Friday, May 8, 2015

I Like Making People Cry [Video]

Applause is nice, but you really know your retrospective video hit the mark when people cry.

That's why I was pleased to see people reaching for their hankies when they played this look back at the first ten years of the Moody's Mega Math Challenge during the 2015 competition finals in New York.

This year's M3 Challenge winners.
I've been fortunate to have been involved with the Challenge since I first covered it for an episode of Classroom Close-up, NJ back in 2008. With a decade's worth of footage including DV, HDV, and DVC-PRO HD along with thousands of photos and a few fuzzy YouTube clips from the contest's first couple of years, putting this together was a big job for BMG's editor.

The clip also made heavy use of interviews that we conducted with participants and coaches from all of the previous Challenges through Google Hangout. While obviously not the quality of footage we normally like to capture, it proved itself to be a viable way of getting a lot of geographically dispersed interviews in a short amount of time on a limited budget. The Hangouts were also used to make a series of Flashback videos that were used to promote the tenth anniversary on Facebook.

As we near the finals of yet another Challenge, we recall amazing things participants have done in past years. In this...

If you want to find out who came out on top at this year's Challenge, watch the 2015 M3 Challenge recap.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Journey from the Holocaust to the Classroom [Video]

Last summer, a group of 30 New Jersey educators visited Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and the Netherlands as part of an educational trip organized by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. The Classroom Close-up, NJ crew was able to document part of that trip. Since then, we've been working to produce a half-hour documentary about their experiences as well as Holocaust education at home and abroad.

The Classroom Close-up special, Transformation and Remembrance: A Journey from the Holocaust to the Classroom premieres this Wednesday, April 8 on NJTV. Please watch.

Friday, September 26, 2014

For the 100th time...

This weekend is the season premiere of Classroom Close-up, NJ.

You can catch the first episode of the 21st season on Sunday at 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on NJTV. While I haven't been a part of all those seasons, I recently realized that this week's show does include my own personal mini-milestone. "Exchange Student" happens to be the 100th story I've produced for the show.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A long time ago in a planetarium far, far away....

"Orion" at the Lenape Valley Planetarium
I just finished editing a Classroom Close-up story for next season about the planetarium at Lenape Valley Regional High School. It's one of six operating planetariums found in public schools around New Jersey. It's definitely a valuable asset for the students studying astronomy and for the wider community that uses the facility for elementary school field trips and other activities.

When I first got the assignment for this story, I realized I hadn't been in a planetarium in more than twenty years. In fact, the last time I was in a planetarium was 1990 and I was also working on a story. I was a college freshman on my first assignment for the Insider, a feature news magazine published at my alma mater, Bowling Green State University (For the record, I was a bit of a dabbler in college, so this was the only article I ever wrote for the Insider).

I mentioned my bit of personal history to the director of the Lenape Valley Planetarium, John Scala, and he asked me if I'd interviewed Dale Smith, director of the BGSU Planetarium,  for the article. I couldn't remember at the time, but lo and behold, it was Dr. Smith. Apparently, planetarium directors is a pretty tight community.

Here's the Insider article, complete with a vintage ad for Howard's Club H.