By Anne Dudley and Nicole Gennarelli
While studying in Florence, Italy, this semester, Chris Heiman decided that he would put together a video series that showed future students the study abroad experience. He hopes his videos, Flashes of Florence, will encourage more students to study abroad. We interviewed Chris to get the details on the making behind his video series.
What is your major, year, expected graduation date and hometown?
Major: Electronic Media Production in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Year: 5th year senior
Graduation Date: December 17th, 2011
Hometown: Chagrin Falls, OH
According to Deborah Davis, Coordinator of International Programs for the College of Communication and Information, this project is not for course credit. What made you want to do it?
Correct, this project is not a course credit. I was all set to graduate after a summer course in July. However, I felt that I wanted to take advantage of one more semester as an undergrad before taking the next step in my adult life. That is why I decided to postpone graduation and come to Italy instead. That being said, I did not want to feel like I was wasting my time in Italy on a four month holiday. The classes I was enrolled in were nice, but in my opinion they were not going to help me improve my resume, and more importantly, my film reel. That is where Flashes of Florence came in. I wanted to do something that would be help me improve my video and editing skills, so that I had more material to show potential employers in the near future.
In addition, I noticed that there was not a lot of information about what studying in Italy was really all about. Being a communications major, I felt it was almost my duty to put together some videos that future students could look at and get really excited and familiar with Florence before they came. I know that if I would have been able to watch the Flashes of Florence videos before I came, I would have felt much more knowledgeable and ready to come. Hopefully, these videos will encourage future students to take a semester to study abroad, because it is truly an amazing experience.
What benefit do you hope the project will have?
This kind of ties in with my answer to the first question. Again, I am improving my video and editing skills. I can edit a video together in less than a day now, whereas a year ago it probably would have taken me two or three days to complete the same type of video. And again, I really want other kids to have the same experience abroad that I have got. It’s well worth it.
How are the other students getting involved?
Two other students, Monique Zappa and Jen Bellissimo feel the same way that I do about adding material to their reel. They both want to go into the broadcasting field, and so the Flashes videos were right up their ally. Both are hoping to use these videos as a part of their experience to show people in the future what they have done and what
their potential is.
The other students are just eager to be interviewed. They like showing the videos to their friends and families back home.
How do you think this project will help you in your career/job aspirations?
I think this project will show video producers that I can handle a camera and edit my way through just about anything. I think it will show people that I know how to make content interesting and exciting. I am hoping to start making money in the video production field right after school, whether it is working on a film set, creating promotional and commercial videos, or filming events/parties. Anything I can do that involves filming, and mainly editing, I will be satisfied with for the time being. Eventually if I want to continue to pursue my dreams of becoming a film maker, I will need to make the move out to L.A or New York. I can see that happening at some point in the future, but for now, I would just like to continue improving my work, my skill and my knowledge in the film industry.
Check out some of Chris’ videos below!
Vicolo dei Cerchi
Anne Dudley is a second-year master’s student of public relations and graduate assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information. Nicole Gennarelli is a senior public relations major and a marketing assistant for the College of Communication and Information.