Production Takes Over the School of Communication and Media Lobby

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Published October 16, 2021
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The Montclarion
The entirety of the back study section of SCM was blocked off during classes by a film crew. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

An informational video about a rheumatoid arthritis medication was being filmed in the School of Communication and Media (SCM) at Montclair State University since Wednesday, Oct. 13.

The lobby was closed off with production equipment placed where students typically sit down to relax and work on assignments. Some feel the video production was an inconvenience to their workflow while others found it inspiring, as it is a field they would want to work in someday.

The video was brought to Patricia Piroh, the director of production services and technology and also the director of broadcast and media operations (BMO). It was taken to her by Sean Arnold, a 2021 film graduate who is on the video’s presentation team.

Arnold enjoyed the opportunity and the chance it gave him to connect with other people.

“Working with [Montclair State] as an [alumnus] was a great experience,” Arnold said. “The staff was very accommodating to the needs of the production and helped us coexist with the many other things happening in the School of [Communication and Media]. It was great to see some of my former professors, classmates and colleagues, and let them know that I am out working in the field. It was also great to talk to younger students and let them know that things [like this] are possible.”

According to Piroh, everyone who is part of the production team was vaccinated in accordance with Montclair State’s coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines. Piroh said the school often works with clients to provide opportunities for students and graduates.

Various mask-mandate signs hung up around the filming area, on top of student study areas. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Various mask-mandate signs hung up around the filming area, on top of student study areas.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

“Working with external clients is nothing new,” Piroh said. “In fact, we have been connecting our bright and talented students [and graduates] with clients for more than 25 years. Whenever possible, we employ students and/or graduates to work alongside the professional crews. This is an excellent opportunity for our students [and graduates] to make connections in the professional world.”

Joseph Giordano, a junior television and digital media major, found it inspiring to see the production behind the scenes.

A makeup artist prepares Dr. Grace Wright for a commercial shoot taking place at SCM. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A makeup artist prepares Dr. Grace Wright for a video shoot taking place at SCM.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

“I don’t feel that it is an inconvenience,” Giordano said. “I’m in the SCM building almost every single day, all day. It’s actually exciting to see behind the scenes. I know some of my friends have walked by and actually seen some things that were going on, and they feel that it’s cool [too].”

Joseph Giordano, a junior television and digital media major, thinks it's exciting to see the behind-the-scenes of the informational video. Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

Joseph Giordano, a junior television and digital media major, thinks it’s exciting to see the behind-the-scenes of the informational video. Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

While some students didn’t see this as an issue, others thought it was a little distracting.

Ross Stern, a senior film major, thought the project was a disturbance when walking in between classes and also while trying to get assignments done.

Unidentified film crew members sitting in the hallways of SCM. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Unidentified film crew members sitting in the hallways of the SCM.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

“[I saw] one of the monitors they had set up [and] a miniset built inside the SCM and I’m just thinking, ‘Why would you build it inside a lobby where people go to study and talk?’” Stern said. “It is kind of cool if you’re a film or [television] major [getting to see] people in the industry working there. But it’s still an inconvenience.”

Ross Stern, a senior film major, thinks that the behind-the-scenes is cool to see but a little inconvenient when walking in between classes. Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

Ross Stern, a senior film major, thinks that the behind-the-scenes is cool to see but a little inconvenient when walking in between classes. Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

Kyra Reyes, a junior communication and media arts major, liked the idea of seeing people who work in the industry firsthand. Nonetheless, it still proved to be a bit of a nuisance.

“I find it cool in a way because I [get to] see the behind-the-scenes [of this] and I want to do this in my career. I see myself [in that position] one day,” Reyes said. “But at the same time, them taking our lobby away is just annoying because we study there.”

Kyra Reyes, a junior communication and media arts major, liked the idea of seeing people who work in the industry firsthand. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Kyra Reyes, a junior communication and media arts major, liked the idea of seeing people who work in the industry firsthand.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Piroh said the filming was scheduled based on the days requested by the production company.

Film crew members shooting at the entrance of SCM, preventing students from entering before class time. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Film crew members shoot at the entrance of the SCM, preventing students from entering the building.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Kurt Siegelin is a professor at Montclair State who teaches a media performance and techniques class in the News Lab near the SCM lobby. Siegelin was never distracted while teaching his classes and thinks it should motivate students who want to work in the field one day.

“There’s been zero impact for us,” Siegelin said. “It didn’t disturb my class. The one thing that’s kind of cool is students who are interested in a field like commercial production [are] getting a firsthand chance to take a look at how the process is done. [This] shows the students this is the real world — this is where you are and this is where you could be.”

Kurt Siegelin, a professor at Montclair State in the School of Communication and Media, says the video wasn't a distraction to his class. Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

Kurt Siegelin, a professor at Montclair State in the School of Communication and Media, says the video wasn’t a distraction to his class.
Lynise Olivacce | The Montclarion

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