A Look into the Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Student Television Studio
In April of 1994, FSCJ purchased the closed Grand Boulevard Mall off Southside Blvd. and Old Baymeadows Rd. In 2000, a massive renovation project to convert the two-story 80,000 square-foot space of abandoned shops into classrooms was completed and classes began at the new Deerwood Center. That is when the FSCJ Television Studio made its move from the Downtown Campus to the new Deerwood Center.
The information below was provided by Robin Herriff, Assistant Director of Digital Media Productions.
The studio is used by the Converged Communications and Digital Media/Multimedia Technology department as a practical classroom. With its professional level equipment, the hands-on experience gained by students here helps them transition well into a professional broadcast environment. Students outside the program can use the studio too, given they have permission and are advised, under the supervision by faculty members of the department.
Outside of classes, FSCJ uses the studio to record educational programming and to stream live events. While the studio is used primarily for classes, FSCJ offers access to outside organizations. The Jacksonville Transit Authority has used it for their monthly show “Making Moves”, using computer-generated imagery to create a digital set (“Making Moves” has an archive of their shows that can be found on YouTube).
FSCJ also works with news studios to help ensure the safety of our local community. During times of emergency, the Deerwood Center acts as a backup for First Coast News. Recently, the FSCJ studio was setup to be the backup for FCN in the event of a power loss during Hurricane Irma. The FSCJ television studio makes it possible to continue coverage of breaking news and updates while Jacksonville is in a state of emergency.
The FSCJ television studio is still primarily for education, as its equipment is used daily to give students a working knowledge of professional and commercial studio equipment. The studio has three Sony 4K cameras on pneumatic pedestals, with each pedestal rigged with a teleprompter. These cameras, and the audio from multiple microphones, all run into a network tricaster which is operated in a neighboring control room. The tricaster has the capability to switch inputs, alternate shots between cameras, display graphics, and stream or record video. The tricaster is also equipped to display digital sets, like the ones used for the making of JTA’s “Making Moves”. These sets can mimic real sets with their lighting and reflections. With the impressive sets and sharp-looking equipment, the live set is also a sight to behold.
With all the services it provides to the community and as a means of education, the student television studio is a great resource for FSCJ.