North Mankato Fun Days Parade

North Mankato Fun Days Parade

Nine students made BLC Studios history this weekend when they helped with a live-to-tape broadcast of the North Mankato Fun Days Parade.


The weather on the day of the parade was damp, but it did nothing to lessen the enthusiasm of the broadcast crew which consisted of a mix of students, some veterans from the hockey broadcast, and others who are relatively new to live productions.

The City of North Mankato offered the intersection of Belgrade Avenue and Center Street for the production stage, and also provided a small flatbed trailer for the on air talent. A four-camera production was set up, including a camera on the roof of the Brandt Building for aerial shots.

IMG_3806Hosting the event were Don Westphal and Jim Whitlock, providing commentary for the bands, floats, and other attractions going by.

The production offered a great opportunity for students to practice their skills in a real world (and minimal stress) environment. Most BLC productions are indoors where weather isn’t a problem. Out on the street, the rain and the wind created new challenges. Extra sandbags and clamps were needed for the umbrellas and backdrops. Gear needed to be protected from the rain–Garbage bags helped to weatherise some of the equipment.

Even the BLC staff learned some things.

“You plan everything out, but until you actually get down there and start doing the show, you just have no idea what might go wrong,” said Studio Production Specialist, Philip Wels. “And then it’s, ‘oh, I guess this doesn’t work if it’s windy.’ So you make something else work.”

The parade ended with a short lived downpour scattering floats and parade watchers alike.

A diverse portfolio of work closely follows Bethany’s liberal arts philosophy. By providing students with all kinds of different opportunities to try new things, or put their skills to use in a slightly more challenging environment goes a long way to prepare them for job options in the future. BLC Studios hopes to continue finding unique production opportunities in the future.

The video is free to watch on the BLC Vimeo page and will be broadcast on the local Community Access Television channel in the coming weeks.

Music video provides valuable learning opportunity

Every project is a valuable learning experience for our students, including the recent production of a music video for New York-based rock band American Authors.

First, the video, then the story:

The music video for the song “Best Day of My Life” was a unique challenge for seniors Stephanie Erlandson and Aaron Evans (both of whom graduated from Bethany in December of 2013). This was the second music video they produced in their final semester, as they had already agreed to create a music video for singer-songwriter Mason Jennings. Read more…

Media Week 2014

In the days leading up to the 2014 Speechless Film Festival, Bethany is celebrating Media Week, 2014.

promaxbda_logo_orangeMonday, March 17 at 8pm, is The Best of PromaxBDA, 2013 showcase. Katerina Zacharia, Vice President of Membership Development at PromaxBDA, will discuss entertainment industry careers in design, video, marketing, advertising, motion graphics, illustrations, and more.

Logo_ESPN Tuesday, March 18 at 7pm, is ESPN – The Experience; Building Your Professional Network. BLC alums Greg Vandermause and Mike Leyrer showcase what it is like to work at the worlds largest sports media company.


Wednesday, March 19 at 7pm, is The Business of Radio Broadcast. Jeff Lang from Radio Mankato, with more than twelve years of experience in radio, Jeff will talk about what it’s like to manage promotions for six radio stations.

Thursday, March 20, the Speechless Film Festival kicks off at the Maverick 4 Theater in Downtown Mankato. Film showcases begin at 7pm with Memorial Day, a feature length film shot here in Southern Minnesota, will be screened with a following Q&A session with the writers and producers. A Speaker Series featuring industry professionals will be held in the Drive a Tank Theater. Live music provided by The Divers will follow the viewings across the Street at Pub500 starting at 10pm Thursday evening.

Friday, March 21, Speechless Film Festival Screenings continue. Shows begin at 7pm at the Maverick 4 Theater, with the Award Showcase again showing at 8pm. The Speaker Series Continues in the Drive a Tank Theater. The after-party at Pub500 commences at 9pm with live music provided by Parachute Empire.

speechless_film_festival_bethanySaturday, March 22, The Speechless Film Festival is in full swing, viewings start at 1pm and run until 7pm with the Award Showcase shown at 6pm in the Minnesota 93 Theater. The Speaker Series continues all day with a number of industry professionals share their experiences. The Award Reception at Pub500 follows at 7pm. Festival awards will be presented at 8pm and The Tinder Box will provide live music at 9pm.

