Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

August 28, 2013

Media instructor writes award-winning research paper

VALDOSTA — Media is an ever-growing field with educators researching and writing on new aspects of the industry every year. Dennis Conway, mass media instructor at Valdosta State University, is one such educator.

In October 2012, Conway’s paper “Are Incentives from U.S. State Film Offices to Media Productions Worth the Money?” was published in the Journal of Media Education. This paper was also chosen for a Scholar-to-Scholar poster session honor at the Broadcast Education Association 2013 Conference.

Conway shared his response upon finding out that his paper had received honors. “I was thrilled. It was the only paper I’d ever entered into a competition. But it was probably the only paper out there on a newly controversial topic, so it did well.”

Conway’s paper researched U.S. state film boards’ incentives for productions filmed in their respective states. He gathered information on all 50 states’ tax-incentive rates, which is a large factor in production decisions of shooting locations. Within his paper, Conway offered the exact rates of each state. Georgia is in the lower third, offering a 20 percent base incentive and an additional 10 percent for a promo.

Conway has used his findings to educate his students. During his classes, he informs students about the benefits offered for filming in certain states.

Conway has been teaching video-production classes at VSU since fall 2009. While at VSU, he has also been active in several different committees including the Student Services Committee, Faculty Senate, Technology Committee, Executive Committee, Mass Media Promotion/“Branding” Committee, Mass Media MFA Exploratory Committee, Mass Media Sports

Communication Committee, and more.

His hard work to improve campus and student life reveals his passion for his job. Conway said of teaching, “I think my role is to light a fire under the students to do quality production work. Sometimes I can do that and sometimes I can’t, but I do try. I try to educate my students in the history and theory of production. We aren’t just doing the project, we are learning about its importance.”

He added, “Teaching college has been my favorite job, except for making my own feature film, which unlike teaching, cost me a lot of money. I’m lucky to teach digital film-making classes, because it’s easy to make students see their film as an extension of themselves, and a mirror of their own quality and ‘coolness.’ Consequently, they work harder, and they even show their films at holidays to their friends and family. They don’t do that with their term papers, although it would be nice.”

Before becoming a teacher, Conway attended Cornell University where he received his bachelor of arts in government. He then earned his master of fine arts in film and television production from New York University. Going to school in New York, Conway is no stranger to big names in the industry.

He worked on Spike Lee’s first film, “Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads,” while at NYU. He was also in the same class as Oscar winner Ang Lee and was invited to his wedding, though he wasn’t able to attend. He also worked with Keith Olbermann at the Cornell college radio station.

Having parents who were educators, and having no desire to go to Hollywood, Conway decided to become a teacher.

“I really do like teaching. I try to think of what I needed as a student or as a film maker and I try to give that to my students,” he said. “I try to give them confidence and the dos and don’ts. I try to teach them how to avoid problem areas in production.”

As for his teaching methods, Conway explained, “I think all quality films come from a quality script. That’s why I show plenty of films in class, long and short, for students to emulate. Then they submit three story ideas, which the class rates. Only then do we write a treatment, and script, and start shooting our group projects. So I start my class as a film guide, then become a writing critic, a production critic, and a movie critic.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Baytree Animal Hospital LB copy.JPG Animal hospital named Business of the Week

    Baytree Animal Hospital was named Leading Business of the Week by the  Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for July 14.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gavel-courtroom.jpg Water treatment plant discussed

    The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners discussed purchasing two pieces of equipment for the Alapaha Water Treatment Plant and the Spring Creek System for a total of $1,638,000 during its Monday work session and is expected to vote on the issue tonight.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • education.jpg Charter school petition denied

    Both the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school boards unanimously denied the joint charter petition from Scintilla Charter Academy during their respective meetings Monday evening.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire2a.jpg Blaze damages North Lowndes home

    Lowndes County Fire Rescue responded to a fire call Sunday at 3756 Cross Creek Circle near Bemiss Road.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140719-KidsInc3 copy.jpg Kids get a taste of retail operations

    Valdosta Mall shoppers may have noticed a few additional shopping options Saturday as they walked through center court.
    Children ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old set up booths and sold products to consumers.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140719-UnseenProject7 copy.jpg CrossPointe welcomes ‘Unseen’ travelers home

    CrossPointe Church members gathered Saturday to greet their pastor and fellow congregationalists returning from a filmed two-month-long motorcycle trip across the nation and back.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Runoff set for Tuesday

    Advanced voting ended Friday for the runoff election from the May 20 primary.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Modern Woodmen RC copy.JPG Woodmen welcomed to Valdosta

    The The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and its Ambassadors welcomed the Valdosta chapter of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 15.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results