The Lycée Suger is a respected institution of secondary and higher education based in the Saint-Denis area of Paris. While it offers general education, since 2001 it has had a keen focus on audio-visual technology and offers the French qualification BTS (Brevet de Technicien Supérieur), a national diploma of higher education, in audio-visual studies. Avid has played a central role in the teaching of the Audiovisual BTS since its creation in 2001.
The Lycée Suger’s Film and Audiovisual section was opened in 2000 and the Audiovisual BTS was created a year later with two options – Production and Sound. In 2004, an Editing option was launched, followed by the ‘Image’ option started in 2008 and Equipment Use in 2014.
“Over 15 years we have built a close collaboration with Avid and CTM based on trust, and without this we would not have been able to carry out our projects,” says Pascal Stoller, Managing Director of Technological and Vocational Education, Lycée Suger. “Budgets are tight, but our two partners have always supported us to move forward. They give us the trends of the future in broadcast and film. When I have a problem, I call Jean-Christophe Perney at CTM Solutions and he helps me with a technical choice; he looks after us. This only works through the mutual trust that we have for each other.”
“Over 15 years we have built a close collaboration with Avid and CTM based on trust.”
—Pascal Stoller, Managing Director of Technological and Vocational Education at the Suger Audiovisual BTS
Given the importance of the Audiovisual BTS, in 2009 the Lycee decided to build a new dedicated facility, at a cost of €21 million, to create infrastructure approximating that of a television and radio channel. A €6 million investment in equipment was necessary to fit out the building with studio and post-production equipment, and lay fibre throughout for connectivity.
As part of the technical infrastructure upgrade, the local system integrator and reseller CTM Solutions was responsible for the installation of the post-production area of the new building. This area is based primarily around the Avid product range, connecting ISIS | 5000 shared storage, Interplay | MAM, Media Composer editing suites and Pro Tools mixing stations, as well as ingest, graphics, archiving systems and other tools in a configuration worthy of large television networks.
It’s a hugely popular course: every year, 4,500 applications are submitted for the five sections, and the BTS selects 13 students per section.
“I make sure that everyone has a chance. I support social diversity, but also a diversity of courses prior to the BTS. The young people will work together for two years, so alchemy is important,” explains Pascal.
It is an institution of excellence. The combination of the faculty (essentially composed of professionals), the dynamism of the management and the technical equipment, produces students who are immediately functional at the end of their studies. The numbers don’t lie: in 15 years of existence, the employment rate upon completion of the BTS is 75%.
The means to raise ambitions
Two film sets (420m2 and 220 m2) are connected to two galleries managing direct multicamera set-ups. They are connected to a primary node, itself connected to the general node, and the video streams are saved directly on Avid AirSpeed Multistream in a completely paperless workflow. The video galleries have corresponding audio systems, with Pro Tools and mixing consoles. “We have equipment that must be mobile; the student curriculum includes wiring, disconnecting, and reconfiguring all of the machines,” notes Ghislain Thomasset, teacher and external consultant for workflow architectures.
Students use workstations equipped with Media Composer, Da Vinci Resolve and an Adobe suite. The machines are connected to Avid Interplay architecture with centralized storage on two ISIS | 5000 systems, both with 32 TB chassis.
There is a classroom dedicated to journalists, with 13 iMac workstations equipped with Avid NewsCutter software. There is also a Media Composer system in the master control room that can be used to launch topics during programmes on set or the backup with AirSpeed.
“By the end of the year we will design, along with the one-year diploma (“Licence professionnelle”) students, a TV magazine show that involves all sections of the Audiovisual BTS and the equipment. A Ninsight system ensures the supervision of workflows and long-term archiving is supported by Active Circle,” Ghislain Thomasset added.
Audio has not been forgotten; the BTS has two sound studios, one more directed to radio and other for mixing and music, which includes Pro Tools and a professional isolation booth. The large auditorium of the Lycée Suger is fully wired and connected bidirectionally to the node. It is possible to make a recording from the auditorium, powering the video projector with the master program.
An opening to the world
The success of the BTS has led the faculty to build relationships with Radio France that take place with professionals on site. Programmes are carried live from the BTS and are broadcast on public radio. Pascal Stoller has also developed relationships with schools in England, Spain, Italy and Germany in order to promote exchanges. For two years, a public school in Rome, the Istituto Roberto Rossellini, has collaborated with BTS Suger, with students travelling to Italy for two weeks and vice versa.
Lycee Suger also offers a professional license (“Licence Pro”) in journalism and new media in partnership with Paris 8. In addition, the BTS Audiovisual has introduced vocational training for adults.
The Audiovisual BTS provides students with an Avid certification that is recognised on the labour market. “The students gain this after several rounds of testing conducted not only by our teachers, but also by Avid. It is a guarantee of professionalism for recruiting companies and allows them to receive discounts on maintenance contracts,” Pascal Stoller notes. “Getting a diploma requires a lot of work and discipline from the students. In return, we give them the key tools that they will encounter throughout their careers.”