"Big Rapids Life" is a segment of Ferris in Focus that documents various topics or places of interest to the Big Rapids community.
Operations in Big Rapids featured
Producer Tabby Young interviews Jess Boughner, the general manager for the Big Rapids store of Buffalo Wild Wings. Waitress Lindsey Lynch also gives her thoughts, stating that the store's environment is a fun place. Jess pitches in that family specials are one of many things done to enhance interest in their store. Lindsey mentions the restaurant's burgers, salads, wraps, and other food that serves as an alternative to just wings.
Jess adds that there are 52 TV sets in Buffalo Wild Wings, so nearly everybody in the building gets to watch at least something. Bartender Dave Simon claims that the busiest time for Buffalo Wild Wings is at late evenings, where the bar is always busy.
Finally, Jess claims that the restaurant "offers something different" to Big Rapids, allowing for them to stimulate interest that, in-turn, stimulates the area's economy.
This segment discussed the Art Gallery's month-long exhibit of "The Secret Life of Dr. Seuss." Cary Weis, the Art Gallery director on campus, narrates her way though. Much of the exhibit contained Seuss' work aimed at more adult audiences, including a lot of the man's political commentaries throughout the years.
Cary mentions that one of many that Seuss worked for throughout his life was none other than Norman Rockwell. She adds that the exhibit was part of Festival of the Arts, which was very active that year. The segment finished by giving the Art Gallery phone extension of 2536 and hours of 10:00 AM—6:00 PM on weekdays and 10:00 AM—3:00 PM on Saturdays.
This piece opened with a boom—the booming sound of drums followed by various other instruments. Music from Phantom of the Opera became background for this segment. Product Design Engineering Technology student Matt Kammeraad commented on what it was like to be a part of the West Central Concert Orchestra. He said playing music and making friends whilst doing it helps take one’s mind off of the stresses of homework.
The Director of Instrumental Concert Ensembles, Scott Cohen, stated that Ferris students in bands had a unique program going for them: Music for Life. Nedra Newman, another concert member, was introduced by a friend at church. The idea of Music for Life is to keep Ferris students not majoring in music continually playing their instruments anyway.
Logan May, a Golf Management student, also rejoiced at friend-making opportunities afforded by being involved in orchestra.
Youngsters as young as 14 can get involved in Music for Life, but the majority of participants any given semester are students. Denise Smith, an Early Childhood major, enjoys playing music with various different ages, from high school to retirees.
First up on Big Rapids Life for this segment was Laurie Smalla, director of Meceola Central Dispatch. Laurie emphasized the need for multi-tasking for a dispatch worker to be truly effective. The Meceola Dispatch receives all emergency-related calls for both Mecosta and Osceola counties.
Brigitt Enos, a supervisor, claimed that dispatch workers can have up-to twelve-hour shifts. Meloney Eastrom, a dispatcher, talks about what it was like for her. She claimed it was “a roller coaster,” a ride she didn’t particularly like; but she never knew when she’d eventually save a life.
Brigitt added in that the job can be very psychologically damaging, since things which would be appalling to much of the public need to be laughed off as a coping mechanism so workers can go from one call to the next.
Laurie commented that: “I’d like to think we do make a big impact. After all; someone has to answer those 911 calls.”
Beginning very abruptly, this piece jumped right in with Kyle Cutler announcing that Colleges Against Cancer was an RSO on campus. Ryan Condon, a pre-pharm student, went into more detail. At the time, he was the active president of CAC. According to him, CAC hosts fundraisers all over campus all the time to make breakthroughs in cancer-fighting research. It is also responsible for the annual Relay for Life.
Scott Gartlan, a committee chair member, had also, like Ryan, been involved in cancer-fighting organizations since before coming to Ferris. CAC also hosts a “Quit Smoking for One Day” event. CAC has had allies such as Kelly’s Crusaders, a group started by family members of a student who had leukemia.
Beginning very abruptly, this piece jumped right in with Glen talking about the Media Communications Association of Michigan. Glen would later critique the opening, marking it down for not having a sufficient intro. Viewers have no preliminary of why they should care what MCA is or why it’s being discussed. It simply jumps right in and discusses it.
