CBU film program invests in new video equipment

The College of Architecture, Visual Arts and Design at California Baptist University has soared over the last couple of years and continues to make steady advances, specifically toward having a full arsenal of the latest professional video and camera equipment.

A major noteworthy development was the department’s purchase of its first RED Camera in July 2012.

The camera was updated by Michael Eaton, associate professor of film studies and film production, to the RED Epic in 2013 when Eaton first started working for CBU.

“We should be receiving our second RED Epic X before the end of September 2014,” Eaton said. “And I’m hoping to upgrade the cameras to the Dragon sensor in July 2016.”

The Epic shoots in high resolution, up to 5,000 images, and has been used on major motion pictures such as “The Hobbit,” “Captain America,” “Super 8” and “Lone Survivor.”

“Just experiencing the RED in itself and having access to it has opened up a lot of doors for several students,” said Alexis Whitlock, senior film studies major and one of CAVAD’s equipment managers.

Eaton raves that the RED gives CBU students the ability to work with world-class cameras while getting a taste of what professionals are currently using in the field.

He refers to the purchase of the RED as an investment that puts CBU on the map in terms of up-to-date film schools.   The purchase of the second RED Epic will allow more opportunities for CBU’s film program to open up.

Students of CBU’s CAVAD have access to the RED but first have to go through training, as well as have an assistant cameraman with them on set.

The assistant cameramen have a dual purpose of insuring the cameras are cared for properly, while at the same time giving students an idea of what it means to work with a crew.

The film program plans to schedule more seminars and classes to train students and offer them more hands-on experience not only with the RED but also with the department’s other film gear.

The CAVAD equipment room, referred to as “the cage,” also carries a group of Canon 60D cameras, specialty lenses, light kits, audio equipment and more.

As the film program collects more equipment and increases its student population, the need for more space is evident.

The Hawthorne house, located near Monroe Street, is a potential location for the film department’s growing collection of equipment.

“Students know it as the ‘Up’ house because it looks like the house from the movie ‘Up,’” Eaton said. “We have approval… to begin using the house as our backlot and as a permanent practical location for production classes and for students’ films.”

The Hawthorne house will become available by the end of fall 2014.  The move, in addition to the purchase of a second RED camera, will be the start of new opportunities for the film department at CBU.

Eaton maintains that it is the department’s goal to teach students how to operate the latest film equipment as well as receive instruction on real-life techniques in the field.

“We’ve grown so much since we’ve been here,” Whitlock said. “In the next five years we’re going to be a million miles away from where we first started.”

About Courtney Coleman

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