College of the Canyons students will soon have improved access to multimedia recording equipment beginning this week, according to school officials.

Fifty seven packages trickled into Mentry Hall on the school’s Valencia campus Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

Wireless lavalier microphones are staged to be prepared for students on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Lauren Hannah/Canyons News

Inside the bloated brown cardboard boxes was a variety of equipment set to be used by Media Entertainment Arts Department students enrolled in filmmaking, animation, journalism and sound classes.

“We’re excited to see the difference an increase in equipment has on the productivity of our students,” said Austin Dave, instructional laboratory technician for the School of Visual and Performing Arts.

The latest round of equipment investment brings students and staff an additional 10 news gathering cameras, eight filmmaking cameras, eight field audio recorders, one high-end cinema camera among other tools, Dave said.

One of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K cameras gets assembled on Wednesday, May 11 by staff in the “Crash Room,” a designated area for piecing together new gear. Photo courtesy of Austin Dave

“The purchase more than doubles our current volume of products, and exponentially increases the vitality of our students as they work to create not only media, but a future for themselves,” Dave said.

Some of the equipment could go into service as soon as Monday, according to Dave.

However, with turbulent weather conditions plaguing shipping deadlines, other pieces of gear could arrive late.

“We have a great group of people behind the scenes, from logistics, to our facilities staff to our team here in Media Entertainment Arts, all working to ensure the task of preparing the equipment for use is done effectively and efficiently,” Dave said.

Journalism/ENG camera-carrying bags are staged to be prepared for students on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. Lauren Hannah/Canyons News

The fall semester brought about a series of changes, all part of a master plan to streamline the department’s operations.

Dave and his team rolled out CHEQROOM, a new app-based program used to schedule and manage all of the department’s equipment and editing bays.

“It’s much more than that,” Dave said. “The app allows us to become much more efficient and predictable.

“Things can be a bit hectic here, but with a bit of software, we can become more flexible and allow ourselves to serve our students for extended hours and give them greater access to information about our inventory — all for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Currently, students use CHEQROOM to schedule equipment rentals, editing bay times and tutoring appointments in a manner similar to online ordering at a restaurant or a movie theater.

“We can generate reports on what we’re using, how well something works and how effective a tool is, so when we order new equipment, we have a better understanding of the true needs of our students and staff,” Dave said.

The total cost of this year’s purchase exceeds $100,000, Dave said.

He hopes the people his team serves will take advantage of the new equipment and breathe new life into their art.

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