Feature Story

‘Getting Real’ with OWU’s Green Screen Studio

November 6, 2014 – by Pam Besel

Lights. Camera. Action.

Ohio Wesleyan’s new Green Screen Studio offers members of the campus community the space, time, and acoustically sound environment in which to shoot and produce video interviews and creative projects. And all of the magic is happening in a small converted classroom on the lower level of Beeghly Library.

Chuck Della Lana, OWU’s director of media services, says the technology is the same as that being used by your favorite television meteorologist.

“We wanted to create an atmosphere in a controlled environment—in the sense that we could control lighting, weather fluctuations, sound, and time availability,” Della Lana explains. Conversion work on the former classroom began during the summer.

‘We are excited about the possibilities of this new studio,” adds Brian Rellinger, OWU’s chief information officer, “as it gives faculty and students the opportunity to be more creative with video production.”

Della Lana says they first shopped around for Green Screen fabric, an industry color standard, as it occurs least in skin tone and clothing. Acoustical foam placed on the room’s cinderblock walls blocks the echoes that often plague other environments. And adding lavaliere microphones greatly improves the sound as well.

“We even use fans to simulate the wind blowing through the hair of our video subjects,” adds Della Lana.

And then the real magic occurs, when in the final video composite, the green background is removed and replaced with alternate campus backgrounds. Do you want to include the fountain and Hamilton-Williams Campus Center in the background? Or what about University Hall? All can add interest and a sense of place and, best of all, are easy and inexpensive to include.

In use since the beginning of the school year, OWU’s Green Screen Studio offers the use of a video camera if needed, but you’ll need to bring a memory card. Once your video is shot, editing rooms are available—or you can take the card and do the editing elsewhere.

“We anticipate a lot of use by our faculty, students, such as those returning from OWU Connection learning trips, and groups, such as our documentary film class,” says Della Lana. Academic use has scheduling priority, and it is important to reserve production use of the studio in advance by contacting him at cndellal@owu.edu.