Skip to main content

Behind the scenes of Culture Night 2024

Media Production's crew members say they work all semester to help make Culture Night successful

Two boys sit in front of bleachers and behind a camera set up on a tripod. They both are smiling at the camera.
Media Production crew at work on Culture Night.
Photo by Sugarmaa Bataa

Behind every successful Culture Night event there are Media Productions crew members who dedicated their time and talents to making it happen, said Conor Lunt, the BYU-Hawaii Media Productions manager. About 20 students, several full-time workers and interns were involved in assembling music and video-making, he said.

Lunt gave a shout-out to his team because most of the elements within the production, he added, were student led. He expressed admiration for students who voiced their ideas and courageously took the lead during the creative process.


He said Culture Night is a reminder for BYUH students of the divine diversity found on campus. He said, “As soon as we solidified the idea, we pitched the idea to the Student Leadership and Services department, and rapidly they contacted all [cultural clubs.]”

On the filming day, representatives of each club gathered at 5 a.m. in their cultural clothing. The SLS team monitored the participant's presence and the Media Productions crew made sure to bring every tool to the shoot. In total, there were about 80 people on the set, said Manuarii Tefan, a junior from Tahiti majoring in marketing who works as a Media Productions specialist lead.

Tefan explained, “This was a big shoot. There were many people, and [Feb. 19] was the only day where we could get everyone together.” The days leading up to the shoot the weather was not friendly, Tefan said. “The video team prayed so hard for the day not to rain. [We] were checking the weather app every day and hoped it wouldn’t rain on Monday,” he continued, “It turned out that the Heavens had smiled, and it didn’t rain.”

Audio team

The Media Productions audio team started to assemble all the Culture Night music in January by working closely with presidents and choreographers from participating clubs, said Ralph Mallapre, a Media Productions intern from the Philippines who graduated from BYUH majoring in music performance. Before processing any music, the audio team educated all clubs to observe the copyright law within their countries. “It is very different in every country, but since we live in the United States, getting copyright permission is necessary,” he continued. “Getting permission means it is safe to use.” Further processes were executed after they received consent from the music owner.

He said he enjoyed listening to many intriguing and distinct songs during the process. Although the music can be extremely different, editing each culture’s soundtrack can be done with the universal rules of sound mixing, he said.

Focusing on the song transitions, Mallapre said he suggested the clubs add sound effects in between their song choices. This micro detail enhanced the performance to become more fluid and presentable, explained Mallapre. When the club choreographer and president were open to these suggestions, he added, it reduced the unnecessary pauses within the show.


Media Productions crew members said their work went beyond what the people seated in the the Cannon Activities Center saw watching Culture Night in person. They needed to ensure the quality of the audio and video were outstanding, shared Mallapre, for those watching online. The Media Productions crew "wanted to make sure that we got the best possible [video] for those who watch the live stream so they can feel what it’s like if they were watching in-person.”

The back of a boy who is sitting behind a video camera with headphones on.
A Media Productions worker filming during Culture Night.
Photo by Sugarmaa Bataa

Chants, claps and shouts were great aspects that cannot be missed from the audience, said Mallapre. He said the Media Production crew members set up recording microphones on the stage to ensure they get all the sound from the performers especially when their music, songs and chants were live. There was also a microphone on the audience side to record their reactions to the show.

While audio and video equipment were set on the site, Lunt said, “A lot of people don’t know we were controlling everything from the studio. We call it ‘technical directing,’” he shared. All the music and video were played and controlled from the studio located 0.5 miles away from the CAC.

He said, “Students were controlling the camera exposure on site, but when the audience saw the camera doing the movement, like zooming and focusing, Sam Merrill, the assistant manager, and I took turns in directing [the crews] and controlling the aperture [from far away].”

Leadership skills

“I want everyone to know how awesome the Media Production teams and the students are,” Lunt said. During Culture Night preparations, there were still other outside projects from different departments Media Productions worked on, and they managed to balance it, he said.

Tefan said part of their success came from having people they can rely on who break down projects into manageable parts. He said, “I saw everyone demonstrating leadership. It is a place where if you give your best, then you get back even more than what you put in.”

A boy holding a video camera and microphone, showing an image on the camera to a girl standing at his side.
A Media Production crew member works during Culture Night.
Photo by Sugarmaa Bataa

Mallapre emphasized the mindsets of club leaders with different leadership approaches. He said, “By working with them, I learned to listen, be more appreciative and patient. I think it’s a good trait as a leader because they also know what they are doing and what’s best for their performance.” When he witnessed the exceptional performances at Culture Night, he said he understood that their different leadership styles were effective.