ACE Award

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Film crew promos AC
Buddy Shores and Robin Reed
The Ranger / September 16, 1982

Ron Schildknecht shooting film for the promo. Photos by Paul Launius.

Charles Cranston, Bonnie Kinstle, Steve Daniels, Kathleen Tyson and Ron Schildknecht concentrate on each of their jobs.

Director Charles Cranston and Ron Schildknecht look through the camera as Lynn Sherman looks on.

Making a film is not always glamorous.

To the crew, it often a tedious, back-breaking job.

Working on a tight schedule, the production crew arrives on location at 7 a.m. to begin filming the Amarillo College promotional film, tentatively titled, “Amarillo College: An Alternative to Learning.”

The informative recruiting film will be distributed basically to high schools and civic groups throughout the Panhandle region.

"It’s a good idea." "It’s a good film to take out into the community to tell the Amarillo College story."

"Charles Cranston has done a good job scripting, directing, and producing the film," Paul Matney, chairman of Radio/Television, said.

Charles Cranston, assistant director of Learning Resources, is directing the film.

When filming is complete, Cranston will take the film to Dallas for editing and production.

The cinematographer for the project, Ron Schildknecht, came to Amarillo from Dallas.

Running the only camera, Schildknecht sees most of the shots before anyone else.

Bill Sexton of KGNA radio will be narrating the film, adding the touch of his well-known voice to the quality of the film.

The project is made with the help of many different organizations.

Filming has taken place at all three campuses of AC.

Also worked into the film will be shots from downtown Amarillo, Palo Duro Canyon, Bishop Hills, Memorial Park and the medical center complex.


Junior High Students make film
Elizabethton Star / November 26, 1981

Under the direction of Ms. Sarah Baker and Ron Schildknecht, several Junior High School students are making a film about the early Wataugans’ defense of Fort Watauga from the Indians. Members of Ms. Baker’s fourth period class have done much research on the subject, and the above pictures are shown filming a scene. The students, in addition to the history lesson, are also learning the techniques of filmmaking. They have also written their own script. Film people include Twyla Hayes, director, Debbie Crumley, assistant director, Mark Duncan, Wayne Smith and Paul Kimmerle, cameraman, Brian Bishop as John Sevier, Steve Dorsey as John Carter, Eric, Raulston as James Robertosn, Jimmy Ensor as Dragging Canoe, Bo Townsend as Attakulla-kulla, Becky Emmert as Bonnie Kate, Chana Kirby as Nancy Ward, Paul Kimmerle, Paige Kane and Beverly Sammons as Indians, Ronnie Ellis, Cindy Britt, Amy Couch, Gabi Cowan, Julie Ellis, Anne Hutchinson, Rhonda Lacey, Eleanor Snell and Angela street as settlers.


Ronald Schildknecht presents program to Literature Dept.
Elizabethton Star / November 8, 1981

The Literature Department of the Woman’s Club met at the home of Mrs. Jim Nichols on October 26. Co-hostesses were Mrs. Ruth Ritchie, Mrs. Raymond Roddy, Mrs. Joan Smith and Mrs. Charlotte Weikel.

Mrs. Harry Riggs presides and welcomed Ronald Schildknecht, guest speaker, members and guests.

Mr. Schildknecht spoke on the Media of the City Schools as follows: “The National Endowment for the Arts and the Tennessee Arts Commission support a project called The Artists-In-School Program, which is a vehicle for integrating the arts into the basic school curriculum and into the lives of everyone involved. The various components of the program include Visual Arts, Dance, Music, Theatre, and Poetry. The school system here at Elizabethton this year is participating in such a program under a “Film and Video” component. As stated in the TAC (Tennessee Arts Commission) guidelines, the objective of the Film-Video program is “to introduce students and teachers to creative Film-Video techniques, practices, possibilities and limitations. “I am employed by the Elizabethton School System not as a classroom teacher as such, but rather as a professional artist as a resource to the teaching staff.

“The need for a Film-Video Program in our schools is as follows: by the time a student has graduated from high school he has spent more hours in front of the TV set than in the classroom. Students are constantly bombarded with visual messages to such a large extent that they are literally numbed, unable to distinguish the elements of the visual communication that make it effective. The electronic revolution of radio, commercial television, cable TV, video-tape and video-disc – with its constant gamut of programming from thirty-second commercials to prime-time soaps and sit coms to on-the-spot news coverage – has desensitized audiences into passive, visually illiterate viewers.

