Give Undergraduate Students at Pace Access to Film Equipment

Adiba Sikder, Editor-in-Chief

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Pace prides itself on providing students with hands-on experience in the career they want to pursue which may sound pretty amazing, but it’s not necessarily true for every department and major, especially the film department.

Most film students gain a majority of their film experience at the end of junior and senior year of their college career and still may not feel comfortable holding a camera because of the lack of time they have had with the actual equipment.

Practice makes perfect, right? However, how can students get practice when Pace doesn’t have enough equipment for students to get the practice that they need?

The Media Lab at Willcox does not allow students to check out film equipment, unless it’s specifically for a class project and even then, there may be students in the group that hog the equipment and don’t allow other students in the group the room to learn and make mistakes.

Personally, when I took Media Production I (MCA 252), most of the camera and equipment work was done by upperclassman that had more experience and knew what they were doing. I only got to touch the camera for about fifteen minutes in total while taking that class.

Now, as a junior, the only reason I have more camera experience is because I’m taking Cinematography One and I had to put my foot down during class projects and demand more time holding the camera.

Although the class provides students with more camera experience, it is extremely difficult for film students to get into the classes that they need in order to get this experience.

Camera equipment is limited and there can be as few as ten seats in classes that are required for film students to take in order to graduate, but getting enrolled in these classes can seem almost impossible because students from other departments take them as electives or they are given away to people with earlier registration times, such as athletes or honors students.

I understand that athletes and honors students are not to blame for their registration time, but it’s unfair that they get to have the exact schedule they want and better classes then everyone else on campus, especially when students are putting themselves in thousands of dollars of debt for the same quality of education.

In order to get into Cinematography One, I had to reach out to the professor of the class, the head of the department, the secretary of the head of the department, and OSA just so that they would make an exception for me, which is a ludicrous situation.

If it’s going to be so difficult to get into the classes that film students need when their putting themselves in thousands of dollars of debt to go here, maybe it’s time to make a change and allow access to the expensive film equipment that their tuition money is going towards.

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