Communications Media Thesis Abstracts

Julie Barrows (Robert Carr), 2012

Gallery Design and Execution

This presentation explores the creative process of building an art exhibit around an original body of work. The objective was to have a fully functional public art exhibit and opening reception, accompanied by professional caliber publicity materials. Research included visits to other art exhibits, attending receptions and analysis of artist statements to identify common practices and compare styles. The lighting and design of gallery spaces, atmosphere at the reception (resulting from music, refreshments and dress code), publicity materials, artists’ behavior and presentation were analyzed in relation to the body of work. Most galleries exhibited work in one horizontal line around the room, but the collage-style arrangement appeared more organic and appropriate for this project. The materials observed ranged from hastily cut printer paper to glossy postcards, email invitations to oversized posters. The quality of presentation and materials related to the artist’s confidence in their work and dedication as a professional artist. The exhibit created for this project included forty landscapes and still lifes in a wide variety of media. The title, “Engaging Moments with Ordinary Sights,” came from analyzing the familiar subject matter and charming style of each piece in the collection. Once the location and dates were set, professional materials such as postcard invitations, gallery cards with an artist statement, posters and a press release were created in response to the theme. The last month was spent framing and designing the layout of the physical exhibit. An opening reception was also planned, with refreshments and entertainment, and was advertised in the surrounding communities.

Jeffrey Bartell (Jon Krasner), 2007

The Visual Art of Film: An Analysis of An Animated Project

Animated film is an expressive visual forum in which to convey a powerful message or tell a story. This project was completed to show how it is possible for successful creators of animated film to borrow the techniques and concepts of traditional live action filmmaking in order to strengthen their pieces. Through the process of co-creating a short animated film entitled "The Front Runner," as well as dissecting the important elements of several classic films with the aid of film literature, it was possible to come to conclusions about what can make an animated piece more visually appealing to its audience. With the use of such cinematic techniques including dramatic lighting and interesting camera movements, we were able to make "The Front Runner" a much more exciting film. It is possible for this animated film, as well as the accompanying research of film history, to be a guide for other animated filmmakers to follow.

Patrick Brown (Robert Carr), 2004

The Effects of Instant Messaging on Young People

The purpose of this research was to examine the effect that computer instant messaging has on young people, specifically those aged 12- 21. The rapid ascension of instant messaging in the world of telecommunications and its growing importance to the world in the 21st century makes it a serious topic for concern, one that’s effects are far-reaching. This rise is particularly prevalent among young people. Adolescents these days are discovering instant messaging as early as elementary school, yet this discovery’s merits are still unclear. Through use of focus groups and interviews of young people aged 12-21 as well as non-experimental research consisting of journal and newspaper articles, this research will show the impact of instant messaging and its returns on the younger generation. This generation has grown up with instant messaging and become accustomed to a world in which people across the planet can communicate with one another with the click of a mouse. Furthermore, this research will explore the impact of instant messaging in schools and the workplace and determine if it is a valuable research tool or merely another distraction for procrastinators looking to pass the time. By answering these questions this research will greatly enhance our understanding of how people communicate via instant messaging and also show the many benefits and drawbacks to this relatively new communication tool.

Kaitlyn Cecchetti (Robert Carr), 2011

Professional Beauty: A Screenplay

Although John Singer Sargent is a well-known figure in the art world, his model for the famous portrait, Madame X, is still a mystery. This project began as an investigation into the life of the woman behind the painting and ended in a learning experience about developing a personal writing process. Virginie Amelie Avengo Gautreau was known as “Le Belle Madame” throughout Paris as a young woman. Everywhere she went, she caused riots as people attempted to catch a glimpse of the famous beauty. In the year 1884, when Amelie was only twenty-five, John Singer Sargent painted a portrait of her that changed her fame into infamy. The brutal public reaction to the portrait almost destroyed Sargent’s career and ruined Amelie’s life. As the spite faded and Sargent went on the paint other masterpieces, Amelie continued to carry the taint of that portrait with her for the rest of her life. While Amelie grew older and her looks faded, her portrait-self was unaltered and immortal. While Amelie cut herself off from the world, removing the mirrors from her home, wearing veils in public, and only ever going out at night, Madame X grew even more popular than Amelie had ever been. The screenplay takes this story and develops it so that it delves into the philosophy of ambition and beauty. Amelie built her reputation entirely on an idea that is transient in nature and felt the full force of the backlash for her mistake. Much of the information about Amelie’s life came from the biography entitled, “Strapless” by Deborah Davis. Other sources included letters from the time period. With a combination of historical fact and narrative fiction, this project weaves together research and creativity. The process itself, of research, writing and rewriting, has been an enriching experience and has led to a better understanding of my own style.

