Valdosta Daily Times

School News

July 23, 2013

VSU's Talley Mulligan wins media arts award for Johnny Carson Trivia Game

VALDOSTA — A classic television trivia game created and designed by a newcomer to the Valdosta State University faculty received an Award of Excellence during the 2013 Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.


An assistant professor in the Department of Communication Arts’ Mass Media Area, since August 2012, Talley Mulligan initially developed the game — which tests each player’s knowledge of Johnny Carson’s four decades on “The Tonight Show” — on spec for MediaMine, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based company that assists individuals, businesses, and others in making their digital ambitions a reality.


“Here’s Johnny” features 1,000-plus questions, 400-plus memorable clips, and 1,500 or so images from the popular late night talk show, and it can be found on Facebook.


Mulligan admitted — obviously — to being a Johnny Carson fan. However, he noted, “If I’m honest, I was far more interested in the incredible roster of stars that appeared on the show over the 40 years he was on air. I also enjoyed working with all the custom hand-drawn artwork used to transition to and from commercials. We even had access to the commercials themselves, but the client [MediaMine] decided not to incorporate them in the end.


“My primary interest in the project was the challenge of reinvigorating his [Johnny Carson] aging catalog by re-marketing it for a totally new audience.”


An industry professional-turned-academician, Mulligan entered “Here’s Johnny” in the BEA Festival of Media Arts Faculty Interactive Multimedia Competition. A panel of his peers, including media educators and media experts, considered the entry’s professionalism, use of aesthetic and/or creative elements, sense of structure and timing, production values, technical merit, and overall contribution to the discipline in both form and substance before declaring the game a winner.


Preliminary and final round judges described Mulligan’s game as “a thing of beauty,” “unique and enjoyable,” “very entertaining,” and “clever.”


Mulligan’s Award of Excellence indicates superior quality work, parallel in idea to a professor having research accepted for publication in a refereed journal, according to BEA. Although he did not work with VSU Mass Media Area students on “Here’s Johnny,” he said that he had “no doubt that exposing students to this sort of project would be incredibly instructive.”


“I fully plan on being part of Communication Arts and Mass Media’s digital story, and I’m excited about the possibilities this evolution presents for our students.”  


The Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-winning faculty and student works. Winners were recognized and exhibited their works during the Broadcast Education Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nev., April 7-10.


The Broadcast Education Association is an international academic and professional organization for educators, students, and industry professionals who are interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises. It provides a forum for interaction between academicians and leaders in the industry to discuss issues and topics of mutual concern.


Mulligan holds a Master of Fine Arts in communications from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor of Science in architecture from Atlanta’s Georgia Institute of Technology. As a professional, he has worked for a number of companies in Atlanta; New Orleans, La.; and Prague, Czech Republic.


Before joining the VSU faculty, Mulligan most recently served as director of business development for AY Digital and as principal and creative director for Pleather, both in Berlin, Germany. He is considered an expert in new media, digital marketing communications, and user-centered design.


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