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FDU and FilmThe world of filmmaking is changing faster than the descent of an alien spacecraft. At FDU, tomorrow’s filmmakers are more than keeping pace. On the Teaneck-Hackensack Campus, communications majors may take a broadcasting and film sequence which includes courses in editing for film and television; broadcast news; broadcast organization, operations and programming; television and film production; and video moviemaking. Elective courses are offered in mass media, film history, film going and analysis, contemporary film, acting, directing and television and screenwriting.
An intensive study of a particular genre, director, star or era can be done in The Columbia Collection I and II, classes made possible by the donation of more than 230 films to date that comprise the University’s Columbia Pictures Archive. This on-going gift was arranged in 1987 by FDU alumnus and trustee Peter Kells, BS’62, T-H, then executive vice president of Columbia Pictures Industries.
Through Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences on the Florham-Madison Campus, Fairleigh Dickinson University offers students an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of to-morrow’s filmmaking, education and communication arts. The bachelor of arts program in electronic filmmaking and digital video design graduates producers, designers and animators. “Our graduates know every part of the creation and delivery of information,” states Harvey Flaxman, chair of the visual and performing arts department. “And, the way we create and deliver information will be the cornerstone of every business in the foreseeable future.”
Program offerings stress the integration of video and computer imaging arts, such as three-dimensional animation, special effects, graphic design, digital video production, lighting, nonlinear postproduction and screenwriting. The program’s visualization and postproduction labs provide the opportunity for extensive hands-on learning for filmmaking students as well as fine arts majors concentrating in computer graphics and graphic design. Internship relationships have been established with ABC-TV as well as many smaller media companies.
Recent enhancements to the program include the addition of new faculty, one of whom will teach animation. A third lab will soon offer more sophisticated and faster animation and editing stations. In addition, a concentration in animation is being developed and a certificate in digital design using 3-D Studio Max is being planned. In the fall of 1999, students from India are expected to receive certificates in electronic filmmaking.
“Video filmmakers, graphic designers and animators are making movies and working in large corporations, small businesses, educational institutions, governmental departments, production houses and other entrepreneurial ventures,” says Flaxman. Graduates have been placed successfully at ESPN; Classic Sports Network; in ABC-TV’s computer graphics area; in advertising; as editors, cinematographers and graphic artists at postproduction editing houses; and in creating graphics and animation for World Wide Web sites.
One such graduate, Stephen Mummolo, BA’98 (F-M), does video editing, web-site design and animation as well as teaching at Bergen County Technical and Special Services School in Hackensack, N.J. The high school’s CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) video lab, part of its technology center, serves not only computer science students, but the school’s medical, business and other students with technology integrated into the curricula. Mummolo also helped set up the school’s distance-learning facility, keeping up with the latest in educational technology. “With the World Wide Web, films, video games and television,” he says, “the world of video graphics is exploding right now.”
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