Western’s Theater & Cinema department has jumped to a new century with high-tech cameras and professional equipment — the same equipment that professional filmmakers have. This equipment includes 15 new high-definition cameras, new lighting equipment, new audio equipment, a crane, a dolly track and a Steadicam.
“We’re not behind the times anymore,” senior Cinema student Mallory Edson said.
To acquire this technology, however, cinema students had to make up the money through their personal student fees. When asked if they were OK with the raised fees for Theatre students in exchange for new equipment to work with, cinema student Jeremy Edwards felt the trade-off was well worth it.
“New equipment films on a higher level set you apart, which is still worth it in the long run,” Edwards said.
Professor of Theater Dallas Henry said the new equipment will be paid off in three years, and then the department will get an upgrade.
Students now have a reel or a professional portfolio of their work to show to prospective employers. Some schools would have students become an intern to get experience before a job. The current Theatre & Cinema program is big on applied learning. Having a professional resume helps the graduates get a job right away.
In addition to the new technology upgrade, the department has also upgraded their renting policies as well. Before the upgrade, the students would have to physically write down the items they needed reserved for use. Now, thanks to the new software, items are reserved through computers. Cinema students said that having equipment past your time frame isn’t just bad for you, if someone else needed it the next morning and the camera was not there for their use they would be behind on a shoot.
With a first come, first served policy and different levels of rating for which class you are in at the time and what you need reserved, the new policy is more user friendly and provides more cameras for more students then the previous one.
Department of Theatre and Cinema put together a proposal spring of 2011. When the board of Administration passed the proposal it opened new doors for the department.
According to Henry, MWSU is now on par with other film schools. Some film schools don’t have the students pick up a camera until possibly their third year of classes.
Henry was very excited for the new equipment cage, which is located in the Hearnes building right underneath the library.
With roughly 12 new courses offered, the theater department is now growing due to the new technology given. Don’t worry film students, the equipment cameras are insured and when students go on a shoot they are insured too.