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The Department of Mass Media at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) in Cape Giradeau, Missouri, has adopted Vinten’s Pro-Ped pedestal and Vinten Vision 250 pan-and-tilt camera head, together with an Autocue 15-inch Starter Series teleprompter. The professional-grade studio equipment gives TV and film students invaluable hands-on experience producing a broad range of content for local broadcasters.

The SEMO Department of Mass Media has over 300 majors, 100 of which are in the TV and Film track. TV and film students can count on a very intense curriculum that gives them experience with a broad range of TV programming and hones their skills for storytelling. Ranging from news and public affairs to newsmagazine and cultural arts programs, the student-produced programming is broadcast on local CBS and Fox affiliates. Students also work on sports programming, including live Ohio Valley Conference productions for ESPN+, as well as film projects over which they have total creative control of their own story. For every program, students perform hands-on work as producers, directors, camera operators, and audio technicians.

In the SEMO studios, a Vinten Pro-Ped lightweight pedestal offers a stable and robust two-stage system with ideal balance for on-shot camera movements. Mounted on the pedestal is a Vinten Vision 250 pan-and-tilt camera head, which offers perfect balance for camera/lens combinations up to 72.8 pounds. At SEMO, these include either a Panasonic AG-HPX370 camcorder with a Fujinon XT17x4-5BRM-K14 lens, or a Hitachi HD5000 with a Fujinon XA20sx8.5-BRM K3 lens.

In addition, the Autocue 15-inch Starter Series teleprompter provides an ideal entry-level solution for the school, giving students valuable experience with the prompting equipment they are most likely to encounter in their real-world jobs following graduation.

“Multicamera, in-studio productions require excellent heads and pedestal systems. With as many as 60 students each semester working on four different productions and four different sets, the wear and tear takes its toll. The Vinten Pro-Ped/Vision 250 combo offers the quality, durability, and outstanding performance our students need, semester after semester,” said Jim Dufek, an SEMO professor who also serves as TV and film operations manager and SETV production director in the department of mass media.

Dufek added, “We needed a teleprompter system that would fit our needs but also be compatible with multiple students working on many different productions. The Autocue teleprompter is an integral component in the success of each program. Its outstanding quality, durability, performance, and ease of use all combine to make it a great teaching tool.”

The Vinten and Autocue gear puts in heavy use on student productions, every day of every term. In one recent example, the SEMO students produced “Redhawks Update,” a 90-second news package that was produced and broadcast during the fall NFL Thursday Night Football games via the local Fox affiliate. Another production that sees heavy use of the Vinten and Autocue gear is “Cape Chronicle,” a weekly public affairs program for the CBS/CW affiliate that covers a variety of issues, politics, arts, and city government. 

“Our Vinten camera supports and Autocue prompters are professional-grade systems that are not only dependable, reliable, and effective, but they’re also outstanding educational tools,” said Paul Dudeck, vice president of sales, the Americas, Vitec Production Solutions. “We’re proud that our solutions are giving SEMO students invaluable experience in producing content for real-world, live broadcasts, together with a creative storytelling outlet that will inspire them throughout their professional careers.”

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