Genesee Media Services ‘Graduates' to Digital Device

The 167 members of the Batavia High School Class of 2006 weren’t the only “graduates” present at the Genesee Community College gymnasium on June 25. Employees of the College’s Media Services Department also moved up a rung on the technology ladder by utilizing new state-of-the-art video equipment to capture Batavia High’s 124th annual commencement ceremony on DVD, and making it available to each and every member of the Class of 2006.

“In the past we had to use a single camera and a VHS tape (to record events at the college),” said Michael Perry, television production technician. “With the new switcher that we purchased, now we can use multiple Super VHS cameras to record onto a digital tape direct for a direct DVD copy.  We are able to correct audio problems and it makes for easy editing.”

The “switcher” Perry referred to is a $5,000 Panasonic AG-MX70 Digital AV Mixer, a portable device that is available to Genesee media services classes. Perry said he used an audio snake to run multiple microphones without using wireless equipment.

“The cable is installed from the north side of the gym, across the ceiling beams to the third floor press box. It enabled microphones and amplifier feeds to be operated from there.”

Perry oversaw the videotaping of the ceremony – Genesee has the capability to telecast events live on Time Warner Cable Channel 15, he said – and the College is making DVD copies for all the graduates. Bob Lewis (producer), Liz Wimbush and Peter Zimmer (camera),  Genesee students and Batavia student Andrew Boynton (audio) assisted.

As part of the contract between the College and the high school’s senior class, Genesee agreed to provide 200 DVD copies of the ceremony.

“We’ve been offering tape dubs since they started holding the ceremonies here several years ago,” Perry said. “The difference this year, however, is that we’re able to produce a higher quality video.”

Batavia High Principal Pam Buresch said she couldn’t be more pleased over the commencement arrangement with the college.

“In my capacity and speaking for the graduation committee, the last six years have been just a wonderful collaborative relationship,” Buresch said. “They have a team of folks there – Anne Feary (college services associate), the entire audio-video tech crew, security – that just does it all for us.  Because of them we have a beautiful ceremony.”

Perry said he will soon be completing the duplication process and sending the DVD copies to Batavia High School in July, which will distribute them to the graduates.