Lisa Clark (Charles Wellens), 2004

The Worlds They Live In: A Study of Reality Construction in Males and Females

The social constructionist theory believes that our personalities and realities are created through our communicative interactions with others. Truth is found in language, and the context a language is in defines the meaning of a conversation. In looking closely at the everyday interactions we have and the aspects that are often taken for granted, we can determine how the cultures of Males and Females begin to construct their realities. The purpose of this study was to look closely at the way Male and Female high school seniors go about making their decisions for life after graduation. By using the method of circular questioning and appreciative inquiry based on the theories of Dr. John Chetro-Szivos and Patrice Gray (2002), four gender-specific groups (2 male groups, and 2 female groups) were able to share stories about their goals and hopes for the future, and the factors that helped them realize the first steps toward the rest of their lives. A directed conversation revealed dramatic differences in the way males and females construct their realities and what factors in life they find important. By looking at the differences in male and female reality construction we can make connections between the “worlds they live in” and the choices they make.

Emily Dewsnap (Samuel Tobin), 2013

Time in the Realm of Video Games

There are many elements which make up video games such as graphics, story lines, and space but time is an important component. Overlooking this element would be doing a great disservice since important design aspects would be neglected. In the realm of video games, the element of time thrives on antagonizing or helping the player, can affect game environment and can provide an interesting play experience among many other factors. To understand the way time operates in the context of video games is to know how to design a better game. In my paper I explore the concept of time from a literary standpoint, breaking down how it works into categories such as in-game and out-of-game time. Drawing from the work of Eric Zimmerman, Steven Poole and as George Skaff Elias as a foundation, my purpose is to highlight what makes time such an important game design element. With this research I want to build a better understanding of how time operates in the video game setting and why it should be examined when going through the creative process of developing a new game.

Kelsey Doherty (Jeffrey Warmouth), 2004

Website and Cartoon Design, Process, and Implementation

This research project is to create a cartoon-themed website called “The Thinking Impaired”, and an online cartoon series to be showcased on it. The cartoons will focus on eight young boys and the fun and humorous adventures they have. The website, while being the primary home of the cartoon will also have other features, based in the cartoon’s universe that will serve to strengthen any fan-base that forms from the cartoons themselves. The research part of the project is spent looking into the few websites online that also feature and focus a cartoon series as well as have a successful fan-base. I will research the website’s history, what the site’s offer, how the designed their site, and how they advertise their product (the cartoon). I would take this data and organize the various successes and failures of each site and apply them to my own venture. I will design my own functional cartoon website and create a journal of the entire process. Similar research would then be undertaken with the production of the cartoon itself. The data would be reviewed, applied to my own knowledge of animation and movie production, and finalized as the finished cartoons. It is my hope that by the end of this project I will have a working website, at least three finished cartoons, and - if all goes right - a fan base of some sort.

Derek R. Goulet & Jillian Bailey (Charles Roberts), 2014

William Small: A Profile Documentary

This video documentary will serve as a keyhole into the life of a very fascinating 50 year-old man named William Small. What makes William such an interesting character is his desire to be independent and his ambitions to go to school to become a choir-master or a lawyer. Despite being quite sharp-minded and witty, William has many medical conditions, such as Cerebral Palsy, a form of epilepsy, poor eyesight and various other problems that serve as obstacles in the way of his autonomy. These conditions have created a quite unique, and mostly tragic, situation for William. His slight mental disabilities have placed him in a sort of “crack” in the system, where he is competent enough to not receive certain benefits, but not competent enough to need some of them. This profile piece will delve into the relationships between William and his friends and family throughout his life. Through in-depth interviews and close observation of William’s everyday habits and dwellings, we will try to better understand the quirks, emotions, and rationale of a man that is well- recognized, yet misunderstood by most of the people that encounter him. This piece will ultimately ask broader questions like “Should people such as William be allowed to have their independence?” and “Does independence necessarily mean happiness for people in similar shoes?” Through extensive pre-production, production, and post-production, the aim is to create a professional, twenty to thirty-minute piece that informs and captivates.

