Audio and film students learn through real world projects

Audio and film students learn through real world projects
Lab technician Jesse Vanderford, left, works with student Ryan Milligan. Photos by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Audio and film students at MediaTech Institute have an opportunity to learn at a state-of-the-art facility and complete real world projects.

The facility includes a soundproof building design that insulates classrooms and studio workspaces and makes the nearby train inaudible.

All rooms boast surround sound and are computer networked to access audio and digital film files created in all classrooms.

Digital film instruction includes learning how to light sets, direct talent, shoot needed footage and create postproduction graphics.

Audio instruction includes determining the right microphone for the job, mixing sound and engineer troubleshooting.

“Students have access to keyboards and instruments you see in any professional recording studio,” said Linda Holden, campus director. “A to Z, they learn how to produce and compose projects.”

In postproduction students learn to mix and master edit on ProTools audio and Adobe video software.

Once students have a basic knowledge of equipment and software they hone their skills by completing real world projects.

Students are matched with community requests to record and film projects that range from musicians’ CDs to public service spots. Students are also encouraged to work on their own projects.

“They record and mix live performances,” Holden said. “Audio students and film students cross over.”
Students also work off campus as part of on-location film and audio crews.

Feedback from industry professionals has been positive. The school is getting kudos for teaching students a sound work ethic, an understanding of equipment and industry verbiage.

“Employers don’t want to have to train them in basic stuff,” Holden said.

To encourage community partnerships, organizations are not charged to use the facilities if students work on the audio and digital film projects.

“When outside vendors come in and utilize our students we don’t charge them to use the facilities,” Holden said. “It’s all about the student learning experience.”

Instructors Cedrick Courtois and Phil Manor have professional experience working for well-known musicians as well as on major film sets, presidential campaign coverage and nationally televised awards ceremonies.

“As a field expert you bring to the classroom your experiences,” Holden said. “What you know firsthand captures your students.”

The institute opened in spring 2010 and will graduate its first class of students with technical certificates in summer 2012.

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