When Bonnaroo is our classroom!

Bonnaroo 2017 banner

For the third summer in a row, students from MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment came together for a hot June hands-on educational experience at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in nearby Manchester, Tennessee. Over the four days of the festival, these students could say “Bonnaroo is my classroom!”

Video and Film Production students ready to rock the Roo!

Video and Film production students ready to rock the Roo!

Video and Film Production students teamed with Recording Industry students to record sixteen live musical performances at Bonnaroo’s “Who Stage.” The Media Arts Department’s Mobile Production Lab, a 45 foot mobile live television production studio with seven high-definition cameras and 48 tracks of digital audio gave the students four days of non-stop real world music festival concert production experience.

At the same time, Photography and Journalism students documented the wider Bonnaroo experience, providing news outlets with stories and images.

Professor Bob Gordon led the concert production class and had this to say about the event: “Our involvement with Bonnaroo reflects the real world focus that the Media Arts department and faculty offers students.”

Check out this great short film about the student’s inside view of the Bonnaroo experience by Video and Film Production student, Jessica Rigsby:

See story in The Daily News Journal: http://www.dnj.com/story/news/local/schools/mtsu/2017/06/09/bonnaroo-2017-mtsu-multimedia-students-see-nonstop-production/384731001/

Coverage on MTSU News:

Bonnaroo 2017 wrap: Experience for MTSU students ‘can’t be beat’ [+VIDEO]

MTSU and VER Partner to Create Unique Opportunity for Students

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 11.09.45 AM

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.


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

“Create Your Career” class helps avoid “failure to launch”

Create Your Career

Create Your Career is designed to help students connect what they have learned in their EMC educations with earning a living.

Create Your Career helps students prepare for the job market by strategically positioning and preparing themselves for their chosen marketplaces. Students will create tools to help them pursue the work they desire including personal brands, résumés, business cards, professional online presences, and portfolios of work samples.

Create Your Career helps students start preparing now for what they will do after graduation. The course begins by helping students take a serious look at what they think they want to do for a career. The career research assignment sheds light on the realities of their chosen directions – including discovering what employers are actually looking for, salaries, and availability of jobs. Students are challenged to consider what would be a good fit for their unique talents, skills, and temperaments. The course then examines the pros and cons of three different forms of employment: working as an employee in an established company, freelancing, and starting and running a small company. The fields of media arts are continuously undergoing massive disruption, and traditional jobs are often scarce. Yet, amid this disruption, there is tremendous opportunity. This course encourages students to identify and consider non-traditional as well as traditional career directions. Create Your Career helps prepare students to not only survive, but to thrive amid the realities of the marketplace.

Prerequisite: Candidacy in EMC department
This course works best for EMC students near graduation – particularly final-semester seniors.

Fall 2016
EMC 4800 001 – Seminar in Media Issues: Create Your Career
CRN 83311
Instructor: Professor Billy Pittard

Fall 2016 Video Tech class gives students real-world tech experience

Video tech class

The video wall installation at this concert was completely the work of students in a prior semester of this class.

The Video Technology course is recommended for Video and Film Production students interested in video technology and engineering. This course is designed to give students a detailed understanding of the technical aspects in the field of television & film production engineering. Students will learn advanced field skills that include the ability to diagnose, control, and execute effective solutions for problems in real world scenarios.

By the end of the semester, students will be able to solve complex technical problems and answer detailed video engineering questions. Students will also be able to diagnose, control, and execute effective solutions in a given scenario.

Fall 2016 • CRN 87144
EMC 3090 001 – Media Technology Seminar: Video Technology
Instructor: Mike Forbes

“Media in Mexico” a winter break class

Cabo San Lucas

Interested in studying “Media in Mexico” from Dec. 29 to Jan. 17, 2015/ ‘16 and earning 3 credit hours?

We’ll spend 20 days of our Winter Break reading and discussing a couple of books, working “hands on” with two Los Cabos advertising and public relations agencies, getting to know marketing and design students from two Mexican universities and—yes—have some time in the sun, enjoying the warm Mexican winter temperatures.

NOTE: Posted for Dr. John Bodle, School of Journalism. This class would serve as an elective for EMC students.

Our two textbooks are “The Development of Mexico’s Tourism Industry: Pyramids by Day, Martinis by Night” (Dina Berger), and “How Will My Product Sell in Mexico?” (Sandro Piancone). We will spend four mornings (Monday through Thursday) each week discussing these books and hearing from our invited guests—the owners and employees of two agencies, PR Solutions and LA 76 Strategic Design. (You don’t have to know Spanish. The agency personnel are bilingual.) Some afternoons we will be working alongside agency personnel on projects and strategies, and strengthening your areas of interest and abilities (social media, electronic/broadcast/graphics). Other evenings we’ll be talking and eating with university students from Los Cabos. But most evenings and three days each weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are available for “me time” to explore!

December and January are when the whales migrate through Cabo. (Boats will take you out to see them.} There’s great fishing and beautiful beaches with snorkeling. The average January temperature in Murfreesboro is in around 40 degrees. In Cabo, winter is about 75 degrees.

The cost is $3,500. That covers 3 credit hours of tuition, lodging (Siesta Suites, double occupancy), round trip airfare (Southwest Airlines), insurance, etc. Each suite has a kitchenette to help you save money on food. The hotel is walking distance to nearly everything—the agencies, restaurants, the beach, the marina. The cost would be $4,000, but MTSU Study Abroad is providing a $500 scholarship for the first 10 students to sign up.

