By Julia Grimaldi
Sept. 8, 2014 at 3 p.m. was an important date for electronic media majors at Kutztown University. Behind Shaeffer Auditorium, KU’s electronic media department revealed its new mobile broadcast vehicle, which is now held in the garage at Rickenbach Research and Learning Center.
Before the new vehicle, the electronic media department had a production truck that served them for well over 30 years. However, this truck is no longer road worthy. This became a disadvantage to students looking for remote production experience in a live broadcast environment.
The new vehicle is a Wells Cargo trailer from MGS Trailers in Denver, Pa. that was custom built to fit the department’s needs at the Wells Cargo plant in Mcadoo, Pa. The 20-foot trailer contains up-to-date equipment from the old vehicle, as well as some new equipment. The new equipment includes multi-viewer monitors, a new video switcher and digital record and playback capabilities.
Technician Barry Peterson and electronic media major and present co-op intern Dustin Seyler did most of the interior installation of the vehicle, including wiring and equipment. Troy Weidner and Ryan Peterson also put time into the project.
The mobile broadcast vehicle will primarily be used in TVR 375, Event and Documentary Production, a required class for all electronic media majors.
Students in this class will use the vehicle to cover live events like sports games and concerts. The vehicle may also be used for some extra-curricular events to make it possible for non-majors to have the opportunity to use it.
Covering live events is very important to the electronic media department. “In live TV Murphy’s law rules – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. In that situation, the students have to be able to think very quickly on their feet to resolve the issue as quickly as they can to get the show back on track, so it gives them ability to problem solve [and] think critically,” said Professor Helen Bieber, chair of the Electronic Media Department. In order for this to happen, students must have experience with live production, which the mobile broadcast vehicle certainly provides.
The continuous support of Dr. Vargas and previous Dean, Dr. Anne Zayaitz from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, made this project possible.