MTSU’s EMC Productions wins national award for Outstanding Live Game Production

SVG award 1

EMC Productions, MTSU’s live TV production varsity team has won the award for Outstanding Live Game Production, Collegiate Student category of the College Sports Media Awards. The College Sports Media Awards are conducted by the Sports Video Group (SVG) and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The award was announced June 1, 2017 in Atlanta in this national competition’s awards ceremony. The winning entry was for EMC Production’s coverage of the men’s basketball game between MTSU and Florida International and aired on ESPN3.

On hand to accept the award for EMC Productions were Zac Leonard, Stephen Hart, Kaelin Bastin, and Logan Day. All four of these students held key positions in the winning production team. Professor Bob Gordon, Executive Producer for EMC Productions had this to say about the team, “These students go beyond what is required. They don’t look at these events as assignments they have to do. They look at them as fun, exciting, shows that they want to do. They are preparing for a career in live event television production and I love helping them get their start.”

EMC Productions students with the SVG award. Logan Day, Kaelin Bastin, Zac Leonard, and Stephen hart

EMC Productions students with the SVG award. Logan Day, Kaelin Bastin, Zac Leonard, and Stephen Hart

This is the second win of this coveted award by EMC Productions. The first win was in 2014 for their live coverage of the men’s basketball game between MTSU and East Carolina.

EMC Productions is a unique organization at MTSU. It is essentially the university’s varsity team for live TV event production. Students compete for positions on the team, and just like athletics teams they must work and practice to develop their skills. The name of the organization will change to Media Arts Productions on July 1, 2017 when the name of the department changes from Electronic Media Communication (EMC) to Media Arts.

2017 Blue Spark Awards winners announced

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Winners in the Blue Spark Awards were announced in a live broadcast of the gala awards ceremony on April 8. A complete list of winners and finalists can be found at this link.

The live broadcast was produced by a crew of MTSU students studying Video and Film Production and was broadcast on Comcast Cable in Rutherford County, ATT U-verse throughout Middle Tennessee and live streamed on the Internet. A recording of the broadcast will be posted to this website in a few days.

Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists!

2017 Blue Spark Finalists Announced

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We are very pleased to announce the finalists for the 2017 Blue Spark Awards. We hope to see all of the finalists with their teachers and families attend the awards ceremony on April 8. The live broadcast starts at noon, so please arrive at least a half hour early. The ceremony will take place in TV Studio 1 in the John Bragg Media and Entertainment building on the MTSU campus.

Click here for the complete list of finalists.

EMC name changing to “Media Arts”

Media Arts banner

The Department of Electronic Media Communication (EMC) is changing its name to Media Arts. The new name goes into effect in July, so we are putting the word out now.

The world has changed

The world and the department have changed a lot since Electronic Media Communication became the department’s name. Among other things, a year and a half ago the Multimedia Journalism program and its 170 students were moved from EMC to the School of Journalism, leaving the EMC and its five remaining programs with a much clearer focus on media arts.

Also a year and a half ago, the College changed its name from the College of Mass Communication to the College of Media and Entertainment. Three quarters of the students in the College are studying entertainment-oriented topics, and the whole College deals with media. Mass Communication is no longer the driving force in the industry. A name change was necessary. “College of Media and Entertainment” is more accurate and descriptive.

The electronic anachronism

During this same period, the EMC Department dropped the word “Electronic” from three of its program names to update and better reflect the nature of those programs, and to be better understood by prospective students and the industries served.

Amid all of this change, it became increasingly clear that the name Electronic Media Communication was past its prime. The word “electronic” is suggestive of a past era, and the name is not readily understood by key constituencies. The full name is so long that “EMC” has become the default name of the department. Unfortunately the name “EMC” has no meaning outside of the university community.

The search for a new name

The EMC faculty explored options for new names for two years and finally settled on “Media Arts.” A survey conducted by the department found 52 universities around the United States using “Media Arts” as the name or part of the name for programs. The survey also showed that a majority of those programs included studies that align closely with those in the EMC department.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive when we have asked current and prospective students, their parents, and people working in our industries what they thought about the name Media Arts. It has been clear that we found a better name that people understand, is succinct, and accurately reflects the department’s programs. We also believe the words “media” and “arts” will stand the test of time much better than words like “electronic” and “digital.”

