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WQED MULTIMEDIA AND PENSE PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCE MULTI-PLATFORM EDUCATION VENTURE GEARED TOWARD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
GiST-iT uses William Shakespeare's HAMLET to pilot interactive program to provide animatic synopses of great works of literature.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 22, 2011

CONTACT:
George Hazimanolis
412-622-1366
ghazimanolis@wqed.org


WQED MULTIMEDIA
AND
PENSE PRODUCTIONS
ANNOUNCE MULTI-PLATFORM EDUCATION VENTURE
GEARED TOWARD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
GiST-iT
uses William Shakespeare’s HAMLET to pilot interactive program
to provide animatic synopses of great works of literature.


PITTSBURGH—In an ever-changing technological world one thing that has not changed is the use of classic literature to engage students in critical thinking. How students connect with that content is now a different story. WQED Multimedia and Pense Productions announced today that they have formed a new company called GiST-iT.

Geared toward high school students, GiST-iT uses the voices of classically trained actors to provide users with dramatic, animatic interpretations of works of classic literature in 20 minutes or less, giving them the “gist of it.”

Combining WQED’s history of taking traditional education content and making it available through multimedia with Pense Productions’ expertise in creating digital content, GiST-iT is not only an educational tool, but a vehicle for the arts.

“This is another example of innovative educational media coming from WQED. As one of the original innovators in media and the voice of the arts in western Pennsylvania, WQED is excited to be working with Pense Productions to offer a new way for teachers to engage and educate students in the arts,” said Deborah L. Acklin, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“It is not a way to get out of reading the book, it’s an invitation into the story.” said Scott Sander, President of Pense Productions. For students who have an aversion to reading books in general, GiST-iT gives them an opportunity to get the gist and decide for themselves. “There’s a new media generation of students who wouldn’t think of seeing a movie without first watching the trailer.” Sander said, “Think of GiST-iT as a mini movie, or an expanded trailer designed to entice skeptical students into the pages of great literature.”

WQED will assist in the formation of an academic advisory panel and advise Pense Productions on identifying and connecting with likely users, the appropriateness of content based on grade level and integrating use of this tool in the classroom and at home. Initially GiST-iT will be available on wqed.org with plans to offer numerous titles translated into several languages. Once fully developed, GiST-iT will be completely downloadable and streamable for the public to use online and with mobile devices with plans to possibly include television broadcasts.

About WQED Pittsburgh
WQED Pittsburgh
has a proud history of honors, including 121 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.

About Pense Productions
Pense Productions
was founded by Scott Sander and Arthur Hair to pursue the development of an end-to-end digital architecture for the production of motion pictures and direct to internet content. Their groundbreaking and often controversial work pioneered at their internet distribution company, SightSound Technologies, has transformed the media and entertainment industry. In 1995 Mr. Sander negotiated the world’s first internet music distribution agreement and sold the world’s first downloadable music. He negotiated the world’s first motion picture internet distribution agreement in 1999 for Darren Aronofsky’s award winning feature film Pi, which became the first full-length film sold as a download over the internet. In 2001, Mr. Sander negotiated the first studio internet distribution agreement with Miramax Films, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, for the pioneering release of the world’s first EVD, a digital download with the full features of a DVD. Mr. Hair has received 46 patents in the fields of audio and video eCommerce; audio and video compression; applied encryption; and trusted peer-to-peer networks. Mr. Hair is currently leading the “Hollywood Production in the Cloud” special project at the Entertainment Technology Center of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.


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WQED Pittsburgh
4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

 

Key Contacts

George Hazimanolis
Senior Director of
Corporate Communications
412.622.1366
ghazimanolis@wqed.org

 

Maria Pisano
Marketing Associate
412-622-1459
mpisano@wqed.org

 

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