THINC: March 2021

by Denise Sullivan
HURLEYVILLE– Have you been watching more TV during the pandemic? Have you tried streaming services with a smart TV, or taken an online course? How many of us are now more familiar with video conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype?
At schools and businesses, these tools are essential for teaching students in Kindergarten through college, and for training employees both new and veteran. Like many organizations, The Center for Discovery (TCFD) has shifted to online teaching for kids as well as for professional development. As a result, the Digital Media Lab at the Technology Hub and Incubator (THINC) has never been busier.
Julie Palmer, THINC Videographer and Project Coordinator, spends most of her work day with a camera or a computer, carefully recording or editing. TCFD staff are often in front of the green screen and camera in the lab with Julie. However, departments and staff members have embraced the use of video so much so, that they often do their own recordings of activities and deliver the raw footage to Julie, who consults with them to discuss the objectives of the final product. Julie uses Final Cut Pro, a professional and robust video editing application. Her mastery of this tech tool is deep. She will layer effects and words on top of video to make it more entertaining or relevant. She adds color, symbols or still pictures for non – readers. When audio is difficult to hear, she adds graphics to aid understanding. Julie is an expert when it comes to accessing stock photos or music. She picks the just – right jingle that adds lightheartedness or tugs at the heartstrings. Her finished work is enormous, and all final products are archived on a TCFD network, where they can be accessed by employees any time of day or night.
Julie recently worked with a new department at TCFD, Animal Assisted Intervention Education (AAIE). They are creating fun videos to bridge that gap between student visits with the therapy dogs, rabbits, mini goats, and mini ponies. For Valentine’s Day, staff filmed a game of bingo in the barn, with therapy dogs and mini ponies that press a large button on command – both cute and amazing to watch. The button activates a spinner that lands on a symbol on students’ bingo boards, allowing them to play at home while watching. The adorable animals are motivating fragile students to interact, and are used during therapy sessions. After all, who wouldn’t walk a little further if they were holding a lead attached to a tiny pony?
Recording in a kitchen at the Department of Nourishment Arts (DNA), Julie filmed an executive chef teaching staff how to part, or cut up, a whole chicken. Other DNA videos include how to cut and use unusual root vegetables grown on site. An entire series of videos are being created for employee engagement, an effort to support TCFD staff, heroes that insure the safety and quality of life for vulnerable residents each day. Julie Palmer records their efforts, creating video stories with knowledge, skill and compassion.