Ethan Hansen (Mary Baker), 2011

Methods of Stress Reduction Among Student EMS Providers

Those who work in the emergency medical field are subject to a lot of hazards: infectious diseases, violent patients, sharp needles and of course possible exposure to a lot of blood. But there is another hazard, one that might not be totally obvious to the casual observer. It’s not the long hours, the mediocre pay or the abusive patients, but they all contribute to it. This silent hazard is stress and it does more damage than you might think. Stress contributes to hypertension, heart disease and a host of other deadly problems. It is such an issue among EMS workers that there is a specific portion of our training to deal with it. While the well being of the patient is important, the well being of the provider comes first. While procedures are in place to deal with post-incident stress, each individual responder has their own way to deal with stress both on scene and afterwards. I work with Fitchburg State EMS as a First Responder and I know first hand the amount of stress a medical call can inflict. That’s where I came up with the idea for this thesis project. I work closely with seven other people and I have little idea how they handle stress. The last thing I would want is a mental breakdown on scene due to the right combination of triggers. The project would consist of a short documentary type film comprised mainly of interview footage with the other responders about how they deal with stress both on scene and afterwards. The video could be used as an educational tool for the trainees in the academy during the section about the “well-being of the first responders”. If they know how their peers handle stress on scene then they might be better suited to do so.

Kim Heymann (Cap Corduan), 2011

Creating Set and Costume Designs for "A Streetcar Named Desire"

This presentation showcases the journey that designers and directors embark on when transforming a play from text to visual production. Extensive research was conducted on the time period of the play to gain knowledge on the architecture and fashion of a 1920s New Orleans. This project explores the line tread between realism and creative license, taking the research and applying it into a coherent and cohesive set and costume design that reflects the overall mood and themes of the play. The designs are conveyed to the director through various drawings and scaled two- and three-dimensional means, so that the visions of both designer and director can be realized and collaborated upon, while taking practical purposes, such as staging and actor movement, into account.

Kaitlin Hicks (Mary Baker), 2012

Changes in Film Distribution

The purpose of this research was to create an overview of film distribution history and analyze changes in distribution for patterns. This was done by researching major events in film distribution history such as theatrical, television, home- viewing, and digital distribution and discussing how each method of distribution was affected by shifts in audience expectations and changes in technology. Based on the patterns observed, possible trends for the future of film distribution are discussed.

Kelly Hobden (Gunther Hoos), 2007

Period Video Project

The purpose of this project is to research, write and produce a 20-25 page screenplay. The screenplay itself is a work of fiction about a New England family torn apart by greed during the turn of the 20th century. The movie will be a plot driven mystery/thriller intended on being original and entertaining. To obtain the look and feel of 1900 America, extensive preproduction will be conducted including: location scouting, casting, props and wardrobe. By researching American heritage, a sense of authenticity will hopefully be achieved. As an independent project, the production will be privately funded and all shooting will be conducted locally within the New England region. This project will serve as an example to students of the process involved in making a short movie.

Adam Howe (Rob Carr), 2004

Connection Between Music and Mindset

This research prospectus will examine the connection between the musical genre coined ‘emo’ and those people who listen to it. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not this type of music influences its listeners to think in a similar manner. The snowball method will be used to collect data from individuals between the ages of 15 and 25 years. Using a series of surveys, interviews and questionnaires, the values and ethics of listeners and non-listeners of emo will be assessed and compared. This study will focus on the emo and punk cliques while skimming the surfaces of other styles of music as well. This study will attempt to determine if (1) the music one listens to relates to certain ethics and values adopted by the listener; (2) those values which the listener possesses are generally the same as other listeners of similar music; and (3) the values which these listeners have are drastically different from those of listeners of different styles of music.

