During the weekend of February 14-16, MSU’s Kasser Theater hosted Grand Band, a sextet ensemble that is unique in their style and musicality. “They’ve played together for a long time. But they have solo careers and get together every now and then. They call their sound classic music, but it’s more of an avant-garde style,” states Television and Digital media (TVDM) Professor Stuart MacLelland. During the Friday and Saturday performances, two of MacLelland’s classes put their production skills into use to record the event for broadcast.
“My crew is comprised of two classes: Advanced TV Production and TV Production Company. As a part of the course, students can sign up and are required to participate as crew members on two productions throughout the semester.” The two courses allow students to better understand the mechanics of TV production, and MacLelland emphasizes the importance of being able to operate and understand different roles within TV production and how they can be implemented for the show. These classes are geared toward students who are graduating seniors and the classes are the most advanced production courses within TVDM. Students also receive course credits for their voluntarily production work.
“When students sign up, they are given different roles which range from producer, editor, camera operator, sound for musical performance and we try to do a little rehearsal before the show starts,” says MacLelland.
Alongside the collaboration with Peak Performances, the partnership between SCM TVDM and Peak Performance started last year.
Nearly a year ago, the College of the Arts finalized an agreement with Channel 13 WNET. WNET will send a crew to MSU using the university’s facility for performances within the Kasser Theater. WNET has an online programming service called All Arts, which provides art and cultural performances such as drama, dance from all over of the country.
Professor MacLelland anticipates that this collaboration will create a new opportunity for students to get hands on experience that will equip them for the future of TV production. “This is the kind of training they would use if they would have a career in awards shows, such as the Oscars, the Grammys or Emmys. The production style is very similar. Instead of pop music we are doing classical. What’s unique is every production poses its own set of problems, and we as a production crew figure out how to solve those problems to produce the best content for the audience.”
Professor MacLelland’s TDVM students will continue to do crew production for Peak Performances for the rest of the semester.