In early 2017, a team of UC Engineering students — one of only 27 teams to make the cut — participated in Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hyperloop Competition in Hawthorne, California. CCM E-Media students in UC’s Production Master Class captured their work in a new documentary The Fifth Mode, which airs at 10 p.m. tonight, June 26, 2019, on Cincinnati’s PBS station, CET.

The UC Hyperloop team featured in “The Fifth Mode.”

The concept of the Hyperloop is similar to the pneumatic tubes used at drive-through banks and pharmacies, although these trains will only travel horizontally. Passengers will occupy a car that travels through an enclosed tube, hovering inside of it due to magnetic repulsion. Theoretically, this train could travel at speeds upwards of 700 miles per hour, reducing a commute between Cincinnati and New York to under an hour, and doing so significantly more cheaply than current airfare prices. The Hyperloop competition encourages young engineers and designers to attempt to create this train system. To read more about the Hyperloop competition and UC’s participation, check out this UC Magazine article.

The 30-minute documentary about UC’s journey to the competition was created by CCM E-Media students in the Production Master Class, supervised by CCM professor and E-Media division head Kevin Burke and Emmy Award-winning producer Brian Leitten (BFA E-Media, 2001).

E-Media students filming “The Fifth Mode.” Left to Right: Kelsey Keiser, Laura Walters, Ben Vanden Eynden and Matt Harris.

Twenty-five students worked as editors, producers, music supervisors, audio mixers and graphic designers to create The Fifth Mode, including student producer Laura Walters, as well as Nate Carpenter, David Carrero, Jesse Circelli, La’nice Davis, Jason Gerz, Matt Harris, Kelsey Keiser, Nile Ross, Tanner Segbers, Max Vanden Eynden, Ben Vanden Eynden, Mitch Webb (who was also part of the Hyperloop team) and Becca Wheelen. All of these students completed their bachelor’s degrees in E-Media at CCM in Spring 2018.

UC’s Production Master Class is an experience-based learning initiative that provides students with the opportunity to work alongside faculty and professionals on film and TV productions designed for regional, national and international distribution. Since its inception in 2012, the class has completed five documentaries, which have all aired on television in the US, Canada, Italy, France and Russia and have appeared in film festivals on five continents. In April 2019, The Fifth Mode enjoyed a screening at the Canton Film Festival.

The Fifth Mode will air at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, as well as 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 30 and 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17. Visit the CET website for more information.

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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