The gauntlet of approvals

To make the change, “Media Arts” was approved by the department faculty, the Dean of the College, the College Curriculum Committee, the University Curriculum Committee, the Provost, the University President, the Tennessee Board of Regents, and finally the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Long live Media Arts!

A brief history of the Radio-TV/Photography, Electronic Media Communication, Media Arts Department


1962 – Photography begins being taught at MTSU by Professor Harold Baldwin.

1971 – Mass Communication classes begin at MTSU.

1988 – The Mass Communication Department becomes the School of Mass Communication.

1988 – The Department of Radio-TV/Photography (RATV) is formed from Radio, TV, and Photography programs. The new department has emphases in four areas:

  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Broadcast Production
  • Broadcast Management
  • Photography

1988 – A student cable television station was started in the Department of Radio-TV/Photography. Now known as MT10.

1989 – The Mass Communication Department becomes the College of Mass Communication.

1991 – The College of Mass Communication moves into the newly built John Bragg Mass Communication Building.

1991 – The Mobile Production Lab (MPL, also known as “the truck”) goes into service for the Department of Radio-TV/Photography for the next 20 years.

1992 – Digital Animation and Imaging sequence developed by Professor Marc Barr is added to the Department of Radio-TV/Photography. This is the first program of its type in the TBR and the region.

1993 – WNAR (We Need A Radio) student radio station started. Now known as WMTS.

1994-95 – WNAR changes call letters to WMTS.

2000 – Digital Media Communication sequence developed in the Department of Radio-TV/Photography. Later changes name to New Media Communication, and will change again in Fall 2017 to Interactive Media.

2001 – The Department of Radio-TV/Photography changes its name to Electronic Media Communication.

2011, Fall – A new HD Mobile Production Lab (MPL) goes into service in the Department of Electronic Media Communication. The new truck begins a legacy of an average of about thirty live productions manned exclusively by student crews each fall and spring semester.

2011 – EMC Productions is organized as a quasi-professional varsity team for live television production with Dr. Dennis Oneal as Executive Producer. A contract is signed with MTSU Athletics for EMC Productions to produce live broadcasts of football and basketball games. Many of the live broadcasts are aired on ESPN3.

2013 – EMC FIRST LOOK is launched as an annual showcase of the best student work from the past year at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville.

2013, Spring – The Blue Spark Awards are born as an evolution of the SMARTI Awards, a media arts competition for Tennessee high school media arts students.

2014, January – The Baldwin Photographic Gallery opens in its new location funded by a gift from former Photography professor, Harold Baldwin. The first exhibit in the new space is Jerry Uelsman and Maggie Taylor. The opening coincides with the 50th anniversary of the gallery.

2015, Spring – The Photography program moves into newly remodeled facilities in the McFarland Building. The new facilities give the program space to modernize and install significant new digital facilities and more.

2015, Fall – Multimedia Journalism is moved from the EMC Department to the School of Journalism. 170 students and three faculty move with the program.

2015, Fall – The College name is changed from The College of Mass Communication to The College of Media and Entertainment.

2015, Fall – EMC receives approval to proceed with changing the name of the department.

2015, Fall – The EMC department receives approval to terminate its accreditation by ACEJMC, a journalism-focused accreditation body and establish alternate accreditation. This enables important new possibilities for the department’s students – including minors within the College.

2016, Fall – Animation becomes a freestanding B.S. degree and establishes a formal minor in Animation.

July 2017 – Media Arts becomes the new name of the Electronic Media Communication department.

2017, Fall – Several important changes take place in the department:

  • Video and Film Production becomes a freestanding B.S. degree.
  • Interactive Media changes its name from New Media Communication and becomes a freestanding B.S. degree.
  • Media Arts is expecting to launch formal minors for four more programs (pending board approval): Video & Film Production, Interactive Media, Photography, and Media Management.

FIRST LOOK: a screening of exemplary student work


Nothing inspires like seeing one’s peers do great work! That’s why it’s so worthwhile to attend EMC’s FIRST LOOK screening on September 21 at 3pm in the Student Union Ballroom. This one-hour event is a screening of exemplary work done by MTSU film, video, animation, and photography students.

