Advancing Technology

Webster University’s School of Communications is home to some of the most advanced communications technology found at any college in the Midwest, offering students access to the same equipment used by many of the top film, video, sound recording and game design companies in the country. The School recently added the first virtual cinema video wall in the region and a state-of-the-art recording studio suite, including a Dolby Atmos studio, to its existing programs and facilities, and is providing students hands-on training with cutting edge tools in addition to deep emersion in industry-standard techniques.



Text on screen: Webster University

[Footage of the hallway in Sverdrup morphs into a montage of clips from the School of Communications, including a sound board, a student writing on a whiteboard and someone working on a computer.]

Text on screen: School of Communications

[Music fades and continues in the background, with an aerial shot and an exterior shot of the Sverdrup building cutting to an interview shot.]

Eric Rothenbuhler: We are in the west wing of this Sverdrup building that just remodeled as a state-of-the-art media production and communication education facility.

Text on screen: ERIC ROTHENBUHLER Dean, School of Communications

[Footage of a large screen in the sound stage before cutting to another interview shot of Aaron Aubuchon sitting in a theatre seat]

Aaron Aubuchon: We turned it former TV studio into a soundstage. We have a space that we can build things, so now we can actually put sets in that soundstage.

Text on screen: AARON AUBUCHON Associate Dean, School of Communications

We have an LED wall, so we could do virtual cinema production. We have an isolated audio facility. We've also updated some classrooms for gaming and animation.

[Footage of the LED wall, the audio mixing facility and various classrooms for other visual elements.]

[Music fades from the background into full level as there are a montage of clips from the Sverdrup building, including additional facilities and technology. The music fades back into the background as Rothenbuhler begins speaking.]

Rothenbuhler: We may have particular labs optimized for one degree program or another, but between classes the students are sitting next to each other.

[A close-up interview shot of Rothenbuhler.]

They see what each other is doing. They get curious, they start collaborating, and that prepares them for working in the industry.

[Music becomes full volume again with a long, sped up clip of the LED wall, before fading again, and cuts to video games design and a shot of the Interaction Lab.]

With a complete remodeling and a complete tech refresh, we can make a big, big leap forward. So one of the premier examples is our virtual cinema system.

[Music flourishes into full volume as the LED screen of the video wall changes sets and backgrounds directed by students and professors, and the music quiets.]

Caleb Sawyer: The video wall is one of those things that not many places have.

Text on screen: CALEB SAWYER Adjunct Professor of Game Design

[An interview shot of Sawyer in front of the video wall, as he speaks animatedly with big gestures.]

It's no longer preparing them with tools so that they can figure it out in that environment. It's preparing them with experience so that when they get in that environment, they know what they're doing.

[Inspirational music begins as there are multiple shots of Sawyer working with or in front of the video wall. The music fades and the video cuts to Aubuchon.]

Aubuchon: Right now, we have students who know more about how to use these technologies than the professionals in town.

[The music becomes full volume again and there is a shot of sets/backgrounds moving back and forth on the LED video wall.

[A clip of a Sverdrup hallway and the Imaginary World computer lab appear before cutting to another interview shot of Rothenbuhler.]

Rothenbuhler: The School of Communications has always been a leader in all of the things that we do. We're putting high quality professional equipment, some of it cutting-edge, in the hands of every student that joins us. They've got access to top level equipment and really elite education.

[Music swells and ends as the screen fades to black.]

State-of-the-Art Media Production Facilities

The School of Communications complex houses a state-of-the-art media production and education facility, meeting industry standards, and including unique, first-in-the-region technologies and capabilities. Studio facilities include an audio and video production/recording suite, sound stage, workshop space, photography studio, gallery, animation, game design, and video post-production labs as well as flexible teaching spaces. The Sound Stage includes an LED wall for virtual cinema production, providing our students experience with the newest techniques in film, television and commercial video production.

A soundstage with the first virtual cinema system in the region, one of very few in an educational institution anywhere in the country. This technology, as used to film the popular Disney show “The Mandalorian,” allows film scenes for any location to be simulated to be shot in a studio environment.

Webster's soundstage with LED screen showing subway scene, students working lights and camera

An integrated audio suite with three control rooms, including an Atmos room, live sound room, isolation booths and networking technology to integrate work across the individual spaces and with the rest of the building infrastructure.

