For Heather Trojack, '09, producing a movie means being able to direct a large film crew for up to 18 hours a day—no matter what the type of weather, location of the shoot, equipment malfunctions, or number of competing personalities.
The Medina, Ohio, native recently spent an entire summer as producer for Free Wall, Ball State's fifth high definition (HD) movie, overseeing production sites in Muncie and Indianapolis for weeks at a time.

"There were some long days when we were filming, and I had to be highly organized," she says. "I don't think many college students get a chance to produce a major movie project using state-of-the-art equipment. I can go on the job market with this on my resume and show them that I've done the job."

Free Wall, slang for graffiti spray painted on walls in urban areas, focuses on a friendship between two young men—one a well-to-do Caucasian and the other an African-American from a poor inner city neighborhood—that grows when the pair work together to create their art.

"I think the movie will open people's eyes about graffiti and friendships," Trojack says. "I had no idea about graffiti and its culture until I started working on this project. It is fascinating."

Trojack is another example of talented students who selected Ball State because of the university's nationally recognized reputation for educating the next wave of workers for emerging media, says Tim Pollard, a telecommunications faculty team mentor of the university's summer high definition (HD) movie immersion project.

The immersive learning project is collaboration between the College of Communication, Information, and Media and the College of Fine Arts. About 180 people, including actors and production staff, got real-world experience making a film. Writing took place in the spring, with filming in the summer and postproduction work in the fall.

"Heather kept on top of the project, keeping it moving at a pretty good pace," Pollard says. "She's been an outstanding leader."

Related links:

College of Communications, Information, and Media

Department of Telecommunications

Immersive learning

Photo above by Hossley Partington