Educational Collaboration Project Produces Atmosphere Music Video

Posted by on December 20, 2011

Minnesota School of Business’s (MSB) Creative Media and Communications Director Sam Kovar teamed up MSB Richfield’s creative programs with Minnesota Transitions Charter High School’s Digital Media Academy (DMA), Rhymesayers Entertainment, Visumm Media, Justin Staggs, Horner Pictures, Hickey Photography, Cape Status, and Hanson Creative Group in efforts to create an engaging educational collaboration. The project produced an Atmosphere music video. Local gear supplier Cinequipt also sponsored the project with donating key production gear, as well as Red Bull in providing a Wings Team for some extra fuel during the first day of production.

Clockwise from far left: Siddiq Sayers (Rhymesayers Entertainment CEO), Slug (Atmosphere), Sam Kovar (MSB), Nick Milhalevich (Cape Status), Tom Okins (MSB Digital Video Alumni), Nate Maydole (Visumm Media)

Nate Maydole (Visumm Media) largely contributed concept and directed the video. Regarding his thoughts on his involvement he comments, “I love collaboration projects and I love challenges. This was a great opportunity to be creative and create a very conceptual project involving a lot of people.”

When asked what sparked the interest of Rhymsayers Entertainment to get involved CEO Siddiq Sayers stated, “Anytime we can involve ourselves with young artists on any level it’s a cool thing for us to do. I think that was the most attractive thing, knowing that young people interested in video were going to be a part of it.”

The project’s focus was on the high school and college students’ hands on experience with producing a real-world project under the direction of industry and educational professionals. During production of the music video, students were mentored in everything from articulate set design elements to getting in-costume and being choreographed through scenes of stop motion. The majority of the video physically features the high school students through creative placement of art, words, and movement. Almost all were on screen in one form or another at some point in the shoot.

Trey Wodele from DMA notes, “One of the missions for our Digital Media Academy is to put our students in real life situations. To give our students the kind of experiences they need to transition into a working environment. So when we were approached by MSB to put this project together, it was really a perfect fit.”

Beyond the video itself, the project includes a behind-the-scenes documentary and a music video premiere event with a panel on the project, all to debut in January.

Recent MSB Digital Video graduate Tom Okins was brought on as director of photography for the documentary. Okins comments, “As a recent [MSB] graduate, having the chance to work on a project such as this, nearly straight out of the gate, has been amazing. It was an invaluable experience to see all the real world parts working in concert from the beginning concept pitch up to the beginning stages of the edit.”

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