Tuscany Trip Spring 2022

Tuscany Trip Spring 2022

When you hear about a Tuscany trip you might be thinking about beautiful sceneries decorated by cypresses and olive trees, great food, nice weather… Let me reassure you, it is all of that, but more. It is also, and most importantly, about meeting new people and learning about media production in a beautiful environment.

The Geneva Webster university’s media department used to organize the Tuscany trip annually during spring break, however because of the pandemic the last trip to Tuscany was back in 2019. The silver lining in all of this is that this long postponement made this year’s trip that much more exciting. Though the trip is a course and we do learn a whole lot, it feels more like a productive and educational vacation.

This year three courses were offered: EPMD1000, PHOTO4000, And FTVP3150. EPMD1000 is an introductory media production course taught by Professor Ariese Visconti. It covers the essentials for creating successful audiovisual media. The students have to produce things such as a podcast, photos, and videos.



PHOTO4000 is a film photography course. More specifically, this course is an 8X10 film photography course. 8X10 cameras are large old-fashioned cameras. You might recall seeing a historic clip of people taking family photos with these where the photographer’s head is behind a drape attached to a large box with bellows that sits on a tripod. This course teaches the film shooting process, film development process, and printing process of 8X10. An experience that forges discipline, patience, and trains the eye. It is a rare opportunity to be able to use such a camera. After this course you will become a better photographer and the skills will have some carryover also when shooting on digital cameras.

Finally, FTVP3150 is a video production course. It goes into more detail about video making than EPMD1000. Students will learn the basic video shots and angles. They also learn to convey a message or theme using only 5 shots of 5 seconds called a 5X5. There are also projects such as a vlog that the course will teach. An amazing course If I may say so.

To give you an idea of the experiences involved, here is what the students had to say:

Roberto: “We stayed at an agriturismo, a sort of cute mini-hotel in the countryside. The night was pitch black because there were no artificial city lights. The air felt so clean and pollution-free. It felt nice to take a break from the urban life.”

Khalid “I am so grateful to have taken photos with an old-school 8X10 camera. It was awesome. I usually shoot on digital and now I enjoy film photography as well.”

Tamara “I have met many amazing people during this trip. It was great and exciting to make media projects with them.”

Student 4 “For me, one of the highlights of the trip was making fire oven pizzas.”

Conclusion: Basically what we are trying to say is to make sure not to sleep on this opportunity. In other words, we truly think you would enjoy it, so make sure to go next time Webster offers this.

Although I managed to get a few film photographs during the trip, I did also have a blank roll of film. Meaning, I took a bunch of shots when visiting the places but none of the photos came out when processing them. It was tough to digest. I made the mistake of not properly placing the film in the camera. Nonetheless, I certainly did not return from this trip empty-handed. Not only did I make nice videos and 8X10 photos, but I also gained a ton of knowledge about media production and met new people.
Almost Someone – 5 by 5

Almost Someone – 5 by 5

Almost Someone

I am taking FTVP 3150, the video class for the Tuscany trip. Before going to Tuscany during the spring break, I had to complete a few introductory assignments. I knew practically nothing about video and film making, so I learned basic shots and angles. Later I started using these basic shots and exploring themes for a video project. The assignment consisted of telling a story on a particular theme using five shots of five seconds, a type of video called 5 by 5.

I wanted to explore the theme of mannequins and statues. I find mannequins and statues quite interesting, there is an eeriness to them that I find is worth exploring. I believe it is fascinating how we attribute emotions and feelings to inanimate objects. I am curious to see people’s interpretations of what these mannequins might feel and the stories people build around them. I decided to film the mannequins through windows to evoke feelings of loneliness, confinement, and more specifically the feeling of longing to be human like the people who walk past them every day. Note that all the shots were taken in Geneva using my smartphone.