BCM and Reality Garage develop VR curriculum for BHS

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Boulder High School digital arts instructor Dave Blessing and student mentor Paul Mealey assist students with the virtual reality project editing

Boulder Community Media (BCM) partnered with the Reality Garage and Boulder High School (BHS) to integrate virtual reality digital programming into the traditional arts.

The acronym, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), is commonly associated non-artistic endeavors.

There is a new iteration that moves STEM into creative industries called STEAM with the “A” representing “arts”.

The digital age added a new dimension to traditional analog art media – paintings, written pages, sculpted forms, animated digital books, 3D movies, and stories told in video game environments.

What if the the otherwise non-artistic skill of virtual reality is integrated into the arts?

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A grant was received from the Best Buy Foundation to develop a VR curriculum and camera operation manual.

The Boulder Virtual Reality (BVR) project was recently completed and does just that, thanks to a small grant from the Best Buy Foundation.

The grant enabled implementation of Phase II of a three Phase project.

During the fall 2018 – 2019 semester at BHS, 19 students were taught about virtual reality by teacher Dave Blessing and Reality Garage owners Bob Ottinger and Brenda Lee.

Reality Garage is a Boulder-based virtual reality technology development company.

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Bob Ottinger from the Reality Garage answers a student’s question.

Students learned hands-on job skills in the classroom work and also in the field where they operated a couple types of cameras.

They then learned how to manipulate the photos and videos into completed “stories.”

The BVR developed two manuals, VR Filming Techniques Curriculum, and VR Camera OperationsThe students completed 13 VR photo projects and 15 VR video projects during the semester.

One student emerged as a mentor who assisted other students and another is working as an intern at Reality Garage.

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Northern Arapaho singer Alison Sage demonstrates traditional drumming and singing.

Phase I was funded by a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council.

The Wind River VR Pilot Project introduced virtual reality as a new medium to tell traditional Northern Arapaho stories in a more relevant way to tribal youth.

BCM collaborated with Makerspace 307 in Fort Washakie, Wyoming who recruited four tribal youth to participate.

VR trainer, Glenn Reese, worked with the students in basic camera operation.

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Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martines talks about tribal tradition.

Northern Arapaho artist Robert Martinez discussed with the students the importance of passing tribal traditions to future generations.

Robert worked with the youth as they drew pictures illustrating an Arapaho folk tale, “The Fox and the Wood Tick,” as told by tribal elder Merle Haas.

Alison Sage is a singer member of the Northern Arapaho Eagle Society. He explained how tribal stories and experiences are preserved through song and drumming and worked with the students with expressing themselves through music.

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The Wyoming Arts Council funded Phase I

The crew then traveled to the nearby Arapaho Ranch to integrate flat art and original music with virtual reality.

A virtual reality camera was set up and students displayed their art work. An original music soundtrack was improvised on the grand piano in the ranch house.

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Arapaho elder Gary Collins, BCM VR trainer Glenn Reese and Alan O’Hashi pose with Arapaho storyteller Merle Haas.

Merle Haas read The Fox and the Wood Tick in the Arapaho language. The virtual reality footage of the students with their art work was set to the Arapaho language narration and the student-composed music.

Over time, classrooms will be moving away from “learning” a subject to “feeling” the content through immersion.

To this end, the BVR Phase III project is underway. A third small grant was received from the city of Boulder Arts Commission.

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A marker designates the Fort Chambers site.

That project adds virtual reality to telling the story of a Fort Chambers, which was constructed on the outskirts of Boulder.

The sod fort no longer stands, but was the training facility for the 3rd Volunteer Cavalry who killed Arapaho and Cheyenne tribal members at the infamous Sand Creek Massacre.

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The BAC funded the Phase III Fort Chambers VR project.

Students will be creating a virtual Fort Chambers that the viewer and walk through, to the narration of Arapaho tribal members who recount the stories told of the massacre by their ancestors.

The BVR is an engagement tool that in Phase III will teach students the use of a software called Tilt Brush and a program called Unity which will allow a student to explore, experience or be involved as if they are actually present in that environment or place.

Beyond Wind River: The Arapaho and Fort Chambers in preproduction

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Sand Creek Massacre ledger art scene by Howling Wolf

Beyond Wind River: The Arapaho and Fort Chambers” is the latest documentary by Alan O’Hashi and Boulder Community Media.

