Communication Connection

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Opportunities in COM

Collaborative Film Forms Student-Teacher Colleagues

Friday, June 13, 2014

By: Morganne McIntyre

The Department of Communication Studies has many different hands on experiences available to students. Dr. Julie-Ann Scott teaches about storytelling and performance studies; with this she offered her students an opportunity to be cast in a 60-minute performance ethnographic film that would be submitted for national review. The film, called "Cripping" emerged from a narrative analysis of self-described "physically disabled professionals across the United States." The nine student actors each played at least two roles. Casey Milliken, one of the actors, played three characters.

Casey explained that Dr. Scott recruited him to perform in the film while he was studying abroad in Wales. The invitation was a deciding factor him officially becoming a Communication Studies major. Dr. Scott and her students worked with Dr. Persuit's Advertising class who designed a poster and webiste for the film. In addition, Dr. Bolduc was the filming director overseeing a DIS student and Professor Trimble also directed and oversaw the editing that went along with the production.

Dr. Scott and her students took "Cripping" to the Integrated Marketing Communication Conference here at UNC Wilmington and then to the National Communication Association (NCA) Conference in Washington, D.C. Several of Dr. Scott's colleagues from different universities suggested submitting it for publication in a multimedia academic journal Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies. Dr. Scott says that one of her greatest successes with this project was "having my colleagues from other universities telling me that they were amazed and inspired at UNCW's undergraduates at being able to perform this film."

Dr. Scott and Casey explained how their relationship evolved throughout the collaboration from being a student- teacher relationship to more of a colleague or mentor relationship (similar to the relationship between a graduate student and dissertation advisor). "Dr. Scott has become a mentor to me," said Casey. Casey has taken 5 courses with Dr. Scott and said that he wants to continue this path of performance studies. This experience helped him get a lot of field experience and added artifacts to his portfolio for his future capstone course.

With these connections and experiences in mind, students should always consider the different opportunities they can get involved in within their department. Dr. Scott is planning on doing another film in Fall 2014. The film will focus on elder narratives on memory loss. For this film, the students' faces will be aged post-production to 85-years-old by Computer Studies Professor, Dr. Carl Ricanek and his research group. Like in Cripping, the students will learn about performance ethnography and cultural empathy with a focus on elders and memory loss instead of physical disability. To find out more information about this new film, contact Dr. Julie- Ann Scott at,