The reconstructed arts district will become the new home of the Moving-Image Production program, the School of Music and the Department of Theatre. Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Swift

New building, new set. Students in the Moving-Image Production program will have a new place to call home and express their talent through moving images for the first time in fall 2022. 

MIP is focused on developing critical skills in different areas to better understand the film industry, independent cinema and visual culture, according to the curriculum website. Despite the long-term construction project launched in 2017, the first class to receive degrees from the MIP program will be in spring 2021, Roger Beebe, a professor and graduate chair in the Department of Art, said. 

The new facility will house the MIP program, the School of Music and the Department of Theatre, creating a new space for learning and collaboration, Dan Hedman, university spokesperson, said in an email.

The MIP program has only been around for about three years, but has seen an increase in interest in the past year, Beebe said.

Thirteen students make up the class currently, and the program expects about 35 students to enroll this fall, Beebe said. 

“We want to have a small enough group that we can really give them the focused attention that they need,” he said. 

The new construction is bringing a focus to filmmaking opportunities at Ohio State, which has not been the case in the past.

“[We’re] getting to see a lot of different kinds of work from — we call it four modes — that the program touches, which is animation, documentary, experimental and narrative,” Beebe said. 

In order to get experience in each mode, MIP students are offered a curriculum in which they must take one class under each mode, but are encouraged to take additional courses that support their individual interests. 

Some of the classes include Motion Studies through Hand-Drawn Animation, Studies in the Documentary, Film/Video II: Experimental Strategies and The Art of Editing, the website states.

The new building construction on College Road is part of Ohio State’s Framework 2.0 project, a plan to develop the Columbus campus that is focused around the campus’s physical needs to support academics at Ohio State, according to the Framework 2.0 website.

Kevin Leonardi, senior director of marketing and communications in College of Arts and Sciences, said in an email that the Arts District will add multiple features to campus. 

“The Arts District, at Ohio State’s front door, will spark opportunities for collaboration and invigorate arts and culture experiences,” Leonardi said. 

The new construction will allow the MIP program to offer new amenities for students to increase their knowledge of film production.

The program will be getting a significant number of production and post-production facilities from the new development. There will be classrooms built for better film instruction, a sound stage with a cyclorama wall — a concave curtain wall used to form a background — and a Dolby finishing suite, Beebe said in an email. 

The program will reach its full potential after the construction of the arts district is complete and will be a place to unite different departments, Beebe said. 

“The fact that we’re getting space in this new building, a space that was kind of custom-designed for us, it’s going to be really incredible,” Beebe said. 

Beebe said the program wants to follow the philosophy of a liberal arts education while getting its students practical exposure to film history and film production. 

“It’s pretty amazing how quickly Ohio State has been kind of recognized for this program, and I just hope the profile continues to grow,” Beebe said. “I think we’re going to be a pretty unique place in the Midwest.”

With the vision slowly unfolding into its established form, the MIP program aims to be a forum for student engagement, while creating a stronger sense of belonging, Beebe said. 

Leonardi said the new building will provide a cutting-edge experience for the university.

“These upgraded environments will benefit the students and faculty who will learn, teach, rehearse and perform in these spaces, and arts’ patrons will have new venues to experience the arts at Ohio State while supporting the next generation of artists,” Leonardi said.