AXS Legacy mixing board
sound recording room with equipment
audio production work station
sound mixing room with equipment
students and professor in classroom with AXS Legacy audio production and mixing board
audio mixing station

A new workshop for scene and model building, practical effects, prop creation, game prototyping, and circuit testing for desktop fabrication, gaming, film and audio production.

fabrication room with wood table and stools
workshop room with roll chairs, long table and TV monitor
backlit workshop desks along wall with roll chairs

Labs for video, animation, game design, interactive and photography work. An image and photo studio that supports that latest in digital photography.

Imaginary Worlds main window with Wacom tablet workstations beyond
photography studio with box lights, backdrop and color card in front of camera equipment
computer lab with Wacom tablets
Interaction Lab main window with computer workstations beyond
Professor AuBuchon talks with students in computer lab with rows of computers, large windows, and large TV monitor on wall
computer lab classroom
two students at audio foley effects board looking at computer monitors

A new auditorium/screening room with acoustic treatment, surround sound, and video conferencing.

Gray screening room with three rows of theatre seats and large white widescreen, two large LED TV monitors on either side.

Hands-On Learning and Media Equipment Center

Webster students receive hands-on learning in environments that reflect the cutting-edge technology being used by the top communication companies in the world. Faculty and staff worked closely with the architects and engineers to make sure that the spaces created reflected the leading edge of industry and would give our students a significant advantage in their chosen fields after graduation.

Webster University is investing in the future of our students to prepare them for the exciting, ever-changing field of communications, including its constantly evolving equipment. The School of Communications’ Media Center offers students access to $2+ million inventory of professional grade media production equipment.

Student operates new Blackwater Magic digital camera with two other students observing.
Blackmagic Design video monitor showing green screen over shot from LED video screen
Video monitor shows changes in lighting effects on actor sitting in chair

Access to equipment gives our students experience using professional-level equipment and facilities in audio production, animation and film and video production. Students work with state-of-the-art equipment as early as their freshman year. The School of Communications evaluates equipment needs on an ongoing basis. Students work with a range of tools to better prepare them for the variety of equipment they may find in the professional world. The School invests in state-of-the-art technology and teaches students the latest techniques, so they are ready for their chosen professions after they graduate.

Winifred Moore Auditorium

Home of the Webster Film series, the Winifred Moore Auditorium is one of the main venues on the Webster Groves Campus for concerts, film screenings, lectures and other large events. The auditorium's rich history adds a layer of intrigue as students, faculty staff and guests gather for a wide range of events.

Winifred Moore was called the Chapel of All Saints, with daily mass and various ceremonies until the University transitioned to a lay board and became a secular institution in 1967. The chapel began to be increasingly used for a variety of other purposes, from musical performances and film showings to lectures, meetings and even yoga.

A grant from the Kresge Foundation provided much of the funds for an extensive renovation of the space which was completed in 1973. The chapel was renamed Winifred Moore Auditorium after it was renovated with gifts from Winifred W. Rogers and Elizabeth D. Hyatt in memory of their mother and grandmother, Winifred Moore.

Professional Learning Environment That Supports Creativity and Innovation

School of Communications facilities support our faculty and students in pursuing the highest quality media and communication work in the region, and give our students important professional advantages in their post-graduation life. We provide students with a professional environment designed to support creativity and multi-media, interdisciplinary work, mirroring the top companies in the industry and numerous open meeting and teaching spaces that encourage collaboration. Full networking capability is available in every room internally and externally.

student sitting on bench below stairs in Media Commons
game testing and film media critique room
Kooyumjian Gallery show with photos on walls and people throughout
Media Commons main area with stairs to second floor
yellow and white student seating area
students in media lab in Sverdrup building
Media Commons
student journalist being filmed in Media Commons during Media Academy
student working in Media Commons
news desk
yellow chairs with white round tables in front of white board wall
one of the student work areas

The Kooyumjian Gallery

In addition to studios, labs and classrooms, the School of Communications includes the Kooyumjian Gallery, continuing Webster’s three-decade tradition of photography exhibition and community engagement in its predecessor, the May Gallery. Kooyumjian Gallery is located in the School of Communications, second floor, west wing. Established in 1988, the Gallery is dedicated to showing photographic works by student, local, national and international photographers. Renovated and enlarged in 2022, the Gallery events are always free and open to the public.

Kooyumjian Gallery with white walls covered in large photos, one gray accent wall and long bench

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