By Lore Croghan
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Steiner Studios has scored another big one: The brainiacs from Carnegie Mellon University are bringing a new techie master's degree program to its Brooklyn Navy Yard film and TV production complex.
The prestigious Pittsburgh university announced an agreement with the City of New York and Steiner to create an Integrative Media Program at the studio's recently re-opened Art Deco building at 25 Washington Ave.
The university is setting up shop at Steiner, the largest film and studio complex outside Hollywood, where HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Following” with Kevin Bacon are shot and films that have been made include “American Gangster” and “Revolutionary Road.”
The grad program will give students new opportunities to “design technology to support human creativity, improved learning and more diverse social interactions on a global scale,” Carnegie Mellon Provost Mark Kamlet said in a statement.
The students will work in industries where technology and the arts overlap – film, gaming, social media and big data, interactive computing, performing and visual arts and urban planning.
“My father David, a proud CMU alumnus, has always been a huge supporter of the school, so it is with immense family pride that we can be home to such an innovative program, where students can see out their windows the real-life application of their studies,” Steiner Studios Chairman Doug Steiner said.
“The program will integrate content creation, dissemination and consumption, and further New York City's role in this burgeoning economic sector,” he added.
Carnegie Mellon's program, expected to open in August 2015, will be the fourth new applied sciences program to result from the Bloomberg Administration's Applied Sciences NYC Competition.
Cornell, which won the competition with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, has set up a temporary space at Google's Manhattan office while it builds a campus on Roosevelt Island.
Also-rans New York University and Columbia University are launching applied sciences programs as well.
Mayor Bloomberg called Carnegie Mellon's decision to get involved in the city's applied sciences initiative “another major victory for the future of our economy” – and said the fact that “four winning projects” have come out of the initiative is “a powerful testament to the sense of optimism that people have about New York City's future.”
The city contributed $3.5 million to help fund the new grad-school program; an anonymous donor gave the university a multimillion-dollar gift.
Carnegie Mellon's program – which will serve 40 matriculated students and 10 visiting students per year – “will help make New York City a leader in the creative industries that integrate technology with arts and design,” said city Economic Development Corp. president Kyle Kimball.
The program at Steiner will include two new master's degrees, in Emerging Media and Game Design, as well as master's degrees in Urban Design, Computational Data Science, Production Technology and Management and Integrative Innovation in Products and Services.
The university is taking 16,000 square feet in a 1940s-vintage Washington Avenue building whose $60 million gut renovation Steiner recently completed. Brooklyn College Graduate School of Cinema is also moving there, into 70,000 square feet.
The historic seven-story building – which has distinctive twin radio towers on its roof – houses soundstages, photo studios, post-production spaces, set-construction shops, wardrobe workshops and other support spaces for TV and film production.
In addition to 18 soundstages in its existing Navy Yard complex, Steiner plans to turn aging, historic buildings at an adjacent Naval hospital annex into a Media Campus.
Last week, an announcement was made about $22.6 million in state and city grants to help pay for modern infrastructure for the Media Campus project, which will be used by film and TV producers, techies, academics and media folk.