2018 Symposium Information

Please click the link for information on the 2018 USCB-BIFF Film & Digital Media Symposium... 2018 Symposium Web Page


2018 USCB FDM Symposium Poster

USCB-BIFF Film & Digital Media Symposium 2017

Thank you to everyone who made our inaugural USCB-BIFF Film & Digital Media Symposium such a success! Here are some photos from the day sessions in CFA and the evening reception at SCETV:

Topher Maraffi  session1

VW Scheich

Brian Canada  Session3

Jeff McQuillen   Sean Kingsbury

Christine Brown   reception


The University of South Carolina at Beaufort, in conjunction with the 11th annual Beaufort International Film Festival, cordially invites you to the inaugural USCB-BIFF Film & Digital Media Symposium. Join us for one day of free and open-to-the-public presentations held on the USCB Beaufort campus and simulcast to the USCB Bluffton campus. Click here for a... Behind-the-scenes article in Lowcountry Weekly 

Saturday February 18th, 10:00am-5:00pm, CFA rm 101, FREE!

Live at USCB Center for the Arts (801 Carteret St Beaufort, SC 29902) in Classroom 101, Historic Beaufort Campus, and interactive simulcast to Library 243, Bluffton campus

  • 10AM | Creating 2.5D Stereoscopic Effects for an SCETV Documentary on Climate Change by Topher Maraffi, MFA, MSc, Media Arts Concentration, USCB Dept of Fine Arts.
  • 11AM | Visual Film Effects on a Shoestring Budget by VW Scheich, Award Winning BIFF Filmmaker, Rareform Pictures & Locktix VFX Studio.
  • Noon | Break for lunch (food and drinks provided to attendees while supplies last).
  • 1PM | Integrating Mini-Documentaries in a Video Game Inspired by Gullah Culture and Lowcountry Folklore by Brian Canada, PhD, USCB Dept of Computational Science, & Candace Brasseur, MFA, Communications Director at Holy Trinity Classical Christian School.
  • 2PM | Hollywood Goes to the Lowcountry: Reflections on Lewis John Carlino’s film version of The Great Santini by Jeffrey McQuillen, MA, USCB Dept of English.
  • 3PM | You Can Be a Documentarian!  Non-fiction Production Tips and Advice for the Amateur Filmmaker by Sean Kingsbury, PhD, USCB Dept of Communications.
  • 4PM | Inspiring Young Minds with a Curriculum in Animation, Creation and Design by Christine Brown, Principal, Bluffton Elementary.

Evening Reception & SCETV Television Studio Tour, 6:00pm, FREE

SCETV Television Facility, Technical College of the Lowcountry, Beaufort Campus (921 Ribaut Rd, Beaufort, SC 29902)

  • 6pm-7pm | SCETV Reception & Studio Tour at the SCETV facility on the TCL Beaufort campus hosted by George Pate (USCB Theater Arts), Topher Maraffi (USCB Media Arts), Sean Kingsbury (Communications), and Kim Sullivan (SCETV Beaufort). Doors open at 5:30pm.
  • See how a television studio works and enjoy USCB Theater Arts students performing "Green Screen Improv"!
  • Directions to SCETV: Coming from USCB Beaufort Campus, drive down Carteret  St to downtown Beaufort. Take a right down Bay St through downtown and along the waterfront to Ribaut Rd, take a left down Ribaut to TCL campus and take the second left. The SCETV facility is on the left near the water, with a large television antenna next to it. Parking is free.
Symposium Map
More Information on the Beaufort International Film Festival: BIFF 

BIFF 2017

Speaker Bios

Topher Maraffi - 10:00am

  • Topher Maraffi has an MFA in Digital Arts & New Media and MSc in Computer Science from the University of California Santa Cruz, as well as a BCA in painting from University of North Carolina Charlotte. Working as a broadcast designer and animator in New York City throughout the 1990s, he designed shows and motion graphics for NBC, as well as titles and special FX for independent films, such as The First Wives Club and Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You. In the 1990s he became a certified 3D animation trainer and adjunct instructor at Parsons, School of Visual Arts, and NYU, and then relocated to San Francisco to teach at Academy of Art. He is the author of three popular technical animation books that were on Disney’s recommended reading list, and for seven years was the Course Director of technical animation courses at Full Sail University in Orlando. He has given presentations at SIGGRAPH, EVA London, Arts in Society UCLA, Animex UK, and Red Stick LSU animation festival. At USCB, professor Maraffi teaches classes in digital animation, video game design, and graphic design, as well as new classes in broadcast design at SCETV Beaufort. At BIFF he has been a judge of the animation category for the last three years, and is on the Beaufort Film Society advisory board. Also a dance instructor, this year he received a Sea Island Institute grant to start pre-production on a documentary of the South Carolina history of swing dancing. 