Justin Keena (John Chetro-Szivos), 2005

In Front of the Lens

In order to grasp a more informed understanding of people’s reactions to the known presence of a camera, this study was conceived to analyze, through actual photographs, surveys, and interviews, what the reactions are and why people react in such extreme ways. Why do some people focus their attention on the camera and others seem to cower away from it? Few inanimate objects in this world can cause such a sudden change in human behavior, so what is it about the camera, a time-stopping machine meant to fit in the palm of your hand, that gives it such power? Why do some people fear it and others relish in its presence? Some answers may be found in studies of Communication Apprehension and applied to this particular situation, however a more comprehensive decipherment is seen in the actual photographs and words from the people in them.

Kristen Kendrick (Peter Laytin), 2005

How the Manipulation of Photographs Has Changed Over Time

The manipulation of photography is something that has escaped many minds. I will be showing how the manipulation has changed over the past twenty years. As we have traveled along in our lives manipulation has become more hidden and no longer obvious to even the naked eye. Extensive research has been done in the library on photography manipulation, as well as in the ethics behind the manipulation process. I have looked through many reels of microfilm on Life and Time Magazines to have plenty of images to work with. Manipulation has grown so much in just twenty years that it is scary. Nowadays people cannot even tell if a photograph has been manipulated or if that is what the photograph is.

Carolyn Kosinski (Jon Krasner), 2004

The Progression of Animation Throughout the Years

The process involved in the creation of animation has greatly developed in the 20th Century allowing animation to go from flat, two dimensional pieces to almost life-like representations. Animation is a very popular medium in today’s culture, however it evolved through many stages to become as interesting and entertaining as it is today. Employing specific examples, the processes of early black and white animation that was produced on assembly lines, the use of rotoscoping, Technicolor animations, the use of live action, and finally computer animation, both 2D and 3D, will be described. Instead of having to redraw every frame as they did in the past, computers allow animators to manipulate the object in every frame without having to redraw it, saving time and making movements cleaner. With 3D animation there are less boundaries of what can be created leading to the most imaginative and remarkable creations that can sometimes almost seem life-like.

Danielle Lacasse (Michael “Zak” Lee), 2007

The Lottery

The ideas and themes presented in Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” struck me so profoundly that I decided that I wanted to share it in a more comprehensive manner with a larger audience. In order to accomplish this I chose to adapt the story into a feature length screenplay. The first step in this process was to breakdown the story into its most basic elements and themes, derived from the words and actions of the characters. The next step was to create the world of the lottery, by embellishing and building on the scant details of the story. Then an outline for an expanded story, that still preserved the most important themes and messages of the story, need to be created. Finally this outline became the full story. Through breaking down this the very complex details of the story I found several themes that I wished to carry though in my own interpretation of the work such as humans’ blind adherence to tradition, gender social structures, and the human ability to ignore even the most horrific of actions until it directly affects them adversely. Many of these themes are still relevant in today’s world and people should be reminded of them.

Emily Lane and Steven Ward (Robert Carr), 2012

Fitchburg Urban Renaissance Documentary

Our thesis project is a documentary about the arts and culture in downtown Fitchburg, focused on the urban arts renaissance. While showing the past and present states of the area, we're revealing to the audience the bustling, thriving cultural city Fitchburg used to be and what's happened to it to create the somber, dilapidated downtown it currently is. The majority of our presentation is focused on the new energy local artists and residents have for reviving downtown and what plans they have come up with to create an urban renaissance. While there has been talk of a revival for many decades now, we're giving new hope to the residents and students in the community that things are happening, plans are in motion, and with their support, belief, and encouragement, Fitchburg can be a successful cultural hub once again. Through interviews with Jerry Beck, the Director of Marketing/Community Engagement; Lisa Wong, the Mayor of Fitchburg, and several other key figures, we will demonstrate the process Fitchburg is entering in order to restore the community and give hope to other cities attempting to do the same.

