ETSU Media and Communication graduate earns national recognition for music video

Published 8:50 am Friday, March 13, 2020

JOHNSON CITY — Recent East Tennessee State University Media and Communication graduate Hannah Mehaffey earned national recognition for a music video that she directed, filmed and edited as her capstone project.

Her black and white video for “Crying Again” by Morgan’s Mill earned Mehaffey third place in the music video category of the 2020 Broadcast Education Association Awards. The country video coasts through the ETSU parking garage and ends with an intimate concert by the band on the top deck. Mehaffey said that ever since she heard the song by her husband’s band, she’s envisioned the concept.

“Overall I could not be more excited or more proud of this video,” said Mehaffey, a Maryville resident who graduated from ETSU in December 2019 with a degree in media and communication with a concentration in radio, television and film. “When I first wanted to do this, everyone told me that it was way too ambitious and that I shouldn’t try to do it. But I’m really glad that I stuck with it and did what I wanted to do. It really turned out great in the end.”

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Mehaffey used the talent and tools she sharpened in the ETSU Department of Media and Communication to put the video together. Her adviser, Shara Lange, was excited and proud to see Mehaffey’s finished video and the big honor it received.

“Hannah did an amazing job on her beautiful video for Morgan’s Mill’s song, ‘Crying Again,’” Lange said. “She had a clear vision for the project from the beginning and did a truly remarkable job bringing it to fruition. We have lots of talented students in our film program at ETSU, but Hannah really stands out in terms of her clarity of focus, planning and execution. This kind of precision is rare.”

Mehaffey said the sad song lent itself to black and white and that she wanted to make a different country music video than normal.

“With this being a country song, I knew I didn’t want to do something typical (of a) country music video, with the guy meeting a girl in a bar,” Mehaffey said. “And one-take videos are not very common at all. It really came together well and I am so proud of the video.”

Lange said Mehaffey’s thoughtful crafting of the video was impressive and that she enjoyed the concept and carryout of the video, especially with the country roots of the Northeast Tennessee region.

“I love that Hannah made a music video highlighting a local band and making dexterous use of our very own ETSU parking garage,” Lange said. “We have had several students make wonderful music videos, which is great because as we all know, the music in our region is really fantastic, so it’s nice that our students are able to highlight the richness of our region.”

Mehaffey said that she enjoyed her time in the Media and Communication program and that she was able to develop her interests into skills with the guidance of the faculty.

“I think one of the biggest motivations from this program was definitely the faculty,” Mehaffey said about ETSU’s Media and Communication program. “The faculty in this department are extremely helpful, they’re very supportive and very encouraging.”

Sharpening her skills and techniques and then having the opportunity to get hands-on time with industry equipment have prepared her well for her future, which she hopes will land her a position as a concert photographer or music video director.

“The classes in this program teach you a lot of stuff, but it is cool that you can take that knowledge that they give you and actually be able to apply it,” Mehaffey said. “You have the opportunities to actually go out and do things with yourself.”