“Here I am fond of using the analogy of a fish when speaking of the visual phenomenon. We are surrounded by visual and oral messages like a fish is surrounded by water. But if you told a fish that he is wet I doubt that he would believe you. He is numb and unaware of the water as we are of the constant bombardment of visual messages.

This problem can be combated on two fronts: first, the study and appreciation of film gives students the opportunity to recognize the elements of the medium (script, directing, photography, set design, editing, etc.) Second, students need to develop critical viewing skills in order to distinguish effective from non-effective visual communication. Films that depend mostly on visual imagery for the intellectual and emotional power should be viewed. In order to achieve this goal, I have organized a film series at the high school, in which two films a month are shown. Each month has a particular theme. For instance October was Alfred Hitchcock month and November focuses on the films of Humphrey Bogart (The Maltese Falcon, Nov. 9, and Cassablanca, Nov. 23). Other tentative tiles include The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Citizen Kane. All screenings are open to the public.

“The second approach to the problem includes the actual production of the student films. The students, armed with super and cameras or video cameras, are challenged to communicate and express themselves in a creative fashion. In addition, the films can be used to reinforce a subject matter. For instance, the art classes are working in animation and cartooning, the newspaper class experienced video newsgathering and several junior high classes are producing films dealing with both American and Tennessee history.

“This type of activity encourages motivation, subject reinforcement, group participation, communication skills, self-expression and most importantly, creativity. Creativity is the goal of all learning. Students are given such an opportunity through the study and making of films, visual awareness is an ability that benefits all involved. Students need not be denied the right to such a valuable discipline. Cooperatively, we must educate a society of not only verbally literate members, but visually literate ones as well.”


Students learning visual arts by experience
Mark Dawidziak
Kingsport Times-News / October 4, 1981

Traditionally, elementary and high school students are taught to appreciate the written word. In a word-oriented society where success is dictated by one’s proficiency in communication, educators rightly put a premium on reading and writing.

But, as such pundits of sociology as Alvin Toffler and Marshall McLuhan have observed, our civilization has become increasingly video-oriented. Not that the written word is losing its importance – just that the amount and sophistication of information, communication and entertainment mediums have mushroomed.

In a bold new project funded by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, nationally recognized filmmaker Ronald K. Schildknecht is working with students in the Elizabethton City Schools, “providing a program of instruction and resources in film and video.”

Part of the Arts Commission’s “Artist-in-Schools” program. Schildknecht’s year-long residency is designed “introduce students and teachers throughout the school system to creative film and video techniques and practices by utilizing school film projects, film festivals, visiting artists and other means.” The $14,500 grant to Elizabethton City Schools was the largest Artists-in-Schools allotment for the 1981-82 school year.

“It’s pretty much an untapped area on the high school level,” commented Ken Moffett, director of special programs for the school system. “Ron is working with both students and teachers, finding out what their needs are and showing them how film and film techniques can be used. We feel fortunate to offer this opportunity for students to be creative and broaden their horizons. Ron is based at the high school but he’ll be working with all the schools.”

Art students, for instance, will learn animation from Schildknecht, while journalism students get first-hand experience at video news gathering.

“Every child, every student has one universal, fundamental right: access to education,” Schildknecht has written in his overview, Drowning in Passivity: the Rationale for a Film-Video Program. “It has become clear that one essential aspect of the learning process is to develop the ability to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the moving image. This responsibility should not be limited to the film specialist, the artist, etc. All educators committed to the intellectual development of our youth are responsible for promoting aesthetic and artistic values in students.

“But unfortunately, many elementary and high school teachers, as well as those in higher education, remain unaware of the visual phenomenon that bombards our daily lives… In short, the electronic revolution… has desensitized audiences into passive, visually illiterate viewers.”

To fill this need, Schildknecht hopes to teach students to recognize “elements of the medium – script, directing, editing, camera angles” – through study and appreciation, along with the actual production of films and videotapes.

Filmmaker Ron Schildknecht, center, instructs Elizabethton High School students on the finer points of operating a video camera as part of the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Artist-in-Schools program. Photo by Earl Carter.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Schildknecht’s passion for moving images started in high school, where the aspiring filmmaker made several movies with friends. On the academic level, he graduated magna cum laude from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green with a major in mass communications.

