Trinity Film Studies Opens New “Home”

New Space Marks Further Growth on Campus
Hartford, Conn. (November 19, 2014) – This month, the Trinity College Film Studies Department opened a new “Film Studies Home,” which includes a space for filming, two video editing stations, and additional areas to support the creative process. The space, located at 133 Allen Street on Trinity’s campus, will be utilized as a lab/experimental space for film studies majors and for film studies production classes, as well as a lecture space for workshops or seminars, which will be open to the entire Trinity community. Primarily, it will serve as an academic home for film studies majors at Trinity. 

Mikhail Gibbings and Cassia Armstrong '18 test film production equipment at an open house for the new Trinity Film Studies Home.
“The most important benefit of­­­ the space is that it provides a hub for film studies students and activities,” said Madalene Spezialetti, head of the Film Studies Department at Trinity and associate professor of computer science. “This is a place for our students to meet, work, learn and experiment.”

Spezialetti worked with three interns, Christine Boyle ’15, Alexandra Ingber ’16 and Carmine Piantedosi ’17, and Alex Hirschl, the teaching assistant for basic filmmaking, in bringing the “Film House” to fruition.  Film studies majors will have 24-hour access with their keycard.

In 2010, an alumni donation made possible a significant upgrade in equipment for live athletics webcasts, which has, in turn, led to further growth in Trinity’s digital video offerings, including high quality produced video for both academic and communications purposes. Trinity’s Information Technology Services Department regularly films events on campus, and has collaborated with Wesleyan University and Connecticut College on sharing telepresence classes through video, with plans to develop this use even more. Trinity began working with Wesleyan and Connecticut College in the summer of 2013. The first course, in neuroscience, was offered in the spring of 2014, and this spring there will be two Russian courses offered in conjunction with Connecticut College. 

In addition, the Communications Department has increased its volume and quality of produced video for both internal and external audiences.  Trinity is better positioned for more frequent collaboration between Communications and ITS, to build off existing video assets, which enables maximum efficiency in this area.  Subscribers to Trinity’s YouTube channel are frequently given priority access to new Trinity videos:  Several additional departments on campus also host channels, which can be viewed here.

“While we recognize the importance of online education through video and the value of video communications, Trinity College remains committed to teaching and face-to-face interactions between faculty and students,” said Joanne-Berger-Sweeney, President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience.  “Trinity must effectively utilize technology to keep pace with the world, while maintaining the special personal faculty-to-student human interaction that is essential to academic and personal growth.”

(photo: John-Paul Masaryk '18 and Lorenzo Puopolo '18 at the video editing stations in the new Film Studies Home on Allen Place)

In addition to upgrades in equipment and spaces to better serve the Trinity community, new opportunities have been created for students, highlighted by the formation of a Student Video Team that supports Communications, Sports Information, and Information Technology Services.  Student participation ranges from filming events, assisting with live streaming, and editing material after an event has occurred.   

“For students interested in production, experience is very important,” Spezialetti said. “The more experience students have in a variety of different contexts, the better problem solvers they will become, and the better able they will be to express their creativity in whatever context they may find themselves.”

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