days worth of shooting for their video series, Early Literacy Quick Clips. These videos, which were created for the Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment™, use real world examples to illustrate best practices in early literacy in a variety of settings.

I shot the videos in a handheld direct cinema style for a variety of reasons.
  1. I wanted the videos to feel fluid and natural.
  2. I was able to react quickly to what the children and their caregivers were doing.
  3. I felt a tripod would distract, intimidate and possibly frighten the children.
In this video about phonological awareness, I am sitting on the floor behind the children, shooting from their point of view.

The videos were produced by Jude Shingle, a talented artist/filmmaker and an Early Career Fellow for the Fred Rogers Center. He and I worked together to craft the look of the videos. It was a pleasure working with him. He was cheerful, energetic and open to any ideas thrown at him. Here is Jude introducing the videos (yes, that is my voice preceding Jude).

The experience of going to these daycare centers was also very rewarding. To see the time, effort, energy and enthusiasm put out by these caregivers gave me a greater appreciation for the work they all do. We were there for two days, and I left exhausted. They do this EVERY day.

Take a few moments and check out all of the Early Literacy Quick Clips (and please pass them along to anyone who might find them useful).
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Topics: digital media, video, videos, media, pennsylvania, fred rogers, ele, child care, daycare, fred rogers center, Pittsburgh

An Introduction to Screenwriting | The Steeltown Writers' Pitch

Posted by David Safin on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 @ 10:03 AM
Saturday, March 23rd was the Steeltown Film Factory Writers' Pitch. As their website indicates, Steeltown is "a nationally recognized screenwriting/filmmaking competition which strives to locate and connect emerging talent with top industry professionals."

The Writers' Pitch is the first of three events that culminate with the awarding of up to $30,000 in funding for one or more of these scripts.

I was fortunate to be a presenter last year, which was a very exciting and nerve-wracking experience. And even though the script I submitted this year was not selected, I will admit, it was a far more relaxing experience to just be in the audience.

(The image above is from last year's presentation. The presenter is Nathan Hollabaugh, who recently wrapped production on the film based on the script he pitched. I am hidden behind the curtain stage right.)

Not being selected is always disappointing, but this year, it was a bit of relief since I don't know how prepared I could have been for the pitch because I am currently wrapping production on the script I submitted last year: The Birthday Present.

My experience in the audience was relaxed, but also a bit on the surreal side. Worlds were colliding as I sat in between classmates from Chatham and a Communication student from here at Saint Vincent. Also in the crowd was Randy Kovitz, a professor of mine at Chatham, and Kris Veenis, a fellow Bearcat videographer. I had a hard time figuring out who I was - student, teacher, classmate, colleague, writer, filmmaker.

And that was the best part of the experience; the coming together of all of these worlds for the common purpose of a mutual love of filmmaking. 

Anna, the student who made the trip out with me, hopes to enter next year, and used the experience to learn how to better craft her ideas into a script. My hope is that next year, I will be there with more students watching her give her pitch. 

The Producers' Pitch is on April 20th, and I am looking forward to it because they will be screening a trailer for my film! Hope to see you all there.

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Topics: communication, digital media, filmmaking, media, media studies, screenwriting, Pittsburgh

About the Authors

Michelle Gil-Montero is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She runs the visiting writers series on campus, oversees the student literary magazine, and serves as guru to aspiring poets on campus. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, and she has been on the Saint Vincent faculty since that year. She is an active poet and literary translator from Spanish. She is spending part of the 2016-17 school year travelling to Argentina on a Howard Foundation fellowship and Fulbright grant. 

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January 2008. Dr. Smetanka has taught courses in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Geology as well as interdisciplinary seminars. He has published scientific research articles in physics and astrophysics journals, numerous conference proceedings and also works in science education reform and the interaction between science, technology and theology.

Jim Kellam is an associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College and our resident ornithologist. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2003, and is taking this semester as a sabbatical. What does that mean? He'll explain in his blog posts.

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Associate Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

David Safin, C'00, has been a lecturer in the communication department since the Fall of 2003, and has served in a variety of administrative roles since the summer of 2004. Currently, he teaches multimedia in the communication department as an assistant professor. 

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom also directs the Faith and Reason summer program every summer. 

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