He went on to receive his masters in Educational Media at East Texas State University, where he was also an assistant instructor. In 1980, he entered the American Cinema Editors (ACE) Student Editing Competition and was one of the three top national finalists to receive an award at last spring’s ACE Banquet in Beverly Hill Calif.

His dramatic video production, Chapters, for which he was co-producer and director of photography, was entered in the National Video Competition sponsored by the American Film Institute and Sony Corp. It was awarded regional runner-up earlier this year.

A member of the American Film Institute, Schildknecht has “been involved in the development of visual presentations for the United Way, world hunger, and a stage production, as well as television commercials.”

Supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the school system and local sources, the Artist-in-Schools program is “designed to integrate the arts into the basic school curriculum. The program provides grants and consultancy to place practicing, professional artists in a school situation primarily as a resource to the teaching staff.”

“The students will be producing actual films,” Schildknecht explained. “The reporting class is in the process of making a short documentary on the arrival of the Overmountain Men at Sycamore Shoals. Bob Pannell’s art class will be making an animation film. We now have a video pack and monitor and a Super 8 sound system should arrive soon. This program will be taken to the entire school system teaching film as film and as it applies to various subjects.”

To enhance his program, Schildknecht has also initiated a series of films for students and the general public. These Monday night presentations started recently with a trio of motion picture parodies. Ultimately, he’d like to have an evening of student-produced films.

“The goal of learning is creativity,” he concludes. “Students need not be denied the right to such a valuable discipline. Cooperatively, We must educate a society of not only verbally literate members, but visually literate ones as well.”


Elizabethton receives grant to initiate new art program
Joe Bowling
Elizabethton Star / October 4, 1981

Kenneth Moffett, Director of Special Programs for the Elizabethton School System, announced that the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the Elizabethton School System a $14,500 grant which is the largest of its kind to be granted in the state.

The grant was for the Artist-in-School Program, which was initiated this year in the Elizabethton School system. However, the program is some 10 years old in the state.

Johnson City and Greene County were the only other school systems in the First District to receive a grant.

The whole purpose of the new program is to introduce students and teachers to creative film and video techniques, practices, possibilities and limitations, pointed out Moffett.

Instructor for the new program is Ronald K. Schildknecht, Louisville, Ky. Mr. Schildknecht is a member of the American Film Institute, and has been an assistant instructor in the Center for Educational Media and Technology at East Texas State University, and graduated magna cum laude from Western Kentucky University majoring in mass communications.

New art program. The Elizabethton City School System this year initiated an arts-in-the classroom program with Ron Schildknecht as instructor. The City also received a $14,500 grant to operate the program from the Tennessee Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts. Pictured with Schildknecht as he instructs the loading of a 8mm movie camera are students, Debbie Lamb and Debby Julian.

Schildknecht was nominated as one of the top three national finalists in the 1980 American Cinema Editors (ACE) Student Editing Competition and received an award at he ACE Awards Banquet in Beverly Hills, California, this past spring.

“Chapters,” a video production on which he served as co-producer and director of photography, was entered in the national Video Competition sponsored by the American Film Institute NS Sony Corporation. The dramatic production was awarded regional runner-up earlier this year.

He has also been involved in the development of visual presentations for the United Way, world hunger, and a stage production, as well as television commercials.

The Artist–in-Schools program, supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and local sources, is designed to integrate the arts into the basic school curriculum.

The program provides grants and consultancy to place practicing, professional artists in a school situation primarily as a resource to the teaching staff.

Mr. Schildknecht stated that every child, every student has one universal, fundamental right: access to education. It has become clear that one essential aspect of the learning process is to develop the ability to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the moving image. This responsibility should not be limited to the film specialists, the artists, etc. All educators committed to the intellectual development of our youth are responsible for promoting aesthetic and artistic values in students.

“But unfortunately, many elementary and high school teachers (as well as those in higher education) remain unaware of this visual phenomenon that bombards our daily lives. Consequently, most of their students are also “left in the dark” concerning the visual arts, unable to distinguish the elements of the medium that make them think and feel the way the filmmaker wants them to,” added Schildknecht.

“In short, the electronic revolution – with its constant gamut of programming from thirty-second commercials to prime-time soaps and sit coms to on-the-spot news coverage – has desensitized audiences into passive, visually illiterate viewers. We are surrounded with visual and aural messages like a fish is surrounded with water.”

