Fairfield University Media Center receives national award for campaign video


The Videographer Awards, a national awards program created by communications professionals to honor talented individuals and companies in the video production field, has awarded Fairfield University's Media Department its highest award, an Award of Excellence, for Video Productions, Educational Institution. The award is for "Mission Possible: The Promise," which last year launched the biggest-ever capital campaign for Fairfield University at New York's Waldorf Astoria before a gathering of nearly 800 people. The video also received an Award of Distinction for Creativity, Use of Special Effects/Animation.

*The Media Center has also just been notified that a second video it produced, "Rev. Aloysius Kelley, S.J. 50 Years Priest... 20 Years President," has reached the finalist status in the 44th annual International 2001 Film and Video (Non-Broadcast) Competition for the category, documentaries up to 30 minutes. The entry is now eligible to compete for a Gold, Silver and Bronze World Medal at a black tie gala at the New York Marriott Marquis on January 18, 2002.

There were over 2,400 entries from throughout the United States and several foreign countries, including Italy, Japan and Germany, in The Videographer Awards 2001 competition, with about 12 percent selected for the Award of Excellence. Fairfield University was the only selection from Connecticut and among 11 colleges and universities nationwide.

All the elements of the production were produced by the Fairfield University Media Center, with James Mayzik, S.J., serving as executive producer. Brian Merry was the producer, Karen Connolly the script writer, Jean-Henry Mathurin the production manager, Jason Kapell the editor, and Scott Volpe the production assistant. A University musician, Peter DeMarco, wrote the musical score, adapted from the Mission Impossible television theme. With only three months to script, shoot and edit the video, it at times seemed like its own mission impossible.

The MI2 spoof is a 13-minute, fast-moving, high-tech piece interlaced with campus humor. Among its stars is Thomas Zingarelli, director of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield, who, dressed in mountain-climbing gear, scales the south side of Bellarmine Hall, a three-story Tudor-style mansion where administrative and admission offices are located. (A stunt man did the actual climbing.)

Tom does actually get to the roof of Bellarmine Hall where a helicopter rising from the back of the building delivers his "assignment." The whirling rotory blades create a current of wind that seem momentarily in danger of sweeping our hero over the edge of the roof.

Throughout the video, several well-known university administrators and faculty (including the beloved and legendary Professor Carmen Donnarumma with his trademark cigar) make cameo appearances using insider humor, hyperbole and theatrics. Driving the story is the plot's mastermind, a.k.a. Rev. Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J., university president, who, cast in a shadow, delivers the opening lines: Good morning, Tom. Sorry to interrupt your vacation.

The video reaches its dramatic end when "Tom Zingarelli" tears off a face mask to reveal that underneath is actually Thomas C. Quick, national campaign chair of Fairfield's $100 million "Our Promise" campaign. As the video ended, Mr Quick remained in character, stepping to the podium at the Waldorf before a black tie audience, still dressed in his "Mission Possible" climbing gear, to deliver his own message of support for the campaign.

Editors interested in viewing the video may call James Mayzik, S.J., director of the Media Center, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2697.

Image: Media Center

Producer Brian Merry, left, positions the camera while Scott Volpe, production assistant, views the helicopter that will deliver the "Mission Possible" assignment to Thomas Zingarelli, who waits atop Bellarmine Hall on the Fairfield University campus. The video, which kicked off Fairfield University's capital campaign, was selected for an Award of Excellence for Video Productions, Educational Institution, in The Videographer Awards 2001 competition.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on December 15, 2001

Vol. 34, No. 119