When you think of a reading room you think of a cozy, quiet space filled with books and comfortable furniture where you sit with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and explore a literary universe filled with galaxies of characters, styles, genre, and points of view. Three years ago, Leeward Community College embarked on a project to record local literary talent – to hear them perform their own works and to explore their creative process.
When Language Arts faculty member Ann Inoshita approached the Educational Media Center’s Video Production Unit with a request to record a local author, then Production Manager Les Matsuura saw this as an opportunity to create a unique archive of local talent. Matsuura said, “I’ve always had a soft spot for oral histories and the documenting of events, individuals, and content of historical and cultural value. When Ann came to us with her request, I proposed creating a series with the intent of building a library of local talent sharing their works and their creative process. Ann loved the idea of being part of something that might be useful to students interested in creative writing and to the larger community as well. She has taken on the role of producer, identifying and inviting Hawaii’s talented writers to be a part of The Reading Room. She’s also taken on the role as host of the program.”
Asked to describe The Reading Room, Inoshita said, “The Reading Room is recordings of author interviews and readings… These literary recordings include many Hawaii authors and are a valuable resource for courses.”
The programs are designed to invite viewers to join the host and artist in an intimate and comfortable setting. Now in its second series of recordings, the set has evolved from a minimalist set with a coffee table and books floating in black limbo to a fireplace chat type of setting. The series has an artistic open designed by Jordan Teruya that fits perfectly with the intended mood. Additionally, Inoshita has noted that the open has helped contribute to the Reading Room brand. “The opening sequence contains theme music and video that introduces the audience to The Reading Room. This is a recognizable brand that many faculty from various campuses have identified and respect.”
The creation of a library of local artistic talent and providing a resource for anyone interested in the creative energy behind literature in Hawaii would be a motivating force for anyone in production. The Media Center’s Video Production Unit finds itself in that enviable situation with the potential to make significant contributions to the literary community and the establishment of Leeward Community College as a documenter and preserver of artistic endeavors in Hawaii. Inoshita appreciates the energy the Unit brings to the project. “The production team has great direction and technical skill to create high-quality and professionally made videos…The Video Production staff share the vision and passion of The Reading Room. Collaboration is a positive experience as we record literary performances. I look forward to continued support and collaboration”
To view the Reading Room videos click on this link: The Reading Room.
If you would like to produce a video highlighting a project or event you’re involved with, contact the EMC Video Production Unit at ext. 0604, or submit a services request form at Video Services Request.