ND Studios: Bringing firsthand TV production experience to students

Student ProductionStudent Production

The main studio at the Rex and Alice A. Martin Media Center is set up to record a talk show. Students from the Internet Television Production class led by Ted Mandell in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are learning how to produce this type of show. They understand what it takes to be in the different crew positions in front of the camera, behind the camera, as the talent, and in both audio and video booths.

Then, the floor director says, “We are going live in 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1.” He points to the live camera and the talk show hosts begin their dialogue. The rest of the students are at their stations working with the ND Studios staff, who show them the ropes behind the scenes as the production goes on. This is just a part of the learning experience students are able to take part in at ND Studios as they build their technical expertise.

“It takes a whole team of people working together to make any kind of television production happen,” said Mandell. “I am thrilled at the opportunity for my students to experience every aspect of producing
a television show using the state-of- the-art equipment and facilities in the Martin Media Center.”

After discussing the roles of a full- edged production crew, the students began hands-on training using the tools of the trade. Each student rotates to a different role — whether it is the on-air talent, camera operator, audio engineer or video director as each role is equally important to produce the show.

The students are coached by the ND Studios staff who are not only experts in their eld, but also take the time to help them understand the role and the importance of that role in the nal production.

Good television production starts with content that brings a value to a defined audience. “As the students become more knowledgeable about television production, they are able to sharpen their skills as content producers,” said Mandell. “Plus, they are getting the real-world skills they can take with them as they begin their careers after they graduate.”

According to Dan Skendzel, executive director of Notre Dame Studios, the Martin Media Center is important to Notre Dame because this resource allows the campus community to engage with the latest in video technology in support of its core teaching, research and faith mission.

“It is very rewarding to see the enthusiastic response from Ted Man- dell and his television production students as they build their technical abilities in our facilities in this ev- er-changing eld,” said Skendzel. “Our academic video producers will continue to work alongside and share resources with students and others which results in truly a unique model in higher education right here at Notre Dame.”