Brandy LeBlanc (John Chetro-Szivos), 2005

Self-Help Brochure for Men, "Tips on Talking for Women," Layout Design, Process, and Implementation

This project involves the creation of a self-help brochure for men that gives them tips on talking to women, based on the works of Deborah Tannen. For example, Tannen suggests that men in conversation are very direct as opposed to women who are very indirect. She also believes that for men, talk is a negotiation, while for women, talk is for confirmation and support. Not only is this project going to present men with an opportunity to improve their relationships with women, but it will also detail the process of brochure and layout design. The brochure is being created using QuarkXPress and will include a title and an introduction designed to grab readers' attention, as well as giving them detailed examples and tips on how to improve their interpersonal relationships with women. The intent is to encourage men to want to improve their speaking skills with women. After that the rest of the brochure is filled with eye opening hints for men. With help from Deborah Tannen hopefully some men will learn that women value relationships over almost anything. For men, independence is a virtue, but for women, they need to maintain intimacy and avoid isolation. If men knew this than they would understand why their significant other does some of the things that she does. By doing this research project I am trying to emphasize the philosophy of the power of a brochure. By making the actual brochure eye catching hopefully many people will be interested enough to read it and utilize the knowledge that they gained.

Joseph Lemanski (Charles Wellens), 2004

The Negative Effects of the Electronic Media on the 21st Century Student

In a society oversaturated and inundated with electronic stimulation, where the push of button on the remote control, or a left click on the mouse can get you the answer to almost any question that you have, it’s no wonder that student attention spans are declining and motivation seems to have found a new low. Students of the Nintendo generation are constantly faced with electronic distractions that children of previous generations did not have to contend with. Through extensive research, I hope to show that the power, allure, and simplicity of three major electronic media areas -- T.V., internet, video games-- are causing students to plug-in and tune out in alarming numbers. More precisely, the paper will examine the detrimental effects that the electronic media can have on student motivation and production.

Nathan McGarigal (Michael “Zak” Lee), 2009

Bad Kids, The Movie

Bad Kids is a short film shot on 16mm film. Backstage during the intermission of a high school play, sinister intentions and grand drama play out behind the curtain as a rogue faculty member, the play director, and his students are caught up in a web of sabotage. My role was as the Director of Photography, Colorist, and a multitude of other small jobs.

Ashley Mederios (John Chetro-Szivos), 2005

Fraternity Media Follows Close Trends Creating a Perceived Reality for the Viewer

The popular media portrays fraternities in a negative light. This has been the case for decades. This study was conducted to begin to look at a mirroring effect. Are the movies and reality shows accurately portraying fraternity chaos? Or are fraternities running wild because they've "learned" how a fraternity is expected to act? These questions are what sparked my interest on the topic. I began to fear that the second assumption was the more correct one. This study analyzes the media content and its impact on impressions of real-life fraternities. Using Hall's Cultivation and McComb's Agenda Setting Theories, this thesis is an analysis of major popular fraternity movies from each of the past three decades. Common themes, conflict resolution, and endings were all factors in the content analysis. It is important to recognize how the media affects our sense of reality and our acceptance or rejection of certain groups or behaviors. A reality on the topic of fraternities is assumed by the viewer because similar situations and themes are presented in each of the movies over decades, and they are handled in a similar fashion. What one generation was led to believe, so is the next, including those individuals rushing fraternities.

Nicholas Moreau (Michael "Zak" Lee), 2012

Food Allergies in Schools

I will be presenting a short video documentary that I made on food allergies and how they affect children in schools. Through the video, I will be exploring the policies that schools put in place to help children with their allergies and their effectiveness, and determining whether or not school policies go far enough to make children with food allergies feel safe and comfortable in the environment. The documentary will contain interviews of professionals and school faculty, as well as children with food allergies and their parents in order to thoroughly examine the issue at hand. I will attempt to determine which policies make children with allergies feel the most safe and comfortable at school, and create the most healthy and effective learning environment.

Jane Peters (Mary Baker), 2014

Changing Online and At-Home TV Viewership

This thesis focuses on the changing patterns of at-home viewership of television due in major part to online streaming. This paper identifies four major trends that have developed within the past decade and how they have influenced the television industry and its audience: time shifting, binge watching, multi-platform and social television, and cord cutting. Using mainly industry news sources to provide background and evidence on these trends, this paper will discuss how audiences are changing and the new demand for readily available content. The second portion delves into the workings of Netflix as a company and participant in the progression of online streaming. It explains how the company has found success by utilizing current trends and takes advantage of pre-existing material to operate a successful company and creator of original online content. The last part of this thesis explains the effects of both Netflix and television viewing trends and how they have impacted both the industry and individuals alike. From the changes to storytelling to a revised rating system for television programming, beyond understanding that these trends exist, cable execs, advertisers, and audience members need to understand why they are important, and that they are here to stay.

