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Boise State’s Film and Television Arts program finds a new home in Pioneer Hall

Photo by Paige Wirta

In the fall of 2020, Boise State’s Film and Television Arts Program, which began in 2018, moved into the Pioneer Hall building to dedicate more space for students to work.

Before the program moved into Pioneer Hall, it held classes all over campus. Film students shared a computer lab with photographers and other majors in the Center for the Visual Arts. Now, students have a place where they can hang out and have a sense of community within their program. With Pioneer Hall, students gained a large enough space to build film sets, find quiet workspace and  room for collaboration on projects.

Rulon Wood is a professor within the Film Department and the Department of Communication and Media. Wood is an educator and filmmaker who has worked on several network television programs that aired on the CBS network. Wood is thrilled about the future of the film and television program as more than 100 students are enrolled this semester.

[Photo of Pioneer Hall]
Photo by Paige Wirta | The Arbiter

 “It is kind of like having our own little film studio on campus,” Wood said.

With the changes this semester, he added that there will be a third full time faculty member in the program joining the team fall of 2021.

“We will have permanent offices, and we have a new faculty member joining us from the Department of Communication, Professor Daehwan Cho,” Wood said.

The Film and Television Arts Department welcomes Cho, who has been teaching advanced media production courses in the Department of Communication at Boise State University since 2010. Professor Daehwan Cho will act as the third full time faculty member in Film next fall and will be receiving an office in Pioneer hall. Currently Cho is teaching three classes for Boise State this year. 

The upcoming animation courses taught by Professor Cho are part of the overall growth in the new programs that will be adding more classes for future students interested in Film and Television Arts.

Kennedy Binegar, a senior in the Honors College, who is currently working towards a Film and TV bachelor’s degree has already used her skills to work alongside Wood on short films, and to create videos for the Writing Center at Boise State.  

“What I feel to be the biggest upgrade to the program in the last year is the computer lab with Adobe Suite on each computer. This provides students with an accessible space that has adequate equipment to edit, research and learn integral components of film post production,” Binegar said.

Binegar went on to add that students will be able to get creative with set creation, instead of always trying to find locations in Boise to film.

For anyone interested in this field, Binegar found that film students are very friendly, and she expressed that no one should feel afraid to ask a professor or a student if they would like more information.

“I like to point out that you can really customize this major for your specific interests. Alternatively, if you are still exploring where you want to be in film, there are a variety of classes you can take to find your place,” Binegar said. 

The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of campus life, including its creative productions. Binegar expressed that filming currently has been extremely hard. With COVID-19, the students are required to  wear masks, which affects their scripts when their characters are expected to do the same.

In terms of equipment, the scene shop manager has devoted time to working on renovations in Pioneer Hall. The leasing program is one of the most valuable assets the program has, according to Binegar, students can borrow high-grade cameras, tripods, various audio tech, lights, reflectors and other tools for free. This is an invaluable resource for students who simply do not have access to the gear otherwise.

Richard Klautsch, chair for the Department of Theatre, Film, and Creative Writing, pointed out the vast variety of options students can take when deciding to join the ever-changing department.

“We are the Department of Theatre, Film, and Creative Writing, lots of folks get it only partly or one program at a time,” Klautsch said. “We offer two undergrad degrees in theatre, two in film, and three in creative writing along with the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing as well.”

The editing lab in Pioneer Hall is limited to 10 work stations because of physical distancing, but eventually will have about 20 stations available. The Theatre Department had not been able to produce live shows on stage, so during the fall, they  partnered with the Film and Television Arts to produce a film version of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.” 

“The performing arts are a collaborative venture, and our greatest challenge has been trying to develop work that keeps everyone safe. Our collaboration between film and theatre this fall was one example of that,” Klautsch said.

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