SRU’s Converged Media Center Gets Futuristic Studio | Local News


SLIPPERY ROCK – The convergence of student media at Slippery Rock University is undefined – it is a gradual behind-the-scenes process to combine work environments for print, online and video media – but the adding a new television studio located in the Maltby Converged Media Center is a visible step in the right direction.

Thanks to a collaboration between professors in the communication and theater departments, as well as a one-time SRU grant of $ 10,000, the studio has a contemporary setting that will serve as the backdrop to many shows produced by the classes. of the communications department and WSRU-TV, the student-run television broadcasting and video production company.

Brittany Fleming, assistant professor of communications and educational advisor for WSRU-TV and The Rocket, the independent student-run newspaper of SRU, said the new ensemble already instills a new sense of confidence in the student broadcasters she works with.

“The students are becoming such strong storytellers and have something professional behind them that looks good that they can use in their portfolios… it’s a game changer,” Fleming said.

The new set is 10 feet tall and includes three modular pieces that can be moved around the studio on casters for different show segments, such as “SGA Update”, “Happy Hour” and “Around the Rock” by WSRU- TV.

When hinged, the set is 40 feet wide and consists of wood panels painted to resemble three-dimensional brick. There are also black rectangles in front of a white plastic backdrop, which, when illuminated by five LED lights, accentuate the backdrop with different colors.

Illustrations, such as campus photos, can be placed inside the rectangles. Because the set is modular, the windows with a view of Campus Drive behind the set are always accessible in the background.

Gordon Phetteplace, associate professor of theater, came up with the design, which was inspired by the work of Piet Mondrian, an artist from the turn of the 20th century who popularized the use of simple geometric elements.

“The set is functional in that the four boxes are intentionally designed to insert pictures into them, but they are also aesthetic and are reminiscent of Mondrian,” said Phetteplace, who primarily designs sets for the theater stage but has previously designed sets. news sets when he was working. as a professional designer.

“It’s very similar as a designer for the theater; I have to communicate the message of the piece in a visual form and create an environment conducive to the action of this piece.

” Here, it’s the same thing. I have to create an environment for what they have to do from a TV set.

Phetteplace worked with Fleming to achieve the vision she wanted to project, which according to Phetteplace, is “much more contemporary and modern than what you see on typical news sets.”

The collaboration was crucial for Fleming as outsourcing the design and production of a set would have been over budget by $ 10,000.

After agreeing on a design in January, Phetteplace had the set built by her son, Theron, who runs his own home construction business. The set was built at the Phetteplace store; painted by Deb Cohen, a retired SRU modern languages ​​and cultures professor studying for a BA in theater at SRU; and installed at the Maltby Center in March.

“It’s one of the most impressive (college) televisions on the market,” Fleming said. “Students no longer try to broadcast a newscast in the middle of a resource library; it’s professional and everything looks neat and tidy. This is only the very beginning of what will become the Rock Media Convergence Center.

To watch online shows produced by WSRU-TV, visit:

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