Sometimes waiting to update technology pays off.
Stonehill College, an Easton, Massachusetts liberal arts college, finally updated its 10-year-old video production studio last year and discovered it was able to get more value as a result.
The college’s IT Department and other staff members visited local studios to see what technology would be best for Stonehill. Construction on the new studio began in the summer of 2013, and was completed in time for the fall semester.
“The [old] space wasn’t the greatest,” says Ferayi Karakaya, Director of User Support Services. “We lacked adequate lighting. It was a very small studio and it was difficult for students to use the editing studio.”
The studio is now nearly double in size and many of its old technologies are updated.
The studio update included:
• 24 energy efficient professional lights and four colored lights for different lighting effects
• Three different background curtains- black, grey, and Chroma key which allows for green screen effects
• Tricaster production switcher, allowing for different camera, sets, and effects switches
• A teleprompter
• Adobe Production Premium editing program for students to edit and produce the videos they shoot
Since opening in the fall of 2013, Stonehill College’s newly updated studio has been offering new opportunities for the students and faculty on campus.
Waiting to upgrade the studio allowed Stonehill to find cost efficient upgrades and buy the newest computer programs available.
Karakaya says the school saved money by using energy efficient technology, allowing Stonehill extra money to update its lighting system.
“We got what we spent for the lighting back from National Grid as a rebate,” says Karakaya.
John Kitson, the senior video support specialist, says he was surprised by the new studio’s popularity.
“Obviously we thought the video production classes and communications classes would benefit greatly,” he says. “They have, but one thing we didn’t quite anticipate was all other departments wanting to use the space.”
Kitson says Stonehill’s Career Services, travel abroad program, marketing department, business classes and other staff members have used the new studio.
A new minor program, Digital Media Production, was also added to the college’s curriculum.
Karakaya says the new studio allows the college to shoot its own marketing videos, which is a financial plus.
A student newscast, Stonehill’s SkyNews, also adds an online compliment to the school newspaper, The Summit.
“We all get the opportunity to explore different aspects of news production, and that’s what makes working with everyone on SkyNews so special,” says Ted Carbone, SkyNews member and a communication major and journalism minor.
Thomas Farrell, who also works on the newscast, and is a communication major and journalism minor, says the new studio allows him to explore the broadcast industry.
“As an aspiring broadcaster, the Stonehill studio presents a great opportunity for students to engage in news, production, and sports,” he says. “We have great advisors, Madeline Yusna, Maureen Boyle, and JP Kitson who allow us to be completely student-driven. I am so happy I am a part of SkyNews and pursuing my dream of being a broadcaster.”
Maureen Boyle, the director of journalism at Stonehill College and advisor for SkyNews, says the new studio creates a new opportunity for students seeking a career on television.
“It really gives them a hands-on experience,” she says. “They can do broadcast news, they can do news shows, sport shows, and feature shows really easily. They can get a good reel and it looks very professional.”
Kasie Lyons is a sophomore majoring in Mediated Communication at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. She has also been published in her campus newspaper, The Summit.