New JASS studio prepares students
Jim Gilmore affectionately refers to his students as members of Generation YouTube. They enroll in his media production courses wanting to do it all. They’re writers, producers, directors, editors and cinematographers all in one.
“But if you’re going to work in broadcast or corporate production, you not only need to know how to do all these roles, you’re also going to have to be able to work with a team,” explains Gilmore, clinical professor of communication at University of Michigan-Dearborn. Enter the new Journalism and Screen Studies (JASS) Studio. The College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL) designed the studio to aid in the development of students’ technical skills while teaching them how to work together.
“So much of production is about collaborating with other people—establishing a team, delegating responsibilities. And the studio environment forces that to happen. It’s a good exercise in creative teamwork to accomplish a goal,” he said.
Students are using the JASS Studio in several of their production courses and to film a new student-produced news and cultural affairs program, “MiCrossroads.” The studio also is home to Campus Media Services—which previously was housed in Mardigian Library—and is available for use by local nonprofit organizations.
The space, located on the first floor of the CASL Building, underwent a major renovation in 2015 to make room for the new studio. Staff added acoustic treatment and a lighting grid and equipped it with the latest digital technology.
Greg Taylor, senior television engineer, said students who become comfortable in the studio environment will be better equipped to jump into a production career. “They’re using equipment that they are very likely to see when they move into the professional environment, whether that’s in the corporate or broadcast field,” Taylor said. “They now have the tools they need to launch successful careers in media production.”
That’s good news for students like Tyesha Vinson. Vinson, a senior JASS student who already has completed an internship at WDIV Channel 4, said she’ll take advantage of gaining more hands-on experience. “Using the studio, learning how to tell stories, is the pre-test to the real test we’ll face out there in the professional world. It’s definitely pushed me to use everything that I’ve learned in the past three years.”