While Full Sail’s Digital Cinematography Bachelor of Science degree program is a fully online program and its students are scattered around the U.S. and several parts of the world, the program works hard to build a sense of community among its members.
Three times a year, the program holds day-long workshops called meet-and-greets for students who are able to make it to the school’s Winter Park, Florida campus.
In July, the program hosted nine Digital Cinematography students, who drove to Full Sail from various parts of Florida and Georgia. During previous meet-and-greets, the event has attracted students from as far away as Indiana.
“The idea behind these meet-and-greets is to bring together the students who might not be able to get together in a community, give them an opportunity to do some extra learning, see the campus, and meet us,” says Kyle Frazer, a Digital Cinematography instructor. “Instead of it just being on videos and web chat, you can actually can come in, work with some gear and get an experience you might not normally get.”
Students who aren’t able to make it to Full Sail aren’t left out either. Over the course of the day, the faculty makes a video of the workshop to share with all Digital Cinematography students through a live stream on “DCBS-TV.”
During the July meet-and-greet, the students were prepped to crew the live broadcast of an interview with Orlando Film Commissioner Sheena Fowler. They were trained in lighting, camera setup, set decoration, audio, and switching, and then assigned specific jobs.
“One of the students will actually be interviewing Sheena Fowler,” said Frazer prior to the broadcast. “We’ll have the other students operating the cameras, running the audio boards, running the switcher, doing the graphics – so they’ll be running the whole show on their own.”
In addition to the meet-and-greets, the Digital Cinematography team has created a series of technical seminars that have been broadcast over DCBS-TV. The topics have covered a basic introduction to the video camera, lenses and depth of field, and white balance and color correction.
“We’re moving toward doing a minimum of one [seminar] a month,” said Digital Cinematography Course Director Bob Perry. “There are a lot of opportunities in our department for building a direct connection to the students by doing live seminars as well as bringing in guest hosts and talking to them and doing interviews with them.”