Experiential Learning at Lehman College
Shift NYC is more than just a series of PSAs, it also represents an important training program for Lehman students interested in all aspects of media and communications production. Students from Lehman College were invited to apply for competitive internships in six areas including Production, Post-Production, Graphics, Music Composition, Audio Post Production and Social Media and Marketing. In the end, 11 students were selected and embarked on multiple semesters of work in their areas, closely guided by faculty mentors. In this way, students were a part of every single aspect of the videos from conception to production to delivery. Additionally, to widen their perspective and knowledge of the entire creative process, during the Spring 2021 semester students attended ten workshops representing each of the different areas of the production process. These workshops were given by faculty mentors, Lehman staff, as well as professionals in the field. The masterclasses were organized and overseen by James Carney, who served as faculty advisor to the project.
ProducingBrendan McGibney & Keren Plowden
For their masterclass on producing, Keren and Brendan gave the students an overview of the many responsibilities of producers from a project's inception to delivery. They went in depth on topics including budget construction, clarifying deliverables, building a team and other areas, and spoke about what those processes were like for Shift NYC. They also shared a number of tips and valuable lessons from their careers.
Graphic & Art DesignDavid Schwittek
David Schwittek walked students through the role of the brand designers in a project. He spoke about the evolution of the project and how the title was chosen. He demonstrated the process of designing the opening animation for Shift NYC.
Walter Garaicoa took interns through the process of editing footage and turning raw media into an impactful experience. He highlighted the nuances of the editor's choices, using a script as a guideline and iterating on feedback from creative.
Music & Audio I - ComposingMichael Bacon & Steve Buonanotte
Michael Bacon and Steve Buonanotte joined forces in this class to speak with the interns about the role of music in media, starting with initial discussions and forming a plan with the director and producer. From there, they circulated some ideas of known music, as well as some of Michael’s earlier music as a method of communication. Next they discussed mock-ups and further refinement of the demos. Lastly, they touched on the process for pre-production for the actual recording session. This included topics such as organization, score prep, backing track prep, scheduling musicians, studio set up and more. There were numerous examples of both audio and session footage.
Executive Producing: MOME OfficeAlia Jones-Harvey
Alia joined the masterclass series to represent the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and to share with the students about the different initiatives within their office and about production in New York City.
Marketing & Social MediaMelissa Castillo Planas
For her workshop on social media and marketing, Melissa enlisted three experts in the field: Yeara Rosenthal, social media communications specialist for the Office of Communications and Marketing at Lehman College; Robert Kadar, head of marketing at CUNY Central; and George Torres, CEO and founder of Sofrito Media Group. They spoke about their career trajectories, executing a social media campaign and succeeding in social media today.
Chris Thaler shared his background and journey from working as an editor for a local news station to attending NYU and building his company, Thaler Films with his brother. He walked the students through the process of building a team, and the importance of scouting locations and identifying technical needs for a shoot.
Breaking into the BusinessLaura Minto
Laura Minto is a First Assistant Editor on an upcoming Dreamworks Animation picture. She is a member of the Motion Picture Editor's Guild, Local 700. She joined the masterclass series as a guest speaker to share her career journey, and give the students some insider tips about how to network and build your career in post-production. Laura has worked for major distributors including Netflix and Disney.
Music & Audio II - Recording and MixingMichael Bacon & Steve Buonanotte
Michael Bacon and Steve Buonanotte returned for a second class to share the music recording session for Shift NYC with the students. Steve went into depth about microphone choices and setting up for a recording session and Michael spoke about preparing the musicians and guiding them through the session. Steve demonstrated mixing the best takes together and played the finished theme for the series.