FIRST LOOK 2016 laurelsThe FIRST LOOK 2016 selections were chosen from student work completed in the 2015-16 year. Each spring the EMC department assembles this kind of sampling to present to the professional marketplace in Nashville. Last year’s presentation was May 3, 2016 at Green Hills Cinema. The EMC department holds an on-campus screening in the fall semester. This year’s fall screening is co-sponsored by MT Engage.

Many of the selections in the screening have gone into the national film festival circuit. Come and see this excellent work on the big screen in the Student Union Ballroom.

If you are a current EMC student, come and see the work of your peers – and start thinking about what you might submit for possible selection in FIRST LOOK 2017!

3:00pm, Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Student Union Ballroom D/E

There’s a student organization for every EMC major

Student org fair 2016

The main hallway of the College of Media and Entertainment was abuzz last week with a fair and exposition of the student organizations affiliated with programs in the College. For the EMC department in particular, there is at least one student organization for every EMC major. The exposition was sponsored and organized by the MTSU ACM SIGGRAPH chapter of the world’s largest organization for computer graphics and interactivity.

Any student enrolled at MTSU may join any official MTSU student organization. One’s studies do not even need to relate to the organization, however, most student organizations naturally attract members whose major is relevant to the field.

Student organizations can provide valuable qualities to the university experience. Because student members decide among themselves how and what they want to do with their organizations, this provides opportunities that are not available in the curriculum. When students who share common interests get together, there is both camaraderie, and an opportunity to participate in activities that contribute to the educational experience. Many students use these opportunities to generate experience points for their resumes and content for their portfolios.

EMC-related student organizations:

ACM SIGGRAPH Student Chapter is one of only 20 official university chapters worldwide. It is part of the world’s largest organization for computer graphics and interactivity.


MTSU Film Guild is a group of student filmmakers dedicated to developing the skills necessary to pursue careers in the filmmaking industry.

MTSU Film Guild on Facebook

MTSU Cinema Club is an organization created to promote the art form of film from technical, artistic, and cultural aspects. Each week members will meet to watch a film and then discuss its strengths, weaknesses, and overall importance.

MTSU Cinema Club on Facebook

MT10 is MTSU’s student-run television station. MT10 gives students opportunities to work in production and management while operating a television station. Members have three types of opportunities for participation and involvement: 1) leadership as an officer or manager, 2) participation with the stations live news programs, and 3) participation with the stations entertainment programs.

MT10 on Facebook

MTSU Photo Society brings together the community of photography students, faculty, alumni, and local amateurs to share work, discuss issues in photography, connect with each other, and promote excellence in photography.

MTSU Photo Society on Facebook

MTSU Social Media Club aims to expand digital media literacy, share lessons learned, encourage adaption of industry standards, and promote ethical behavior in social media.

Social Media Club on Facebook

WMTS is MTSU’s student-run radio station. WMTS 88.3 FM is completely student operated, offering hands-on broadcasting experience, and giving students a voice throughout our community.

WMTS Website

VR/AR Club aims inform students of current developments within the field of Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality while engaging them with the theory and practice of Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality in a multimedia landscape.

VR/AR Club website

Women in Film and Television MTSU seeks to educate, inspire, and encourage women to become leaders in the Film/TV and related media industries. We are open to interested people of all genders and majors.

Women in Film and Television MTSU website

The MTSU Film Guild wraps up a great year of student filmmaking

Film Guild in the field

Film Guild in vegasThe MTSU Film Guild, a dedicated group of student filmmakers, has over the past several months shown exponential growth, connecting with alumni and other professionals in the Nashville entertainment industry and beyond.

Recently, No Cleaner Threads, a short-film produced and shot entirely by Film Guild students, screened in New Mexico at the inaugural Las Cruces International Film Festival. In April of this year, the same short-film screened for industry-professionals from around the country at the 2016 BEA Festival of Media Arts in conjunction with the National Association of Broadcasters’ Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Several Film Guild members were in attendance representing MTSU.

In the Fall of 2015, Film Guild members partnered with Grammy-Nominated artist Gareth Laffely to produce a music video honoring Regen Morris, a young Tennessean who passed away from brain cancer in 2013. Partial proceeds from the song are benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, with the finished music video set to screen at the Grammy-Nomination reception in Chicago, Illinois.

