The Center for Communication Arts
Soundstage for Video and Television Production and Audio Recording; Radio Station; Animation, Editing, and Audio Labs; Broadcast, Online & Print Journalism facilities
The Center for Communication Arts in The Learning Commons will provide the space, the tools, the inspiration, and the expertise to prepare students to be versatile and ethical 21st Century communicators. Vocal, aural, written, visual, digital, interactive—the mastery of communications in the future will require a mastery of all of these means of sharing information in every aspect of life.
As the hub of the Communication Arts program, The Center will provide the tools for Communication Arts students to succeed in traditional and emerging media fields. It will also be available to students in other disciplines who may work collaboratively with Communication Arts students. For example, Graphic Arts students may work with Comm Arts students on producing graphics for a Comm Arts TV production. Music and Comm Arts students may work collaboratively on producing audio recordings. Whatever the purpose, The Center for Communication Arts will empower those who use these communications not just creatively, but also responsibly.
The studios and labs will be flexible enough to incorporate new ideas and technologies as well as the tried-and-true. The Center will include a Soundstage with TV production and Audio recording capabilities, a TV and Recording Control Room, a Radio Station, a Video Lab, an Audio Lab, an Animation Lab, Video Editing rooms, Broadcast News Production headquarters, a Presentation Practice Room, Student Newspaper headquarters, and Multi-Media Production facilities. Here, our students will learn not only to communicate and interact effectively in a complex world, but also to change that world for the good of all.
Soundstage for Video, TV and Audio Recording; Radio Station
Traditional media provide the backbone for emerging media. The new Soundstage with Television Production and Audio Recording Studio, and the Radio Station, will provide the traditional foundations of broadcasting as well as the emerging methods for communicating with video and audio in every aspect of life—business, non-profit, traditional media, interactive media, and the creative arts. The knowledge students will master in these cutting-edge facilities will define their futures either as a single, multi-skilled communicator or as a manager or team player in complex and demanding media environments.
Cutting edge software programs and the latest in digital equipment will enhance practical camera, audio, and editing techniques in both video and audio production as well as digital filmmaking. “Live” operating radio and TV station productions will be central to the experience. Using HD Video Cameras, dSLRs, and Digital Cinema Cameras, students will create productions the controlled environment of the Soundstage. With advanced lighting equipment, students will expand their lighting skills as they practice single camera filmic techniques.
But even more important than the practical, the TV, Radio and Digital Media experiences gained in the new Center for Communication Arts will be grounded in an ethical standard that will define future communicators who behave responsibly in these rapidly evolving media.
Audio Recording Studio
In addition to supporting TV and Digital Media Productions, the Soundstage will serve as an Audio Recording Studio in tandem with the Control Room. The acoustical properties of the Soundstage can be altered to support a range of productions, including the recording of classical, jazz and contemporary musicians.
The importance of recorded sound in the future of communications cannot be overstated. Recorded music is the most obvious example of recorded sound, and this facility will facilitate expertise in that field, including learning opportunities for music students and students aspiring to be music producers.
But recording voices, the sounds of nature, machines, and many other unique cultural experiences will also be part of what students will learn about in the study and production of recorded sound.
The recording of sound is a relatively new technology when viewed in the context of human history. Sound recording technology was invented just over 100 years ago, which means that thousands of years of human history has passed without the ability to capture sounds. Imagine how enhanced our understanding of past leaders would be by hearing the recorded voices of daVinci, Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, or Abraham Lincoln.
Going forward, we will bear the responsibility of not only recording sound in art and work and in the broader culture, but our students will be the managers of preserving sound and re-capturing sound from recording technologies that are physically failing, such as early records, tapes and even digital media.
Students in our Soundstage will learn the joy of recording sound but they will also learn the responsibility of managing recording and improving our civilization in the process.
Video and Audio Editing Rooms, and the Creative Process
Once a production is recorded, it is edited to produce the final work. Some 40 years ago, students practiced editing on systems that required you to manually spin the tape reel backwards to arrive at an approximate point where the edit would take place.
Today, it’s a whole new world. Computer-based systems make it possible to precisely control the editing process and program flow. Students using the Video and Audio Editing Rooms will work with the latest hardware and software to complete programs shot and recorded in the Soundstage and in the field.
What has not changed, however, is the creative thought process behind editing. Despite automation and software developments, the creative process—turning ideas into reality—still drives this element of the production process.
Among the most exciting emerging media, Animation has taken on a life of its own in the greater world of communications. Cartoons and animated movies come immediately to mind when students think of animation. But the use and mastery of animation has expanded well beyond the familiar, becoming an important new dimension in visual communications. Animated information has not only enhanced our understanding of complex scientific notions but it has also enabled humans to communicate beyond the common barriers of language. Animation accompanied by music, animation used in digital environments to teach, animation used to entertain, animation used to market products and ideas, animation used to provide knowledge to people with learning disabilities—the possibilities are endless.
Our Animation studio and teaching experts will provide the means and the skills to help our students join the creative forces of this powerful emerging media as it rises to become one of the key ingredients in enhancing global communication in this new century.
Broadcast, Online, and Print Journalism Facilities
If you think print is dead, you might have thought Theatre was dead if you were around in the early 20th Century when the “Movies” were born. You might also have thought that the movies and Radio would die if you were around in the middle of the 20th Century when Television emerged. And you might have thought that Network Television would disappear when Cable TV came on strong in the later decades of that same century. But all of those media survived each other and have become, together, the important tools and resources for communication in the 21st Century. Add to those media, of course, the ubiquitous web and we have a potpourri of tools and means to interact with others across our globe. In our Center for Communication Arts, we will nourish continued knowledge and understanding of all of those media and more.
Print was the beginning of it all, centuries ago, and it has survived well. Print journalism is thriving at Marywood University, in both traditional form and in its online version. Our Center for Communication Arts will support the education and training of print and online journalists in an environment surrounded by those other once-threatened but long-surviving media. Why? Because the written word, in all of its disguises, is still the foundation of our civilization’s communications.
We will continue to teach students to become objective, critical, observant, opinionated, creative, culturally engaged, and ethically grounded writers of 21st Century print journalism because words matter, historically and going forward.
Our facility will provide those journalists with an environment that encourages the cross-pollination of ideas back and forth among TV broadcasters, Radio producers, Animators, Recording specialists and Print journalists—all grounded in the ethical standards of our University mission and values. With our student newspaper staff in the mix, our Emerging Media Center will be a challenging and charged environment.