EMC Friday Forum: Matthew Pessoni discusses Nashville Production

Matthew Pessoni featured inmage

Video production entrepreneur and EMC alumnus Matt Pessoni is this week’s featured guest at the EMC Friday Forum to talk about the production industry in Nashville and what it takes to make it in the industry. Matt and his twin brother Scott had the inspiration and ambition to blaze their own path to success and create their own production company, Gemini Production Group, a Nashville based production agency that has won Emmy, Telly, and Communicator Awards for their work.

ambre_stewart_20161014_0029Don’t miss out on this special opportunity to get the inside scoop on the current climate of the production industry, the exciting things happening in Nashville, and how you can get involved in this fast paced industry.

1:00 Friday, April 14 in Bragg 103
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EMC Friday Forum: Nic Dugger and the Nokia OZO Virtual Reality Camera


Nokia OZO virtual reality camera

No, that’s not a blow dryer. This strange looking piece of equipment is the Nokia OZO virtual reality camera. Mark your calendar and join us this Friday April 7th at 1 p.m. for the EMC Friday Forum in the Bragg building with EMC alumnus Nic Dugger who will give us a demonstration of his Nokia OZO camera and discuss how he uses it to produce live virtual reality broadcasts. The OZO is the world’s first professional grade camera to capture 360° spherical video and 360×360 surround sound.

Nic Dugger

Nic Dugger

Dugger first became interested in the live TV truck production as a student at MTSU working on the EMC Mobile Production Lab. In 2004 Nic founded his company TNDV: Television, LLC and completed the construction of his first mobile television production truck. Since then his fleet has grown to eight mobile television production trucks which have been used for major television events from presidential inaugurations to major awards shows, sporting events, and other live television productions.

Mr. Dugger’s company has been recognized as Nashville’s Small Business of the Year by the Nashville Business Journal in 2016. You may have seen the billboards around Nashville honoring Nic for this.

He has established an endowment-based after school program for high school students to learn about mobile broadcasting. He is the recipient of the 2006 Mid South Regional Television Academy Rising Star Award. He has 34 Emmy nominations and has received 7 Emmy Awards. He is an inductee of the College of Media and Entertainment’s Wall of Fame. He currently serves as the Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Mid South Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Media and Entertainment.


Nic continues to be one of the most active industry supporters for the College of Media and Entertainment in particular. He is one of the Dean’s most active advisory board members; he hires our graduates; supports us with in-kind gifts; and generously shares his time and expertise with us. He is very respected in the industry.


EMC Check Out System Equips Students with the Tools to Succeed

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Deep in the heart of the Bragg building you can find the amazing EMC checkout system. The system, set up by Mike Forbes, Assistant Director of EMC Engineering and a crew of student workers, helps students gain access to the tools they need for video and film production assignments. Students log into an online reservation system using their MTSU ID info to look over the gear set aside for their specific classes, and make requests of what they need and when they need it. Each set of gear is managed by a faculty member who reviews and approves reservation requests. If a student needs a piece of equipment they are not previously approved to check out, they may put in a request to the faculty member in charge of it.


EMC checkout workers are upper division students who must be quite knowledgeable of all the equipment in all of the sets of gear. It is hard to keep up with every little piece of equipment in each set, so to keep it all organized each item that is accompanied by an RFID tag. Radio-frequency identification tags allow for speedy inventory of items within a kit.

The checkout system is constantly growing with new hardware for students to work with. Having used some of this equipment myself, I can say that this is a great opportunity to get your hands on professional grade equipment and get used to how things work. Giving students hands-on access to this equipment has had a huge effect on student productions. And many professors and faculty will say they have seen visible improvement in the quality of student work since this system went into operation.


First Look Showcases Exemplary Work by EMC Students

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FIRST LOOK is an annual showcase sampling of the best work of the academic year done by students in MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication (EMC).

The official screening event for FIRST LOOK 2017 will take place on May 4, 2017 at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee. Media industry professionals are invited to attend as well as EMC students and their families. A catered reception will take place in the theater immediately after the screening.fl17-logo-v1

First Look is a showcase for everything we do here at the EMC department, whether it be a film, photography, animation, or interactive media. If you have a project that could be considered the best, talk to your professor about how to enter or check out the EMC First Look page and submit!

2017 Blue Spark Awards Celebrating Excellence in TN High School Media Arts

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With the March 15 deadline inching closer, students across the state are working hard to perfect their entries to the 2017 Blue Spark Awards. The Blue Spark Awards are an award ceremony conducted by the EMC department to celebrate excellence in TN high school media arts. The Awards Gala will be hosted April 8 on campus at MTSU in front of a live audience and broadcast live on MT10, the student-run channel on Comcast and AT&T Uverse, and on the web.

All Tennessee high school students working in media arts are encouraged to submit projects.The categories directly align with the curriculum offered in the EMC department and College of Media and Entertainment:

  • Non-fiction or documentary film

    Studio audience at the 2015 Blue Spark Awards Gala

    Studio audience at the 2015 Blue Spark Awards Gala

  • Scripted fiction film
  • Animation
  • Music video
  • New Media
  • Photography
  • Newscast compilation

For more information about categories, rules, and how to enter visit this page.


Friday Forum: Virtual Reality Workshop

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Each Friday in the Bragg building at 1 p.m. students, faculty, and guests gather with EMC Chairman, Billy Pittard, at the EMC Friday Forum. It’s an open discussion about inspiration and information such as technological advances, curriculum, news and events as they relate to the EMC department. A recurring theme for the past few years has been the rise of virtual and augmented reality.

