Emory Report

September 5, 2000

 Volume 53, No. 2

BioMedical Media hosts open house

By Eric Rangus

The Office of BioMedical Media, formerly the Office of Medical Illustration, has been in existence since the 1930s, but there is perhaps no time better than now to say hello.

After floating around campus from its former home in the WHSCAB basement (where it was located for more than 25 years until 1999) to the (possibly haunted) Uppergate House, BioMedical Media (BMM) has finally found a home at 1712 Uppergate Drive, where it moved last December.

The focus of BMM's work, of course, has been producing graphics and video presentation materials for the School of Medicine. But now the office is promoting its services to the entire Emory community and wants to introduce itself. The effort will kick off Sept. 15 with an open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors can scope out BMM's high-tech equipment, ask questions of the staff, see their work and even grab a snack. While the new digs are about 50 square feet smaller than BMM's old home, new equipment has greatly increased the services BMM can provide.

Anyone nostalgic for the acrid smell of photo-developing chemicals and fixer will be disappointed. BMM has converted to a completely digital environment, meaning that the old darkrooms and film processors from WHSCAB are a distant memory.

The arrival of the new equipment is directly related to why BMM has waited nine months for its open house. Much of it wasn't operational until late spring and the semester was almost over.

"We didn't want to have an open house just before our customers went on vacation," said Chuck Bogle, assistant director for biomedical media. "Plus, we could take the summer to get acclimated on all the systems." The onsite staff includes three medical photographers, a pair of graphic designers and one medical illustrator.

The new equipment also means that BMM can do its work cheaper, faster and increasingly more in-house. In the past BMM would outsource as much as 40 percent of its work, but now just 5 percent is not completed under its own roof.

Very often the first time BMM would see a finished product that had been outsourced was just before delivery to customers. That prevented the correction of mistakes and complicated quality control issues.

"Our world is based on possible vs. impossible," Bogle said. "It's impossible for the people who work here to work harder to make things happen. The only thing we do not have control over now is physics: time for [developing] chemicals to work and time for things to print out."

BMM's services fall into five general categories:

Medical art and illustration: Detailed anatomical sketches of the human body have to come from somewhere, and that's the job of BMM's medical illustrator. Illustrations are available in many contexts from presentations to textbooks.

Graphic design: This is where much of BMM's new equipment comes into play. A plotter printer can work with jobs 54 inches tall, and a new laminating machine handles even bigger jobs (60 inches high and no limit on length). This type of equipment is ideal for producing visual aids for auditorium lectures. Prior to BMM's move, it could not print, mount or laminate large-format presentations.

Medical photography: BMM not only produces studio photos (faculty head shots, etc.) but also digitally develops, scans and prints color and black and white slides, and also handles X-rays.

Video services:Videoconfer-encing, video and audio production and editing of events such as lectures and even televised operations are also part of BMM's areas of expertise. BMM's video producer and multimedia technician are located at Emory Hospital

Presentation services: Complete audiovisual support for on-campus events is available.

All of these services are available for various rates. Depending on the job, BMM charges by the hour or by the amount of material produced.

More information will be available at the open house or the office's website at www.emory.edu/WHSC/MED/BMM.

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