April 30, 2009 Volume CXXV Issue 12

“The Freshmen” arrive on campus

Web series produced with help of Georgetown students to debut on Monday

By JACKSON SILVANIK
A&E Editor
Emily Andari (left) and Amanda Kachler (right) feature in “The Freshmen.”

Emily Andari (left) and Amanda Kachler (right) feature in “The Freshmen.”

On May 4th, when most of the campus’s attention will be on the graduating seniors, “The Freshmen” will take center stage. “The Freshmen” is the brainchild of Communications professor Jason Phillips, who wrote and coordinated the production of the web series that will premiere in room 112 of the Asher Science Center. This CEP event will feature a rough cut of the first episode in the series to be followed by a discussion with Phillips and other members of the cast and crew.

The seeds of the project were actually planted last fall, when student auditions were held in November. The filming and editing has taken the duration of the spring semester, with the idea that working on the project would serve as an educational tool in a variety of areas. As Phillips explains it, the series itself is a part of a much larger vision. Hopefully, the class will continue to evolve into an interactive, multimedia experience that will encompass a variety of fields related to technology and development. In many ways, the final product hopes to blur the lines between fiction and reality, and addresses the everchanging landscape of both technology and entertainment.

“It highlights the opportunities for marketing and presenting content in a new media environment,” Phillips explains, discussing the potential evolution of the project. “So, in many ways, the series itself is a tool to get at those larger, pedagogical issues in the future.” The true value for the students involved lies in the application to a variety of fields and interests. “Going forward, I think the project will offer opportunities to learn about using new media forms in marketing and distribution of media content,” remarked Phillips. Come this fall, viewers will be able to see the episodes via streaming technology on the campus radio station’s website. This is yet another step in the right direction regarding the reshaping of Georgetown’s technological capabilities.

Phillips hopes that the series will help boost the technological profile of both the campus radio station and the corresponding website. “Really, I’m primarily interested in two things: exploring new media and the ways it is distinct from, yet still tied to, traditional media forms, and developing content for our station’s web site that turns it into more of a full-fledged entertainment and cultural forum,” says Phillips. He hopes to use a variety of media in the fall to present the series, including the internet, blogs, social networking sites and viral-based marketing around campus.

Keisha Tyler (left) and Lauren Peele (right) both took the production class.

Keisha Tyler (left) and Lauren Peele (right) both took the production class.

The story itself revolves around the main character’s realization that what appeared to be a random tragedy that happened at her dorm had supernatural implications. Her quest to find out what really happened when she was a college freshman back in 2004 forces her to come to terms with mistakes she’s made in the past, and to realize the burden of having grown up and become a better person. Though the series will be presented in an episodic format, it will play somewhat differently than a traditional television series. It will run for five episodes in the fall and feature supplemental content in addition to the actual series. While the series was filmed in various on-campus locations, such as the LRC and Knight Hall, the crew also made extensive use of locations around the community, like Galvin’s Restaurant. Phillips expressed his gratitude to the various filming locations and especially noted the support that the community at-large has provided to the project.

Though the filming may have been seen as an inconvenience at some times, Phillips stresses the value of the unique learning experience and hopes that more people would recognize the value in the work being done. Phillips believes the project is indicative of a new commitment from the Department of Communication and Media Studies to both embrace new technology and play an active role in defining the media and entertainment landscape of the college. “To my knowledge, this kind of project hasn’t been done much, if at all, in a college environment. It is an original entertainment project that doesn’t just rely on one media form, but rather will ultimately branch out and embrace diverse, developing forms of media,” remarks Phillips.

Students interested in getting a leg up in the fields of broadcasting and media should contact Jason Phillips about getting involved in the coming semesters. In describing the unique nature of the project, Phillips comments that, “At this point, what we are doing might seem unusual, but in another five or 10 years, this style of entertainment and creative endeavor will be very much the norm.”


The deeper roots of Hip-Hop

Victorian-era poets and rappers may have more in common than you think
By MICHAEL GILKISON
Staff Writer
Rappers such as Eminem may owe a debt of gratitude to Victorian writers.

Rappers such as Eminem may owe a debt of gratitude to Victorian writers.

Have you ever noticed the strange similarities between contemporary Hip-Hop artists and people from the Victorian Period? Despite the differences, and there are many differences, there are a more similarities than you would think.

Much like the attire of a Rap star being more of an attitude than a style of dress, the same is true with people of the Victorian era. The difference is baggy pants that some wear down to a pair Air Jordan’s, and tight silk pants that come down to meet a white sock at the knee. Both outfits scream attitude, and what says that you have money more than wearing pants that come up to your knees?

On the topic of finances, both cultures take pride in having so much money that it is beneath them to work. The only difference is how they go about it. People of the Victorian era go about in a snobbish way with manners while Rap stars have a different vehicle for every day of the year and a garage to park them in. Oscar Wilde liked to write about people lying in fields smoking cigarettes and Dr. Dre liked to talk about people getting high in cars. The only differences between these comparisons are the settings and illegal substances. Other than that, you have to be rich to make any of those activities lifestyles.

If you are not convinced so far, perhaps a comparison between Robert Browning and Eminem will illustrate the similarities. For example, they are both rich and they like to write about killing people, specifically spouses/significant others. Robert Browning talked about a Duke killing his first wife in “My Last Duchess” and Eminem talked about killing his baby’s mother in “Kim.” The only difference is the subtlety of the times.

Robert Browning hinted at the death in two lines while Eminem went into graphic detail about putting Kim into his trunk. Another similarity between the two different eras is the way that men attracted women. In the Victorian era, it is all about the bank account, the family name, the huge house and all of the fancy things. Today, it is all about the foreign cars with the fancy doors and rims on the wheels. Rims are so popular that they have been the topic of discussion in many songs. As Three-6 Mafia puts it, “I’m ridin’ spinners. I’m ridin’ spinners. They don’t stop.” The Victorians on the other hand would rather boast about their artwork that sits in their fancy estate.

Regardless, if it is tire rims or a painting, or a fancy car or an estate, the attitude remains the same. A good lesson to remember is that history always repeats itself. It may be in the form of tight pants that only reach the socks that come up to the knee, or perhaps in the form of baggy pants and a baggy white t-shirt. You don’t have to dress like someone in order to pride yourself on how much money you have, and showing off your finances comes in different shapes and sizes. For some it is fine art and for others it is a round 22-inch piece of metal that goes on a car. From Oscar Wilde to Dr. Dre, and from Robert Browning to Eminem, the similarities are evident. Just don’t be fooled by the appearances because looks can be deceiving.

Robert Browning’s subject matter paved the way for future generations.

Robert Browning’s subject matter paved the way for future generations.

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