Media Creation Studio

New Studio, New Possibilities

Sam Paprin | Staff Writers |

Patrick Bohan, director of the new MediaCreation Studio was hired last year to help launch the new studio and produce photography and video content for the college.
PHOTO BY Dakota Thomas

Over the summer, St. Michael’s College completed the new Media Creation Studio located in St. Edmund’s Hall 215. “We had a committee that we started over a year ago that had been planning a space like this for the College for a while, so when they hired me they wanted to make it a reality,” said Patrick Bohan, director of the Media Creation Studio. “And once it was green lit we were able to start planning it which was pretty exciting.” Bohan worked at Wesleyan University before coming to St. Michael’s to direct and operate the new studio.

Walking into the new studio, the first room on your right is the control room, outfitted with all the video, audio and graphic controls needed to operate the remote cameras and studio lights. The second space consists of the studio itself. The space is versatile and can accommodate for different multimedia projects, including studio photography, podcasting and video production.

Most of the room is bordered by green and black drop down cloths. The rest of the walls are painted black, and the windows can be completely blacked out to minimize natural light from entering the space. The ceiling tiles have sound-deadening technology to minimize echos, and below hangs a pipe grid covering the entire ceiling to customize lighting. The furniture in the room is a combination of a couch, chairs, tables and a large monitor on wheels to add images or a zoom call during shows. There are plenty of movable LED lights throughout the studio to add different lighting effects.

“When I first got here in late mid-1990s, one of the things that the department chair of MJD at the time asked me was, what do you need to develop a digital film, photography and video program, I said a studio,” said Jon Hyde, professor of Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts. “And around 1998-99 I submitted the first applications or proposal to have the studio built, and for whatever reason, it did not happen until now, so it has been a long time coming.” The College applied for, and received, a grant of $150,000 from the George I. Alden Trust. This covered much of the technological equipment that went into the new space.

“The whole studio was built within the notion that within a liberal arts kind of context, you don’t know where someone is going to come up with a cool concept for something that they want to film,’’ Hyde said.

Having lab assistants in the studio will make it possible for any student from any major to come in, pitch an idea, and learn how to bring it to life. The goal for this space is for anyone to come in without any prior knowledge and collaborate with others in the community to bring a vision into reality.

Ashley DeLeon ‘23 is an MJD student who was recently hired as a student-worker in the new studio. “It’s just really nice having that space with all the professional lighting and these really high tech cameras,” she said. “These PTZ cameras are absolutely phenomenal. I mean, you don’t really see those cameras just anywhere except studios. So the fact that they’ll just be available upstairs is crazy to me.”

The space is also open for professors to use for their classes or personal use. Declan McCabe, professor of Biology, was the first person to record audio in the new space for his personal podcast. “It’s all about the audio quality, it was certainly easy because [Bohan] just gave me the thumbs up, and away we went,” he said.

The new lab is meant for collaboration across different disciplines, with the ultimate goal in mind to have open hours run by students.

As for people interested in using the studio in the near future, they may contact Patrick Bohan. “I think everybody on campus can benefit from this space, I am trying to get the word out as soon as possible that if there’s professors, classes, or anybody who could utilize this space for recording audio or video productions, to contact me and to figure out how to make it a reality for them because this is for everybody on campus,” Bohan said.