Ferris in Focus is one of two shows produced by the Advanced Class at Ferris State University in the TV Production program there, with the other show being Ferris State Live. Airing exclusively on the Ferris Access Channel, FiF is a 30-minute variety show consisting of several short segments that give viewers insights into campus life.
Show content is divided between ad slots for sponsors and special segments for campus life insight. Given the number of segments that exist, each one is allowed an absolute maximum of six minutes per episode. On average, segments are no more than 3 minutes in length. In addition to the show's opening and closing sequences, regular sections include the following below:
The Big Rapids Life segment featured a business or other entity that was in the greater area around Big Rapids each week, and did a special feature on that business. It was four-and-a-half minutes long on average.
This segment reflected on various health-related issues that could befall university students. Contents usually included a subtopic, how it influenced students, what the ill effects may be or lead to, as well as preventative measures and treatments.
This segment functioned in some ways like a miniature, Ferris version of Inside Edition and The Star. The latest hype on a film, show, or celebrity got sent here for discussion as it related to Ferris students and their interests. This segment was about a minute and thirty seconds long on average. In the spring of 2010, this segment was hosted by Mark Terwilliger.
This segment was an overview of a bachelor's program or a minor on the Ferris campus, with a different one featuring every week. This section was about six minutes long on average.
For the 2010 spring semester, it was decided that a "product vs. product" section would be added. The two were ultimately made separate segments, but the E-News team of each week would also be the "Versus" production team. As time went by, more than just products were debated. Topics included debates over similar franchises, and even expanded into more abstract things like young versus old. This segment was hosted in the spring of 2010 by the ND and Andrika Lyons.
This segment was a brief questionnaire involving participants going out and getting interviews on a basic question, to see what kind of responses could be mustered. By Spring of 2010, "Think" had its production team merged with "Bulldog Stories."
Formerly known as "Teacher Feature," the Bulldog Story Segment allowed for biographical briefs on various individuals around the Ferris campus, with emphasis being on staff and faculty. The name change was to allow for more than just instructors to receive segment time. Since then, various students and even a former mascot in the Brutus costume have had stories done on them.
A how-to segment, which documented topics that would be of interest to the student body and illustrated how to approach the topic. The segment sometimes also focused on individuals in particular fields, for whom the day's subtopic was primarily relevant.
- Technology Minute: "Technology Minute" was a brief segment of FiF that discussed recent gadgets and inventions to hit the market, as well as how they could be relevant to improving study capabilities for the average college student. In Fall 2009, Kyle Wade and Brandon Danowski hosted this segment.
- Walk-On: Given other projects, "Walk-On" was removed entirely from FiF.
Mancino's Pizza of Big Rapids is part of a chain of Mancino's restaurants that span Michigan and even Indiana. The Big Rapids location in particular provides free pizzas on Fridays for much of the Ferris TVPR 499 production crew, as a courtesy and a discount for paying for ad time. Their 2010 ad was a project the Dozerfleet founder shared with crew mate Tabby Young.
One of the highest-paying sponsors for TVPR 499's shows is Innovative Grafix of Big Rapids. Specializing in academic decor, Innovative is the largest retailer on campus for Greek life supplies in the school's various fraternities.
In addition to Gilberts', BR Furniture is one of the Ferris TV department's most trusted outlets for interior furnishings. It is largely furniture from this outlet that had allowed the IRC 153 studio to be renovated and refurnished in order to aid in producing higher-quality content for the Ferris Access Channel. Ferris Access' ad for them was produced by The K.A. and Frank Molner.
Unlike many of the other sponsors, Gilberts' is actually designed to have ads appear on Ferris State Live in addition to Ferris in Focus. They specialize in carpets and in other home and flooring needs. They are a recurring sponsor, having previously furnished many places within the school's TV department.
Proposed logo system
Several logos were proposed for the spring 2010 season, to go along with its "wanna be fierce" mentality. However, the logo that was ultimately chosen was pretty tame. The logo to the right was proposed by the Dozerfleet founder, but never implemented. Its design philosophy was that the word "Ferris" would be so in focus, it'd be so sharp, that it'd be a series of serrated knives. It'd be so sharp, it'd be practically cracking the glass of any TV set it aired on! It'd shake and rattle the screen when it first came on, and would play with the theme tune and a wild animal growling at the same time.
"Spring 2010 is hardcore!!!" was the operating principle. Alas, the class went with a much more academia-friendly design. Several other title cards were made in the "Serrated Knives" set, one for each segment.
Main article: List of Ferris in Focus episodes
Episodes of Ferris in Focus for the Spring 2010 semester were divided into "Magazine-Number" sequences, rather than episodes receiving actual titles. There were a total of ten episodes of FiF scheduled for Spring 2010. Brief hiatuses in production were accounted for, as students had Spring Break and Easter Break off.
Episode segments were created in Avid after being imported off of Sony Z7U cameras. They were then exported as QuickTime references in 1080p resolution, and were compiled together in a separate Avid project after being turned into QuickTime movies with Sorenson Squeeze 4.5.
Combined, they are exported as another QuickTime reference, with the segments downgraded to 480i. The resulting 480i reference file was then compressed with Sorenson Squeeze into a thirty-minute MPEG file. MPEGs were given on a data DVD to Steve Cox, who published them to the Ferris Access Channel. Playable versions of shows, made with Avid DVD by Sonic, were given to clients who appeared in an episode for the sake of their viewing pleasure at home.