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E-Media Grads Win at Cincy Film Festival


By Ryan Toepfer
October 22, 2014

A film—produced while students—by two recent Electronic Media graduates won “Best Documentary Short” at this year’s Cincinnati Film Festival

During its nine-day run of screenings throughout the Tri-State, the Festival showcases close to 100 films from around the world, promoting diversity and education through cinema.

E-Media graduates Sam Pennybacker and Andrew Mack won “Best Documentary Short” for their film, Poured: A Lesson in DIY.


Pennybacker and Mack teamed up to create the film during their E-Media capstone class, Advanced Video Production.  Students in Advanced Video Production apply their E-Media knowledge to producing, directing, shooting, and editing a final short film which will be their senior project.  AVP covers all phases of production – from pre-production planning to the final cuts in post.

  • Pre Production (designing and planning the different elements of the film)
  • Production (filming the project)
  • Post Production (assembling and editing the film)

Upon completion of Advanced Video Production, students have material perfectly suited for their portfolios.   

Pennybacker and Mack worked tirelessly on their final AVP assignment.  Their senior project—a film that explores Cincinnati’s local skateboarding scene through the building of the Newport DIY “Bridge” skate-spot—has earned them acclaim from skaters and filmmakers alike. Moreover, Poured: A Lesson in DIY has become a tangible E-Media experience – something its creators will take with them beyond the classroom.  


Co-director, producer, and editor Sam Pennybacker says the most gratifying part of making Poured was showing the final product to the people that were a part of the film.  He says that you can’t learn these experiences in a classroom.  They can’t be given in the form of a lecture or a PowerPoint lesson.  But, E-Media professors and staff can help turn opportunities like this into a meaningful learning experience.

Pennybacker credits the Electronic Media program with helping him prepare for his role in creating Poured. He gained useful insight from Professor Kevin Burke, whose “assurance became the only thing [he] needed during the production of this film.”  Pennybacker also recognizes E-Media’s well-rounded curriculum as a driving force behind his achievements and the making of Poured


Pennybacker advises E-Media students – no matter their ultimate pursuit or desired degree – to just “go for it.”  He asks new E-Media majors to be active within the program, meet upperclassmen and, most importantly, “do many personal, technique-driven projects.”  This way, says Pennybacker, “may be more efficient than assuming you’ll learn [everything] in class.”  Pennybacker’s personal DSLR camera has been crucial to his education and overall understanding of video.  To him, it’s vital for students to become familiar with the tools and technology behind their field of study. 

The making of Poured: A Lesson in DIY goes beyond the classroom. But, the film’s roots lie within the E-Media program—a program that values experiential learning to give students real-world experience.