Made @ RIT: TV commercial produced in-house by students and alumni

Feb 03, 2014

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Move over expensive Super Bowl ads. RIT has its own TV commercial that was created and produced on campus by students and alumni.

The 30-second spot aired nationally Jan. 24 on CBS Sports Network when the RIT men’s hockey team faced its Atlantic Hockey Association rival Niagara University. Faceoff is 7 p.m.

The ad, titled “Imagine Your Possibilities,” was created and produced by 13 students and three alumni.

“I work with a core team of students on all my different video projects,” said Joe Bellavia ’01 (film and animation), producer/director in RIT Production Services. “This team worked with me on everything, from brainstorming the concept for the commercial, to scripting, producing, design and motion graphics. These are only some of the many roles they hold from preproduction to finishing the commercial in postproduction.”

The core group of students from the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences included Ben Sorensen, Timmy Chau and Ryan Kiley (new media design); Mark Logan (film and animation); and Jon Barber (film and animation and computing security, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences). The talents of eight other School of Film and Animation students were also used for lighting and gripping on the production.

“One of the best things about working on Joe’s team here at RIT Production Services is being able to see a project from concept all the way to production and now being aired nationally,” said Sorensen, a Syracuse native. “Coming from new media design, we are taught a huge variety of skills, so it really opens up opportunities when working on a project like this to try something new. It also is great to work with the awesome team here and collaborate ideas, which is an emphasis in our program, and apply them to a real-world project.”

The commercial features more than 60 students in a variety of settings at RIT.

“The purpose of the ad is to brand RIT as a place that thrives on innovation, creativity and hands-on learning,” said Bob Finnerty, RIT chief communications officer. “But the back story and the beauty of the ad is the in-house production. It demonstrates the abilities of our talented students and showcases the proof of our brand.”

The commercial debuted on Time Warner Cable in December when the men’s and women’s hockey teams played outdoors at Frontier Field in downtown Rochester. The ad will continue to be used on RIT SportsZone-produced live hockey games on Time Warner throughout the season.