LMUPVC Pushes Boundaries with Tech

Brian Kotowski and Matt Frank sitting in a recording studio
Brian Kotowski, LMU SFTV Post Production Supervisor, and Matt Frank, LMU ITS Associate Director of Classroom and Creative Services

AV Technology Magazine featured LMU's Playa Vista Campus (LMUPVC) in a recent article that spotlighted the new campus as a creative center for graduate and professional education,anchored by LMU's renowned School of Film and Television(SFTV). A garden of 4K and high-tech delights in the heart of Silicon Beach, the new facility represents the university's goal of preparing students for success in the competitive movie and TV industries. One of LMU's keys to career readiness is outfitting students with the latest tools and engaging pedagogical models. After graduation, these aspiring filmmakers, editors, writers, and showrunners should be well-positioned to not only join the industry, but to lead it. The AV team sees its role as a technological partner and a mentor—keeping the entire LMU community current on the state of technology and its latest iterations.

"We worked with the faculty and staff of the School of Film and Television to create the technology plans for the facility," said Matt Frank, associate director of Classroom and Creative Services, Information Technology Services, at LMU. "They know what their plans are for the future of technology in the program and they know that when students go out into the workplace, tech will continue to change."

For LMU's Classroom and Creative Services team, creating the right spaces for the School of Film and Television came down to choosing the right partners, listening closely to users,and then cultivating long-term relationships with them to achieve the most desirable results.

"We collaborated closely with the school's faculty and staff, because they really have their fingers on the pulse of post-production technology," echoed Brian Kotowski, post production supervisor at LMU.

For instance, "at the time we were starting to plan this building, HDR was at the forefront," Frank said. "The faculty and staff were able to identify HDR as something that they needed to have in post-production when this facility was up and running."

The general classroom designs were driven by the faculty's preferred teaching styles, rather than conventional classroom layouts. "We have a lot of screenwriting faculty who are teaching in this facility and they don't like the traditional classroom [design] with rows of desks or rows of tables and chairs," Frank said. "They want to really have that writer's room vibe as they're teaching. [So] they want a conference room with lots of writeable surfaces, with a screen that they can easily just show screenplays on or connect their laptop to."

The takeaway: "Striking that right balance to find spaces that'll work for each group was achieved by having conversations with them, and really involving them in the process," he said.

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