When the University suspended classes in mid-March, Terri Sarris’ FTVM 290 section was poised to begin their unit on digital video production. In a typical semester, students would have worked in four groups to produce short digital video “portraits” in narrative, documentary, or experimental forms. 

With University media loan facilities closed and students now geographically dispersed,  Terri challenged her students to instead use their phones, cameras, and laptops to create solo digital video portraits responding to the unexpected circumstances. Students quickly embraced the revised assignment, treating the many limitations as creative inspiration.  Their projects capture the upheaval, confusion, isolation, inability to focus, absence, uncertainty, and even some hope, that students are feeling in this unprecedented time.  

Short works by Emily Bedolis, Priya Dandamudi, Jay Gray, Wenting Guo, Cathy Ni, Taewoong Seo, Joseph Sim,  and Christen Zorzi. 


"Profusion of Restlessness," 
Emily Bedolis 

"Creature Comfort,"
Priya Dandamudi 

Jay Gray

"Bohemia Lies by the Sea," 
Wenting Guo

"Mindset Matters," 
Cathy Ni 

Taewoong Seo 

"Dear Kerry," 
Joseph Sim

Christen Zorzi

In the week following spring break, Terri Sarris’ FTVM 317 (WOLV TV) class was planning to record studio segments for University Living and Michigan Difference, two original TV pilot shows in progress. When the University suspended classes, the University Living group had shot enough location footage to finish their pilot, an entertaining look at Ann Arbor student housing in the style of MTV’s Cribs

The Michigan Difference group quickly shifted gears as Terri reimagined their course work. Rather than working together in the studio, students created solo projects exploring the effects of the pandemic, in documentary, essay, and sketch comedy forms. 

Their 45-minute compilation, edited by Mutaz Faqqouseh and entitled Michigan March 2020, includes segments directed and edited by TK Kim, Isabella Palacios, Oscar Landry, Rebecca Darby, Addie Rodenberger, and Denzel Hamilton-Manuel. 


Michigan March 2020



These projects have been shared with the Bentley Historical Library as part of the Library's project collecting and documenting the experience of the University of Michigan campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic.