New Equipment Helps Students Learn to Tell Stories

Senior business major Harvey Contreras (right) tries his hands at the new editing system while Saul Flores, senior communication major, coaches him.

Senior business major Harvey Contreras (right) tries his hands at the new editing system while Saul Flores, senior communication major, coaches him.

The TV station on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University has a new manager, and an expanded purpose.  Now in the hands of Associate Professor Kyle Portbury, the production facilities that form part of the practical learning environment within the University’s Communication Department is undergoing an expansion to focus on storytelling across television, film and emerging media.  Over the past few months, Portbury has been transitioning the station from a live news studio to a multi-purpose production facility geared towards the demands of today’s fast-paced media industry.

The newest addition to the studio is the Tangent Elements Control Surface Array. It’s a long name, but its use is significant. This Control Surface is actually four surfaces that function together to control applications such as color correction within the DaVinci Resolve program. The control surfaces allows the students to very quickly manipulate the look of their footage in a way not possible with a mouse and keyboard.

“This has complimented the online edit suite that has also recently been added to the post-production capabilities of the studio,” says Portbury.

The outcome of this investment is that students now have access to industry-level post production facilities within Southwestern’s Communication Department.

Michael Demiar, a senior communication major emphasizing Radio/TV/Film who has worked at the TV station since fall of 2014, has seen the transition. “It is always exciting to acquire new equipment! It is very beneficial for us students to be able to have access to the latest and up-to-date technology. Also, it really gives students more of a spark to know they will be working with equipment that has the capability to produce high-quality video.”

The Black Magic URSA is a full-production camera and is one of the latest additions to Southwestern's multi-purpose production facility.

The Black Magic URSA is a full-production camera and is one of the latest additions to Southwestern’s multi-purpose production facility.

Portbury is excited to give students the opportunity to learn skills directly transferable to employment.

Along with the upgrade in the editing rooms, the studio has added two Black Magic Cinema cameras. These cameras provide a richness to the colors and clarity that you can get with very few cameras, and it’s one of the smallest film cameras on the market today. These cameras support Canon ef mount lenses which gives the user versatility in filming the different shots needed for the film. The great thing about the lenses is they can be used on both film & DSLR camera bodies.

In addition, the studio has added the Black Magic URSA, a full-production camera. The URSA was designed with both large film crews and the personal user in mind. It has a 10-inch fold-out screen that ensures that the focus and shot have excellent on-camera monitoring.

“The transition from old equipment to new is a good change, because it allows us to be accustomed with top-of-the-line cameras, equipment and software that are relevant in today’s age in film production,” Demiar says. “It’s also great to have a professor who can provide helpful insight and is experienced in the field.”

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