In February of 2016, a crew of 40 Film Guild members represented MTSU in the Middle Tennessee 54 Hour Film Festival. The festival challenges filmmakers from around the region to write, shoot, and edit a short film in its entirety within a 54 Hour time period. This year’s festival attracted in excess of 50 teams from throughout Middle Tennessee. To accomplish the challenge, the Film Guild collaborated with MTSU alum Adam Mills and TV and motion picture rental house High End TV to shoot in 4K resolution with the Sony FS7 camera and Lomo Superspeed lenses. The experience provided an invaluable real-world challenge for Film Guild members. In late April, the films screened at Nashville’s Regal Hollywood 27. The Film Guild’s production of “Time Well Spent” was nominated for Best Picture for the 2016 competition.

12962613_10209624552317303_763063025_oIn addition to its professional-scale productions, the Film Guild also hosts workshops throughout the semester. The 2015 / 2016 school year has welcomed some notable guests such as Steadicam Operator Tony Reyes, Arri Alexa and DaVinci Color Correction Workshops with Matt Satterfield, and Assistant Directing with DC Suicide Squad’s 1st AD Bruce Franklin.

To finish out the semester, the Film Guild traveled to Regal Cinemas’ Headquarters in Knoxville, TN for a special demonstration from the mind behind Regal’s RPX, engineer John Hooper. Members were given hands-on experience with Sony 4K Projectors, 3-D Projectors, and Dolby Atmos audio engineering.

MTSU Film Guild logoFor the Fall 2016 semester, the Film Guild will meet Tuesday nights. All meetings are free and open to all interested students. All shoots are put on at little-to-no costs to students, with the support of the MTSU CSIL office. Contact for more information.

This post was written by Film Guild president Justin Carroll.

Filming a travel documentary in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico class

The EMC Deptartment is offering a new 4940 Advanced Production Seminar course this May in Puerto Rico! Students will travel May 9-21 to experience a unique educational opportunity, exploring the culture, cuisine and commerce of the island, while creating a new kind of travel TV show. Different abilities, skills and backgrounds are welcome. The class will work together to film a 30-minute documentary episode, learning and interacting with the people and places of Puerto Rico. This is high-level experiential learning that offers unprecedented, real world production skills and opportunities.

Space is limited. Sign up now. Trip costs are low. Contact Professor Paul Chilsen for details.

Summer 2016 (Maymester)
EMC 4940 – Advanced Production Seminar: Puerto Rico
CRN: 52827
Instructor: Paul Chilsen

No more 48/72-hour rule for EMC majors

Breaking chain

Thanks to a change of accreditation, EMC majors are no longer limited to a maximum of 48 credit hours within the College of Media and Entertainment. EMC majors are no longer required to have at least 72 credit hours outside the College of Media and Entertainment. This applies to all EMC majors regardless of which catalog you are using. See your advisor if you have questions.

EMC students have new freedom to take more courses in our College – including other EMC programs, RIM, and the School of Journalism.

The change also opens possibilities for EMC students to have minors in our own College. The first minor that is available immediately is Recording Industry Minor (for non-majors). More minors are on their way and will be announced when they are available.

New Course: Post Production I lays the foundation for filmmakers

Post Production I

This new course provides an introduction to the techniques and history of video post-production. Non-linear editing techniques and practice, as well as the history and theory of film/video editing, are explored. Topics of study include post-production workflow, video formats and compression, narrative and documentary storytelling, exporting, sound design, color correction, multi-cam editing, and motion graphics.

For students on the 2016-17 catalog, this course will be required for the Video and Film Production major, and will be a prerequisite for EMC 2130 – Single Cam I and EMC 2131 – Multi-Cam I.

This course is recommended for all Video and Film Production students on prior catalogs who plan to make post production a main part of their career paths.

A more advanced course in this topic EMC 4130 – Post Production II (formerly Advanced Production Editing) is also available.

Prerequisites: none for EMC majors, Permission of Dept. for non-majors

Fall 2016
EMC 1080 – Post Production I
CRNs 87138 and 87139
Instructor: Professor Allie Sultan

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