Our beloved Ethel Walk is retiring. Here is a sweet article published by the Spartan Daily.
Motion Capture Demo!
Wednesday, February 26
11:00 to 2:00
Motion capture is a powerful technology that is transforming the film, television, video game, and animation industries. It is also of increasing importance in the fields of engineering, robotics, biological sciences, kinesiology, athletics, and simulation design.
Motion capture allows human movement performed in almost any space to be mapped onto 3D models of characters or identities created by other artists or scientists. In the entertainment industry, motion capture opens up major opportunities for actors and dancers, while people seeking to become directors, producers, designers, or animators gain a competitive advantage if they understand how to use this technology and develop imaginative uses for it.
Representatives from Phasespace, a motion capture studio in San Leandro, will offer a demonstration of motion capture technology, show how to map movements made during the demo onto models and in relation to different environments for the movements. During the demo, students will be able to perform movements, map movements, apply different models and environments, and render their choices. This technology, which is not difficult to use, changes the way you think about movement, dynamic imagery, storytelling, performance, and digital modes of communication.
San Jose State Students and Faculty won the top prizes this year at the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts (the BEA.)
Among the awards: Best in Show; Best Faculty Educational or Instructional Video; second and third in feature-length scriptwriting; and second in short subject scriptwriting. See BEA announcement of winners.
The BEA, established in 1955, is by far the nation’s largest association of Radio-TV-Film programs, with 260 member institutions. Their Festival of Media Arts is the most important student film competition in America.
“No school took more important awards at the festival than we did this year,” said Dept. of TV, Radio, Film and Theatre Chair David Kahn. “It’s time people recognize we have one of the best undergraduate film programs in the CSU system, and maybe the nation.”
Winner of Best in Show was ”Always Learning,” a feature-length, student-made film about a 17-year-old home-schooled boy trying to persuade his overprotective mother to let him leave for college. Student writer-director Robert Krakower was home-schooled to the age of 14. “I’m so grateful to San Jose State,” said Krakower. “It’s incredible that they take the risk of letting students direct feature length, and I don’t think I could have picked a more amazing place to study film.” [Follow "Always Learning" on Facebook]
Krakower’s movie was produced by the SJSU Dept. of Radio, TV, Film and Theatre’s feature film production entity: Spartan Film Studios. It was shot over a summer by 60 students in 26 days, with an almost entirely student crew and cast, supervised by faculty and professionals (Barnaby Dallas and Nick Martinez are department leads for Spartan Film Studios.)
Executive producer Barnaby Dallas said, “San Jose State is unique among the nation’s film programs in that it supports feature-length moviemaking, and Spartan Film Studios has had a string of successful indies written and directed by students and faculty.”
Meanwhile, Prof. of Film Production Babak Sarrafan won the Educational or Instructional Video Award of Excellence for “The Green Ninja Episode 4: Styrofoam Man,” the latest installment in his ongoing series about an environmental ninja. Sarrafan said, “My aim is to make environmental responsibility entertaining. Styrofoam Man was one of the Green Ninja’s most nefarious opponents, but he was action-packed and recycled.”
San Jose State’s nationally recognized screenwriting program took three top awards, starting with Radio-TV-Film major Kamran Sohrabi’s second place in feature-length student screenwriting for his drama, “I Divorce You, I Divorce You,” the story of an Iranian American family torn apart when a divorce threatens the family business.
“For years now, our brilliant student screenwriters win top awards at the most important student screenwriting contests,” said Prof. of Screenwriting Scott Sublett. “We also took 1-2-3 in feature screenwriting at the most recent CSU Media Arts Festival, and for years our screenwriters have won or placed in the BEA in the scriptwriting categories.”
Placing second in the Short Subject screenwriting category was SJSU MFA Creative Writing major Michael Quintana, for “Blind Date,” about a man who learns about himself on a blind date with a sightless woman.
RTVF major Jarrod Hodgdon won third place in the Feature Scriptwriting category for “Things Are Gonna Change Around Here.”
BEA RESULTS FOR SJSU:
STUDENT VIDEO COMPETITION
Best of Festival (Narrative): Robert Krakower (writer-director) & Jon Magram (producer), San Jose State University; “Always Learning”
Short Subject, 2nd Place: Michael Quintana, San Jose State University; “The Blind Date”
Feature, 2nd Place: Kamran Sohrabi, San Jose State University; “I Divorce You, I Divorce You”
Feature, 3rd Place: Jarred Hodgdon, San Jose State University; Things are Gonna Change Around Here”
FACULTY VIDEO COMPETITION
Educational or Instructional Video Award of Excellence: Babak Sarrafan, San Jose State University; “The Green Ninja Episode 4: Styrofoam Man”
On Monday 2/17/2014, television and film actor and SJSU alumni Kurtwood Smith conducted a question-answer session for our programs. The theatre was packed with student fans who were THRILLED to have one of their favorite actors in the house.
TRFT David Kahn summed it up in his thank-you to Mr. Kurtwood: “Thank you so much for spending time with our folks at SJSU and especially for your generosity in sharing your experience with our students. It’s particularly gratifying to have you reaffirm the kind of values and approach that we’re teaching every day. The real-world validation from someone they truly respect – and who walked the same halls – is very powerful and much appreciated.”
Mr. Smith ( is known for playing Clarence Boddicker in RoboCop and Red Forman in That ’70s Show, and for his appearances in the genre of science fiction (Star Trek, The X-Files). He also starred in the seventh season of 24.