“So the problem is: How do you make a fish realize that he is wet? If you simply told him, I doubt that he would believe you. But, through a series of planned experiences, he is likely to make the observation himself.”

In closing Schildknecht stated,” The goal of all learning is creativity. Through a successful film-video program, students are given such an opportunity by the making of films and by the writing and discussing of films. Visual awareness is an ability that benefits all involved. Students need not be denied the right to such a valuable discipline. Cooperatively, we must educate a society of not only verbally literate members, but visually literate ones as well.”

Moffett pointed out that very good results have already been shown with the new program and another activity of the program will be the visiting artists aspect. “Ron has already been talking to national film makers about visiting our school system.”


Artist-in-school program initiated by Elizabethton
Elizabethton Star / August 27, 1981

Ronald K. Schildknecht, Louisville, Ky. will serve as the Artist-in-Schools working with video and film in the Elizabethton City Schools during the 1981-82 school year. A member of the American Film Institute, he has been an assistant instructor in the Center for Educational Media and Technology at East Texas State University, and graduated magna cum laude from Western Kentucky University majoring in mass communications.

Schildknecht was nominated as one of the top three national finalists in the 1980 American Cinema Editors (A.C.E.) Student Editing Competition, and received an award at the A.C.E. Banquet in Beverly Hills, Calif., this past spring. “Chapters,” a video production on which he served as co-producer and director of photography was entered in the National Video Competition sponsored by the American Film Institute and Sony Corporation. The dramatic production was awarded regional runner-up earlier this year.

He has also been involved in the development of visual presentations for the United Way, world hunger, and a stage production, as well as television commercials.

The Artists-in-Schools program, supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, The National Endowment for the Arts, and local sources, is designed to integrate the arts into the basic school curriculum. The program provides grants and consultancy to place practicing, professional artists in a school situation primarily as a resource to the teaching staff.

The purpose of the film-video component of the program is to introduce students and teachers throughout the school system to creative film and video techniques and practices by utilizing school film projects, film festivals, visiting artists, and other means.

Schildknecht will be working in the schools for the full school year, providing a program of instruction and resources in film and video. This event has been made possible with the financial assistance of the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, the state and federal agencies which encourage and support public participation in the arts.


ET Student nominated
The Herald Banner / March 14, 1981

COMMERCE, Texas - “May I have the envelope, please.”

Ron Schildknecht, an East Texas State University graduate from Louisville, Ky., has his fingers crossed.

Schildknecht hopes that when the envelope seal is broken the night of March 21, Mark Hamill will say, “And the winner is… Ron Schildknecht of East Texas State University.”

Hamill, Luke Skywalker of “Star Wars” fame, is scheduled to reveal the winner of the 1981 Eddie Award in the student editing competition of American Cinema Editors, Inc.

Schildknecht is one of three nominees for the prestigious award from an original group of candidates limited to 60 by the film editors’ society.

For a young man whose dream is someday to become a Hollywood film director, Schildknecht’s first trip to America’s glamour capital will be a memorable one.

The student film editing competition will be the only recognition given to a non professional during the evening-long awards banquet – a la the Academy Awards ceremony – in the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom.

Schildknecht’s selection nomination was based upon his creative editing of a scene from an episode of the TV series “Vegas” aired earlier this year.

“Aaron Spelling Productions (producer of “Vegas”0 sent me 350 feet of dailies (16mm film) and sound track,” Schildknecht said. “My challenge was to creatively interpret that footage and package it as a scene from ‘Vegas.’ ”

The same footage was submitted to each contestant, and a panel of professional film editors selected the three finalists for the Eddie Award.

Schildknecht’s honor is particularly notable considering that the competition was his first attempt at editing sound.

EDDIE AWARD NOMINEE - Ron Schildknecht, and East Texas State University graduate from Louisville, Ky., is one of three nominated for the Eddie Award in the student editing competition of the American Cinema Editors, Inc. The winner will be announced by Mark Hamill during the Academy Awards presentations in Hollywood on March 21. Schildknecht’s selection nomination was based upon his creative editing of a scene from an episode of the TV series “Vegas” aired earlier this year. Photo by David Walvoord.

“I’ve worked on a number of films, but editing sound was a whole new dimension to me,” Schildknecht said.

