Real-world experience


Students produce motorcycle helmet safety video

According to the Safe Community Coalition, four motorcyclists died on Allen County highways last year, and none of them were wearing a helmet.

“I’m not insinuating that a helmet would have saved all of them,” said Evelyn Smith, associate planner at the Lima-Allen County Regional Planning Commission, “but I do know that helmets would have made some of their injuries less severe.”

So, the coalition partnered with Bluffton University’s video production class to develop a short video on helmet use, and instead of taking a final exam for the course, the 11 students in Stan Long’s class are using the skills they learned this semester to edit the safety video.

The final video will be shown during mandatory safety classes at area manufacturing facilities to encourage helmet use since many people ride motorcycles to work. Motorcyclists are not required by state law to wear a helmet in Ohio.

Students, along with a professional crew from Video Branch, in Lima, Ohio, filmed the interviews and video earlier in the semester.

“I think the students did great. The shots were well lit, good exposure, great composition. The audio turned out great,” said Long. “It was neat to see all the things we’ve been talking about and going over in class come to fruition in the field.”

Before taking the class, Colton Steiner ’18, a broadcasting and journalism major from Dalton, Ohio, had made videos for YouTube. He says the class elevated his skills.

“I really like video editing and video production,” said Steiner. “This class was nice because it gave me more in-depth experience of what goes on behind the scenes of a professional video shoot and how to take better quality video and audio.”

Allen County’s Safe Community Coalition reviews traffic data on a regular basis and looks for patterns and trends to address safety needs. Then they use education, engineering and enforcement to reverse the trends. The Bluffton-produced safety video is part of the education aspect.

“We love to work with students. To be honest, I’m old, my ideas are old, but these students are young, and they come with fresh ideas,” said Smith. “Because of their generation and their exposure to multimedia, they see the world differently than I do.”

Smith hopes that as new traffic concerns develop, more videos can be produced to address safety concerns in Allen County.


Video production class
I think the students did great... It was neat to see all the things we’ve been talking about and going over in class come to fruition in the field.”