Show Spotlight: The Global City

Every semester we collaborate with universities around the world to produce our very own student run global news show called “The Global City”. With up to four different universities collaborating per show, we compare and share our cultures through the segments and packages that we present for every show. Our neighbors up north at Ryerson University in Canada has hosted this show for the past two years and a fun fact about their student-run television network, they are also called RU-tv. Buy anyway, every show has a theme, for our pilot show the theme was food. Throughout the show we were shown that not everything was so different just because we were on the other side of the planet.

Here was our pilot episode in which I was behind the camera for the first segment that Rutgers presented:

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The Google Effect: The Collaboration Within RU-tv

Being the number one preferred search engine in the present has a lot perks. It brings in a lot of revenue and it gives you the chance to expand into other areas. It’s even better when you provide your services for free. So how does Google directly help RU-tv? Besides the obvious Youtube channel, RU-tv is made up of interconnected departments that has to draw from the same source of information otherwise, there will be mass confusion and work will be slowed to a crawl. One of the first things that happen when a new employee is hired, is that they are given a new gmail account with the designation of @rucampusinfo.rutgers.edu. This instantly connects them to every single employee that works for CIS. Note that I did not say just Ru-tv, but the entirety of Campus Information Services. It was an absolute genius move by our professional staff to move us to cloud based and server based collaborative documents and listservs. In this way everyone is connected seamlessly and can communicate with each other easily.

One of the biggest that Google truly contributes to RU-tv is with the use of Google Docs. Part of the Production Department’s jobs is to keep track of all projects and be able upload their information in a shared Google excel document which the rest of RU-tv uses to update their various documents that will be uploaded onto the web.

Behind the Glass Wall: Master Control

Ever wanted a job, where you sit in a nice air conditioned room? How about watching quality television? If you said both to these, then Master Control is the way to go! 

All kidding aside, as it was shown in the image, our people in the operations department, are the ones who maintain, upload and keep track off all the content that the production department generates. From their stations, they are able to maintain our servers which broadcast throughout the entire Rutgers Community, which includes both Newark and Camden. They also maintain our Youtube Channel where most of our programs are uploaded to as well. Of course, they maintain their own employees and their own methods of training as their process is different from the Production Department, but they do work hand-in-hand with us at almost every step of the way. They are the final part of the post-production procnd they are the ones that control what you and when you see on our local channels, which again is not limited to just our student produced content.

 

The Editing Process

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I believe that I’ve mentioned in my previous posts that we use Final Cut Pro X as our main editing software tool as demonstrated by one of our segment producers in the picture above. So just a couple of things to keep in mind, each segment producer and supervisor are given their own hard drive to store and edit their packages. We currently have three edit stations located inside of RU-tv all of which are fully equipped with an up-to-date version of Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5.

The actual process of beginning to edit is actually quite simple. Since our conversion to digital storage units using SD cards instead of tape, a lot of time has been cut down by the upload and download of raw video footage instead of the capture of raw video footage. Once the footage is uploaded onto one of the edit stations, it is edited according to the script, the files are then compressed and then sent over to master control to be uploaded onto our servers and ready to air on television.

PSA&Promos

In my previous post, I talked a little about our Public Affairs Department, so now I’m going to be talking about our Public Service Announcement and Promos Department. Now I know that you’ve heard or seen some form of Public Service Announcement before, especially with all the upcoming re-elections for in-state politicians. Anyway, the differences between Public Affairs and PSA&Promos are their content objectives. The PSA&Promos Department will usually focus on a certain subject or group and highlight them within a 60 second or less package. Another difference is the fact that PSA&Promos offer a lot more creative freedom than the rest of the departments in RU-tv. Here our segment producers are not restricted by certain editing rules and regulations that  apply to packages and segment done for Public Affairs. They are allowed more freedom, but at the same time they are also constrained by time limitations.

As the PSA&Promos Manager, you will be tasked with looking over form submissions that are sent in by different organization all around campus. You may receive dozens within a week and must be able to balance the number of projects that can be done with the limited amount of segment producers that we have. They also have to keep in mind the big events that happen annually around campus and are usually charged with creating promos for them. Events such as homecoming and Rutgers Day are usually two of the bigger events that we promote annually.

And just like the last post, here are a couple of Promos that I produced when I was a segment producer, I hope you like them:

A Public Affairs Package

Now of course within the Production Department of RU-tv there are even smaller departments. Those departments are Public Affairs, PSA&Promos, Wake Up Rutgers and Weather Watcher. Now, Wake Up Rutgers and Weather Watchers are live shows and I won’t be talking much them, mainly due to the fact that they are a live show and they’re concepts of pre and post-production are different from shows that aren’t live.

In getting that out of the way, let’s get on with the department within the department. Starting of with Public Affairs, which is managed by the Public Affairs Manager. The Public Affairs Manager is responsible for a multitude of tasks and one of the highlights is being able to produce your own show. Our long standing show that has been produced by the P.A. Manager has always been Inside Rutgers, but of course that is not their only duty. They have to be able to assign their segment producers packages that go straight into the show, be able to schedule shoots for ATPs and at the same time be able to produce their own segments.

