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 at the CMAs

emc at the cmas

Country music’s biggest night was also a big night for 25 (and counting) MTSU alumni and current students from MTSU’s College of media and Entertainment. Alumni and students from Electronic Media Communication (EMC) Department worked in a variety of production positions and several RIM alumni worked in audio positions.

LEAD/Technical Producer for ABC – Nic Dugger
Technical Director – Tony Holt
James Stevens – Graphics
Replay – JJ Hacker
Associate Producer – Bethany Dameron
Associate Producer – Samantha Smith
Video Shader – Melody Carson
A1/Live Mixer – Adam Ellis
Live Graphics Operator – Haley Burnett
Truck Engineer – Chris Payne
A2/Stage Manager – Joe Harvey
A2/Stage Manager – Tanner Freese
Robo Cam – Jacob Stong
Robo Cam – Michael Welsh
Camera – Arr/Press Room – Patrick Gibbs
Camera – SR/Back Hall – Murphy Mulvihill
Camera – Set/Pool Feed Cam – Stephan Peters
Truck Utility – Chris Robertson
Lead Truck Utility – Jared Bowers
Lighting/Grip – Adam Mills
Truck EIC – Rob Devlin
ENG Camera – Joel Wilson
Production Assistant – Robbie Weaver
Production Assistant – Justin Carrol
Production Assistant – Brett Gilbert

CMA poster signed by MTSU alumni and current students working the television production of the event. Photo courtesy of Nic Dugger.

CMA poster signed by MTSU alumni and current students working the television production of the event. Photo courtesy of Nic Dugger.

College Wall of Fame goes digital!

Digital Sign WOF

Not only has the College of Mass Communication Wall of Fame changed its name – it has also gone digital. The new Wall of Fame for the College of Media and Entertainment is now available on the new digital sign (touch screen monitor) at the center of the Bragg College of Media and Entertainment building.

The digital sign was made possible by a generous donation of the touch screen monitor by EMC alumnus Nic Dugger, President of TNDV in Nashville. Primary credit for design and content production goes to Assistant Professor Todd O’Neill of EMC’s New Media program. Many others assisted in this project as well. Thanks to students in Todd O’Neill’s New Media Capstone course for a large portion of the work as well as student workers in the EMC department office. Students and faulty in the Photography program converted the photos to digital. The initial push to convert to the Wall of Fame to digital came from EMC Chair, Billy Pittard.

The initial Wall of Fame concept was expanded into an interactive digital sign that would help tell the College’s story. Students and faculty, parents and the public will be able to interact with the sign to learn about departments and programs in the College. The sign will also provide directions to faculty offices, studios, and classroom facilities.

In addition to the College’s Wall of Fame, the sign will also be home to the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame which is hosted by the College of Media and Entertainment.

According to Barbara Draude, Department Head of Academic and Instructional Technology Services in the University’s Information Technology Division, the College of Media and Entertainment’s digital sign will be the most interactive of any of the signs found on the campus.

The College of Media and Entertainment’s digital sign project is expected to be completed in early 2016, with continual updates and additions in the future.

The physical framed pictures for the Wall of Fame will eventually be removed and plans are being developed for a new use of that space.

MTSU has a major presence at SIGGRAPH 2015, the world’s largest computer graphics conference

Left to right: Jared Moore, Caleb Hoskins, Jackie Vazquez, Kelsey Hoggard, Professor Marc Barr, Anthony Filipas, Cole Smeltzer, Angel Agee

Over twenty MTSU students, two MTSU professors and many alumni are organizing, attending, and participating at the 2015 SIGGRAPH Conference going on this week in Los Angeles, CA. It’s the perfect venue for students enrolled in MTSU’s Animation program to learn directly from movers and shakers in the industry.

MTSU’s own Professor Marc Barr is the SIGGRAPH 2015 Conference Chair. It is a great honor for our university that Professor Barr has been put in charge of this huge and important conference. Here is an official overview video of the conference from Professor Barr:

Seven MTSU students have been selected as official student volunteers working at the conference, and recent MTSU Animation graduate, Natalie Rountree is working as an official Leader for student volunteers.

MTSU Assistant Professor Kevin McNulty is serving as Education Committee member, Education Committee Booth Manager, and Curator for the 4th Annual Faculty Submitted Student Work Exhibit.

MTSU Animation Alumnus and Oscar winner, Mikki Rose, currently working at Blue Sky Studios is serving as Computer Animation Festival Program Chair for the Conference. Mikki is also an inductee of the Wall of Fame for our College.

MTSU Animation Alumnus, Mike Hardison, currently working at Blizzard Entertainment is serving as the Games Program Chair for the Conference.

MTSU has one of only twenty university SIGGRAPH chapters world wide. Student members gather to hear special presentations from industry leaders and participate in events such as this conference. For more information, contact faculty advisor Assistant Professor Kevin McNulty.

MTSU students Victor Chavez, Anthony Filipas, Caleb Hoskins and Cole Smeltzer pause for a snapshot outside the exhibit hall.

MTSU students Victor Chavez, Anthony Filipas, Caleb Hoskins and Cole Smeltzer pause for a snapshot outside the exhibit hall.