Alex Purdy, then secretary, claimed that her favorite part of the whole thing was getting to get out of the actual classroom. MCA offers its members additional networking, publicity, and insight on how others are making video. While many of the spring 2010 TVPR 499 class’ members were part of MCA, a few were not. The Dozerfleet founder, for one, missed out on the last chance offered up at school to join. As a result, Dozerfleet Productions to-this-day does not have any genuine affiliation with MCA.
The K.A. rejoiced at the chance to be a part of MCA, since it gave her an opportunity to make additional videos. Chris Gill discussed the short film Penniston Cook, which was created by MCA based on a script that one student at Ferris had written.
In addition to networking and making videos, students in MCA get to judge videos for regional contests. Fred Wyman of the TDMP chimed in that every year, the Ferris Video Festival is a little different from the year before that. After K.A. briefly held that thought to mention that the Ferris Video Festival is MCA’s biggest event in Michigan every year, Fred came back on to promote Jon Rosten of Warner Bros. coming to Ferris for the festival. Fred would around the same time give a plug for Jon Rosten during an episode of Ferris State Live. This time around, however, he didn’t also plug for Jon’s film Valley of Angels. He did state, however, that Jon was a Ferris graduate.
Ian O’Malley backed up K.A., on claiming that students involved in MCA get a way to network outside of the regular classroom environment. The K.A. brought up that meetings were held on Wednesday nights, and concerned contests and results. Cassie could be observed in a B-roll shot attending the meetings…the same Cassie that played Monica Shelly in Blood Over Water one year earlier. She was wearing the same work outfit that she’d later be seen wearing in a Health Matters segment discussing what the gym at Ferris has to offer.
There are also meetings Thursdays at 11, and Glen stated that there is no harm in attending an MCA meeting. He even promised that membership dues are extremely low.
This segment was replaced with a rerun, after Project Starburst decided to start a feud over the video's content, without explanation why.
The show was almost ground to a halt when Mary of the food pantry, after receiving a video that did everything she asked, decided not to use the video to get her Pepsi Grant bragging rights. She then decided to insult and attack the entire TDMP at Ferris, calling all of them and all their work "unprofessional." She proceeded to force the TDMP to block broadcasting of the April 3rd show. In order to save face, TDMP instructor Glen had the Dozerfleet founder provided three playable DVD copies of the controversial Big Rapids Life segment, so that TDMP could defend itself against Mary's allegations.
A former client of the food pantry, here kept anonymous, even tipped the Dozerfleet founder that Mary "is extremely mean, and prejudiced against Ferris students to begin with." Lesson learned: do background checks on clients before agreeing to help them.
P&J’s co-owner Jeff Cauffman came on to talk about his collector’s items shop in town. He considered himself an expert in vintage clothing, as b-roll revealed various fabrics and designer purses in his store. Another shot revealed his collection of vinyl LP’s. Jeff’s favorite aspect of his shop is that young newcomers get to learn what intrigued previous generations, whereas older visitors get to relive their childhood moments.
The store contains relics from thirty-some odd years ago, as well as a few items from the early 20th century. Anything under 100 years old, Jeff considered a “period piece” rather than an “antique.” His preferred emphasis for pieces ranged from 50’s-70’s. Jeff’s primary philosophy is: “If it’s not available any place else, I want it in my store.”
The nearby Big Rapids Antiques was owned by Darlene Novak, who also came on to share her insights with selling antique curiosities in the area. She elaborated on how she was able to acquire a massive antique jewelry collection for her shop. She liked to collect hand-me-down items of all kinds, including family quilts. Lots of old beer signs and bottles also featured in her store. She claimed that her hat collection sells pretty quickly, with hats being bought almost as soon as she gains a supply of them.
For this segment, the class ventured deep into the recesses of campus subculture, to deliver a documentary on D-SAGA's pride and joy—Mock Beauty Pageant. More drag than one imagined possible outside of a cosplay convention, contestants dressed up as just about everything under the sun - and then some. It was Halloween in April—only, according to some—better. Contestants dressed in whatever they could, did impressions, and were judged by a team on how convincing they were in costume. Overall, the event generated a lot of buzz and provided a local food donation with plenty of extra cash.
