Digital Cinema Students Help Wausa Q125 Preserve Memories


Students majoring in Digital Cinema at Northeast Community College will put what they have learned in the classroom to use this Labor Day weekend. They are producing a DVD commemorating the Wausa, Nebraska Q125 celebration that runs Thursday, September 3 to Monday, September 7. Students will use state of the art video cameras to record the four days of festivities including a corn maze, parades, a tractor drive, the Remembering Our Fallen Memorial Photo Exhibit, Brothers of the Brush Beard Contest, games for young and old, musical events, an ice cream social and exhuming the Wausa time capsule which was buried during the centennial celebration.

Wausa Q125 DVD interviews
Digital Cinema Club President Drew Dolezal and Northeast Instructor Timothy Miller set up video equipment and put microphones on Violet Thorell (r) and Anita Banks (l) for the Wausa Q125 DVD.

Students started filming in July, interviewing Wausa residents who have lived the majority of their lives in the community. Wausa Q125 committee chairwoman Ann Pfeil said, “We wanted to record many of the residents of Wausa so that future generations could put a face to the name of someone who holds the past in their story.”  Digital Cinema Club President Drew Dolezal said the students have already interviewed nine residents. Dolezal said, “They all had great things to say about the community of Wausa and its people. Each had fascinating stories about what it was like ‘back in the day’.”

The Digital Cinema program started in the Fall of 2014.  During the spring semester, the students wanted to create a Digital Cinema Club that would allow them to practice their video production skills beyond the classroom. At the same time, Q125 committee member Matthew Nelson was looking for a video crew at several colleges and universities in the area, but says he couldn’t find any that would do what the committee envisioned for the commemorative DVD. “Northeast Digital Cinema Club showed us what they could do by playing the class project video they produced for the Elkhorn Valley Museum. It was easy to make them our choice after seeing the quality work that they did,” said Nelson.

Northeast Digital Cinema instructor Timothy Miller says leaving the classroom for practical experience is invaluable for students. “When you leave the school behind and step into a real world environment that has a lot of different variables not even the instructors can predict, it transforms that learning process to one that the students have to adapt to. Anytime you can do that it enhances learning. Employers today are looking for students who have that kind of experience.”

The DVD will feature a history piece about the Swedish origins of Wausa, the interviews with residents, and condensed versions of the weekend events, according to Digital Cinema instructor Nancy Sutton Smith. “The club members will learn advanced technical skills, not only in the videography and video editing, but in creating the DVD which will have chapters just like a real movie. It also gives them the opportunity to take a project from beginning to end that will be a cherished legacy for this community,” Sutton Smith said.

The Q125 committee, along with nearly 100 volunteers, has been working on plans for the weekend celebration since June, 2012. Six hundred people have already registered for the alumni banquet and the committee expects a lot of visitors for the many free events, food, and festivities. For more information on the celebration and how to get a copy of the DVD, visit the Wausa Q125 Facebook page.

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