Colby Peterson (Jeffrey Warmouth), 2005

24-Hour Cable News: Information or Entertainment?

Twenty-four hour cable news is a modern phenomenon, fit for the age of information and on-demand knowledge, often having a following of rabid devotees and spawning perennial audiences in times of disaster, intrigue, or imagination. Cable news gained new heights after September 11th with the "news binge", a contemporary term defined as a period where a person plans their schedule around watching news continuously, hoping to learn the newest developments as they unfold. My study has worked to scrutinize the three dominant cable news networks, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel to ascertain whether or not their intention is to inform or entertain. Since all three are primarily advertising-supported and run on cable as opposed to broadcast, they do not fall under any governmental or regulatory jurisdiction, making them virtually unaccountable. In an attempt to look past personal and reputational bias, the three networks were recorded simultaneously midday at a relatively benign news period post election period to see where priorities lie. Topical analysis of the one-hour broadcasts has shown some overlap, but considerable differences ranging from news ticker contents to anchor and correspondent delivery style. The expression and conclusions of these differences has moved into an abstract and artistic work of video art, "reconsuming" and subsequently regurgitating the broadcasts into a single piece. The piece speaks lets the networks speak for themselves by emphasizing the subtle and overt techniques the networks use, and their true biases are exposed.

Patrick Pho (John Chetro-Szivos), 2006

Speech Communities: The Recognition, Development, and Acceptance Into College Culture

College students have always been categorized as a unique culture. The structure and environment of higher education places young adults in an environment unlike anything they have experienced before nor will they experience after. As a unique culture college students share languages, symbols, and behaviors that perpetuate through the years. It is clear that college students form a special community--a speech community. The speech community model defines the student community through the ways students communicate with each other. There is an apparent culture that perpetuates the entity of the college community beyond the influence of any one student that goes through the system. It is this idea that makes college communities so distinctive. This piece will examine the concept of speech communities and how specific communication theories apply to new college students and their acclimation and eventual acceptance into the inner culture of college students. Research questions to answer include: What role does communication play in the cultural development of first year students? What is a speech community and how does this college community resemble a speech community? How do members join such a community? In what ways do freshmen use communication to join an established community? Subjects will be interviewed using an appreciative inquiry method with circular questioning. The effective use of these methods on college campuses makes these techniques a logical match in use of interviewing subjects like new college students. The method involves the formation of a “conversational space” where stories and experiences are shared amongst groups of people.

Stephanie Renaud (Jon Krasner), 2005

Romare Bearden: Tension and Collage

Romare Bearden was an artist who used his talents to show both the positive and the negative sides of African American life that was not seen by a vast majority of the world. The art created by Romare Bearden resulted from the racial tensions he saw in America and the artistic tensions he felt in his own life and career. These tensions influenced him to respond to the negative representations of his people and his culture in the form of collage. The media was only showing the African American as either victims or people to hate and be feared. Bearden wanted to show that despite what was being shown to America, there were both positive and negative aspects in their lives. This paper was created in order to show the ways that both the struggles and successes of the African American people were shown in the same piece of art, creating tension. This tension is a major reason why Bearden was so successful as an artist, who represented a misunderstood culture and helped many to understand the tensions that they faced everyday. Looking at a series of Bearden’s collages and some basic research, this paper will talk about the many tensions that are present in his art. These include the racial and cultural themes that he was using to show both the positive and the negative, the sometimes chaotic structure of his art that created artistic tensions and the mix of many different artistic methods and materials.

Amie Roemer (Helen Obermeyer-Simmons), 2007

Visual Identity for Business

This presentation explores the creation of a visual identity in a business environment. The goal of this project was to design a complete graphic identity for an online gift-basket business, including a logo, stationary, illustration and website. The process began with the initial brainstorming, an opportunity for unstructured thinking and idea generation. Following this was a definition of the basic needs of the business. This included a logo, website and stationary, as well as a “look” to tailor the graphics to abstract concepts like “creative” “expert” “sophisticated” and “feminine.” Once these needs were established, initial design sketches were created. Through many revisions, final pieces were produced and readied for final client approval. This summer plans to start the online gift-basket business will be underway using the pieces created during this project.

