State of the Art: Behind the Scenes with All-WCC Student-Athlete Meagan Fulps

'Backroom Business' Photo Gallery

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
Distinguished Bronco alumnus and current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta '60, J.D. '63 once toured Santa Clara University's film production studio in the school's communication department, and commented that it was a nicer facility than the one owned by NBC in Washington D.C.

"It's kind of a hidden treasure," says Meagan Fulps '13, who in addition to being a communication major with a number of short films under her belt, is also a top-tier,  all-conference women's basketball player. "Coming here on my recruiting visit, I was shocked to see how incredible the studio was and also the technology they have here. It's even grown over the years. But that definitely sold me, seeing the film program that we have."

Fulps and a small group of fellow communication majors, who are all specializing in film, have 24/7 access to SCU's state-of-the-art 2,200 square foot digital production studio. Video is captured on professional cameras, recorded in high-definition and moves from there into post-production in one of 16 editing stations, including eight individual bays, which all run Avid Media Composer software.

"I've gone through documentary and just finished our studio project, which was probably my favorite class ever," said Fulps, referring to production of the short film 'Backroom Business' which is set during Prohibition. The film's plot revolves around a gang of mobsters and a young apprentice who is forced to make a life-changing decision. The film will air at the upcoming Genesis Film Festival on Thursday, June 14 on Santa Clara's campus.

Fulps along with classmates Lauren Donati '13 (who also does video projects for SCU athletics) and Vanessa Delgado '12 developed the story concept while attending a film workshop in Los Angeles over spring break.

"We had two weeks to prepare the script and production book," said Donati. "The production book is huge. It's about five inches thick and it has all of our plans, pre-production, production, post-production, shots … we didn't sleep for two weeks. Then we had to make sure everything came together in six days … three days to build (the set), then three days to shoot it."

"I was working on a shot list, casting, figuring out everything I wanted to see visually," said Fulps, who directed the film. "Lauren and Dimitri (Woods) were running around to antique shops, bargain marts, Lowe's trying to get everything we needed and Vanessa was handling all the logistical needs, making sure everyone was getting their jobs done."

Working with the original facility integrators, Snader & Associates, the studio is in its final stages of a complete high-definition upgrade. The master control room, video production control room, and studio projection system have all been transformed as part of the communication department's ten-year vision for its students.

"It's been an extremely busy but very exciting time here in the digital film, video production area of the communication department," said Craig Gower, Manager of Media Systems. "Technological improvements in the area of digital film and video production have grown by leaps and bounds, and our department is very fortunate to be reflecting that growth within our program. We are indeed very fortunate and are rightly proud of so much."

Fulps, Donati and their fellow producers worked closely with Associate Professor of Communication Michael Whalen to manage a cast and crew of 26 needed for the film.

"It's an amazing project," said Whalen. "The scope of the project was more ambitious than anything we have ever done. To recreate a speakeasy bar in studio, bringing in professional actors … for Meagan, as a young director, she showed a wonderful knack of directing, blending and working with the professional actors."

It's also notable that Fulps is one of the best guards in Santa Clara's basketball's recent history. She has started in 81 of the team's 85 games since arriving on the Mission campus from Colorado's Highland Ranch High school in 2009 and currently ranks 11th all-time in career scoring average (11.3 ppg). This spring she earned her second consecutive West Coast Conference All-Academic Team honor, posting a 3.63 GPA.

"Both Meagan and Lauren are extremely talented and driven," adds Whalen. "Lauren has a special creativity, and a maturity to that creativity, which is rare for her age. She wrote an 80-page screenplay in 10-weeks, which is unheard of. And she didn't just do it, she did it well."

Film Credits:
Producers - Dimitri Woods & Vanessa Delgado
Director - Meagan Fulps
Writer/Production Designer - Lauren Donati
Lighting Designer - Nathan Zolezzi