Monthly Archives: April 2014

Convergent Media Showcase Spring 2014


When:  May 7th, 6pm

Where:  The Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 César E. Chavez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78233

The Convergent Media Collective is proud to be co-sponsoring the Convergent Media Showcase with the Institute of Texan Cultures.

The event will celebrate the end of the semester with works shown by both undergraduate and graduate students from the Communication Arts department at the University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Tx.

So please join us for a night of fun and celebration of the Convergent Media approach to learning.  We will be serving light snacks and soda and have Dreamonoid DJing the event.Below you will see a full listing of the presenters, the title of the work, description and short biography to give you insight into the works that will be shown.


Majed Alghamdi

Title:  The role of Twitter in reinforcing ethics on adolescents in the Arab Gulf

Description: The presentation will take a look at Twitter and it’s effects on the ethics among young Arabs.

Bio: Majed Alghamdi is a graduate student at the University of the Incarnate Word working towards his M.A. in Communication Arts. Majed is currently the president of the Saudi Journalists Association in America. Majed is the author of two published book relating to media ethics (Media and Ethics, 2009 and Media by Numbers, 2010).
Description:  The presentation will take a look at Twitter and it’s effects on the ethics among young Arabs.


David Chavarria II

Title: Documentary on New Music and Young Local Artists of Texas

Description: A short documentary on 4 local of San Antonio’s newest young artists.  David Chavarria II will take a closer look into their lifestyles and have them tell us their stories on how music has inspired them all to the same goal.

Bio: David Chavarria II is a senior getting ready to graduate from the University of the Incarnate Word with a Bachelors Degree in Communication Arts. David is 23 years old and has a dream to work in the music business, whether that be in recording, producing, marketing, or directing, music videos. He considers himself an amateur videographer as well but says that making this video shows his true colors in his passion for music and music culture. After he graduates he hopes he can move to Austin, Texas, where the music scene there is taking off, and work for a record label or production agency and further increase his knowledge in music.


John Sebastian Gutierrez

Title:  Alive in this Moment

Description: The project demonstrates that no matter how chaotic and different family members are, families are still bonded through their connections. Each member is unique and that is what creates the strongest bonds.

Bio: John Sebastian Gutierrez was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He currently is pursuing a Communication Arts degree with a concentration in Production at the University of the Incarnate Word. He enjoys film and music, but most importantly, he loves spending time with his family.


Aleah Jean

Title:  Unicorn on the Run

Project:  “Unicorn on the Run” is a kids video game about a unicorn who has escaped from heaven and is now being hunted by poachers. The player must avoid the poachers while jumping through the platform obstacle course.

Biography:  Senior Aleah Jean is a Convergent Media student at the University of the Incarnate Word. She has a wide range of media education ranging from video production to app development including credentials as the director of photography in a feature film to video game development. She is a self-taught convergent media engineer!


Taylor Stakes

Title: “Printing Education: How Adopting 3D Printing and Scanning into Education Curriculum Creates New Paths to Learning”

Bio: He graduated from UTSA in 2011 with a BA in Political Science. He has been involved in video production since his freshman year in high school. During undergrad Taylor worked full time at a church in San Antonio as a video producer. Shortly after graduating from UTSA he put his degree in political science to practice and worked for a San Antonio Councilwoman at City Hall for about a year before realizing his passion was for video production. He left the Council woman’s office and returned to working at the church for a year before accepting a position at Trinity University as the video and web multimedia content developer. Taylor is responsible for all video production on the Trinity campus and currently has two commercial spots airing on PBS.

Project Description: The education community is right in the middle of a technology taking shape before their eyes. 3D printing has been around for sometime, but not in a cost affordable way that was accessible on a large-scale basis to the education world. 3D printing or additive manufacturing is the process of creating a digital model or taking digital scans of virtually any object and producing a final product through the extrusion of plastics, metal, or a range of many other materials. So how does this change a curriculum, change the way a student learns, or changes the way a teacher teaches? This project will show how 3D printing is already being used as an educational tool and how it is creating an entirely different way of learning and aim to educate educators about how to use 3D printing, examples of how to use it in the classroom, and why every school should have a 3D printer. Or two.


