A girl is running around in a ninja outfit, bowing to college students as she challenges them to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
This is “Ferris Trolls”—a segment created by seniors in the television digital media production (TDMP) program that is part of a bigger show for the course TDMP 499, Advanced Producing and Directing.
“‘Ferris Trolls’ is just a three-minute segment. We troll people on campus whether that be with actual pranks or just general tomfoolery,” Ferris television and digital media production junior Lauren Stefl said. “We want people to realize that it’s all in good fun. That it’s an opportunity to let loose and enjoy yourselves. Take a second to participate rather than rushing to class. I do realize it can be pretty annoying at times but just keep an open mind.”
This semester, Stefl is acting as the host of “Ferris Trolls,” having been asked by the first producer of the segment.
“I needed a change. I am always behind the camera, never really showing off any personality traits about myself to anyone other than friends and this is an opportunity for me to be completely weird and ridiculous. Which I am normally, but actually make something out of it,” Stefl said.
The Ferris Trolls segment was first produced during the Spring of 2013. Over that period, TDMP students have been given the option of continuing the segment for the assignment or starting something new.
Ferris television and digital media production professor Glen Okonoski serves as the executive producer of the show, aiding the students by providing feedback and advice.
“Students are practicing at being effective storytellers and this segment gives them a unique opportunity to approach storytelling through a hidden camera and humorous style. Comedy is a very difficult goal to achieve. Students have to capture good set-ups and then edit them together in an effective way in order to engage the audience,” Okonoski said.
For the course, students divide into two teams and must produce segments for the show “Ferris in Focus” that collects up to 30 minutes of content. It is produced weekly for 10 weeks for both semesters with academic programs being assigned among others. Students are then able to choose the rest of the content.
“Each week a team of two is assigned to a segment on the ‘Ferris in Focus’ show, then the producer and cam/edit go out and try to produce the best segment they can. My favorite part about ‘Trolls’ is filming the secret reactions. Sometimes people know that Lauren is pulling a prank on them but other times they just see some crazy lady come up to them dressed as a ninja and play Rock, Paper, Scissors,” Ferris television and digital media production senior Justin Campbell said.
Students interested in looking at more “Ferris Trolls” content can check out their same-name channel on YouTube.