Facilities: Franklin Hall

Franklin Hall serves as the headquarters of The Media School. Built in 1907, the outside of the building reflects its history as a campus library, but the inside points to the future. After a $21 million renovation, Franklin Hall houses the latest technology for digital media and communications. From IU’s historic student newspaper, to a state-of-the-art broadcast studio, to a virtual reality lab, students of all media interests will find resources to propel their career. 

control room

The Ken and Audrey Beckley Studio is a facility for TV broadcast news classes; production workshops; IUSTV, the campus’ student-run television station; student-produced basketball and football half-time shows; and a variety of other activities. The studio itself has been designed as a news loft to teach practical studio production, with a full news broadcast set, a small stage, a green screen and stand-up spots. Programs are shot in the Beckley Studio are produced via the adjacent Ed Spray Control Room. Technology in the studio and control room includes:

  • Eight high-definition cameras (four robotic cameras, three traditional manned cameras and one jib/camera boom).
  • Two M/E Grass Valley Karrera Switchers for switching between video sources.
  • Six server channels of video playback/record.
  • Two-channel ChyronHego Mosaic graphics system for lower-third and full-screen graphics.
  • NewTek TalkShow system, for live interviews via Skype.
  • Multiview monitor wall consisting of six 58-inch video screens.
  • Camera connections from commons and large lecture hall.
  • Fiber connection to the Radio-Television Building, which then connects to the world.
  • Video router and intercom systems with the capability to interface with Studio 5 in the Radio-Television Building.
  • Connection to the Mark Cuban Center for Sports Media and Technology at Assembly Hall.

control room

The Studio 8 audio booths house a two-room podcast and radio production suite. Studio 8 is built as a fully functional radio control room and features a modern 14-channel mixer designed for adaptability both on- and off-air. The space comfortably seats five on-air guests, and connections allow for multiple interviews via telephone. The studio is outfitted with CD, vinyl and digital playback devices.

Media School students record sports and current events podcasts here, and the campus student radio station, WIUX, also uses it for podcasts and special events. The provost’s Through the Gates podcast, featuring IU scholars, high-profile students and university guests, is recorded here as well. The Office of the Bicentennial uses the spaces to record oral history interviews. Small performance groups are also recorded in Studio 8, using the provided upright piano.

Editing bays provide students with professional-level, real-world post-production environments. Sixteen editing suites in Franklin Hall provide users quiet isolation for precision work. The booths are loaded with video and audio amenities, including:

  • Thirteen rooms designed for high-definition video production.
  • The complete Adobe Creative Cloud package.
  • Avid Media Composer.
  • Final Cut Pro X.
  • DaVinci Resolve.
  • UltraWide Dell monitors for ample desktop and timeline space.
  • HP DreamColor monitors with best-in-class accuracy for color grading.
  • Waveform monitors and vector scopes for precise adjustment of video specifications.
  • Two suites with Ultra HD hardware for 4K digital cinema productions.
  • A suite optimized for podcast production.
  • One room used specifically for audio, where students can quickly and easily record voiceovers for a variety of projects.

virtual realityVirtual reality comes alive in the visualization lab. Here, students work on specialized virtual and augmented reality projects and test them on head-mounted displays. The lab includes:

  • Open floor space for new technologies and for walking in a virtual environment.
  • Two wireless handheld motion controllers to track users’ movements via infrared sensors, simulating hand position so the player can grab, hold and throw items in a 3-D virtual space.
  • The industry-leading PC game library store and content management system, Steam.
  • A Microsoft HoloLens for students interested in experimenting with development in this new technology. With this head-mounted display, users travel wirelessly through an augmented reality experience, superimposing virtual objects onto real-world spaces.

The Beckley Studio also has a motion capture system, allowing human actors wearing reflective tracker nodes to perform a variety of physical motions. These movements can then be mapped into digital animations for games and film.

The Screening Room is on the third floor of Franklin Hall and offers a variety of cinematic experiences, including:

  • Stadium seating for 20 people.
  • A 14-foot screen.
  • DIRECTV.
  • Two Blu-ray players.
  • A Dolby Atmos surround sound system that supports a digital projection system or a 16-mm projector.

The Game Design Lab offers technology for student collaborative projects and features 16 Alienware Alpha computers on four tables, each connected to an HDTV, which displays working projects.

Next door, in the graphics lab, students use four custom-built GTX 1080 desktop computers designed for high-end animation and digital graphics work. These machines use 27-inch eSports ready IPS G-sync QHD monitors and the best Wacom Cintiq graphics tablets on the market. Students create digital paintings and sculptures with the use of a pressure-sensitive stylus.

game labWe play games, too. Media School students use the playtesting room, an environment built to mimic a living room-style setting. Students here also have access to Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4 and PC gaming systems and equipment for testing mobile games.

Students may check out cameras and other equipment from Franklin Hall and the Radio-Television Building for use on class projects via the Media School checkout system. If you have trouble connecting to the page, consult this troubleshooting guide.

In the interactive newsroom, students learn to collaborate in small-group class formats through interactive screens. The room is outfitted with a large touchscreen monitor on the front wall and several smaller screens throughout the room. Each of the screens is equipped with Solstice technology, allowing students and professors to show their laptops, or even mobile phones and tablets. The desks are all made of whiteboards, which students can draw or write on for brainstorming, storyboarding and discussion with classmates.

The room is also specially equipped with cameras and microphones for Skype calls with newsrooms and people around the globe.

researchThe Institute for Communication Research, established in 1971, provides tools and support for researchers, including tools to monitor:

  • Heart rate activity to index attention paid to media.
  • Skin conductance activity to index excitement/arousal in response to media.
  • Facial muscle activity to index emotional response to media.
  • Startle reflex to measure human defensive system activation in response to media.
  • Brain wave activity in four channels of EEG data, which can be collected from any scalp location.
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