Northern State expands digital media tools with Moving Imagery Lab

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:15 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Northern State University has expanded their digital media toolbox.

When a room in Dacotah Hall was left empty, digital media professor Jason Knowles saw an opportunity to create a space for his students.

”I saw the high ceilings, and I immediately thought this could be a great film and TV studio,” said Knowles.

The Moving Imagery Lab was a $50,000 project that was finished in October. The green screen space allows students pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media to transform their set into a virtual space to take their characters and plot anywhere they want.

“There’s visual effects for filmmaking, being able to do Mandalorian-style visual effects with immersive virtual production, which is kind of the new thing,” said Knowles.

The lab also allows Northern students to create a extravagant broadcasting studio for the Wolves Pregame show.

”So, what this space allows us to take further are things like doing a pregame show without having to build an actual set. We can put in any virtual set we want. We’re already doing that with Wolves Pregame, which airs on every livestream of every home football and basketball game that we do here,” said Knowles.

The Moving Imagery Lab set up the tools needed for the Digital Media department to expand their curriculum and add a new emphasis for students.

”One of the new concentrations that we’ve got is this new FBI emphasis, which stands for Film/Broadcast Interactive media. They’ll learn all about broadcasting and filmmaking from both a sports end, a narrative end and even a documentary end,” said Knowles

A new podcasting studio has also been added in Dacotah Hall, which will be utilized during a new sound design course starting next year.

Knowles said that while the recent additions will greatly benefit filmmaking students, they’ll also be utilized by other departments as well.

“We have theater students acting in our film students’ productions. We have a new Sports Media minor that’s going to be coming into effect in the fall. That’s between Sports Marketing Administration and the art department, so we’ll be strengthening our sportscasts,” said Knowles.

Knowles said the space can be utilized by music and business entrepreneurship students as well.

In the future, Knowles hopes the Moving Imagery Lab will open up more opportunities for high school students through summer camps in digital filmmaking and video streaming.