Old Testament film projects

Over the last two years, students in Dr. Mark Hamilton’s honors sections of BIBL 211: Message of the Old Testament have produced short films in teams. Groups of four develop short 4-5 minute video projects that reflect on themes such as lament, sacrifice, atonement, among others.

Once groups have selected biblical texts they consider how they respond “to the historical background, literary shaping, theological purpose, and interpretive history (i.e., the understanding of the text on the part of later readers) of the given text.”

Here are a few examples of their work.


Fall 2013


Fall 2012


Other Requirements

Here are a few other elements of the assignment:

1. The video should not use footage created by other people. (So, no Lego Bible stories or similar things.)

2. The video should include appropriate voice work by all the team members and should show some measure of creativity.

3. The team should produce a script for the video and submit it along with the video.

4. The video should be well-informed by deep reflection on the biblical texts and themes on which students have been working.

We Are Makers released

Last week we released a short documentary on the Maker Movement as part of broader discussions on campus about the value of “learning by doing.” We’re pleased to share it with the ACU community as so many here on campus contributed to its final shape.

We spent several weeks in March interviewing key voices thinking about the impact of making in different contexts—in community centers and libraries, in education and museums, and in hackerspaces and online.


Special Thanks

We’ve already had a chance to thank those who welcomed us into their makerspaces and workshops while shooting in Austin and NYC, but we did want a chance to share a few of the Abilene connections.

  • thanks to Michael Daugherity and the department of Engineering and Physics for return visits to film their 3D printer and begin thinking about its future impact
  • Sandy Freeman welcomed us into the ACU Theatre Costume Shop where Amanda Martin made a dress on the spot
  • we spent a great afternoon with James Langford dusting off our macro lenses to shoot tools in his shop
  • Megan May in the library not only shared her lightening-fast knitting but also introduced us to student maker Brittany Bunch who is both an Etsy seller (at Projects for Bliss) and a part-time Disney princess
  • Evan Young helped edit the additional footage for wearemakers.org while Matt and Nathan were heads-down on the final film
  • and finally Elvis Sanchez who worked with Nathan to score the transitions in the film with stunning work on a tight deadline

The production of the film itself just reminded us how many makers surround us here in Abilene, making this a logical spot to open a makerspace of our own.

Details coming this fall.

Storytelling in Creative Writing program

Al Haley, writer-in-residence and professor of English, was an alum of our very first digital storytelling workshop in 2011 and has been helping us lead faculty workshops on campus for the last year. His work with the scholarly storytelling group last December helped many of the participants see the potential of mixed media writing and storytelling in their teaching and research. Here are a couple of Al’s past stories.




A Bed in San Francisco

Down on the Farm


This semester Al asked students in his Creative Nonfiction Workshop and a new class on Micro-Narratives to produce their own digital stories as an extension of their other writing in both courses. Here are a few examples of their work.



Before June

Before June

Before June – Daniel Merritt

Blank Spots Fill Holes – Julia Curtis

Missing Home – Brittney Starkey

Ode on Napping – Luke Ramsey

Small World – Adrian Patenaude

Creative Nonfiction

Drama Ministry – Emmy Sparks

Mother Knows Best – Elena Kua


Literacy video projects from Advanced Comp

Thanks to Dr. Cole Bennett and his ENGL 325: Advanced Comp class for sharing their Literacies projects again this year. .

The course introduces students to “theories of literacy from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, paying particular attention to readings that emphasize social and political issues related to reading and writing.” then concluded with student-produced videos introducing a cultural literacy of their own:

“Rhetorically, this video should attempt to convince the viewer that 1) the activity under consideration qualifies as an expanded form of literacy; and 2) society would benefit as a whole if such argument were accepted. How does the subject fall under a definition of literacy? Which definition? Why does it matter? How are our lives enriched if we agree with you? How might your opponents disagree with you, and how would you address such concerns?”

Here are a few examples of their work.


VIDEO: How to Read a Book in 2013

In August How to Read a Book hit 20,000 views. Congrats Hilary!

At the end of the semester, we get a lot of notes from faculty with strong examples of student video projects (we’ll share of few of those this next week). It’s typically a good sign when students begin sharing links to their classmates’ projects. High praise indeed.

This example came from a couple students who thought Hilary Commer’s “How to Read a Book in 2013” was the complete package. Strong, sharp writing. Carefully composed visuals. And directing and performances that accentuate humor without overdoing it. And shot on Learning Studio camera to boot! A great combination we think you’ll enjoy.


How to Read a Book in 2013

Produced for Cade White’s Introduction to Visual Media,  How-To Video assignment

“Did you find an odd box with pieces of paper inside? It might be a book! Some of them still have real pages—and I’ll show you just how to read one.”