The Records Office conducts a "university census" at the end of each September to create a snapshot of the population in each major. Once again MOCM with 85 students is the largest component within the Department of Communication & Theatre and one of the largest majors on our campus. Typically, students gravitate toward this dynamic and useful major through a process of word-of-mouth and we usually end the year with a greater number of majors than at the beginning. Nonetheless, the MOCM population is running 8 higher than at this point last year.

Communications & Theatre

Drs. Forward and Czech just received word that their co-authored paper "Why (Most) Everything You Think you Know About Gibb's Supportive and Defensive Communication Climate Theory may Be Wrong and What To Do About It" was accepted by the Small Group Communication Division. The paper, which is based in part on Dr. Czech's dissertation, statistically analyzes a small group communication assessment instrument. Both Forward and Czech have frequently taught the Small Group Communication course here at PLNU. This paper will be presented at the national Communication Association Convention this November in San Diego. It is the authors' eighth collaborative project to be presented at regional or national conferences.

Communications & Theatre

KPLR Hosts First Acoustic Showcase

by Ray Ashworth
Published in The Point Weekly on April 26, 2004

What could be better than a free concert?  That's what KPLR, the PLNU radio station, set out to answer this semester.  Taking its cue from pop culture, the station decided to add a new twist to PLNU's typical concert fare.

"It's kind of like 'American Idol' meets 'Musoffee," said Jesse Artigue, KPLR's promotions director.

The event, entitled KPLR's Acoustic Showcase, took place in May.  It featured student artists from PLNU performing acoustically, not only for an audience, but also for judges from the recording industry.  These judges critiqued each artist's performance, telling the performers what was good about their song, as well as what needs improvement.

"KPLR is all about the student experience, and we wanted our second event of the year to be constructive and helpful," said Jason Carter, KPLR station manager.  "Through the years we've developed contacts and resources, and figured we'd use them help out the students."

The panel of judges included Lori Lenz from Biscuit Public Relations.  She does PR work for several bands including Anberlin, Number One Gun, and Spoken.  Also attending was Cindy Suprenant, president of Indite Records, a new label in San Diego, and Chris Modl, PLNU senior who does artist and repertory work for Rolling Thunder Studios.

KPLR's music director, Lindsay Olson, was instrumental in getting these industry insiders to come.  Olson, who wants to work in the music industry, has made several connections from working as KPLR's music director for the past two years.  It was her job to secure the judging panel.

"I was nervous about it at first, but honestly, the executives were very excited," said Olson.  "I presented the idea, and they said it would be a lot of fun, which made my job a lot easier."

The Acoustic Showcase offered cash prizes of $50 for both the grand prize winner and runner-up.  The judges were given score cards to rate each performer and the performer with the most points in the end won.

While the Acoustic Showcase was a win for the performers, KPLR didn't forget about its fans.  Not only was the event free, but the audience had the chance to win plenty of door prizes from merchandise to local restaurant gift certificates.

Communications & Theatre

by Joseph Pena
Published in The Point Weekly on March 29, 2004

In just an hour, the Governor’s Cabin on the ship the Californian was transformed from a stop on the Maritime Museum tour to the den of the evil pirate captain, Marcetti.

The cast and crew of the student film “The Isle Nevis” prepared for its first shot of the night, a crucial scene in the pirate-period piece.

With the lighting and the eight bodies moving around in the 10 by 10 space, the cabin was 20 degrees hotter than outside.

“Constructing a captain’s cabin that’s accurate to the time period, factoring in space constrictions and a 104-degree temperature isn’t easy,” said Jared Callahan, junior and art director for the film.

It took time to get the room ready for the shot; the scene was elaborate, accentuated by the authenticity of the Californian, the ship docked in the San Diego Bay.

The clutter of props was impressive, everything from aged parchment to old books to a talking parrot.

The costumes were detailed, with characters and extras in tattered shorts, slathered in mud, hair caked with dirt and matted to their heads.

Crew members were coming in and out of the cabin putting the final touches on the set.

Director Jason Carter, senior, ducked out to get a breath of fresh air.

“Are we ready to go yet?” Carter asked. “We’re running 40 minutes behind.”

That’s all he has to say. Within minutes, the team gathers for the shoot.

A Whale of a Tale

The idea for “The Isle Nevis” started with a bank robbery plot formulated by Carter and Joel McGinty, senior, last spring.

“The idea wasn’t working, so Jason came to me one day and said, ‘There’s two men on a deserted island––go with it,’” said McGinty. “So we tossed around ideas and it turned into a pirate movie.”

In the fall, McGinty attended the Los Angeles Film Studies Center and Carter, Chris Roberts, senior, and Lindsay Olson, junior, adopted the project for COM210, a communications practicum course. Now, the group is using the film as a project for its field production class.

“I came back and the project became so much bigger than I thought it would be,” said McGinty. “Everyone just wanted to see how far they could push the limits.”

After rewrites, the script, originally a two-man pirate tale, evolved into a plot requiring four lead actors and more than 30 extras, for some scenes.

“We wanted to do something different,” said Olson. “I think the requirement for the project is a five-to-seven-minute film and we just wanted to do more. We wanted to do something no one has ever done before.”

The plot takes place in the imagination of a child. The child, Cole, pictures himself as a man, avenging his father’s death against the evil pirate, Captain Marcetti and chasing a hidden treasure on the island Nevis.

In the fall, Carter, Roberts and Olson formed FallenROC pictures and started pre-production and casting for the film.  Hundreds of people responded to casting calls in the San Diego Reader and on and more than 50 auditioned for the lead roles.

