The College of Communication is taking a step into the technological future with the addition of a high-definition television editing lab, COM officials said.
COM is moving away from its outdated look and technology with the addition of the HD lab and new ventilation systems in the basement, new flooring, ceiling tiles, lights and fresh paint throughout the building, COM Dean Thomas Fiedler said. The renovations come two months after the removal of the 50-year-old radio tower from COM’s roof.
‘Hopefully we’ll move it from looking like a 1950s high school to something . . . more pleasing to take classes in,’ Fiedler said.
The renovations are about 95 percent complete and should be finished in about two and a half months, COM Facilities Manager Charles O’Connor said.
The HD editing lab will hold 12 students and an instructor and include 12 workstations, audio-visual equipment and a few TV monitors, O’Connor said.
The project was mostly funded by private donations, Fiedler said.
‘We’ll have most of the [lab] project done by the middle of this spring, up and ready to go for the fall semester, all thanks to a gift from the Ezratti family,’ Fiedler said. Maya Ezratti Rosenblum is on the BU Board of Overseers for the Board of Trustees.
Fiedler said he hopes to use the lab as an incentive to draw more investors in order to eventually add performance spaces for television and film and improve the current studios.
‘I want to make sure the students have the latest technological equipment available,’ Fiedler said.
More equipment is necessary, COM Director of Technology Brad Fernandes said. The lab is a critical addition to the third floor, especially because the floor has not previously had an editing lab.
‘They’ve had to teach by wheeling a portable editing system,’ Fernandes said. ‘Now it will be a fully functional lab and everyone can have a seat and learn.’
The lab will also allow for more cooperation between the different departments, Television and Television Management Programs Director Cathy Perron said.
‘We’ve been hoping to create more continuity on the third floor as it relates to television content,’ Perron said. ‘Between broadcast journalism, the television department, the radio station up here and AdLab, there’s a nice opportunity to do some interdisciplinary work.’
While interdisciplinary work is important in television production, COM senior H’eacute;lo’iuml;se Borden said the HD equipment is an essential element in the industry today.
‘It’s where the entire industry is going, so I think it’s an important step for television students to be able to get their hands on HD equipment before they actually get out to the real world,’ she said.
Though COM sophomore Michael Nusbaum said he shares in the excitement for the new lab, space will stop him from enjoying its benefits much.
‘I think it’s really going to help BU move forward as a serious film school, [but] I probably won’t use it that often,’ he said. ‘If it’s just one editing lab, it’s going to be really crowded.
‘Hopefully this is the start of many more to come,’ he said.