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Fostering progress through collaboration & innovation

UC Forward is a philosophy, an idea, a re-imagining of what a university experience should be. It is a one-of-a-kind teaching, learning, and research initiative—pairing students and faculty with external experts, all from differing perspectives—to solve today's problems and develop tomorrow’s workforce in unique and relevant ways. Learn more

I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward. David Livingstone

Gold Rush

The Gold Rush Mother Lode Expedition Adventure Race Documentary Series

FALL 2013

EMED 3002, EMED 4000, EMED 4001 Sec. 002, EMED 4050, COMM 3092, and ANTH 7093

As a result of taking part in this experiential learning initiative, UC students from a range of programmatic disciplines in the Postproduction Master Course will work with professional producers, directors, and editors from national broadcast and cable television channels to:

  • Understand the nature of cross-disciplinary collaborations that are involved in the production of contemporary national television programming.
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize the current technology and techniques involved in editing contemporary national television programming that communicates effectively to a target audience.
  • Develop a heightened awareness of how the convergence of digital technology within the electronic media industry is reshaping the way interactive collaborations can take place by production personnel across thousands of miles in the production of television and film programming.
  • Understand the potential impact of media messages on an audience and the ethical considerations that accompany the production and distribution of television and film programming, and the key functions of the media in society: information, entertainment, persuasion and social influence.
  • Demonstrate creativity in their problem solving ability in a variety of media production contexts and the ability to defend creative choices in a logical/skillful manner.
  • Learn to effectively communicate to professionals, faculty, and other students from a range of disciplines within a small group setting.
Gold Rush Poster

The Postproduction Master Course: Gold Rush Adventure Race Documentary Series

Using Social Media to Foster Experiential Learning in an Interdisciplinary Environment.

Social media is changing the way television and films can be produced. Producers in New York interactively discuss scripts, storyboards and rough cuts of films with their contacts in Los Angeles either on-line or via mobile devices. At the University of Cincinnati, an interdisciplinary group of senior students are using a variety of social media applications to work with a professional director/producer in New York on a two-hour documentary series for national television distribution.

During the University of Cincinnati's debut Fall Semester 2012, students enrolled in Professor Kevin Burke's Postproduction Master Course are partnering with Hyperion XIII Productions to create a documentary series for national cable television distribution. Educationally grounded, professionally driven, and student-produced, the 2012 Gold Rush Adventure Race Documentary Series is an interdisciplinary project that involves students from a variety of diverse programs from across the UC campus: CCM's Electronic Media and Drama programs, DAAP's Graphic Communication Design program and the Communications and Anthropology programs at the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

This collaborative project is supported by a grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative from the Provost's Office at UC that emphasizes experiential learning in an interdisciplinary setting. The Postproduction Master Course was the idea of Professor Burke and Brian J. Leitten, a professional television producer and director, both of whom provide the students with professional guidance and feedback during all phases of the documentary's development.

Professor Burke and Mr. Leitten–a UC Alumnus–are fusing the skills of this disparate group of students around the common objective of the course, the production of a four-part documentary series on the Gold Rush Mother Lode Expedition Adventure Race, held this August in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

Gold Rush students on location in California for filming

Students on location in California

In early August 2012, five Electronic Media students traveled to the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California to work with Leitten and other production professionals during HD filming of the Gold Rush Adventure Race. The adventure race includes fast packing/trekking, mountain biking, navigating, paddling and cliff rappelling and is part of the 2012 Adventure World Racing Series.

The 2013-2014 UC Forward Gold Rush Documentary Project expands upon the traditional educational model through its use of social media applications. Students are utilizing ONcam (, a web videoconferencing application that has partnered with Professor Burke and Hyperion XIII on the project. ONcam allows the UC students to interact and receive feedback from Leitten – an award-winning documentary filmmaker and professional producer/director at the New York based entertainment network, VEVO – during every class session and at various stages of the documentary's postproduction process. The Postproduction Master Course is using its own YouTube channel to upload all video rough cuts so both Leitten and the students can view and discuss each video sequence as they edit. The students have also created their own Facebook group, where they can discuss issues, upload all paperwork, and provide links to the YouTube video rough cuts.

Students in post-production studio

Kevin Burke and students in the post-production editing studio

In addition to Brian Leitten, during the semester, professional guest lecturers from various facets of the professional film and television industry in New York and LA are discussing their respective areas of expertise to the students – either on-location or through ONcam – during critical stages as the students produce the documentary series. These include:

Sara Hillner, editor and producer on a number of network and cable television programs that include ABC's Secret Millionaire, MTV's The Buried Life, and VH1's Rock of Love.

Christopher Deutsch, Vice President for Strategic Alliances and Educational Specialist for ONcam, a web based video conferencing application.

Rochelle Holguin, Senior Director of Creative Music Integration for MTV. Ms. Holguin oversees the integration of music within all of MTV’s long form programming and music award shows, working closely with both established and independent artists in expanding the connections and opportunities between music and television.

The Master Course is also having experts from various programs at UC speak to the students.

These include:

Dr. Jeongwon Joe, a musicologist and Associate Professor in CCM's Composition, Musicology and Theory Division, who specializes in twentieth-century music and the intersections of opera and cinema, film music, and cultural studies.

Yoshiko Burke, an Associate Professor of Graphic Communication Design, who specializes in narrative design and interactive communication design and has produced interactive web documentaries that have garnered national and international awards.

By creating an interdisciplinary project-oriented course that integrates experiential, active learning, the Postproduction Master Course ties into the University of Cincinnati's UC20019 Strategic Plan and its vision for undergraduate education, called the Integrated Core Learning initiative.

For more information about the Gold Rush Documentary Project and the Postproduction Master Course, contact:

Kevin Burke

Associate Professor, Electronic Media Division/CCM


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