A Boulder, CO shaker and mover named David Nichols in 1864 recruited 100 local volunteer militiamen to train at Fort Chambers located just east of town to kill Indians at Sand Creek.

Flash forward to 2018 when the city of Boulder government purchased the fort location as open space and a group of citizens called Right Relationship Boulder (RRB) is working to repatriate that land, in some form, back to the Arapaho people.

This is a story about a chapter in Boulder’s cultural history told from the perspectives of the Arapaho people. Arapaho cultural traditions are oral ones.

Documenting Arapaho voices preserves tribal members’ Sand Creek Massacre experiences that have been orally passed down from generation-to-generation.

RRB is a group of Native and non-Native Boulder-area residents who work with local governments and organizations to help all residents learn about the Native peoples who lived here historically, and who live here today.

RRB is also the lead organizer of Boulder Indigenous People’s Day that happens in October.

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The city of Boulder purchased the Chambers property east of Boulder.

The Chambers property includes a home and pasture land along Boulder Creek at Valmont and 61st east of town.

Stay tuned, for project updates. BCM is also seeking contributions of any amount towards the project to match the Boulder Arts Commission grant.

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Contributors will be included in the movie credits.

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Aging Gratefully’ in cohousing doc series streams as VOD – buy or rent

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Book a personal appearance by “Aging Gratefully: The Power of Good Health and Good Neighbors” filmmaker Alan O’Hashi who will screen the film and facilitate a discussion. Stipend is negotiable!

The “Aging Gratefully in Cohousing” documentary series Video on Demand is now available. The three movies can be rented or purchased.

You can also book a screening for your community or general audience by obtaining a screening license for a nominal donation.

To purchase or rent, click on the Video On Demand (VOD) links below:

“Aging Gratefully: The Power of Good Health and Good Neighbors” (Run Time: 50min – 2017) Filmmaker and Silver Sage Village senior cohousing resident Alan O’Hashi is mostly recovered from his death bed illness in 2013. As a result of that experience he’s become much more aware of his health. One of his neighbors circulated information about a research study at the University of Colorado about the effects of exercise on brain health. Curious, he was selected to be a research subject. To measure success, one of the criteria is emotional health and strength of relationship building.

Does living in a cohousing community be an added benefit to physical exercise? He interviewed six residents of newly-formed Germantown Commons to find out their motivations to living in cohousing and whether living intentionally with neighbors was a positive experience and what physical activities happen in a group setting.

Germantown Commons Residents:

  • Essie Sappenfield (retired)
  • Doug Luckes (still working)
  • Suzanne Glasgow (still working)
  • Sarah Carroll (single mom)
  • Chris Corby (still working)
  • Ginger Lange (retired)
  • Vicki Metzgar (retired)

Also Appearing:

  • Bryan Bowen, AIA (Caddis Architects)
  • Angela Bryan PhD,( Principal Investigator CU FORCE study)
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Book a personal appearance by “Aging Gratefully: The Power of Culture and Traditions” filmmaker Alan O’Hashi who will screen the film and facilitate a discussion about his experiences. Stipend is negotiable.

“Aging Gratefully: The Power of Culture and Traditions” (Run Time: 30 min – 2017) My latest trek took me to South Africa where I’m investigating a third documentary in the Aging Gratefully series. This pilot is mostly based on a little research and my initial observations spanning Tolstoy to Gandhi to Mandela to the present time.

There’s an intentional community being formed in the Town of Memel and the Township of Zamani in the South African Free State Province by a friend and colleague, Steven Ablondi and his wife Cindy Burns. Steve and I serve on the National Cohousing Association board of directors.

I tagged along with the Memel Global Community architect and my across the street neighbor Bryan Bowen and a couple of his crew, Jamison and Molly. Bryan lives in the Wild Sage Cohousing community in Boulder.

I embedded myself with a local buy named Shakes in the Black African community and even though it was only for a couple days, I gained quite a bit of insight into the cultural dynamics, which are not unlike those I encounter among my Northern Arapaho tribal member friends.

As this story develops, how Native American tribes could incorporate cohousing concepts into its growing housing demand will also be investigated. There are generations-long traditional tribal cultures that have a norm about multi-generational care for elders. Does it it makes any sense to form intentional communities around these customs?

This is a 30 minutes pilot of my visit shot mainly on an iPhone 6s and I’m not sure if anything will come of this story. I’m collaborating with a fellow filmmaker Pieter Lombaard, who appears in the short. We’re trying to figure out a good story with a great arc. What do you think?

