WL offers new Documentary Film concentration

By Cody Long, Staff Writer

West Liberty University (WLU) will be launching a Documentary Film concentration under the Bachelor of Science in Communications scheduled for the fall of 2012.

Christian D’ Andrea, who has worked on a plethora of documentaries including one currently filming in Biloxi, Mississippi, will be joining the faculty at WLU as a vital part of the Documentary Film track. He is now working remotely with students, but will be on campus for the spring semester and has previously been a special guest and juror for the West Virginia Flash Animation Festival in 2009.

“[D’ Andrea] loved WLU,” said Brian Fencl, Department Chair of Journalism, Communication Studies, and Visual Arts. “He became a resource for a number of WLU students interested in careers in documentary film.

“He has the ability to make this major work.”

Class requirements for the new program include Introduction to Documentary Film, Sizzle Reel, Story Finding, and Video Editing in Premiere/Final Cut Pro.

Two students, Seth Miller and Sam Starkey, recently interned under D’ Andrea while working on the documentary television series project “Hurricane Hunters” in Biloxi, Mississippi. “Hurricane Hunters” is about the Air Force Reserve squadron based out of Biloxi that flies planes into hurricanes for collecting meteorological data that can only be gathered by flying into the eye of a hurricane (Storyfoundry.org has more information and media about “Hurricane Hunters”).

“As someone interested in turning the art of film into an education, it would have been nice to have a documentary film department considering the high levels of equipment in the communications department available to WLU, while I was still there,” said Daniel Benson, graduate of WLU under Broadcast Communications and Digital Media design.

“Part of the rational for the new track is that we have great broadcasting facilities and faculty on campus,” Fencl said. “It becomes a track for Communications students that are interested in being story tellers.

“The field of documentary film is growing rapidly and we believe that we can help students launch their careers in that field,” Fencl added.

Any students with questions or anyone interested in the program can email Brian Fencl at bfencl@westliberty.edu or visit westlibertyfilm.org for more information.

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