(CNS Local Life): The University of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) has built a production studio, which is set to become the hub of its media courses and internet-based UCCI TV. Speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Tuesday, 11 April, UCCI president Roy Bodden said, “This is one more indication of the determination of the University College to provide world-class relevant education to its students so as to equip them to find their place, not only in Caymanian society but, in the world in which we live.” Equipped with a green screen, two editing suites and two top-of-the-line video cameras, the studio is expected to open new doors for students, stated a UCCI press release.
“The communications industry is ubiquitous. It’s a global industry, with global opportunities,” said Dr Ivan Eubanks, assistant professor of arts and humanities. “A production company in Grand Cayman, for example, could have clients from anywhere. And everybody needs skilled people who can work in various media, especially video. Thus, a subject like media studies provides training in highly marketable job skills to our students, and it will also help cultivate the communications industry in Cayman, which could have a long-term, positive impact on the economy here.”
The opening of the studio comes on the heels of the documentary film making class which was offered during the spring 2017 semester. Designed to simulate the motion-picture industry, the course adopted a hands-on teaching model using the expertise of Eubanks and Hollywood veteran Lance Parthé.
"The film making course is a pilot project that complements the UCCI and West Chester University concert held at Camana Bay in December 2016,” said Bodden. “This success, however, could not have been achieved without the support of the Board of Governors and faculty and, especially, Mr Parthé, who took a sabbatical from his own business in Duluth, Minnesota, to lead our students in this undertaking. We can only hope for the continued support of the Caymanian community so that the University College can achieve a level of excellence expected.”
Offered as an elective at the associate level, the film making course gave students the opportunity to learn from a multi-awarded media professional. They were guided through each phase of the project from developing the concept to pitching the idea to outlining the story, planning the shots, and much more. The students also spent a lot of time outside class on technical training – setting up lighting, sound engineering, videography and editing. “The students learned to work as a team in an environment similar to what a professional film crew’s would be like," Eubanks added.
"They also learned critical thinking, problem-solving skills, leadership and independent learning." Students who completed the course have acquired all the fundamental skills to enable them to produce multimedia projects for UCCI TV, where videos will be available, and events will be streamed live. UCCI will eventually offer degrees in motion picture production, journalism and new media publishing.