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NECC Video Students Enjoy New HC Media Studio and Equipment

Submitted by on October 13, 2017 – 8:53 pm

Matt Belfiore gives NECC journalism student Jada Ryan of Methuen at hand securing her camera to the tripod.

Matt Belfiore, stands in the center of HC Media’s sleek, new studio at the recently completed Harbor Place at White’s Corner in downtown Haverhill and reflects on what it means for Northern Essex Community College students.

“The space looks deceptively simple,” said the 20-plus year employee of HC Media, “But there is a lot of technology going on in this room.”

Technology that the eight NECC students currently enrolled in the video field production class are enjoying.

As director of operations at HC Media and an instructor in Northern Essex’s journalism/communication program for 11 years Belfiore has history on his side and thus can appreciate what the new location and all its trappings means for his students.

Working and teaching in the new cable access, street-level facility has been nothing short of amazing, Belfiore said. Compared to the older cramped, windowless, studio, on Elm Street, where some of the operations are still managed, he said the new studio and new equipment provide “a much better experience”

Since Bryce Grant, 22 of Andover, never took a class in the Elm Street location, she said she “didn’t know what to expect” at the new studio, but is thrilled with the design and location. Kirk Whelan, 20 of Windham, NH, had taken classes at the old studio and is quite “surprised and impressed” by the new studio.

While Belfiore has been imparting his media wisdom on to Northern Essex students for nearly a decade, in the last three years the video field production class has been retooled with an emphasis placed on creating “video packages in the field” so the studio with its leading edge lighting and equipment helps students create industry worthy packages.

The students in the first group of NECC students to use the new studio were greeted with floor to ceiling windows overlooking a courtyard with a 15-foot water fountain on one side and a bustling Merrimack Street on the other, a rolling news desk, retractable blackout shades, granite floors, cutting edge lighting and equipment, and a control room that operates six cameras.

“It really is a great space,” Belfiore said. “I love it. The students love it. We were always right up there with the better equipment, but this offers an even better audio/visual system. And, we have breathing room here. It’s easier to teach here.”

Belfiore and other HC Media personnel spent well over a year designing the space with three purposes in mind – to serve as a television studio, performance venue, and training facility.

Just that morning the 118-person capacity facility hosted a meet and great for two candidates for a local state representative race and a meeting for the annual Haverhill Stroll.

Now, just hours later, Belfiore, was instructing NECC students on how to mount the video cameras to the tripods, how to level the camera, format the camera cards, and tips on getting wide, closed, and medium shots.

After sending them out into the sunshine in the courtyard overlooking the Merrimack River, Belfiore said, “This really is an excellent facility. We encourage all the NECC faculty to explore using it. It’s a great space. It’s here to be used. That’s why we built it.”

Northern Essex offers an associate degree in liberal arts: journalism/communication option. This degree option provides basic courses and practical experience which prepares individuals for a career in public relations, corporate communication, or print or broadcast journalism, including jobs with newspapers, magazines, publishing, television or radio or transfer to a four-year degree program.

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