Skrada leads team of students for documentary

Grace Scarberry

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Ashland University students shot a short documentary on the Pottersburg Covered Bridge in North Lewisburg, Ohio on Oct. 18.

Kellie Pleshinger, Alan Naymick and Michael Prezioso, senior digital media production majors, were directed by John Skrada, director of broadcasting and operations.

Pleshinger double majors with production and creative writing and says the influence of creative writing will help produce imagery.

“It will help me write the script in an imaginative and descriptive way,” she said.

The students shot the documentary as an example for the Dean in preparation for the longer, in-depth documentary the journalism department plans to film this summer.

Skrada has high hopes for the future of AU’s documentaries. He said he hopes to possibly start the AU Documentary Society one day.

“I am hoping that we can turn this into a yearly project that we run a documentary class that emphasizes on historical Ohio themed projects,” Skrada said. “Take four to five students interested in this kind of work and make a road trip for a week over the summer shooting at different locations around the state.”

The group was on campus by 8 a.m. on the school’s only day of fall break to depart to North Lewisburg.

Although some may have hated this, Pleshinger said she didn’t mind the early morning because it was worth the results.

“I think it was better to wake up earlier to get the timing right so the bridge looked really pretty in the middle of the day with full natural lighting, and it gave us more time at the end of the day since we were back to campus around 3 p.m.,” she said.

Skrada, who has produced around a dozen documentaries himself, was excited to hand over the control to the students.

“It is not hard letting the students take part in this project. For me this is a great learning tool to actually have students working in the field on a real project. I can pass down some of the knowledge I have to hopefully make their job easier and for them to enjoy the whole process a little more,” he said. “Documentaries are time consuming and when you first start making them you are working on trial and error. I am just trying to show short-cuts and proper techniques so the images and sounds are correct to make the editing process a whole lot smoother.”

The students will be working on editing their footage throughout the semester but are excited to release the final product.

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