Friday, February 3rd, people gathered for a special opportunity to test out the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. The equipment was provided by the Makerspace located in the James E. Walker Library. All students present got to give the Vive and Rift a test drive.


Along with the virtual reality demonstration Bob Henderson, Media Professional, gave us a look at how he creates 360˚ images using a DSLR camera on a robotic mount.

Baldwin Benefactor Celebrates 90th Birthday

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Saturday, January 28, Harold Baldwin celebrated his 90th birthday at The Baldwin Photographic Gallery named in his honor and located in the John Bragg Media and Entertainment building. Family, friends, students, and faculty came out to celebrate the man who brought photography education to MTSU.

The band played and the crowd mingled and observed the current exhibit in Baldwin’s gallery, titled “Dignity” by unspecifiedDana Gluckstein.

Harold Baldwin brought photographic education to MTSU in 1962 and taught hundreds of photographers until his retirement in 1991. In 1964, he began a tradition of bringing exhibitions of the work of the world’s great photographers to the MTSU campus. He also began a tradition of collecting at least one piece from each exhibition. Over the years his efforts amassed a priceless collection from world renown photographers.


As the MTSU campus evolved, the exhibition space was moved several times, and in 2012, the renovation of the LRC building threatened the permanent loss of space for the gallery. Understanding this, Harold donated $100,000 for the construction of the beautiful current gallery which opened in January of 2014. Harold also made a lifetime commitment to donate $1,250 to the gallery every month for the rest of his life to ensure ongoing exhibition of the finest photographic works.

The Baldwin Photographic Gallery is recognized as one of the finest galleries in the region. Featuring notable photographers and breathtaking photography, the gallery serves as a point of inspiration to the university and the entire region. Thank you Harold!


Behind the Scenes: EMC Productions

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As MTSU Men’s Basketball team got ready for a game against Louisiana State, the EMC Productions team prepare to take on a challenge of their own. EMC Productions was hired by ESPN 3 to broadcast the game on January 28. Watch the video below for a special behind the scenes look at the fast paced and exciting world of EMC Productions as they cover the MTSU Men’s Basketball Team take on Louisiana Tech.

Here is a special look at the multi-imgresviewer interface the production team uses to compete. Billy Pittard says “The student crew works as hard as the athletes on the court to produce the live broadcast. The quality of their performance is just as visible and just as critical as the athletes…” The first 2 and a half minutes you will hear the team get organized for the big countdown, then they’re live!


EMC Productions is a student staffed, faculty managed production team led by Assistant Professor Bob Gordon. Students are assigned positions such as Director, Production Manager, Camera Operator, and more to broadcast the events they are hired for. EMC Productions have been hired by MT Athletics to produce selected Football and Men’s and Women’s Basketball games for Networks like ESPN 3, American Sports Network, and BeIN Sports.

Students learn the ins and outs of MTSU’s $1.75 million Mobile Production Lab to successfully broadcast each event. The truck uses 9 cameras, 7 instant replays, and state of the art graphics and stats. Check here for more information about EMC Productions.

MTSU and VER Partner to Create Unique Opportunity for Students

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MTSU has partnered with VER to give students the opportunity to work with professional grade video entertainment equipment. VER is known for the largest inventory of rental professional grade audio, video, and recording equipment in the world. Three years ago MTSU was approached by VER who had the idea to lend the school an LED video wall in order to train students to use the technology that is becoming more broadly used by many touring artists and other live events. In that short period of time the company has already hired over a dozen recent graduates who received training in this program.


The LED wall in action at last years event at New Vision Baptist Church

In Michael Forbes’ Media Technology class (EMC 3090) he and his students are currently preparing for an upcoming event at New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro. Students will design, program, and set up the wall to complement artists at the event. As the band performs, the video wall will display moving images created by the students to enhance the musical performance. The wall is 47 feet high and 11.5 feet tall and is estimated at ten thousand pounds.

Forbes’ class has three events on the schedule for this semester. One of which being the Recording Industry’s “End-of-Semester Show” in MTSU’s Tucker Theatre. This event will be a collaborative production between three different departments from the university. The musical performances and audio production will be from the Recording Industry Department, the lighting will be done by the Theatre Department and of course, the EMC Department is providing the video support in the form of the video wall, the video content on the wall, plus Professor Bob Gordon’s multi camera video production class will shoot and record the live performance.


EMC Productions Gives Professional Experience to MTSU Students


EMC Productions is MTSU’s driving force in student broadcasting. Having taken the College Sports Media Award for best student-produced sports broadcast in the nation, the team has quite a distinguished reputation. For the last nine years Assistant Professor Robert Gordon has been helping MTSU students learn professional level live video broadcast experience.  With help from MTSU’s mobile production lab, Gordon and the team of students broadcast coverage from events ranging from MTSU Athletics to award shows, musical events, and local music and art festival Bonnaroo.

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-5-15-17-pmEMC Productions is essentially the varsity team for live TV production at MTSU. Production students need to be ambitious and talented make the cut. There are currently about thirty students involved in EMC Productions.  Students do not receive credit hours for their involvement, but the key positions are paid. Like other athletic teams, students must practice, stay competitive, and be continually motivated to perform in order to stay on the line-up.

Working with professionals in this environment goes a long way in filling out a resumé and a LinkedIn profile. To learn more about EMC Productions contact Assistant Professor Robert Gordon or visit EMC Productions.

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