This just leaves one question in mind, what the heck is a Public Affairs segment? That’s  a good question. Public Affairs package are 2-3 minute packages that pertains to what the Public Affairs Manager deems to be a “a good story”. So, the bulk of the packages will likely pertain to certain events happening around campus, clubs and maybe even human interest stories.

As an example, here is a public affairs package that I produced back when I was a segment producer:

Working at RU-tv: Training in the Production Department

What’s a Television Network without a camera? Pretty much the first thing every person who works for the production department at RU-tv learns is how to use our equipment and specifically our new HD Panasonic Cameras. All new employees and trainees are absolutely required to be trained and tested on how to our cameras. Without it, there is no such thing as RU-tv. The things that go on television don’t put themselves there. Being able to use a camera is absolutely essential for producing content and packages. Anyway, as the process goes, we hire new employees each semester that have to undergo three basic training courses. The first is field training, this covers everything from equipment checks to being able to white balance on a camera. The biggest part of this training is learning the in and outs of the camera, everything including how to use the focus ring correctly, adjust audio levels, adjusting the ND filters and so much more.

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The second part of the training is the Edit Training. As a former edit mentor, I was actually the won that revised and created the current training method and procedure that we are using today. RU-tv houses its very own edit room, with three fully functional edit stations which have Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 installed in each one. This is usually anywhere from a 3 hour to a 6 hour process of teaching the new trainees, especially if they’ve never had any experience with video editing. We teach the fundamentals of what should and what shouldn’t be in a segment, how to make aesthetically pleasing to the eye and of course we also teach the technical aspects of the Final Cut Pro Program.

Lastly, we have our Studio Training which includes learning any and all aspect of our brand new studio and its virtual aspects. Now, we have two studios, one is located in Winkler Hall, which is located right across RU-tv and the other is at Perry Hall, located on the Cook Campus, which houses our Weather Watchers. We have recently installed a new system in which everything that we shoot in the studio is green screened and we use our new Tricaster to employ our virtual studios.

Each Training has several sessions to make sure that the new trainees are comprehending what we are teaching them and they will be tested at the end of each training before moving onto the next one. Of course, we also fully understand the fact that training can only do so much, and actual experience is crucial to fully mastering the concepts that are taught during training. As such, new trainees that have passed their training will always be accompanied by veteran production department employees during shoots and edits. There is always a supervisor that will be present in the office at all times to help out as well.

A Little About RU-tv

The Rutgers University Television Network or RU-tv for short, is a student-run organization located on the Busch Campus. To be more exact, we’re located on 96 Davidson Rd. which is pretty much opposite of the Busch Campus Center. RU-tv is part of Campus Information Services which houses several different branches that exist to serve the Rutgers Population.

As part of RU-tv, we are also broken up into different departments within the organization. We have our Production Department (this is where I work), Operations, Engineering and Marketing.  As I’ve said, this is a student-run organization, so all of my colleagues are students. We do work with a professional staff that help us and guide us throughout our entire time here at RU-tv but we pretty much govern ourselves.

As part of the Production Department, we create most of the content that you see on your local Rutgers Channels. We provide Movies, Public Service Announcements, Promos, and so much more. We produce our own shows Wake Up Rutgers and Inside Rutgers, we provide lecture coverage with our ATPs and Academic Review Sessions (if you know Professor Steve Miller, go ask him) and of course we also provide the shows that aren’t necessarily Rutgers related.

If you want to know more about us, please visit our site at rutv.rutgers.edu or just click on any of links provided on the side.

THE BLOGGING EXPERIENCE

Hello, well if you need to know, this is the first time I have ever used a blog, posted on one and for that matter created one. As an ITI student I do have some security concerns about posting some information about myself or anyone else on such a public forum. Even though I have a Facebook and a LinkedIn account, I do not post any information that I don’t deem necessary on either and I definitely don’t post any personal information on Facebook.

Anyway, seeing as though this is a blog, setting it up was a bit of a pain. I’ve never even heard of wordpress.com before. The most experience I have reading about other people’s opinions are the user comments on yahoo articles (hilariously by the way) or on wall posts on Facebook. I found the instructional videos posted on our class website incredibly helpful and pretty much had to refer to couple of other people’s blogs as to what my blog should actually look like. I’ve made quite a few mistakes trying to create this blog and I’ve come to truly appreciate the  ’undo’  shortcut. Even with that, I don’t think the mistakes will stop and I’ll probably find something wrong with the blog sooner or later. With all that said, it did take me a while to set up this blog to look somewhat decent. If it still looks empty, just know that I am still trying to improve it.

Anyway, welcome and I hope to provide you with interesting blogs and If you have any suggestions in doing so, please feel free to leave a comment.