Schildknecht’s interest in filmmaking developed at an early age.

“When I was a kid, my family usually went on a summer vacation, and Dad always took home movies.,” he said. “It was a big deal for me when he’d let me shoot some footage."

Schildknecht’s interests began to refine when, as a high school student, he produced and directed two films as class projects.

When he completed his bachelor’s degree last year at Western Kentucky University, it was with a major in mass communication and a minor in film studies.

Schildknecht emigrated to ETSU on the recommendation of a Western Kentucky professor, Dr. Ed Counts, who had earned his doctor’s degree at ETSU and knew that ETSU’s Dr. Bruce Ledford (now Schildknecht’s major advisor) was involved in several film projects.

“Cinematography is a highly specialized area of study, and we were extremely pleased that a student of Ron’s obvious abilities decided to come to Texas to study with us,” Ledford said.

Schildknecht is scheduled to receive his master’s degree in educational technology with a photojournalism minor next December.

While ETSU has established a national reputation in the training of still photographers, cinematography is a developing area at the Commerce school.

“Because of their proximity to the film industry, the well known film programs have developed on the coast,” Ledford said.

He noted that American Cinema Editors’ student competitions typically have been dominated by students from the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles.

“We think it is quite the honor for Ron, and for ETSU, that he was selected as an Eddie nominee,” Ledford said.

Schildknecht isn’t going to be downcast if he doesn’t win the Eddie. He looks upon the competition as a “valuable learning experience.”

In fact, he’s already involved in his new project.

Schildknecht is producing an original 15-minute drama titled “Chapters” which was authored by another ETSU student, Charles Cranston of Paris, Texas.

“Charles’ story is about a psychotic novelist who acts out the chapters of his book,” Schildknecht said.

The film is being entered in the student competition of the National Video Fest, which will take place this summer in Washington, D.C.

“I could see myself working in Hollywood someday – maybe as a director. But I’ll be happy if I can just become a success at some phase of film production whether it’s in Hollywood, commercial work or as an independent filmmaker,” Schildknecht said.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Schildknecht is the son of Mr. And Mrs. Lloyd Schildknecht, Louisville, Ky.)


Student attends banquet for national editing contest
Phil Reyes
The East Texan / February 27, 1981

An ET student was chosen Monday to attend the American Cinema Editors' Banquet in Hollywood.

Ron Schildknecht, Louisville, Ky. graduate, placed in the top three out of 53 students to participate in a national editing competition. He will attend the banquet to find out whether his entry was best among the three top finalists.

Ron Schildknecht, Louisville, Ky. graduate, takes a break from his film editing work that made him one of the top three finalists in a national student editing competition. Photo by Scott Metcalfe.

The contest, judged by editors in the film industry, consisted of editing a segment of "Vegas."

"They sent me some footage from the show and I put it together as I saw fit," Schildknecht said. "I got the footage in November and ironically the episode was on TV the next week," he said.

"I saw it, but I don' think it helped or hurt me. I'm sure other schools video-taped the show, but it wouldn't show much creativity if they copied exactly what the editors had done with the footage. I went home for Christmas, and I read every book I could find on film editing. I spend about three weeks editing a scene of five minutes down to two minutes," Schildknecht explained.

Since the transportation and lodging are not paid for, Ron will have to foot the bill for all expenses except the meal itself. When asked whether he would go, "There is no doubt that I'm going. It's just something you have to do."


Kids Hold Carnivals At Home To Fight Muscular Dystrophy
Jefferson Reporter / July 31, 1969

Ronald Keith Schildknecht of 2717 Maxon Drive is planning to sponsor a carnival on August 1 at 11:30.

"I want to help kids who have "Muscular Dystrophy," says Ronald, "and it might be fun too.

Ronald, 11, is a sixth grader at Goldsmith. The part of the carvival project that has kept him busiest is his advertising campaign.

He has been making posters and displaying them in the local grocery and in other spots around the neighborhood. He expects about 50 younsters to attend the event, including a lot of his baseball pals.

Featured at Ronald's carnival will be a Popeye cartoon and a movie about Weeki Wachi, Florida. A puppet show has also been planned by some of the kids in the neighborhood.

A friend donated some old comic books she didn't want anymore; he plans to sell them at the carnival.

Admission to the event will cost area youngsters 5 cents, games another nickel. He is planning on charging a dime admission to the movie and cartoon...

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