VW Scheich - 11:00am

  • VW Scheich has worked as a visual effects artist and producer on big budget Hollywood movies for Locktix Studios and Columbia Pictures, such as Ghost Rider, Spider Man 3, and Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as popular television shows like House of Cards and Fargo. His production company, Rareform Pictures, recently produced the short film Wallenda that was completely shot in front of a green screen with over 250 visual effects shots. During post-production VW oversaw a crew of up to 300 student artists to successfully produce the creation and integration of all the CG elements. Coming from a long line of circus performers himself, his period film tells the story of the Flying Wallendas, a popular highwire act that performed in the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1940s. Relocating to Beaufort from Los Angeles, VW is a frequent contributor to BIFF, where last year he won the audience choice award for his directorial debut Interwoven, starring the Academy Award winner Mo’Nique, based on thirteen true life stories intertwined to create one compelling narrative. VW’s current project, which he’s slated to co-direct and produce, is the feature comedy Basement Bob, the tale of a man living in his ex-wife’s basement. Comedy ensues as Bob goes to ridiculous extremes to win her back just when she lists the house for sale.

Brian Canada & Candace Brasseur - 1:00pm

  • Brian Canada, PhD, joined the University of South Carolina Beaufort in 2011 as an Assistant Professor of Computational Science. He holds a PhD in Integrative Biosciences and a graduate minor in Computational Science from Penn State University. At USCB, Dr. Canada teaches courses in web development, Java programming, database design, high performance computing, and computational biology, and has led research workshops in digital image processing and user interface and experience (UI/UX) design. His research and scholarship ranges from data analysis and visualization for biological applications to the development of tangential learning games in the digital humanities domain. In 2016, his South Carolina Lowcountry-themed video game Bugs 'N Boo Hags was selected for PAX Rising, a showcase of ten up-and-coming indie game developers at PAX SOUTH, one of the largest video game festivals in the world. His current project is The Impostor Syndrome, a 3D supernatural thriller video game exploration of "hoodoo culture" interspersed with unlockable short documentaries about Gullah traditions, Beaufort County history, and even the science and ethics of bioengineering research. Dr. Canada also represents USCB as a resident education partner with the Beaufort Digital Corridor, a technology incubator and startup accelerator working to grow and diversify the economy of the city of Beaufort and the surrounding region.

Jeffrey McQuillen - 2:00pm

  • Jeffrey McQuillen, English and Film Instructor at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort, has been teaching English in the Low Country for over 15 years and recently finished his first year as a full-time instructor at USCB. Teaching interests include Freshman Composition and Literature, Visual Rhetoric, and Cinema Studies with a focus on the films of Frank Capra and Science Fiction. Mr. McQuillen has presented twice at the Film and Literature Conference at Florida State University and adjudicated and hosted for the Arkhaios Film Festival on Hilton Head Island last year.


Sean Kingsbury - 3:00pm

  • Sean Kingsbury joined the faculty at USCB in the fall of 2016 after four years teaching communication, broadcasting, documentary production and English at the State University of New York at Cobleskill.  He currently teaches public communication, fundamentals of broadcasting, single camera video production and other communication centered courses at USCB.  He comes to South Carolina after years of experience in broadcasting, including time in radio and television, and has held positions as varied as news director, control room engineer, anchor, journalist and editor.  His graduate work focused on interpersonal and intercultural communication at SUNY Albany, with a focus on organizational communication and conversation analysis.


Christine Brown - 4:00pm

  • Christine Brown is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Master’s degrees in Educational Administration and Educational Technology.  Mrs. Brown has been an educator for over 20 years.  She developed Bluffton Elementary into a fine arts school of choice with a focus on animation, creation and design.


Topher Maraffi
















Brian Canada








Jeff McQuillen

Sean Kingsbury 

Christine Brown