Professor offers hands-on experience

One of Castleton State College’s newest professors has given her students a great chance to get out into the real world of film making.It’s something that interim professor Jody Bergedick said she felt was missing in the video field.

“There are a lot of talented students here, and the one thing that they really lack is the opportunity to get out and work with clients,” said Bergedick, who replaced longtime professor Robert Gershon for the year while he is on sabbatical.

Bergedick is the “CEO” of Castleton State Productions, a fictitious company that is student run.

“Students are the employees,” Bergedick said.

The class has 12 students in it and each is paired off and assigned to work with local non-profit organizations including the Vermont Adaptive Ski Association, Rutland County Women’s Shelter, Poultney Historical Society and Slate Valley Museum.

From there, the students are on their own and are responsible for meeting with the clients and producing a finished product that will be used for promotional and educational needs.

“It’s tremendously beneficial to clients and students,” said Mariko Hancock, head of the college’s Casella Theater and one of the clients that Castleton State Productions is working with for the Arts Reach program.

“We treat them like actual professionals that we would usually have to pay,” Hancock said.

Eric Kapitan, one of the student “employees” of Castleton State Productions, said is excited to be a part of the class.

“It gives you a real life experience. It gets your name out, he said

Opportunities like this don’t come often, especially for students interested in video productions. It’s a hard field to get early experience in, Bergedick said.

“They have all this great instruction, but it’s all in class with other students and at the end of the day that’s not what real life is going to be,” Bergedick said.

This new class gives students a chance to understand how to work with clients as if they were really in the field of video production, she said.

“They are going to have is a huge leg up over everybody else,” Bergedick said.

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