Miriam Thomas

Title: Walking in your Footsteps

Description:  Walking in your Footsteps is a short abstract film in dedication to Cameron Redus. Cameron was a UIW student that was shot and killed in December by a campus police officer. This film is filled with shots that capture the beauty of nature using a variety of techniques, such as panning and time lapses.  This piece was shot over the course of three months and encompasses six different locations. Enjoy.

Bio: ​Miriam Thomas is pursuing a Communication Arts degree with a concentration in Convergent Media at the University of the Incarnate Word. Miriam is also a member of the Convergent Media Collective, which partners with nonprofit and for profit organizations throughout the San Antonio area to create cutting edge media works. In addition, she is currently compiling a think piece that addresses the media’s influence in developing the female body image. Miriam is set to graduate May 2015.

Andrew Valdez

Title: Lotemedía: Lotería, Culture, Media & Art

Description: Lotemedía is a digital interactive experience that explores the history and narratives behind each image in the cultural card game of Lotería.

Bio:  Andrew Valdez is a UIW Comm Arts graduate student who specializes in convergent media. His concentrations involve social media, augmented reality, animation and graphic design. Andrew is currently the Senior Multimedia Specialist at Palo Alto College and will be graduating with a M.A. and A.A. in May 2014.


Lauren Villanueva

Title:  Visual Identity and Small Business Branding: An Identity Project

Bio: Lauren Villanueva is a graduate student and received her B.A. In Communication Arts from UIW in 2012. Lauren has developed a background in visual communication through employment/internships with the UIW Admissions Office, City of San Antonio City Councilman Cris Medina, and the Susan G. Komen San Antonio Affiliate.

Project: In a widely saturated market, optimum branding for a small business has the opportunity to completely professionalize a company and allows for an equal visual playing field between large entities and start-ups. The foundation of a strong brand lies in brand-oriented strategic planning and consistency among visual communication platforms. This capstone project assesses and implements design and branding strategies for a small commercial real estate business in San Antonio.

Vinchenzo Villanueva

Title: Chrysalis Ministries (Bexar County Detention Ministries)

Description: The purpose of this project was to create a short documentary based film that touches and highlights on the events, services, and overall success of the Bexar County Chrysalis Ministries from both the formerly incarcerated and case management members.

Bio: Vinchenzo Villanueva is currently a senior studying at the University of the Incarnate Word. He is 24 and working toward his Bachelors in Communication Arts Convergent Media. Vinchenzo has experience in multiple mediums ranging from artwork, music, and  photography, to film producing and editing. He is looking to graduate in the fall and further his experience once his short term goals for the year are met.


Charlie Young

Titles:  “Fluorocarbons”

Description:  Using past struggles with inhalant addiction as his motivation, he has created an original photo series to bring awareness to the rarely talked about journey of a young addict.

Bio:  A Rio Grande Valley Native, Charlie relocated to San Antonio to obtain a higher education.  5 years later, he will be receiving both a Bachelors and Masters in Convergent Media at UIW.


Secilie Villarreal

Title: Latin Women in broadcasting

Bio: Secilie Villarreal, a San Antonio native, is a senior at the University of the Incarnate Word. She’s studying journalism at the university and currently works with the UIW Logos Newspaper.

Description: My documentary is about Latin women in the broadcasting field. It’ll be aiming at girls who want to go into the field and hopefully give them the advice they’re looking for to prepare themselves. The interviews viewers will be seeing are from two Hispanic women from two different television networks. Viewers will also see some of the work the broadcasters have done.


Automated Slide Arm Tutorial

Some of the bolts from the slide arm package

When you first open up the packaging of an automated slide arm, it can be pretty intimidating. It usually consists of the arm itself, the plate, a battery pack, a timer, and a bag full of nuts, bolts, screws, and weird looking little knick knacks. In addition to the slide arm equipment, you’re going to want to have two steady tripods that are the same. My suggestion is that you have a designated bag for all the little pieces and a box for the plate, timer, and battery to keep everything all together.

Excuse the blurriness but this is the thread the mounts the camera to the plate.