The support for the film started to pour in––the crew had no luck scoring product placement, but restaurants offered to donate food for cast and crew meals and the San Diego Film Commission helped the team score on-site locations on The Star of India and the Californian, waiving the permit fees.

“The only costs so far have been paying for security for the on-site shoot and the cost of some of the props,” said Olson. “Everyone’s been really good about supporting the project.”

With pre-production in the works for months, the cast and crew was ready to start filming. Last weekend, Carter and his team gathered for the first time to film scenes in caves along Sunset Cliffs. Despite a few setbacks (the lead actor broke two ribs in a sword fight), the crew was ready for round two of filming.

Battling the Elements

Shooting on the San Diego Bay posed the obvious challenge for McGinty, senior and cameraman for the film.

The airport less than a mile away didn’t help with sound. The passing sailboats and the downtown skyscrapers didn’t help with the camera angles.

“I’ve just had to play around,” said McGinty. “Shoot low, shoot high, have the extras scrunch in from the back--we want the background to either be all water or all sky.”

With the help of Daniel Cretton, PLNU alumnus and assistant cameraman, and lighting director Brian Ruark, McGinty’s night shots had an eerie moonglow and the lights from the houses surrounding the bay weren’t visible.

The communication and teamwork between cast and crew has been essential to the production, said Carter.

Carter said it’s nice to watch the project succeed and the student crew to take initiative in filming.

“Everyone treats students like they don’t know what they’re doing, and maybe they don’t always, but you have to know when you have a good project and run with it,” said Carter. “It’s nice to see everyone take jobs and do them well or step into a job for the first time and succeed.”

It’s inspiring to watch Carter, Roberts and McGinty work, said Olson.

“Those guys eat, sleep and breathe this film,” said Olson. “Their dedication is incredible.”

The crew and the extras consist of mostly PLNU students, but workers from physical plant and PLNU staff are also contributing to the project.

“Marty Coon [from physical plant] is amazing,” said Olson. Anything we need, he does. He’s been great about helping and he’s gotten guys he works with to be pirates for us.”

Lowell Frank, another PLNU alumnus and Cretton’s filmmaking partner, said cooperation is key to the production’s success. Frank and Cretton wrote, filmed and edited “Longbranch,” a short film that won best film at the Peach City Film Festival in Georgia. The film was also shown at festivals in Seattle, Austin and Tribeca, New York.

“To coordinate this many people, to have this many people show up all for free, all working toward one thing, on a Sunday at midnight is impressive,” said Frank.

“The Isle Nevis,” though not completed, has already been accepted to the San Diego Film Festival in September.

“I’m extremely impressed with the production value of this project,” said Cretton. “They had such a small amount to work with in regards to money and experience, but they’ve weaned everything they could.”

Communications & Theatre

Joshua Romero, a junior Media Communication major, was selected to attend the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) Foundation’s Minority Career Workshop in March 2004.

Romero will be traveling to New York to participate in this two-day program with approximately 100 other students and recent graduates that were competitively selected for the program.

“There is no doubt in my mind that my work last semester with video and journalism, as well as my blossoming work in radio, had a lot of weight on my application,” said Romero.

The program begins with a comprehensive orientation to the electronic media industry.

On the second day, participants have an opportunity to be interviewed by recruiters from approximately 30 major media corporations. Past recruiters have included ABC, CBS, NBC, and Viacom.

According to, as many as 28 percent of those attending a recent career workshop were hired, or secured an internship as a direct result of the event.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” said Romero. “Ever since I switched to Media Communications this past fall, I have felt like I have found my vocational calling.”

Romero is actively involved in KPLR, the campus radio station, and filmmaking activities within his classes.

“The Communication and Theatre department does well in preparing us for life after college and this is proof of what the Media Communication program can do for its students,” said Romero.

The IRTS Foundation is a charitable organization which offers educational programs and career assistance to those interested in the communication industry.

Communications & Theatre

Glance up from the campus parking structure and you'll notice an addition to the PLNU skyline. A new satellite dish was recently installed to allow Point Loma students Broadcast Journalism students access to the full resources of Cable News Network (CNN).

The Atlanta-based CNN makes its news feeds available free of charge to more than 100 universities nationwide. This is not the CNN programming that home viewers see, but the hourly raw news feeds that go out to television stations around the world for use in their own newscasts.

In addition to the raw video, students also have access to script material online and if necessary, live breaking news.

The video will be used primarily in the Television News class where students present live newscasts each week for the campus audience. This class is the senior capstone experience for 30 students currently enrolled in the Broadcast Journalism major.

“This partnership with CNN puts incredible resources in the hands of our students,” said Randall E. King, co-advisor, Broadcast Journalism. “They’re using the same raw materials professional stations use to produce news programming. When we put that together with good editorial judgment and hands-on training, it greatly enhances the credibility of our graduates.”

PLNU had an agreement in place with CNN more than a year ago, but the greatest difficulty was finding the right location for the type of dish required. Fortunately, Physical Plant director Richard Schult was willing to allow access to the plant building near the parking structure. This will also be a likely site for future dishes as the campus installs cable television service for all students.

Network Services manager Robert Joslin has also been especially helpful in finding the location and setting up video cables to bring the signal back to the television studio in Ryan Library.

Consulting engineer, Rad J. Corn, who assists KPLR, completed the final dish installation in early October. Students expect to access CNN material by the end of the month.

Communications & Theatre