Red Digital Studios
Media experience changes student’s attitude about education Senior year of high school, Kordell Ballard was tired of school and not too thrilled about going to college. “My family insisted I go to college–very forcefully,” says Ballard. Today, Ballard, of Jefferson City, Mo., thrives in the UCM digital media program. He graduates in December 2016.
“I’m a peer assistant/tutor. I assist fellow classmates with their projects, work in the lab, and help the engineers with any projects they have to do,” Ballard says. Ballard takes pride in the equipment in the new Red Digital Studios, which opened in fall 2015.
“We have a lot more high-end equipment here than other schools,” he says. “I started learning more and actually understanding what it takes to create a good video or how to make something look nice. That’s what we do here at the university and we do a great job with it.”
Keeping up-to-date with equipment takes ongoing investment. The university’s television station, KMOS PBS, purchased the equipment for Red Digital Studios with help from a UCM Alumni Foundation and a College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences High Impact Learning Opportunity Grant.
At Red Digital Studios, students like Ballard learn transmedia storytelling, an approach using multiple platforms to engage audiences. Each element includes a different part of the narrative. Interact with all the pieces, and you get the whole picture. For example, the Half the Sky Movement includes a book, movie, videos, Facebook games and social media to spread its message of social justice.
“Transmedia or multiplatform storytelling concepts are cutting edge. We know of only two other universities in the nation that offer such programs,” says Phil Hoffman, Ed.D., KMOS general manager and director of Broadcast Services.
Students completed a feature-length documentary film about UCM music students’ trip to play Carnegie Hall. Red Digital Studios also created a series called “Only in CAHSS,” a series of web shorts about activities in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Hear more of Ballard’s story in the short on digital media production.
Hoffman says KMOS has a long tradition of excellence in media arts education.
“Creation of Red Digital Studios project expands on that legacy by providing more access to content creation workstations and more ‘open’ time for students to work,” Hoffman says. “We are grateful to the UCM Foundation for the grant to establish the studio and to donors’ gifts that ultimately provided the funding.”