The Setonian

Visual and sound media majors see possibilities

Robert Ruszkowski, a sophomore visual and sound media major, spent time in high school working at his school’s minor television studio, which ultimately led him to studying and pursuing this degree at Seton Hall.

Encouraged by his uncle, who works for NBC Sports, Ruszkowski found Seton Hall’s program and made the decision to enroll.

Ruszkowski (center) and Famularo (right) filming an episode of Hall Talk, said that their major applies to multiple areas of production.
Photos courtesy of Robert Ruszkowski

Ruszkowski explained that his work with Pirate Television has had a significant impact on him as a student and as a budding professional.
He said his transition from general crew member to producer-in-training and now producer of Pirate News has been smooth.

“It’s a great environment because before the show (or) after the show we can talk, grab dinner or lunch but during the show we’re all going for a common goal,” Ruszkowski said. “And it’s interesting to see because no two specializations in the major are quite the same.”

He said that he worried that specializing in television would be too narrow and limited but found that the major is broad and has offered him many opportunities.

One of those opportunities is an internship with CNBC’s Assignment Desk. At his internship, he is able to write and edit scripts.

He said the Digital Cinema Production I and Studio Production I have been extremely beneficial classes to him, teaching him the fundamentals about film and television production.

Digital Cinema Production I teaches students the methods of producing short films and the importance of details such as steadying a camera with proper lighting and warning of challenges, such as wind, that they may encounter.

Studio Production I allows students to learn and practice each position in a generic television studio, which ranges from on-air talent to floor manager.

William Pace, a professor and advisor in the visual and sound media major, stressed that both hands-on production classes and lecture classes are staples in the program. This includes production classes like Studio Production I and II, Digital Cinema Production I and II, paired with Digital Media Studies and Electronic Age of America.

He added that media is no longer consumed traditionally, but mostly through our cell phones.

“We are really aware that we want to address that and, not only that, that’s where things are consumed but by doing so it changes the content,” Pace said. “The content that’s created and the ways that it’s being created. We really want to jump in there and find ways to have students learn how to do that in the way that’s reflecting their outside reality and then prepare and pursue it on their own.”

A willingness to learn, having a good work ethic and taking constructive criticism are crucial, according to Christopher Famularo, a junior visual and sound media major.

Famularo said he hopes produce his own show one day, continue to practice script-writing and “create content that people can enjoy and have never experienced before, leave my own kind of footprint in that world.”

A day in the life of a visual and sound media major can be long and hectic, but often very rewarding, according to Ruszkowski and Famularo.

Erika Szumel can be reached at erika.szumel@student.shu.edu.