The Digital Domain Institute, a new animation and digital arts institute formed as a public-private collaboration between Digital Domain Media Group and the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts (FSU), opened its doors to its inaugural class of students in West Palm Beach this week.
DDI’s spring session began in the Institute’s temporary facility, co-located with FSU at 477 South Rosemary in City Place, where students began a 10-week digital arts essential skills program. For its summer session, DDI will add new courses and expand its footprint on Rosemary, in preparation for the launch of its dual-enrollment three-year diploma program this fall, offered exclusively with FSU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in animation and digital arts program.
DDI is planning to build a permanent campus at 401 Okeechobee, scheduled to open in January 2015. The 150,000-square-foot facility is being designed by HOK from the ground up as a fully equipped educational, research and digital production facility. It is supported in part by a land donation from the City of West Palm Beach.
West Palm Beach mayor Jeri Muoio said, “I am pleased to be a part of the partnerships with Digital Domain and Florida State University. I welcome the first group of students to the area, where the South Florida weather is beautiful and they can benefit from the prestige that an FSU degree carries with it. It is a very exciting time for our city, with many opportunities for our youth in the future.”
The Institute plans to take a best-of-both-worlds approach to digital arts education by blending professionally geared creative and technical training, and bringing inspiring filmmakers fresh from blockbuster movies into the classroom to share their techniques and experiences.
“We’re thrilled to be starting classes, and the excitement among our instructors, students, and faculty is super high,” said DDI director of education Bruce Bullock. “We’ve been working toward this vision of lifelong learning and practical, professional training for a long time, and we’re grateful to the forward-thinking community of West Palm Beach, which has helped us make it a reality. Their generosity is helping us to prepare a generation of students for careers in a growing industry.”
“Our mandate is to prepare students for successful careers in the motion pictures industry, but our vision goes beyond that – to give students opportunity to work on blockbuster films alongside the world’s top digital artists,” said Florida State College of Motion Picture Arts dean Frank Patterson. “The start of classes at Digital Domain Institute is the beginning of that process. As an educator, these are the kinds of opportunities you dream about for your students.”