One of our goals with this years Media Week is to help students see the wide range of opportunities within media and related industries. Behind the scenes of any commercial, tv production, or even radio are dozens of unsung heroes who help make things happen. It’s not just creatives and designers, or camera men and talent, but all kinds of people doing marketing, social media, sales, and more.

More information about Media Week 2014 and the speakers who will be presenting can be found at More information about the Speechless Film Festival, including the full program, ticket prices, maps, and travel accommodations can be found at

Maverick Hockey Weekend Awarded by BEA

We are proud to announce that seniors Anthony Miller, Logan Hoppe, Brian Christensen, and Preston Schultz tied for first place in the category of TV Sports Event Production in the BEA Festival of Media Arts! This is the second year in a row that the Maverick Hockey Crew has taken first in the category. The students have already made plans to go to the conference in April and accept the award at the BEA’s annual festival, which coincides with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Anthony, Logan, and Brian discuss the night’s rundown with the crew prior to game time.

Winning awards in contests judged by industry professionals shows the merit of our students’ hard work and dedication. We are continually proud to see Bethany students rank highly within the broadcast industry, and we’re excited to see where these seniors take their careers after graduation!

2013 Red Eye Opener

Check out the super fun opener for the 2013 Red Eye Film Festival, created by media arts alumni Kab and Katie Kaniess (’12). Having experienced Red Eye themselves not long ago, Kab and Katie were the perfect directors for this piece. The opener covers the various stages of team dynamics during the notoriously fast-paced festival. Each segment title served as a prompt given to the teams before a weekend of filming and editing.

Read more about the 2013 Red Eye Film Festival.

Broadcast featured in NCAA college hockey top plays

The hockey broadcast team is in mid-season form. Our students have produced 10 games and four 30-minute pre-game shows since the season began mid-October. It takes every member of the team, whether working from the camera or inside our production trailer, to make sure the fast-paced action is captured well and successfully broadcast to the homes of Maverick hockey fans.

Read more…

Lonely Street music video premiere

stephandAaronAfter seeing the music video for Midnight on the Interstate produced by Bethany students in spring 2013, the management group for Minneapolis singer-songwriter Mason Jennings contacted professor Kurt Paulsen and asked if anyone would be interested in doing a music video for him. Seniors Stephanie Erlandson and Aaron Evans decided to take on the music video as a collaborative project for their media arts capstone.

The music video is for the song Lonely Street, from Mason Jenning’s latest album, Always Been. Read more…

Red Eye Film Festival 2013

DSC01387sThis year marks the 8th annual Red Eye Film Festival. Started in 2006, Red Eye is a 48 hour movie making challenge where teams of students race to produce a short film over the course of the weekend. The festival ran from Friday, November 22 until Sunday, November 24 with the festival viewing taking place the Monday after.

Seven teams entered the competition this year. In the past teams were required to write, film, and edit everything within the 48 hour time period. This time around team leaders were emailed their prompt on the Monday before the festival and were allowed to begin scripting and planning as soon as they received the prompt. This gave students a full four days for concept development.

Prompts are usually quotes, props, or words that must appear somewhere in the film. Read more…

Studio gets new gear for music video

Aaron Uses DitoGearBLC Studios recently purchased an electronically-controlled slider system from a company called DitoGear. A slider is a track which allows the camera to move back and forth smoothly. The 2 meter long unit came with a robotic head which allows a camera to pan and tilt a full 360 degrees with complete precision. The unit is controlled via a small handheld controller, a tablet computer, or the DragonFrame software that students use for stop motion animation.

The equipment has a lot of potential across the spectrum of media arts projects. Read more…

Business After Hours Tours BLC Studio


Bethany hosted a “Business After Hours” event this week where many local business people came to socialize and tour the BLC studios. Attendees could take pictures on the Speechless Film Festival red carpet, see the facilities that Bethany has to offer, and meet some of the staff and students who make things happen. Read more…