The Spring 2010 TVPR 499 class finally got to do a segment—on itself! Opening shots showed close-ups of Ben, Sara, and Nick hard at work. Another shot wiped to revealed Frank moving a music stand around inside the basement studio, while the K.A. set up audio. Meanwhile, another shot revealed Dom checking the card reader functions on her camera.
“It’s inspirational…being able to tell others’ stories…” the K.A. remarked in a voiceover. The overlaid shot revealed a pan to the right, where Dom had a camera set up the way it often was to shoot Ferris State Live openings with Scott and Leah. Lamarr and the K.A. were looking on while Dom manned the camera. In the background, a junior set banner had toppled over.
A dissolve lead to a shot of Lamarr, as he adjusted a black flag for the studio lights. Another dissolve after that revealed Lamarr being interviewed on camera. His comments were to the extent of: “You learn so much doing this….”
Another shot showed how Frank handles cameras during a tilt and pan shot. Nick’s voiceover revealed how useful being in TDMP is: it gives him a chance to let all of Big Rapids know what’s going on. As Nick gave this statement, an overlaid shot showed him educating Scott and Leah on their opening. A greenscreen stood prominently in the background. This segued into Sandy Gholston, who discussed the origins of Ferris State Live and why the show was created. The actual program itself was developed in the summer of 2009, and was a merge of several lesser programs that had been on before that. Nick reminded viewers that Thursday nights at 10:30 was when Fox 32 in Cadillac broadcast Ferris State Live for most of the greater area of northern Michigan.
Another shot showed several students lounging around the set of that show, while Dom continued prepping the camera and Glen watched in the background to make sure she was doing it correctly. The next shot showed the K.A. hooking a microphone up to Scott. Still another shot revealed Megan and Lamarr operating cameras.
Nick switched topics to discussing Ferris in Focus, as a zoom-out shot revealed the K.A. and Ben interviewing Bob Daniels. He explained that the class of twelve gets split into six groups of two for each segment, and that segments are divided up. Meanwhile, Ben and the K.A. continued their interview in the background to dramatic lighting. The K.A. elaborated on Nick’s take, explaining that work on the latter show required students to “spread out all over the campus” while she also mentioned a few of the different segments the show is divided into. Megan added that other segments like Bulldog Stories and Program Spotlight reveal the hidden stories of life and campus that “wouldn’t be told otherwise.”
Frank came on next, explaining that he was extremely proud of the work he did for the Plastics Engineering major’s Program Spotlight segment. He claimed that the major didn’t have a good promotional video for its own use until he made one for them. Meanwhile, Nick went on about how proud he was of his Health Matters project on Colleges Against Cancer. Megan claimed her favorite piece was her Big Rapids Life piece on the Art Gallery; particularly in the fact that it was done while an exhibit was on display titled “The Secret Life of Dr. Seuss.”
The K.A.’s favorite project was when she covered a piece on all the different types of music bands on campus. She followed up: “It’s more than a class; it’s real life…”
Lamarr commented that the worst part about class was that the 12 students become very bonded to one another through their in-class experiences. As a result, the class becomes a second family for those in it. After graduation, that family disintegrates; producing a sort of broken-heartedness.
Slow motion shots of Sara, Lamarr, and Frank all turning their heads to smile at the camera added to the emotional appeal as the background music grew increasingly loud and dramatic. Frank would later be teased frequently in class for having “the creepiest smile of them all.”
A new shot showed a pan-right of a scene where the set of Ferris State Live was being taken down, followed by a dissolve to a shot where the set was already cleared. A title over the top stated: “Thank you to all that helped us grow as professionals.” A loud clanking sound effect implied a light switch being flipped, and the background faded to black.
Strangely, the Dozerfleet founder never once showed up in a single frame in the final edit. Tabby only managed to appear briefly in one short clip. Nate Totten was also surprisingly absent from a lot of it.