Video-recording the commencement exercises on the Great Lawn at Christopher Newport University is an annual tradition for Telecom. This marks the seventh year they recorded and produced the event for DVD.
Graduation was held Saturday, May 10, with set-up the day before. About five students and three Telecommunications Center staff members comprised the set-up crew, while nearly a dozen students made up the student crew for graduation day. The same staff members worked both days: Telecom Supervisor Ray Price served as Producer/Director of the production, NNPS-TV Station Engineer Bryan Catlin was Engineer, and Instructor Carl Daniels, Jr. handled the CG (Character Generator) and graphics, and also was Production Assistant.
The students' assigned jobs included Technical Director, Assistant Engineer, and Camera Operator, to name a few.
Crew call on graduation day was at 6:15 a.m. for the 10 a.m. ceremony. Telecom camera operators manned tripod-mounted cameras that were trained on the stage, while other camera operators were designated "ENG," which stands for Electronic News Gathering and means they moved around the Great Lawn getting crowd shots, close-ups and candids.
The production may be "old hat" to Telecommunications Center Supervisor Ray Price, but a few things have changed over the years. The ceremony is longer now because CNU's enrollment has grown, so the video is longer, too, he said. Setting up is a bit easier, but the team uses more cameras than in the past. Additionally, the Telecom feed has been used by CNU's Technology department for live webstreaming for the past few years. That feed is also used for the large video screens on either side of the stage. Next year brings another change: The stage will be located at the opposite end of the Great Lawn, with the new Student Success Center serving as the backdrop.
The Technical Director and technicians who handle the character generator, audio, and switching equipment worked inside the remote video production truck.
Telecom's television feed was used by CNU to stream the ceremony live on the Internet, and it was also used for the two giant mobile LED screens at the ceremony.
This year, Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf was the keynote speaker. Over 1,150 students received degrees.
A thunderstorm with heavy rainfall and lightning came around 3 p.m. that day, just after Telecom finished with the shoot.
A two-disc DVD will be available to CNU graduates to purchase.
CNU Commencement 2014: