There is one straightforward rule for stocking the equipment lockers at the Murray Center—put the same equipment in the hands of the students they’ll be using in their professional careers. To that end, each level of students has access to equipment and software from the most important manufacturers in the field—Sony, Canon, Apple, GoPro, Avid, Adobe and more. The equipment and facilities for the Documentary Journalism program are for the exclusive use for the students in that program, meaning they do not have to share equipment with hundreds of other students on campus. Dedicated gear is for their checkout only, as is a dedicated editing lab space and screening room.
In the end, students graduate with intimate knowledge of contemporary field and editing equipment, prepared to step into industry positions across the field.
Equipment is assigned by students’ level in the program. First-year undergraduate and graduate students have access the workhorses of the field, using DSLRs and camcorders to capture their footage in the field. Those cameras are supported with supplemental audio equipment, from wireless microphones to boom mics and more. Faculty help students choose the right gear for each assignment, giving one-on-one instruction on the best way to use the equipment. For second-year students, the equipment choices get broader, with individual 4K cameras and other advanced gear that can be tailored for specific assignments.