Multimedia - Horizonlines.org

"Horizonlines.org is a general-interest online magazine led by professor Regene Radniecki and produced by students in the capstone course for the online journalism emphasis at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM)." -Horizonlines.org

Students from different academic departments throughout MSUM, are invited to join the Horizonlines staff at the beginning of every academic year to produce an online "magazine". Each volume contains different life stories centered around a specific theme relating to the Fargo-Moorhead Community. I was asked to lead the design and multimedia team for the seventh Volume, "Collective Histories - Images and stories reflecting a regions past".

My primary role was to design and develop the Flash based website for the magazine, while keeping my team on track. My team consisted of several people from different departments that contributed in multiple talented ways. We had several Photographers and Videographers who went to each location taking footage and photos for use throughout the magazine, including a series of slideshows and two videos. My role continued to expand throughout the semester to include working on music for the two videos and contributing to many aspects of the entire online magazine.



Screenshot Samples

The earliest idea we had for this volume of Horizonlines, was to utilize a "book" as much as possible. We thought it would go together as a good theme to the volume's concentration as being a journal of "collected memories". Since volume 4, Horizonlines has been primarily developed in Flash, so doing a book styled flash design was possible.

However at the time the page flipping web elements weren't as prominent as they are now and therefore took a lot of work to develop. We stumbled upon a rough open source version of a page flipping book that we managed to redesign and rewritten to suit our needs. Not long after the book was created and the flipping was perfected, it became apparent that with all the stories the book was going to be massive, and needed a quick way to navigate. A bookmark was created and used as a way to navigate the entire book quickly and easily. The inside pages of the book were created using photoshop along with the navigation bookmark. The staff section was created using elements of real photos merged together in photoshop as well.

The video section was designed a little differently. After a few attempts to incorporate the videos into the book we decided to modernize the section a little bit and have the videos fade in within an organized and easily to navigate style.

Videos / Music

The video production group recorded and edited both of these videos for the magazine. I was asked to compose the music for them. I also wanted to introduce a new feature for the magazine, and that was to get the videos onto the iTunes music store.

Staff Video
  • production year: 2008
  • Location: Moorhead, MN
  • video software: Final Cut Pro
  • audio software: Protools & Garageband

For the Staff Video, the video production group had a clear idea of what type of song they wanted, something similar to the theme from "Doogie Howser". I spent a few days tinkering with several different variations before settling on the piano theme with an electronic ensemble, adding woodwinds and synths.

The video is comprised of footage of most of the Horizonlines 2008 staff. The music was recorded before the video was completed and later edited to fit the timeline.

Merricourt
  • production year: 2008
  • Location: Merricourt, ND
  • video software: Final Cut Pro
  • audio software: Protools

At the time I began writing the song, only the beginning minute or so of the video was edited together. To keep with the video and magazine's overall message and theme, I felt that a slower more melancholy piece would be appropriate. The piece consisted of several different electronic instruments using MIDI, along with live recordings of a Native American wooden flute.

The video is a collection of image still and archival footage of Merricourt, ND. A town now considered a "Ghost Town" for its lack of residents.

Awards

Every year the Horizonlines Magazine competes in multiple competitions for different aspects of journalism and writing styles. Horizonlines has won multiple SPJ (Society of Professional Journalist's) Marks of Excellence Awards over the course of it's decade run. Our edition, Volume 7 "Collective Histories" from 2008 was the first to be nominated and win a 2008-2009 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy in the category of "Advanced Media Student Production".