It’s lights, camera, action at the St. Thomas Aquinas College campus!
Most students pass by it everyday, not knowing that it even exists. But beyond those wooden doors in Spellman Hall lies a state of the art television studio. For STAC’s communication arts students, however, this studio has become like a second home, where they spend countless hours putting together different projects.
The college’s studio, which is equipped with all the latest technology in television, allows students the opportunity to create and produce their own broadcast productions.
William Prior, Associate Professor of Communication Arts at the college, teaches students television production. His experiences in the industry and knowledge of production equipment have enabled him to teach various courses in the broadcast TV and video production fields. Student projects created in these courses include public service announcements, news, talk and entertainment shows, as well as commercials, films, and music videos.
Professor Prior takes pride in teaching his students how to be familiar with the different pieces of TV equipment in the studio. He also prepares his students so they feel comfortable both behind and in front of the camera.
The TV studio is home to the cutting-edge “Tricaster” system with a 3D virtual studio feature, a green screen, Teleprompters, advanced cameras and microphones, and a high-tech audio mixer. Students are taught how to script, cast, organize, direct, create, and edit their own pieces.
"It's not a cliché to label the new STAC TV studio as a state of the art facility. The “Tricaster” virtual 3-D studio special effects generator was only released a few years ago and we were the first College or University in the New York-New Jersey area to work with green screen virtual three-dimensional sets,” Professor Prior said.
Located in Sparkill, NY, the college is fewer than 20 miles away from New York City, the media capital of the world. Students today who wish to make it in the industry need to have extensive hands-on training and experience in a production environment. With the college’s innovative studio, students are able to experience first-hand what it is like to work in the fast-paced industry of television, broadcasting, and production.
Kevin Willison, a Journalism major, believes his experience in the television studio has prepared him for a career in the field.
“It’s nice to be able to go in there and feel like you’re in a real studio with professional equipment and learn from an industry professional,” Willison said.
It is the knowledge and experience of putting together productions in the TV studio that make St. Thomas Aquinas College communication arts students stand out from other colleges.
“Our STAC students have a distinct professional advantage working with three new 1080 HD, P2 cameras, three new teleprompters and professional looking virtual sets,” Professor Prior said.
Because of their experience, STAC comm arts students have landed incredible internship and job opportunities with some of the leading networks in the world.
Student created projects are posted on the studio’s own YouTube page upon completion. To view their work, please visit http://www.youtube.com/user/staccomarts. Next time you turn on the television, look out for this talented bunch of students!