The current media production concentration will become the Film, Video and Interactive Media Department as of July 1, 2009.
This has been discussed for roughly two years. In the past, media production has been a part of the school’s journalism major. Now with 270 media production students, the program is big enough to become its own department. The proposal for the department passed about a year ago and was then approved by the state of Connecticut to begin in the fall.
Professor William O’Brien will be the chair of the new department.
“I think that most colleges and universities have struggled in the past. What in the world do we call ourselves?” O’Brien said. “Much in the way that radio has changed, television has changed. Really the only industry that has remained the same has been film. Since the 1890s, lenses have only gotten better. It is increasingly becoming commonplace to shoot digitally-I expect that will continue. But it is still important to learn.”
Current juniors will be the first group to participate in the new department. The major change for these students is that each person will have to create a senior project. The opportunities range from a narrative shot with a single camera, a comedy, drama or documentary, or a three or more camera show in a television studio.
“They will be screenplays or interactive media pieces that explore mobile digital delivery, looking for the students to come up with a thesis,” O’Brien said.
To prepare, there will be a one credit course in the fall entitled Fall Senior Colloquy. It will meet once a week to discuss what the students want to do for their senior project. At the end of the fall term they will have to file a piece of paper that names their thesis. Faculty will then approve or disprove it.
“For us it means understanding film theory and film process as a way of understanding video on every platform to deliver image and sound for entertainment and inform.” O’Brien said. “We hope it allows our students to excel themselves. The other coursework stays the same but we’re looking for the big deal at the end of the senior year.”
With this project to sell, market or add to their resume, graduating students will likely be more competitive in finding employment or applying to graduate school.
“It better defines us for prospective students and parents who ask ‘Do you teach film?'” O’Brien said. “There are going to be a lot of exciting developments in Interactive Media and we want to be on the cutting edge of that.”
Students who are attracted here often are similarly attracted to schools like Syracuse University, Ithaca College and Emerson College. But with a new brochure and Web site starting in the summer, increased enrollment and interest in Quinnipiac is O’Brien’s hope.
“This makes us much more competitive in the breadth of our offerings,” O’Brien said. “I think we are going to get more students to apply to the program, therefore, we are going to get really good, quality students applying.”