Monday, February 18, 2013
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College broadcast communications alumni Jonathan Joy and Jimm Needle collaborated with their faculty mentor, Brad Weaver, and junior Joe Ligo to create new television commercials and possible future video projects for Westminster.
Joy and Needle, both 2003 Westminster graduates, joined their creative forces at Pittsburgh-based Always Delightful Films. Weaver has taught in broadcast communications at Westminster since 2000.
The group, which donated their time and talents for the project, hopes for future collaboration on a live-action television commercial and possibly a series of video vignettes on Westminster academic departments to be showcased on Westminster's website.
"As Westminster alumni, we wanted to create a partnership for future creative endeavors," Joy said. "A television spot for Westminster is the one way we know how to give back. This form of giving reaches a greater audience and showcases the College and what it can offer prospective students."
"Brad Weaver has grown to become a great friend and mentor to us," Needle said. "We relish any opportunity we have to spend time and work with him. Beginning a project where we get to collaborate with him and help Westminster College at the same time was an easy decision."
"Jimm and Jon came to me with the idea to give back to Westminster with a goal to work directly with me and my students," Weaver said. "I'm hopeful that the spot can give rise to future collaborations that can involve current students in the production and post-production process."
"Going into the creation of the spot, we knew (due to time constraints) it wasn't going to live action so we had to compensate for that by making it very focused," Needle said. "This spot is targeted at a teenage audience. We hope to have the opportunity to make a live-action spot in 2013 that will really put the people and experiences of Westminster College on display."
The animated "Experience Matters" :30 spot focuses on Westminster's experiential learning opportunities providing a distinct advantage for Westminster students, including a 98% placement for Westminster graduates. The spot aired during the first three weeks of the NHL season on Root Sports network. It was well received by the target teenage audience and resulted in multiple companies contacting Always Delightful in hopes of creating a similar-style ad.
Ligo, a junior broadcast communications major and son of Amy and Jesse Ligo of Mercer, worked with Westminster's Communication Services and Admissions offices over the summer and fall to create a pair of :15 television commercials. He also received tutelage from Weaver, Joy, and Needle.
Ligo's "Experience the Westminster Advantage" ad is currently airing during Pittsburgh Penguins telecasts on Root Sports and highlights Westminster experiential learning advantages. His "Westminster: The Clear Advantage" spot is airing on the Westminster Cable Network and features stop-action photography simulating a Westminster zamboni clearing the ice to reveal Westminster points of distinction. Both spots feature music from Westminster alumnus J.D. Eicher '09.
"Just like the commercial itself touts the experience Westminster provides, the project gave me the chance for some great experience in my field," Ligo said. "I had recently purchased a new camera and this commercial provided an opportunity to jump right in and start using it in new, creative ways. Throughout the production of the advertisements, I learned new skills that will potentially make me a more valuable employee."
"Now that the project is finished, I have a very sharp and professional video to add to my resume," Ligo added. "Not many students at other institutions can say they produced a commercial that was broadcast during a Pittsburgh Penguins game. Westminster helped grant me that unique chance."
Visit www.westminster.edu/pens to view all three commercials.
Weaver will be chairing a panel of Broadcast Education Association paper presentations in April at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas. Weaver, Joy, and Needle will present on the use of HDSL cameras to shoot news, commercials and more. Ligo will present on the panel about how students can take ownership of mastering HDSLP because of its affordability for individuals.
"This will be an opportunity for professional development and peer review scholarship connecting alumni, faculty and students," according to Weaver.
"Alumni help connect us to the real world," Weaver said. "Collaborating with alumni allows me to take that knowledge and experience back to my classrooms and labs. In the rapidly changing world of digital media, alumni are vital for keeping me grounded with what's current and standard in best practices."
Weaver emphasizes experiential learning in all of his Westminster courses.
"Getting your hands dirty in the process of creating, managing, and producing digital media content means you will encounter snags, mishaps and mistakes," Weaver said. "However, those snags are learning moments that help you grow. Experiential learning is highly personalized. This personalization strengthens each student's unique perspective. It also fosters an understanding for the bigger picture and leadership."
The broadcast and digital communications program is one of the largest and fastest growing at Westminster College, offering students interested in radio and television an education with hands on experience, including: remote broadcasts of sports and other special events, in-studio production of news, magazine and interview shows, announcing and managing Titan Radio (ranked as one of the best college radio stations in the nation for five straight years), special feature productions, and web and internet journalism on www.wcn247.com.
Contact Weaver at (724) 946-7238 or email for more information.