Your family members will want to know how safe Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is. Los Cabos (“The Capes”) is located 1,000 desert miles south of San Diego and the border, well away from the problems that face some parts of Mexico. USA TODAY reports: “Cabo San Lucas is a tourist mecca, so you’re not going to experience “true” Mexico here — but considering the drug-related violence in a number of other areas of Mexico, that’s good news for American travelers. The beach town, located at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, is part of a larger, generally safe area called Los Cabos. While all Mexican travel comes with some risk, in Cabo some of your biggest risks are sunburns…”

Most Mexicans living and working in the tourist section of Cabo San Lucas speak enough English to direct you to what you’re looking for, so… don’t worry if your Español is “poco” (little).

I will be holding a couple meetings to more fully explain the trip. The first gathering will be Friday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. in Mass Comm #150. It’s a chance for you to ask questions, meet those going, and allow those financing the trip (like parents) to come learn more.

But time is short if we are to hold down prices on airline tickets and housing. And the trip is limited to the first 10 students. I am always available for your questions.

Dr. John Bodle, Professor, School of Journalism • john.bodle@mtsu.edu • Cell: 615.896.7717

EMC students create, customize video wall for Murphy Center homecoming concert

Video wall crew

EMC students are providing extensive technical support — and eye-catching entertainment for fans — at the first large music concert inside Murphy Center since 2013.

A dozen students from instructor Mike Forbes’ Video Technology class added to their professional expertise as they set up a massive 30-foot-wide LED video wall in Hale Arena all day Wednesday, Sept. 30. It’ll be used for the free Homecoming 2015 concert tonight, Oct. 1, featuring the Swedish duo Icona Pop and their opening acts Magic Man and Out of State.

By the time the curtain rises at 8 tonight, the student crew will have put in a second full day of prep and rehearsals for the “I Love It” singers’ show.

MTSU students will handle all the content and video elements for each of the bands, then load up and store the equipment after the concert.

“When this project idea was first proposed, I went to the students and asked them whether they could dedicate the time toward this project,” Forbes said, “and almost unanimously, we decided as a class to take on this project from concept to the final design.

“I gave the students the freedom to design the wall based on what they wanted to do, and they really ran with it.”

Mike Forbes, seated at front left, assistant director of technologies for MTSU's College of Media and Entertainment, is joined by his Video Technology class students on stage in Murphy Center early Oct. 1 in front of the customized 30-foot-by-20-foot video wall they created for the Homecoming 2015 concert featuring Icona Pop. Shown on the front row with Forbes are senior electronic media communication majors Paul Douglas, Angie Carter and Adrienne Kelley. Seated on the stairs and in the second row are, from left, junior EMC majors Zack Johnson, Barrett Depies and Sara Daily; senior EMC majors David Marrow and Robbie Weaver; junior EMC major Sokoya Crockett; seniors Wes Jenkins and Trevor Ball and junior Alex Briley. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Mike Forbes, seated at front left, assistant director of technologies for MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment, is joined by his Video Technology class students on stage in Murphy Center early Oct. 1 in front of the customized 30-foot-by-20-foot video wall they created for the Homecoming 2015 concert featuring Icona Pop. Shown on the front row with Forbes are senior electronic media communication majors Paul Douglas, Angie Carter and Adrienne Kelley. Seated on the stairs and in the second row are, from left, junior EMC majors Zack Johnson, Barrett Depies and Sara Daily; senior EMC majors David Marrow and Robbie Weaver; junior EMC major Sokoya Crockett; seniors Wes Jenkins and Trevor Ball and junior Alex Briley. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Billy Pittard, chair of MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication, said the equipment is on loan to the university through next May from VER Nashville, a leading national provider of video wall installations for the concert industry.

“This is the second year VER has loaned us large video wall components, but this year the loan is substantially larger than last,” Pittard added. “Their purpose is to train a greater workforce pool for them to hire; indeed, they are hiring our alumni and students.”

Forbes, who is one of those MTSU alumni, managed video installations for major concerts before returning to the university to become assistant director of technologies for its College of Media and Entertainment and teach EMC courses.

“In today’s world of technical achievements in live event entertainment, video elements have pretty much become the standard for today’s touring world,” he explained. “Nearly every live show that is on TV has video elements built into the set.

“The College of Media and Entertainment has embraced this idea, and I think that’s what makes our college so unique — the fact that students can come into our college and leave with experience in live sound, video and lighting, all under the same roof.”

The Video Technology EMC class usually prepares two or three shows each semester with the LED video walls in different campus venues. Another project is in the works for this fall, Forbes said, and three are already planned for next spring.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful relationship with companies and vendors in the Nashville area, such as VER, that have helped make this possible,” Forbes said.

“These same companies that are donating this equipment to us are actively looking for people to hire directly out of our program. This has led to some students being hired by these companies full time before they even graduate!”

When Murphy Center opened in 1973, the 10,000-plus-seat facility became one of the area’s leading concert venues, hosting The Who, Elvis Presley, U2, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Kanye West and more over its 40-year history.

Its usage for major concerts dropped off a bit after the now-closed Starwood Amphitheatre opened in nearby Antioch, Tennessee, in 1985, and dwindled even more when the larger Nashville Arena, now carrying Bridgestone’s name, opened in 1996. The last large Murphy Center musical event was a 2013 concert by Australian rockers The Church.

Murphy Center now is most often used for MTSU Blue Raider athletic games, university graduation and convocation ceremonies, and special student-focused performances like this homecoming concert, as well as local high school graduations and large business events.

MTSU students voted in 2014 to gradually increase activity fees to help bring big names to Murphy Center again, creating more opportunities for student entertainment and for student work experience.

“Projects like this are important because we are already well-established as a leading resource for talent for Nashville’s live event production industry,” said Pittard, “and we are poised to achieve national and international recognition as the leading source for such talent.”