Memel Global Community featured denizens:

  • Steven Ablondi (cofounder)
  • Bryan Bowen (Caddis Architects)
  • Shakes Mafanela (SheWins sports coordinator)
  • Marley Hauser (SheWins volunteer)
  • Pieter Lombaard (Binary Film Works)
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Book a personal appearance by “Aging Gratefully: The Power of Community” filmmaker Alan O’Hashi who will screen the film and facilitate a discussion about his experiences. Stipend is negotiable!

“Aging Gratefully: The Power of Community” (Run Time: 51min – 2015) In the first of the series, what if 25 senior citizens decided to grow old together in a cohousing community? Learn about their illness, angst, and fun times while owning and maintaining 16 condos, a common house and community gardens.

Cohousing is a collaborative living arrangement. Residents own their own homes, live private lives but share in the ownership and upkeep of common spaces such the garden and common house.

It’s a challenging way to live, but living together more intentionally is a hedge against being alone and isolated through the twilight years of life.

Filmmaker and Silver Sage Village resident Alan O’Hashi was on his death bed in December 2013. Following a 6 week hospital and rehab stay and a month of home confinement, he joined a yoga community to regain his strength, but learned more about himself than just getting healthier.

Through his reflections, he recounts his continuing recovery and weaves those experiences with the perspectives of neighbors with Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and those who find themselves in supportive neighborly care giving roles.

Cohousing pioneers Katie McCamant and Chuck Durrett and gerontologist Anne Glass phD offer their perspectives about senior cohousing living.

Silver Sage Village featured residents:

  • Lindy Cook (nurse)
  • John Huyler (facilitator)
  • Henry and Jean Kroll (retired from San Francisco)
  • Dan Knifong (retired professor)
  • Jim Leach (Silver Sage Village developer)
  • Margaret Porter (retired federal government)

Also Appearing:

  • Anne Glass phD (University of North Carolina Wilmington Gerontology Program Coordinator)
  • Chuck Durrett AIA (McCamant and Durrett Architects)
  • Katie McCamant (The Cohousing Company)
  • Larissa Ortiz (teacher The Little Yoga Studio)

The Denver Post published a story prior to “Aging Gratefully” production beginning and KGNU radio did a story about it post production

If you have questions about purchase, rental or booking a screening, email Boulder Community Media

‘Aging Gratefully: The Power of Good Health and Good Neighbors’ screens April 25th

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Filmmaker Alan O’Hashi had to take a “before” and “after” MRI as a participant in the FORCE Study. Get free tickets for the movie test screening by clicking on the photo.

“Aging Gratefully: The Power of Good Health and Good Neighbors” has a first cut test screening at the Dairy Arts Center – Boedecker Theater. Doors 630pm – cash bar and snacks in the Polk Cafe – movie at 7pm. Tickets are free, but sign up so we can keep track of seats.

Check out the facebook event page. Tickets are free, but sign up on eventbrite so we can keep track of people since the Boedecker has limited seating

Filmmaker and Silver Sage Village senior cohousing resident Alan O’Hashi is mostly recovered from his 2013 death bed illness. As a result of that experience he’s become much more aware of his health, almost to the point of hypochondria.

One of his neighbors circulated information about a research study at the University of Colorado about the effects of exercise on brain health.

Curious, he applied and was selected to be a research subject. To measure success, the criteria emotional health and strength of relationship building.

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Residents of the Germantown Commons cohousing community in Nashville, TN enjoy a neighborly get together.

Is living in an intentional community, such as cohousing, an added benefit to physical exercise? He interviewed CU researcher Angel Bryan about her research to gain an empirical perspective and six residents of newly-formed Germantown Commons to find out their anecdotal motivations to living in cohousing and whether living intentionally with neighbors was a positive experience and what physical activities happen in a group setting.

Germantown Commons Residents:
– Essie Sappenfield (retired)
– Doug Luckes (still working)
– Suzanne Glasgow (still working)
– Sarah Carroll (single mom)
– Chris Corby (still working)
– Ginger Lange (retired)
– Vicki Metzgar (retired)

Also Appearing:
– Bryan Bowen, AIA (Caddis Architects)
– Angela Bryan PhD,( Principal Investigator CU FORCE study)

April 1st Schmoozer – Boulder Arts Week Music and Movies

okeeffe sketchBoulder Arts Week is a happening time in the creative community and we’re jumping in with our monthly schmoozer and featuring the work of women. The April 1st event is free of charge, but buy some music!

