COM Students Learn Through Real World Experiences

March 1, 2011

COM professor gives sound advice through real world experiences

What makes people jump in a scary movie? What makes people cry during a tearjerker? What does every entertainment drama encompass? Virtuoso editing of the visuals, realistic sound effects and music: the components of post-production. According to Bob Jacobs, communication professor and Midstate Magazine advisor, these elements in TV and film invoke viewers' emotions. Jacobs said audio is one of the major components of post-production these days.

Jacobs' COM 445 class is an advanced course in non-linear post-production. According to Jacobs, post-production is the best combination of all the arts because it allows people to add sound, including music, and create provoking, meaningful pieces. Jacobs provides his class with footage from his Hollywood contacts or material he has gathered throughout his career.

Every semester, Jacobs' COM 445 class takes raw footage from the Hollywood TV drama series, "Standoff," and shapes it into a finalized feature, following all the steps of post-production. They edit footage, add music, and create sounds such as a slamming door, footsteps, and a tap of a pencil. Since the class adds all the emotional aspects to the footage, Jacobs emphasizes the importance of social responsibility.

"I tell my students it's not alright to mess with people," Jacobs said. "It's not about making money. You're not going to get rich doing this. If you're going into this wonderful business to get rich, do something else. You might get rich, but that's not why you're going into it. We go into this because we are storytellers."

Jacobs doesn't call the people in his class "students." According to Jacobs, his class is "real-world college"; therefore, he refers to his mentees as "young professionals." These young professionals are all working toward the same goal: to become great storytellers.

Through his COM 445 class, Jacobs hopes his students become better self-critics and develop a passion for what they aspire to do.

"I want them to get jobs in the industry, to do good work, and to have fun because it is fun," Jacobs said. "It's better than sex, drugs, and rock n' roll"_it's an emotional rush."

It's clear that Jacobs is an expert in the entertainment industry and in post-production. If you're a student of his, you have the foundation to go far with your chosen career. Just ask his previous students: Jake Huberman, Jen French, Tammy Lane, Academy Award winner for best makeup for the Chronicles of Narnia. If your dream is to make it big in Hollywood, Jacobs is here to support you.

"Anybody from Bradley that wants to work in Hollywood, go out there and I'll give you five names of people who will let you sleep on their couches for a week," Jacobs said. "Then, you'll be off and running."