Homeland Security Training Videos Showcase iTV Studio’s Reach

Homeland Security Training Videos Showcase iTV Studio’s Reach

A first-of-its-kind collaboration between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Rutgers Center for Transportation Safety, Security and Risk (CTSSR) recently provided Rutgers’ iTV Studio with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the breadth and depth of its capabilities. From soup to nuts, the fee-for-service video production unit of the Rutgers Division of Continuing Studies created three state-of-the-art training films for front-line public transit employees.

According to iTV Studio Producer Hébert Peck, Jr., each project came with distinct requirements that called for different approaches to casting, filming, and production. “We shot narrative work, documentary-style footage, and everything in between,” he said. “We filmed in diverse locations on and off campus. We involved our core iTV Studio group and wide network of freelance professionals, and employed a range of equipment and production tools. The end result truly showcases what iTV Studio can deliver.”

For example, “Chemical Weapons in the Transit Environment: A Frontline Employee's Guide to Preparedness and Response” educates transit employees to identify and react to a chemical attack. The video uses expert commentary and subway tunnel footage shot on location in Washington, D.C., with the support of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

“On the Tracks: Rail Sabotage Awareness and Reporting” helps railroad track workers recognize the indications of a derailment-focused terror attack. In collaboration with the Transportation Security Administration, iTV Studio worked with the Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to film real employees identifying issues on the rails.

The third video, “Communicating with LEP Customers,” addresses the importance of transit workers’ ability to communicate with limited English-proficient transit riders. Three vignettes featuring professional actors depict scenarios in which language assistance tools can be used to facilitate positive interaction.

Josephine S. Faass, CTSSR Senior Research Specialist, noted that the project has set a benchmark for intra-university collaboration. “We are academically based, and it is important to work with people who ‘get’ that world,” she said. “iTV Studio carries the advantage of being both top-line in its field and part of the university system.”

CTSSR develops responses to transportation security and risk analysis challenges. A designated National Transportation Security Center of Excellence, the Center is affiliated with Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. While it has spearheaded a number of projects funded by Homeland Security, the training video assignment was unique, according to Faass.

“This project involved a number of units within the Rutgers community, and multiple governmental agencies,” Faass added. “The iTV Studio team really brought everything together seamlessly, and the finished videos are fantastic. We have heard nothing but rave reviews from our colleagues at Homeland Security and TSA.”

Peter Troost, iTV Studio’s Assistant Director, Technical Operations and Production, noted that the Homeland Security project has expanded iTV Studio’s reach. “We are getting inquiries from people at other agencies at the federal and state levels, who have seen the transit training videos,” he said. “They are recognizing the benefits of professional production in terms of taking their own materials to the next level.” 

The nearly 50-year-old iTV Studio, housed at the edge of the university’s Livingston campus, combines the latest digital technology with an award-winning team to provide a distinctive set of services. While its primary mission is to serve Rutgers University, the facility also meets a variety of communication and outreach needs.

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