FA's Film Lab and Media Center Undergoes a Transformation

Photos courtesy of Mike Dana.

This summer, the FA Film Workshop and Media Center underwent a total remodel, complete with new paint, windows, modern furniture, a new suite of the latest Apple iMacs with professional photo and video-editing software, new lighting and production equipment, and a floor-to-ceiling green screen wall.
"To say the film production and media rooms look very different is definitely an understatement," says Mike Dana, director of the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center and FA's film workshop founder and instructor. "It's inspiring to see this long-time vision come to life and offer our students state-of-the-art production equipment that rivals many colleges and universities."

Dana, along with FA's Chief Financial Officer and Director of Capital Projects, Jeremy Angell '99, worked collaboratively in designing the space and choosing the new modern furniture and paint colors.

"Increasing our technology offerings and enhancing these areas on campus has been a priority of the Board and administration," says Angell. "We want our students working with the latest equipment and professional software, so they have the necessary skills and experience upon graduation to pursue future careers in these fields."

And according to a recent career poll from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, film and video editing careers show a whopping 18% job growth through 2024. Along with an optimistic job market, the multimedia skills learned in Dana's Film and Photo Workshop also helps students excel in their college courses.

"Many of my students who come back to visit FA share with me that taking this course helped them to become more creative. And the cinematography and editing skills they learned in the class, aided them in creating compelling presentations for their college work, which often set them apart from other students in their class," continues Dana.

What's also remarkable about the Film Lab and Media Center's remodel is that not only was the design of the new space managed by Angell and Dana, but the renovations were all done in-house as well! Alums Scott Thurston ‘71, Nicholas Johnson '08, and Christopher Graves '09, who work at the Academy as part of the maintenance team, handled the project's demolition, carpentry, and finishing work — skills which they developed from taking the Industrial Arts class during their time at FA.

"Having an in-house team with such a robust skill set has enabled the Academy to cut costs in construction and allow us to invest these savings in other areas like new software and hardware," says Angell. "It's a real testament to the school's preparation of our students for teaching them practical, life skills. I can't say every school has the luxury of having a maintenance team as skilled and well-equipped as ours to handle these types of projects."

The newly remodeled Film Lab and Media Center is located in the Main Building, downstairs to the left of the “Fishbowl.” If you happen to be in the area, come by and check out the new space. We’re sure you’ll be just as impressed with the remodel as much as our students.

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