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2006-07 Faculty Development Grant
The Grant assisted in the production of a digital film. Four scenes were shot on Otis’ property. To film on the campus, Otis College of Art and Design required additional production insurance and a location fee of $4500.00 dollars. To assist this project, the college deferred its location fee. The Faculty Development Grant was used to help offset our cost for the Short Term Production Insurance.
My goal was to explore the emerging paradigm of digital movie production. Back in the 1980s, when I started in the film industry, the primary medium for picture acquisition was 35mm film. Sound was recorded separately on 1/4” audiotape. With the exception of one project, all my professional work, for films, television and commercials, were initially captured on film stock.
In the short time that I have been at Otis, I have watched a revolution occur. The advent of digital mediums has changed not only the modes of production but has shaken the very foundation of the studio and distribution system. As the lines between pre-visualization, production and post-production blur, new challenges and opportunities arise. Many of the conventions and crafts of the past have been forced to reinvent themselves or suffer the same fate as happen to the dinosaurs.
To be an effective member of the digital media faculty, I feel it is necessary that I possess not merely a conceptual understanding of these changes but a hands-on, working knowledge of them. I believe we are at our best when we are at the forefront, helping usher in these changes.
To accomplish this, my team and I created a completely digital production. From a script that I wrote, I produced a 3D generated animatic of our movie. My shot list, storyboards and camera diagrams were derived from the 3D animatic. After directing the movie, I edited it on the computer. All post-production is now being done digital. This has allowed me to test new pipelines and methodologies for digital movie production.
This has been instrumental to me in the classroom. The constant challenge of education is to prepare students not only for the conventions of today, but also for the possibilities of tomorrow. The advent of digital media is changing all aspects of entertainment design. The lines between pre-visualization, production and post-production have all but disappeared. The experiences gained and the lessons learned, through this project, have greatly assisted me in designing more effective coursework for my students. All this has enable me to better encourage my students to explore the emerging properties of this digital medium as well as offering them grounded, practical working methodologies to accomplish their goals.
I can truthfully say that this project has already served me well. It has been a benefit to my career, my teaching and to my current duties at the college.
I look forward to future project; to furthering my knowledge of and experience with digital film. This technology is anything but static. In this domain there is no terra firma. Everyday new systems are being created. I feel this exploration is critical. It is what allows us to continue to develop a curriculum that is at the forefront. That is responsive to the ever-changing nature of the film industry. But most importantly, it is what allows us to prepare our students not just for the world of today but for the possibilities of tomorrow.