Adoniram Sides (Jeffrey Warmouth), 2004

You Are What You Eat: An Installed Metaphor for American Television's Culture of Self-Cannibalism

There can be little doubt that the supply and demand model of economics is a driving force behind consumer trends and little doubt that the mass media, particularly television, are beholden to this truism. After study and research of the progress of the television media in recent years and witnessing the trend of homogeny in primetime broadcasts I decided to fuse the consumer-media relationship in an installation work. Using both interactive art and fine art techniques I planned and designed a representational work of current trends: a man in a parody of Rodin’s “The Thinker” with head slightly raised to observe a monitor. The monitor and man are literally fused in a Shodo type of composition: an open but fluid circle where the base of the sitting man becomes the form of a wave that raises to support the monitor. The monitor is directly connected to a camera that is then mounted discretely within the installation space. The implication is clear: consumers engage to witness real life as it occurs around us. The objective is to inspire viewers (of the installation) to think upon their own lives and how this process abridges participation in social contact especially when the purpose of these actions is to witness social contact.

Stephen Troy, Joseph Marine, Michael Bober (Michael “Zak” Lee), 2010

Short Film: Sounds of Blades in Rotation

Our thesis project consists of the production of a short film. During the fall semester (our “research” phase) we wrote and prepared for production; the spring semester (the “writing” portion of the project) has been spent filming and editing the footage. Last fall writer/producer Michael Bober wrote a short script, tentatively titled “Sounds of Blades of Rotation.” Director Stephen Troy, Director of Photography Joseph Marine and writer/producer Michael Bober collaborated during the preproduction process on things such as tweaking the script, casting actors, and securing locations. The story follows a young man, Ray, after he’s accidentally hit a dog with his car. Along with his friend Laura, they attempt to find the dog’s owner. The script was shot over two days in January, utilizing the 7D camera and its HD capabilities. The film in its present form has been edited by Stephen Troy and Joe Marine, and is awaiting a score created specifically for the film from the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program in Seattle, with whom director Stephen Troy is working closely. The group will present their current version of the film and seek feedback.

Emily Torres (Jeffrey Warmouth), 2005

Video: Cultural Changes Within the Finnish Community, Fitchburg MA

This video takes a brief look at Finnish culture in Fitchburg, Massachusetts from the past to the present in an effort to find and illustrate the types of cultural changes that have occurred throughout the years. The city of Fitchburg has been home to the Finnish community ever since immigrants first began arriving in the 1800s. These Finns were an essential part of the history and development of the town. The video explains how the community has changed and also how it continues to protect and preserve the Finnish culture today. There are two questions this research has answered: Are 3rd and 4th generation Finns still as active and involved in Finnish culture, and what is Finnish culture like today? Finnish community members express their feelings about these subjects through interviews. Individuals who have been highly involved in this community were targeted to address the changes they have noticed over the years. Responses indicate that Finnish culture has changed dramatically. Activities which continue today do so because of 3rd and 4th generation Finns who are still in town, but that number is rather small. Most of the Finnish presence which had once filled the main street has disappeared. In recent years, Finnish cultural groups have formed in order to preserve and bring together people who remain in Fitchburg’s Finnish community. Today, these groups have united to form the Finnish Center at Saima Park.

Katherine Walsh (John Chetro-Szivos), 2004

The Impact of Television on Contemporary Life

Television has invaded our lives and our society. It is very rare to walk into a home that does not have at least one television. The alternative to reading a newspaper or listening to the radio, television was our connection to the world. It still is, however, now it has become the Frankenstein of society. The television was created with good intentions, though now it seems we have lost control of its powers. Our babysitter, our constant source of entertainment, our source of comfort and relaxation and our perception of truth and reality–television. Now new inventions such as home media servers, will create an even greater dependence on television, disturbance in society and the possible extinction of television advertising. By examining theorists such as Marshall McLuhen and Neil Postman, this study suggests that television poses more effects on society than just the messages themselves and explores what those effects are. If we, as a society, are made conscious of the effects television has on our society, we will then be able to begin to take control back and stop “Frankenstein” dead in his tracks and return “him” to his to his original position, an educator and a liaison between us and the rest of the world. We may also then discuss new ways to advertise and promote businesses i.e. interactive advertising and public relations.