It was a big moment for Tess Goering, marketing associate and professional intern in University Communication & Marketing. It was a bigger moment for the four students who wrote, produced and directed UNM's 2011 Institutional Spot, "Big Moments," which was recently premiered in the George Pearl Hall auditorium.

Under guidance from Goering, four student interns created both 30 and 60 second television spots to be aired during commercial breaks of NCAA Lobo games, as well as other times. The spot captures the anticipation and joy of a student receiving his acceptance letter from UNM as well as other scenes that capture the essence of campus life.

Goering, a graduate from Communication & Journalism, said, "The student interns dedicated an entire semester to the project."

Cinnamon Blair, UNM marketing director, said, "This is the second year of the program. The project is reinvented each year through the eyes of the students involved. And by producing it in house, we save the university six-figures." Producing the spots run between $100,000 and $200,000.

She added that the undergraduates experience collaboration across disciplines. "It's unique nationally in that the students get credit and work with multiple departments and faculty," she said, adding that they also work with staff, students from other departments and university leadership.

Faculty advisers are Karolyn Cannata-Winge, lecturer II in Communication & Journalism; and Nick Flor, director, Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media.

Cannata-Winge said, "My job was to give the students the resources they need and get out of the way. They are better than a professional film crew. The project brought together the best of the best from both departments."

Andrea Salazar served as the project's producer. She is a journalism and Spanish student. She said, "I watched lots of institutional spots on YouTube and they all featured cheering fans and were all the same. We wanted to do something that stands out, produce an ad that tells a story.

Emily Kennedy, account executive, is a senior majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in advertising. She served as liaison between the students and the marketing leadership. "When we first started storyboarding we weren't sure where we were going, but once we got the first footage, we got excited and settled into place," she said. She added that they filmed at the Pit and in Anthropology. "Following the filming and editing was a great experience," she added. She also wrote blog entries and worked with the cast.

Jason Ponic, photography director, is a senior from the first class of the IFDM program. He ran the camera, pieced the clips together from start to finish. He said they used a Red Digital Camera. "It was an honor to work with professional quality equipment," he said.

Tofer Flowers, creative director, is a senior mass communication student with a focus on advertising. The creative concept behind the spot was his. "The idea is big moments – to be prepared for them. I think we captured that," he said.

Not only was the spot written, produced and directed by students, but they used the services of student actors and musicians.

President David Schmidly said, "I am so impressed. It comes from the heart, from students." He asked the students to present the spot to the UNM Board of Regents.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Boykins.">


Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: cgonzal@unm.edu