When assembling the plate it makes it a lot easier if you mount the camera onto the plate before starting anything. It mounts just like it would onto a tripod with the threat pictured above. I’ve learned from experience that the thread that comes with the slide arm package does not necessarily fit all cameras. So make sure you do a test fit before you go shoot on location. For example the thread listed above is too large for a Cannon DSLR 6D but it fits perfectly for the Cannon DSLR 60D and T5i.

The beveled bolt that screws onto the tripod plate attaching the arm

Once the camera is mounted, space the tripods the distance that slide arm stretches. Remove the plate that the camera mounts to. In the pile of little knick knacks that the slide arm came with, there should be a beveled bolt similar to the one pictured above. Slide the bolt into the thread that sits in the tripod plate. The bolt will slide into the slide arm track fairly easily, it it doesn’t, give it a little wiggle but don’t force it.

How the plate attaches onto the bolt

Once both the plates from each of the tripods are attached on both ends attach the plates back onto the tripod. Slide the plate with the mounted camera onto the slide arm track.

How the track looks secured onto the tripod

The next step is to attach the gear strip to the slide arm track and wire it through the gears. When wiring the strip make sure that the end caps with the four bolts are secured onto the slide arm track first (pictured below). Attach the strip into the gear securing only on the opposite end of the plate.

The slide arm secured onto the tripod with the endcaps holding onto the gear strip

The teeth in the strip should line up directly into the end cap. Then screw the end cap bolts to the right to tighten the grip.

How the endcaps fit into the gear strip

With the remaining lose end of the strip pull it along the slide arm plate and pull it under the plate with the camera and wire it through the gears like it is pictured below.

How the gear strip looks wired through the gears under the plate

Then secure the end of the strip into the second end cap just like the first one.

How the plate looks wired with the gear strip

Now that everything is pretty much set in place, you have to attach the battery pack and timer onto the plate. Here’s where you can take my advice or leave it. If you are shooting horizontally with the slide arm then just resting the timer and battery on the plate should be safe. However, if you want to shoot with the slide arm with any type of angle, then you’re going to need to secure the timer and battery so it doesn’t fall off the plate while it’s in motion. I recommend attaching 3M Velcro strips on the pieces and on the plate so they are securely mounted next to the camera.

3m Velcro tape placed on the battery and timer to hold onto the plate
The plate with the camera, battery pack, and timer.

Now a second bit of advice is the suggestion of incorporating twist ties. The wires from the battery pack are a lot longer than the distance needed since it’s mounted to the plate. To avoid getting the wires caught in the slide arm track, use a twist tie to keep the wires compact and tuck them onto the plate, freeing the track.

Zipties around the extra wiring from the battery

Finally, the easiest step of the entire tutorial: plug the battery into the timer and plug the timer into the motor on the plate. (It’s usually labeled) I would usually go on to elaborate how to operate the timer that tells the slide arm how quickly it needs to move, but every timer is different.

Once you get down the basics of operating the timer, you’re all set to start exploring the various aspects of film.

The final product being used to shoot horizontally


The CMC presents at STEAM3


In the fall of 2013 we were made aware of STEAM3, a national conference at the University of Texas at Austin. The March 1-2 conference was a future-focused event for all ages to explore multi-dimensional, captivating approaches to the future of education. joey was asked by the conference organizer to be 1 of 20 presenters to give a presentation on STEAM related issues.

joey’s talk was titled, “STEAM in the 21st Century: Maker and Creative Spaces Inside and Outside the Classroom.” He discussed the STEAM landscape in San Antonio, TX and how The Convergent Media Collective has contributed to this movement. For a refresher about what we do check out our Youtube channel:


In addition, the collective was asked to host a demo area.  We managed to put together a set of demonstrations to show off some of the projects we had worked on in the past year. Below is an example of some of the augmented reality demos we had at our table. Video taken by iG user: esiowing

Both our presentation and booth were a hit with the conference goers giving joey a big round of applause and a slew of questions. Andrew Valdez did a great job showing off our projects as you can see in the photos.  A big shout out goes to him for all his efforts. He is also responsible for the awesome banner we currently have.

This conference provided an opportunity for the collective to show off their work beyond the city limits of San Antonio. It is fair to say that our work is on par with that of other groups and organizations within the state. The collective managed to network with other like-minded people and discuss new media and STEAM in the 21st century.