We don’t have a lot of wall space for flat art. Instead, we’ll be entertaining with some music and a short movie in the Silver Sage Village cohousing TV room.

The Whistle Stop F.I.L.M. Festival screens “Cordially, Georgia O’Keeffe” about the artist and her sister’s visit to Ward Colorado in 1917 will screen in the media room between music sets.

Laurie-proof-5b615 to 715pm-ish: Multi-media music and video by Laurie Dameron. Learn about Laurie and her music http://www.lauriedameron.com/

During the music change a couple short movies (TBD)

cindy brandle745 to 845pm-ish: Music by Cindy Brandle. Check out her music and background https://www.reverbnation.com/cindybrandle

We’ll have some snacks and drinks. Invite 100 of your closest friends!

Boulder Int’l Film Festival seeks producer and crew March 2 – 5

BIFF producer Ron Bostwick interviewed Oscar nominee James Franco at the 2011 BIFF. Click on the image to join the Facebook page.

Boulder Community Media (BCM) is providing production services again. BCM is putting together volunteer production crews to cover a variety of events in the various Downtown Boulder screening venues and at local businesses hosting special events during the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) March 2 – 5.  Download the BCM volunteer agreement and email it back to BCM.

We’re also seeking a producer to coordinate cast and NewsTeam crews throughout the weekend. This requires a three and a half day commitment with some wiggle room.

Photographers must download and become familiar with the  2017 PHOTO GUIDELINES and WORKFLOW.

If you’d like to be a part of the BIFF that is largely unseen and very interesting, behind the scenes experience inquire within! For the most part, you do need to have particular expertise and experience with news, but we can always use more Production Assistants willing to learn by observation and diving into a project.

Our BCM reporter was on the red carpet with Oliver Stone.

Our BCM reporter was on the red carpet with Oliver Stone.

The schedule won’t be released until later in February, but we’re getting the word out so you can make plans around classes, work, and other commitments. Check out the BIFF News Team Production Call facebook page to keep up with the latest information.

BCM uses a “transmedia” approach where we produce news in a variety of forms:

  • Editors – copy editors and video editors
  • Writers – news gathers to go along to events
  • Still Photographers – for all activities
  • Video Photographers – for all activities
  • Producers – if you want to produce, you should also have at least one other skill, have at a minimum a still camera and a strong back to schlepp gear.
  • Social media – update facebook pages, tweet pix and experiences
  • Website updates and maintenance

BCM generally runs at least two crews at any given moment, which means each crew has a producer, a video camera operator, a still camera operator a reporter on camera and a reporter off camera. In most cases, our news crews will be the only ones covering these events, many are newsworthy and your stories, images and video will be pushed out to the wire.

Equipment:
BCM will provide video cameras and tape for field work. BCM will have a MacBook Pro with Final Cut 7 available. We are inventorying assets and also let me know what kind of equipment you may be able to provide:

* video cameras etc. (they can be solid state and consumer grade, tripods, lights)
* still cameras (pocket cameras to DSLR cameras – do they have video capabilities)
* lap top computers (pc or mac and editing systems – Premiere, iMovie, FCP, movie maker)

Send an email to BCM if you’d like to be a part of the action. You can also join the BIFF News Team Production Call facebook page to keep up with the latest.

Real D 3D Salon at BIFF 2013

go_pro3d_600x600Boulder Community Media (BCM) is hosting the RealD 3D Salon at the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) and seeking up to 6 teams of four or more cast and crew members. More teams may be added depending on demand. There is no entry fee, but teams must have a valid credit card and drivers’ license to secure the equipment that will checkout out to you for the week.

Download the BCM 3D contest registration form and email it back to bvet22@yahoo.com by February 9th or bring it to the 3D workshop on Saturday to the place which will be announced later.

A 3D filmmaking workshop will be held on Saturday February 9 (Place TBD) from 10am to 2pm.

Participants will learn how to operate the GoPro 3D camera rigs and how to use the Cineform 3D editing software and how it interfaces with 2D editing programs.After the class, teams will have a week to finish their 7-minute 3D movies which will be screened at the BIFF on Saturday night 7pm February 16th through a RealD projection system onto the silver screen.

The filmmakers will participate in a panel along with representatives from RealD and each filmmaking team who will be on hand to discuss their technologies and projects.