The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

New media room opens in Burling basement

Photo by Shay Chen

Michael Cummings

After years of hard work and logistical planning, Grinnell’s Digital Liberal Arts Collaborative opened a new media room in the basement of Burling Library, adjacent to the room which houses the College’s DVD, CD and microform collections.

The project was spearheaded by Digital Liberal Arts Specialist Mike Connor, who won an Innovation Fund grant several years ago to begin working on the project.

“This came out of an Innovation Fund, I want to say, four years ago,” Conner said. “I proposed the Innovation Fund because I felt like we needed equipment and space and expertise to offer assistance to faculty and students in creating media, and also that those things can serve as a resource for not just instruction-related media or assignment-related media, just for students, faculty and staff.”

The room houses camcorders, tripods, a green screen, lights and other equipment needed for film production. It is also home to a computer set up with video editing software.

“With the equipment that I have and the way this room is designed, it’s most appropriate for filming a talking head video or an interview,” Conner said. He added that he will soon be installing a high-quality microphone for projects that only require audio.

Since the project took off, several students and student groups have expressed interest in the room. One such student, Melissa Fandos ’17, will be working in the room as student employment.

“She will be here six hours a week, just kind of as office hours … just sort of for students and even faculty who need assistance,” Conner said.

Fandos applied for this job because she is interested in film production, but has struggled with finding resources to explore her interest at Grinnell.

“I really like film production, but there’s no opportunities for it here,” Fandos said. “So I was like, ‘this is awesome,’ to be able to get experience to put on my resume while I’m at school is really helpful.”

Fandos hopes that the room becomes a step in the direction towards building a film program at Grinnell.

“It’s a positive step. There’s a lot more that needs to be done, but I’m excited about this opportunity for sure,” Fandos said.

Conner was more cautious, but also expressed optimism regarding the room’s curricular use.

“I don’t see myself playing a role as far as the curriculum goes, and because of the limitations of the space, I don’t know if that would serve a role either, but depending on who’s on the faculty and what their interests and expertise is, all of this equipment could be used by someone who wanted to do a short course or wanted to introduce a component in an existing course that would involve some film production,” Conner said.

Conner’s long-term goal in using this space is to develop all Grinnell students’ aptitude in media production.

“I think it’s important for students to learn how to craft messages in that medium as well as writing,” Conner said. “The College’s mission statement says something about developing students who can write effectively, even eloquently, and in my mind, ‘write’ in that sentence ought to include producing media that communicates the message in effective and eloquent ways.”

Photo by Shay Chen
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *