DMA Studios has been an essential part of the Digital Media Academy course lineup since 2012, expanding on our learning philosophy of developing students into career-ready professionals using project-based education. Our longest running Studios course has been the DMA Studios: Film Production course run by a number of incredible filmmaking professionals, namely Tyler Winick and Seamus Harte. Both Tyler and Seamus gained ample experience by working on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a travelling filmmaking and music production studio with the goal to bring to bring digital media education to kids and teens across the nation. Very much inspired by the work they did on the Lennon Bus, Seamus developed the DMA Studios: Film Production course leaning on the principles of project-based education. The idea was to take two-weeks and create a project within the realm of what a real-world production studio would do when tasked with creating an original short film, commercial, or music video. Each student fills a role on the production crew and is responsible for the success of the final project. These projects were designed to fulfill the requirements of a real-life client, simulating the expectations and production schedule that professionals would balance in their careers.
Since that first Studios class ran in 2012, DMA has been looking for ways to expand its Studios offerings to cover additional topics. These courses are heavily designed and developed, and finding the right mix of instructor, curriculum developer, and real-world client has been tough. Last year, one of our incredible instructors and curriculum developers for 3D Modeling + Design courses, Austin Broder, worked tirelessly to bring the DMA Studios: 3D Animated Short Film Production course to life. This Studio was a huge success, running twice last summer at our Stanford University location with Austin leading two groups of students through the very comprehensive process of creating their own, original animated short film.
The DMA Studios: 3D Animated Short Film Production course was the first of its kind, combining a 3D modeling, animation, and film production curriculum all into one all-encompassing experience. The talented students that took this course not only developed 3D modeling and animation skills, but also learned the professional workflows that are required when developing the complex project that is an animated film. One of the highlights of the course last year was the incredible opportunity to take a field trip to Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA. Students took an exclusive tour of their campus by one of Austin’s friends, Pixar animator and former DMA Instructor, Cody Lyon. Cody was an amazing host, answering any and all questions and even letting us in on some of the fun from Pixar’s newest film, Coco. Getting to eat the same famous cereal that Pixar animators and modelers eat was a truly unique (and delicious) opportunity, but the impromptu Q&A session with a Pixar animator was the most valuable part of the trip. With renewed vigor, the students went back to work on their film. Under the direction of Austin Broder, the students made an incredible short film made up of entirely student-created models, assets, textures, environments, animations, and sounds. The results were stunning.
This year, for summer 2018, DMA is excited to offer two additional DMA Studios courses for both Music Production and Game Design. While these two courses are still in development and subject to the changes and enhancements that come in the design and development process, we are excited to share with you some of the things that our wonderful curriculum developers are dreaming up. The DMA Studio: Music & Audio Production course will challenge students to work as part of a production team of musicians and audio engineers to create original songs, sounds, and foley audio for a film, game, or album. Vocalists, DJs, MIDI masters, and natural instrument musicians are all invited to come learn more about the music industry and how a project gets inspired, developed, and released. You may even learn some tips and tricks for promoting your own original music on the internet and what the next steps are for a budding musician. In the DMA Studios: Game Development course, students will be challenged to create a fully-functional, ready-for-release game. Students will fill in various roles of a game development studio, working on scripting, character creation, level design, and more. It will be an ambitious two-weeks, but by the end, students will have the real-world experience of what it takes to release a game to the world.
We hope you’re as stoked for these courses as we are! As we get closer to summer, we’ll be able to talk even more about the direction and focus of these new DMA Studios courses as well as some of the exciting changes and additional offerings that our other courses will bring. If you’re interested in following along, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or sign up for a newsletter! Just don’t forget to #createthenext!