The house that BECA built: World class production facility at SFSU
but that is the end of the story. This dream of a cutting-edge media training facility started decades earlier. It took a quarter of a century to get Marcus Hall built – the elegant new home of San Francisco State University’s Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) Department. This mansion to media supports four floors of television studios, control rooms, a radio station, a newsroom, podcast suites, makeup booths, a green screen studio, edit suites, lecture halls, and, of course, classrooms. All built attending to educating future content creators in the media arts with a focus toward aesthetics, multimedia, writing for and about media, law and regulation, performance, business, and media management
This open house, the first BECA / NATAS Media Meld, began on an early March morning. Local Chapter members mixed with BECA alumni, students and faculty for a continental breakfast and to tour the recently activated Marcus Hall.
Five BECA faculty facilitated tours, each one nearly an hour long, shuttled over 100 guests through the whole complex.
Later that morning our Chapter provided four professional production breakout sessions in the studios and lecture rooms. The first two breakout sessions included KTVU’s Studio Manager Robert Erdiakoff demonstrating green screen lighting tips, and KAEF’s anchor and assistant news director Nazy Javid showing her on-camera makeup magic regimen.
“The event was a great way for students to connect with professionals, not only through the awesome breakout sessions, but also with the networking chats afterward, I had several students approach me after the makeup tutorial to share their resumes with me. It was so inspiring to hear their enthusiasm for broadcast television and eagerness to get more involved in the industry – and what an awesome way to further expose them to it!”
-Anchor Nazy Javid / KAEF Assistant News Director & Anchor
All through the day’s event BECA students interviewed various alumni and NATAS professionals, Nazy’s was an enthusiastic interview: “I also really enjoyed being interviewed by the students. They asked fascinating questions, and it’s clear they’re being equipped with the training and skills needed to launch careers in journalism.”
The duo of late morning experts included KPIX’s multimedia journalist (MMJ) Max Darrow. He drove his production van into Studio 1 to show off the perfectly news production van’s organization and convenience. KPIX’s Anchor / reporter Devin Fehely led a lively packed room discussion on newsgathering with drones.
“One of the great benefits of Academy membership is access to our free program events. Our visit to BECA’s brilliant, state/of-the-art studio complex was made even more impressive by the captivating drone and MMJ presentations from our colleagues at KPIX. It’s exciting to know the next generation of content makers will be more than qualified to enter the field. Truly Emmy Excellence in action.”
–Alison Gibson / Media Cool
Marcus Hall offers prospective students of the media arts a remarkable opportunity. This is a place that represents what is perhaps the most sophisticated facility for media arts in the entire country, certainly in the west coast. There are three studios, and an audio production suite already producing content. Under SF is San Francisco State’s very own live-produced variety show. State of Events is a newscast produced by students in BECA 660. During the semester, you can watch every week to get the latest information on current events going on in San Francisco. This show is produced on a news set featuring shades which open and reveal the campus in the background. This media program at San Francisco State University is the largest and most influential program of its kind in the western U.S.
“This event was more than an impressive open house. It was about education, networking, socializing and sharing stories of the past, present and future.”
–Brooks Jarosz / Chapter President
BECA has taught some of the top names in broadcast journalism, entertainment television, and new media. BECA is an inclusive and diverse learning community that emphasizes the intersection of media theory and practice, mirroring the wide range of cultural, artistic, and scholarly interests in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
“The partnership with San Francisco State BECA builds a bridge between higher education and our professional organization,” Jarosz said. “Our shared mission is to inspire, improve and advance the television industry in a positive way. This is just the first step.”
“The new facilities for BECA will undoubtedly continue to be a magnet for students pursuing careers in television, journalism, film, broadcasting and communications. Touring the new building was a lot of fun. Today’s SF State students are so lucky to have a world-class. state-of-the-art facility in which to learn and grow from. From the production studios and the control room to the classrooms and the spacious feel of the entire building, there is inspiration everywhere for the students to learn their craft. SF State has done a wonderful job. BECA always prepares its graduates to succeed in their careers. Many of its graduates through the years have gone on to great things. The young people of today will stand on their shoulders and will surely make names for themselves.”
–Kevin Wing / Chapter Vice President, San Francisco Region
Steve Shlisky is the current Chapter Activities & Programs Chair and the treasurer. He spent the bulk of his career at KTVU, retiring in 2019. He still holds the position of Co-Chair of the Media Communications Department at Laney College in Oakland.