Motion pictures show us amazing places and events. Film, TV, digital video, time-based media—whatever we call it is unimportant. It’s the experience of being transported that’s always mattered, from the nickelodeon to the multiplexes to YouTube to the teeny telephone screen. We like to watch: to laugh, to cry, to freak out, to see our neighborhoods and exotic worlds. Moving images are the global language.
All of this image making requires creative minds, brainpower and mad technical skills. The prime incubators of these talents are our Colleges and Universities, and Baltimore has lots of them. We’re not really a “film school” town, but the notion of the cloistered “film school” is history anyway. Digital technology let that cow out of the barn years ago.
The Communications Department at Loyola University (chaired by the great Dr. Russell Cook) includes a digital media specialization that covers story development, web, radio, advertising, PR, journalism, animation, and documentary. I teach narrative video production, which is a blast, because we get to make a dozen or so short films in each class.
This year, the old WLOY TV studio received a makeover. It is now GreyComm Studios, headed by Prof. H. Jay Dunmore. Jay is a Morgan State alum, and has been instrumental in ramping up the transition to HD and the future for GreyComm (he also plays instruments, including sax and flute).
Students not only take classes at the facility, they also work at GreyComm (under Jay’s patient and watchful eye). Stephen Gallagher (President), Katie Fitzpatrick (VP, Policy), and Amelia Wolf (News Director) are just a few of the students that make this place tick. Between class productions, a web presence (www.greycomm.tv), and production of university programming, like The Echo, Stupid Cupid, and Simply Fab, Greycomm is a busy little studio.
Of course I am biased, but my favorite thing comes at the end of the semester, when the students in my narrative video production class have a public screening of their short films. They come up with hilarious, moving, crazy stuff. It’s the most creativity-inspiring thing of my whole year.
- david warfield