Digital Domain Media Group, Inc., the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts and the city of West Palm Beach announced the arrival of the inaugural classes of students to their pioneering public/private collaboration: an accredited four-year BFA degree program in animation and digital arts. Student orientation begins Wednesday in West Palm Beach, with classes starting Monday in Tallahassee and West Palm Beach.
“We are pleased to welcome our first class of degree students to Digital Domain Institute,” DDMG chairman and CEO John Textor said. “We have created a unique partnership of our educational institution with an accredited university, and thus are able to offer our students a college degree. We also have formed relationships with other companies that need employees skilled in computer-generated graphics, so students have the ability to hone their skills on real projects not only in the film industry at Digital Domain, but also in other applications. As a result, we offer our students not only a college degree, but also the opportunity to build a résumé that shows that they have acquired the skills necessary to get well-paying jobs.”
The joint FSU/DDMG program gives students a “best of both worlds” experience, with the opportunity to earn an accredited BFA degree from the FSU college of motion picture arts and a diploma in specialized areas of digital media production from the Digital Domain Institute. Students learn from professional artists and trainers working at DDMG studios and also have the opportunity to apply their skills in a practical environment, with the potential to earn internships on the production of the major feature films underway at DDMG studios. The goal is to provide a well-rounded education, while at the same time equipping students with the skills they need to get an entry-level professional position in digital media.
Next week, DDI and FSU will welcome both the freshman and sophomore classes to the program simultaneously – 20 freshman who will be attending FSU’s Tallahassee campus for general education courses, and 30 sophomores who have transferred to the program after completing their freshman studies at FSU and other institutions. The sophomores will attend classes at the FSU/DDI West Palm Beach urban campus, where they will be immersed in the animation and digital arts curriculum. New students will join dozens of part-time students who have been enrolled in DDI’s Essential Skills program since March 2012.
“We’re off to a great start,” said Frank Patterson, Dean of FSU College of Motion Picture Arts. “We have 50 full-time students who have an impressive 3.92 average high school GPA, representing our inaugural class in the animation and digital arts program. And we are excited that our bachelor students will be walking into already vibrant classrooms – they will be joining dozens of part-time students who are already taking courses at Digital Domain Institute’s Essential Skills Program. We have created an excellent learning environment that promises to produce a new generation of film school graduates.”