It’s easy to feel like you’re on your own when enrolled in an online course of study, but Full Sail’s Digital Cinematography Bachelor of Science Degree Online program is making strides to give the program as much of a community as possible.
The 32-month program – which was launched in January 2011 – aims to prepare students to be able to create and produce digital video for multiple outlets, including broadcast television, websites, and film. Besides the standard LaunchBox, students are also given a Sony NEX FS-100 camera, a tripod, and a 3-point lighting kit, among other digital film equipment and software. The program’s inaugural students are currently about to start their 20th month, and the Digital Cinematography faculty has been making sure that they have all of the resources necessary to succeed in the degree.
“All of the classes in the curriculum are important,” says Bob Truett, the Digital Cinematography Program Director. “But the biggest highlight of the curriculum would be the instructors, because we’re trying to reach out to all of the students and make sure they’re networking with us and each other.”
The program recently launched a mentoring and tutoring program, where second-year students help first-year students get acclimated with the program. The faculty also hosts a monthly open Wimba session, where students can chat face-to-face with several instructors who all gather in one room. And the program will host a quarterly on-campus Meet and Greet, where students (and their guests) can visit the campus to meet faculty and take part in workshops.
“Our second Digital Cinematography Meet and Greet is this Friday,” says Bob. “We’re going to have a lunch, a tour, and also a little copulation of seminars, including going over how to set up the camera for interview situations, which will cover lighting, camera, and audio.”
Once students head into the final months of the program, they’ll be tasked to complete a final project that involves working directly with an outside client on a music video, short documentary, or any other kind of commercial campaign. The project will have to be approved by faculty, but after that, students will be getting experience working on a professional piece that they can add to their resume upon graduation. The goal is that when students graduate, they’ll be prepared to be a camera operator, a producer/director, or own their own production company.
“In this degree it’s kind of wide open,” says Bob. “We’re trying to give them all the skills they’re going to need. We see a wide variety of potential coming out of this program.”