What do you get when you have two bright, talented, and enthusiastic people behind a camera? You get the staff of the Instructional Media Production (IMP) unit of CAT! This quarter’s CAT Unit Spotlight was on IMP, and true to the nature of their work, Sean Cruser and Kim Cohen made an entertaining video explaining a little bit about what they do and how they do it.
While IMP has been part of our department for over 40 years, their services originally began in the 1950’s and originally required a staff of 50 people. With the advancement of technology over the years, including video digitalization, their staff continually reduced to the point that their unit is able to do all this amazing work with only the two of them. There are a handful of other departments on campus that can offer similar services, but IMP remains a favorite among faculty due to their accessibility, large studio space, and high production values. For example, during their presentation, someone asked how the video production that IMP provides is different from BruinCast. The main difference is that BruinCast captures lectures of the instructors for students to review, whereas IMP creates original video content with high-end production values that can feature any desired content.
IMP offers many different kinds of video techniques that makes their service appealing. One well-known feature that the team uses extensively in their videos is the Green Screen technique, which allows them to film someone and place any desired images or text around or behind the speaker. Another interesting and favorite feature that instructors can make use of in a situation like this is to use what is called a “Learning Glass,” where they write information on a transparent blackboard that will make the words seem to magically hover in air to the viewer.
IMP’s versatility is also a major factor in their success. IMP can also offer every phase of video production from designing to archiving. They not only have the advantage of a large recording studio, they are also able to shoot on location. While the majority of content they are producing is for online courses, they also produce videos for many special events like our own Night to Honor Teaching, faculty research lectures, and even for a variety of clients outside UCLA.