Backpack Documentary Student Reaffirms Value of Craft

Erin Finicane has proven a long-standing tenet of documentary: The craft is an effective tool for social change. Erin is a second year graduate student at American University pursuing an MFA in Film and Electronic Media. She hopes to use documentary and related media as a tool for education, engaging audiences in the stories behind […]

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AU Abroad Students Tour Old Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, 31 August 2011 — AU Abroad students take a break from a tour of Old Havana for a group photo. They are standing in La Plaza Vieja, or “The Old Plaza,” which is being renovated in a bid to recapture its colonial-era splendor. This area of Havana is a favorite of foreign tourists […]

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AU Abroad Students Arrive for Fall Semester in Havana, Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, 28 August 2011 — AU Abroad students (l to r) Paul Barrett, Efrain Ramirez and Emmalee June Kinard get ready to board a bus to downtown Havana after arriving Sunday at Havana’s international airport. Paul, Efrain and Emmalee are among six AU Abroad students who will be spending fall semester studying at Cuba’s […]

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Backpack Video Journalism on Fast Track at USA TODAY

WASHINGTON, DC, 14 June 2011 — I am one of numerous American University faculty members presenting at USA TODAY on new technologies, techniques and social media. Leaders at the newspaper understand the importance of keeping apace with these ever-changing forces that impact our profession on a daily basis. My presentations focus on backpack video journalism […]

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Photographer’s Skills Transfer to Backpack Journalism

WASHINGTON, DC, 8 June 2011 — Tara Kocourek made this film during my 2-5 June 2011 Backpack Journalism Workshop in Washington, DC. Tara’s background as still photographer is evident in this piece, a quiet examination of one artist’s quest for creative self. She used an HDSLR with separate recorder to ensure powerful images and professional […]

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Backpack Video Journalism Takes to the Streets

WASHINGTON, DC, 12 May 2011 — My Backpack Documentary class this past spring semester at American University (AU) produced some exceptional films that are worth sharing with a broader audience. Undergraduate student Sareen Hairabedian followed two young “guerrilla” street artists to shoot, produce and edit the film, “Let’s Get Out of Here.” The piece won […]

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