Expansion expected to push SCAD to digital media forefront
Some SCAD students will have a new space to learn and create this fall. The space, a three-story, 60,000-square-foot facility that once housed Atlanta’s NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, is now the SCAD Digital Media Center. It will accommodate the university’s film and digital media majors, including animation, motion media design, visual effects and interactive design and game management. It will also house the newly added television producing major.
“SCAD Atlanta’s intention is to create one of the most state-of-the-art digital media facilities in the Southeast,” said Matthew Thomas Maloney, associate dean of the School of Film and Digital Media.
“The new facility will provide SCAD students with the opportunity to work and train in a real-world studio environment,” he said. “Each major will have distinct labs and studio space. Labs will facilitate traditional classroom studio work, directed industry projects, and research and development for emerging types of media.”
Nathan Lombardi, a fourth-year advertisement design major and motion media design minor, said the new building is much needed.
“I think it would be very beneficial to have our own building because the motion department is expanding and needs to have the proper facilities and equipment to accommodate its needs,” he said.
Other students, like Daniel Belay, a fourth-year motion design major, said the new learning tools are a plus, but the new building also has its disadvantages.
“I think that having the new building is great due to all the new equipment that will come within,” Belay said. “What will be sad is the separation of the video majors with the rest of the majors at the main building. It’s nice to have like-minds under the same roof, but greater the diversity within that same roof, the better,” said Belay.
The Digital Media Center provides industry-standard resources, such as multi-camera sound stages with high definition broadcast capabilities, professional sound recording and mixing suites, editing rooms, a screening room, set and prop fabrication studios, and classrooms.
The center’s interior highlights include HD studios and control room, green-screen labs, alternative method labs, game studies space and sound design space.
“I’m very excited about the new building. I’ve heard that there will be proper green-screen room,” said Yuyria Takamoto, fourth-year motion design major.
“This is a huge plus for VSFX, ANIM, MMD, film and TV students as we always struggled to do green-screen shots with that green cloth full of wrinkles and were unable to do decent full-body green-screen shots,” Takamoto said.
According to a news release, SCAD offers one of the most comprehensive film and digital media programs in the country. The new DMC, nestled in the eighth largest media market in the United States, is an opportunity for film and digital media students to stand out in the demanding and competitive field of digital media.
“SCAD students already have numerous opportunities to intern and work for leading film, digital media and television companies, but now they have another advantage,” said Scott Ross, executive director of the School of Film and Digital Media, in a news release.
“The new Digital Media Center in Atlanta provides them with a cutting-edge learning environment and outstanding faculty, Ross said in the release. “SCAD alumni make great employees because they can step straight from the classroom into the workplace.”
Although the entire facility is not scheduled for completion until 2010, the main floor will be open for the first day of classes Sept. 14. And “by the end of the academic year, every film and digital Media class will be in the new building,” said Matthew Maloney.
“This fall, all film and digital media courses will be in the new building except for interactive design and game development, which few classes will remain at the 1600 building,” Maloney said.
The relocation of the film and digital media students means foundations and communication arts courses will expand onto the third floor of the 1600 Peachtree building, Maloney said.
All SCAD students will have access to the DMC, but equipment checkout is reserved for students enrolled in film and digital media courses. Other specialized high-tech equipment is limited to students who have completed specific training to handle such equipment.
No food or drinks are allowed in the classrooms or labs of the DMC, but the facility will have a lounge area on the third floor for students to socialize and enjoy small snacks. Full dining will remain in the Hub.
A shuttle will run between DMC, ACA, Spring House and the 1600 building. A shuttle schedule is available on SCAD’s Web site.