Champlain College rolls out a digital filmmaking major

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Champlain College rolls out a digital filmmaking major

Tue, 11/13/2007 - 8:00pm -- tim

BURLINGTON, Vt. Champlain College is rolling out a new degree in Digital Filmmaking. This fall, 30 students have switched into the new major as part of a soft launch of the new program a full year before the programs official start in Fall 2008.

In Champlains program, students will earn a bachelor of science in Digital Filmmaking, unlike the bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in filmmaking this is common in other film programs. Students will also choose to focus in one or more of four genres of filmmaking: narrative/dramatic, documentary, experimental or industrial/educational.

With a programmatic emphasis on hands-on learning and production experience, first-year courses include Digital Artwork, Introduction to Digital Filmmaking, Digital Image and Electronic Media Writing. In the second and third years, students will complete Film History, Video Communications, Screenwriting, Fundamentals of Acting, Video Composting and Special Effects, and Advanced Audio Production and Sound Design.

Program co-directors Karen Klove and Dr. Nancy Kerr say Champlains program provides a deliberate mix of traditional filmmaking theory and hands-on technical skill development that is distinctive in New England. While there are other filmmaking programs out there, most remain in a traditional format with limited access to equipment in the freshman and sophomore years. This is due in part to the prohibitive cost of cameras, film stock and developing, Klove said. The digital format, however, allows students to explore freely without such concerns. Our students dive in immediately. From day one they discover, they experiment, they develop as artists because every semester they are expected to apply theoretical inquiry to their individual filmmaking practice.

Because students are learning the same technologies as professionals in the industry, their skill set will be current and relevant. Graduates from the Digital Filmmaking program may choose to start careers in traditional filmmaking on the East and West coasts; among the many jobs available to graduates they can work as producers, directors, editors, gaffers, cinematographers, art directors, special effects artist, screenwriters and sound designers. Theyll also be ripe for jobs in corporate media, experimental media and documentary filmmaking.

Champlain is the right place to offer such a unique filmmaking program, Kerr said. With a depth of software and hardware on campus and faculty members who are industry professionals, were in a good position to expand our technology base into this new, creative niche. Some of Champlains newer digital media programs include electronic game development, multimedia design and broadcasting.

To learn more about Champlains new program, visit

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private, baccalaureate institution that offers professionally focused programs balanced by an interdisciplinary core curriculum. The College is a national leader in educating students to become skilled practitioners, effective professionals and global citizens.
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