Each year over the summer in mid-June, the @One Digital Media & Technology Center which is part of the University Libraries, hosts a multimedia bootcamp for rising high school seniors in northern Nevada. The bootcamp, sponsored by a generous donation from the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation, is in its 11th year of programming. The 2022 bootcamp included nine students hailing from Reno High School, Spanish Springs High School, Academy of Careers and Engineering, and the Coral Academy.
Throughout the two-week long program, students are presented with various media techniques and technologies. They travel across campus to visit different University departments including the Visual Perception Lab lead by Dr. Webster, the Reynolds School of Journalism lab lead by Kari Barber, and the Self-Motion Lab lead by Dr. MacNeilage.
"Over the course of the bootcamp students learn from our team of highly skilled faculty members,” @One Digital Media & Technology Center Interim Director Daniel Fergus said. “We also introduce the campers to the breadth of academic expertise and world class facilities the University has to offer. It’s about providing a well-rounded and diverse experience for our visiting high school seniors."
During the first week of camp students become familiar with faculty and techniques. During the second week, they are challenged to work together to write, produce, film, and edit their own short film before premiering the end product in the Wells Fargo Auditorium for an audience of their families and the campus community.
“Students were guided through all stages of the creative process while learning industry standards and strategies for improving production values,” Fergus said. “They each had access to top-of-the-line cameras, equipment, and spaces.”
Throughout the bootcamp students move around campus selecting various set locations and filming takes until they obtain all of the coverage needed to begin the editing process.
“The foremost goal of the bootcamp is to take students from general consumers of media content and transition into becoming purposeful polished producers of their own original content,” said Nick Gapp, manager of the Dynamic Media Lab. “I wish I had something like this available to me when I was in high school.”
Simultaneously, as the campers worked on their film, University students Joffea Burgos and Brie Albright filmed the dramatic ups and downs unfolding behind the scenes on set. They captured insights and emotions from the campers. Little did the campers know, but their Smallwood Bootcamp experience was being turned into a pseudo-reality television documentary.
“Taking the reality-tv-style approach to presenting the authentic Smallwood Bootcamp experience was really fun for us and for the campers,” said Brie Albright ’23. “They enjoyed being in the film and we enjoyed making it.”
Watch past Smallwood Bootcamp films by visiting the Smallwood Bootcamp Video Gallery. If you have questions about the program or have a high school senior who is interested in participating in the Summer 2023 Bootcamp please email Luka Starmer.
About the University Libraries
The University Libraries embrace intellectual inquiry and innovation, nurture the production of new knowledge, and foster excellence in learning, teaching and research. During each academic year, the Libraries welcomes more than 1.2 million visitors across its network of four libraries: the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library, the Savitt Medical Library and the Prim Library at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. Visitors checked-out more than 80,000 items and completed more than two million database searches.