MU FIGs compete for film honors

Aspiring journalists were challenged to make movie magic with new technology.
Friday, November 19, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:58 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Students gathered in MU’s Middlebush Auditorium on Wednesday evening, anxiously and eagerly awaiting the announcement of winners in the first Journalism FIG Challenge Awards.

The event was meant to showcase skills learned by the journalism and communications freshman interest groups, known as FIGs, in photo, audio and video editing. Students used Apple iBook and PowerBook computers to produce two- to three-minute videos to learn the capabilities of their programs. They formed their own groups of no more than four people to create their vision.

The award show was hosted by Brian Sturgill, Spencer Ham and Nathan Stewart, who take part in “Comedy Wars” — impromptu comedy skits performed Wednesday nights at Memorial Union.

FIG Challenge winners were announced in nine categories: advertising, entertainment, feature, humorous/weird I, humorous/weird II, music, political, sports and the student experience. The audience watched each winning video.

“Dozing in the Oddest Places” received the grand prize, earning each member of the group a mini iPod. A mini iPod was also presented to Mark Johnson, named the “Outstanding Peer Adviser” for the time he spent on the project.

Apple and Tiger Tech sponsored the challenge and gave away door prizes including Apple jackets, posters, iTune certificates, memory sticks, Cool Pix 2200 cameras, Creature speakers and a Nintendo Game Cube with NBA Live 2004.

Because the MU School of Journalism will require all students to have wireless laptops beginning next fall, with Apple as its preferred provider, the challenge provided experience that journalism students will likely find helpful. The Tiger Tech store in Brady Commons offers MU students a special price on Apple computers, according to the Journalism School’s Web site.

A FIG is made up of several incoming freshmen with similar educational interests who take three courses together and live in the same residence hall. The groups’ goal is to promote peer-to-peer learning while building friendship among group members, thus easing the transition from high school to college. According to MU’s Web site, studies show that FIG members adjust more quickly and get better grades.

The FIG program began in 1995 and offers learning communities in many majors.

Also on hand for the event was ESPN “Dream Job” winner and MU graduate Mike Hall. He offered his advice to students just beginning their journalism education. He encouraged students to get to know their professors while getting the best out of their MU education, which he called incomparable. After the program, 35 to 40 students waited in line to get autographs, pictures, hugs and advice from him.

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