in Learning

Storytelling the 21st Century Way

Media production group helps tell the tale

Everyone has a tale to tell but not always the tools to tell it effectively. At Dartmouth, thanks to the work of the Media Production Group (MPG), storytelling is not a problem. With a complete broadcast-level facility located in Berry Library, the group provides concept-to-delivery video production service as well as campus-wide instruction in how to plan, use, and distribute video projects.


Michael Murray, Tua Broderick, and Michael Sacca

“In today’s world, video and motion graphics—and any sort of dynamic media—is becoming an important part of how institutions and individuals communicate with each other,” says R. Michael Murray, Assistant Director of the Media Production Group. “I think it’s important for people to know there are people on campus who have the expertise and wherewithal to help in that process. We know this place pretty well, and I think we have something to offer a wide range of college storytellers.”

“We use the medium to synthesize sound with images to build a piece, to integrate it into a whole” — Michael Sacca

Murray, Videographer and Producer Michael Sacca, and Production Assistant Tua Broderick offer three decades of combined experience. Murray, in fact, was part of Dartmouth’s OISER (Office of Instructional Services and Educational Research) group in the late 1980s. OISER grew out of the Dartmouth Films office, which provided film production services to the campus in the 1950s and ’60s. Since 1995, the MPG has been part of Computing Services, which has allowed the group to take full advantage of the convergence of video and computing technology.

“All too often, video programs become radio with images,” says Sacca. “But we work under the premise that video is content; it works with narrative to give more than either can alone. That’s our strong point. We use the medium to synthesize sound with images to build a piece, to integrate it into a whole.”

The Media Production Group not only videotapes special occasions, such as commencement and guest lectures, but also provides purchasing, editing, and videotaping guidance for a variety of research and academic projects. Staff members advise and train students working on senior fellowship and independent study projects, for instance. They help faculty incorporate video into classroom presentations. And they work with academic departments and centers as well as other offices, such as development and athletics, that want to record and promote key events. The group also produces longer-form projects, such as documentaries, which, says Sacca, “is the work we find most exciting.”

The group’s efforts have garnered five gold medals from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), beginning with a video on the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge five years ago. More recent productions include Wearers of the Green, a video honoring athletes inducted into Dartmouth’s Hall of Fame, and When Dartmouth Builds, a presentation exploring Dartmouth’s building program.

Retrieved from the Internet Archive on July 5, 2010.

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