Sept. 13, 2011 – A colorful set backdrop and news desk intrigued students enrolled in Video Production: Studio (COMM 3114) as they entered the Video Broadcast Services television studio on Tuesday, April 26. The set did not exist when they left class the previous Thursday. “Is that? For us?” a student asked as she entered the studio, eyes wide. “Whoa! Check it out!” another student said as he approached the desk.
The set had been in the works for a few months but the students never knew about it until they stepped foot into class. “I thought it would be fun to surprise them,” said Derley Aguilar, their instructor. “Seeing their reactions when they realized it was for them to use was priceless.”
Aguilar and Studio Engineer Andy Parker tossed around design concepts for the set from the beginning of the spring semester with the goal of having it ready by the time students would practice creating newscasts. When designing the set, they had to make sure it would be versatile and easy to move.
“VBS allowed us to use their space and the last thing we wanted to do was take up too much room,” said Aguilar.
The finished design reflects Aguilar and Parker’s joint effort. She designed the desk in which Parker suggested a collapsible design and would later add a removable logo. The 2- to 3-person desk, constructed by Zach Bremner, spans only 6 inches in its stored position. Aguilar sought out images for use in the backdrop. Parker framed, installed, and lit them. “We’re thankful Ivan Morozov and Dave Knachel allowed us to use their photos. Not only are these images of campus appealing, they provide the visual flexibility we need,” she said.
As the students took their places both on the set and behind the scenes, the excitement was evident. “We look good up here!” said a student getting ready to anchor a practice newscast. “This looks really impressive on the monitors. So professional,” said the director.
The Department of Communication offers COMM 3114 as a course within the Electronic and Print Journalism option. The VBS studio will temporarily house the course until the completion of the Center for the Arts building in 2013.