The Taos branch of the University of New Mexico -- much like Taos itself -- offers unique treasures that belie its small size.One of those treasures is the UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts …
The Taos branch of the University of New Mexico -- much like Taos itself -- offers unique treasures that belie its small size.
One of those treasures is the UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts department, headed up by award-winning filmmaker Peter Walker. This weekend, the public is invited to a Friday evening student celebration and an intensive two-day workshop presented by Digital Media Arts.
The first event is the UNM-Taos Media Showcase and End of Semester Party Friday (Dec. 7), 6-9 p.m., at Bataan Hall, 115 Civic Plaza Drive.
"The life of a college student is fun, but also incredibly challenging," Walker said. "Students juggle a full load of classes, homework, tests, papers, jobs, family and personal challenges. With this in mind, we wanted to invite all students and their friends and family to come and celebrate all the hard work they have accomplished. It's important for the Taos community to support our college students who are making incredible efforts to improve their lives, build their skills, and create viable career pathways for themselves and their families. There will be food, music and fun."
Students from the program will be showcasing their work at the event. "Our Digital Media Arts program will provide entertainment from all the classes being taught this semester," Walker said. "The lineup will include a demonstration of the power of After Effects (computer program) by Dave Mansfield, a compilation of inspiring film clips by Kelly Clement (formerly of Taos Talking Pictures), and a sample of short student films by Stephanie Gardner. The students from my Digital Foundations Class will do a live demonstration of green screen and audio magic by turning a shower singer into a superstar in real time. We will be looking for a volunteer, so if you like to sing in the shower and have yet to let the world see your talents, this could be your chance to get on stage and get a media makeover!"
The weekend brings the last of the department's 16 x 16 filmmaker workshops. Previous weekends in the series have been led by Taos writers and actors, including John Biscello and David Pérez, as well as industry professionals from around the region. "Lucky for us, busy professionals love visiting Taos," Walker said.
The series' final workshop is planned Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Digital Media Arts Studio, 115 Civic Plaza Drive at Bedford Lane. Registration information can be found by visiting taos.unm.edu/home/dma/workshops. The class is titled "That's A Wrap! My Film Is In The Can… Now What?" It will be taught by Duprelon "Tizzzz" Tizdale, co-founder and director of the Taos Shortz Film Festival. Workshops cost is $80 for community members, $40 for UNM-Taos students.
Tizdale has 30-plus years of working experience in nearly every aspect of the film industry. He is a certified drone pilot and owns and operates Aerocus Aerials, an aerial cinematography business for the film industry throughout the Southwest. He has worked as an editor and colorist on numerous projects. Tizdale is involved with several series for Netflix and NBC in addition to collaborating on the "33 And Me" Film Project, an international documentary series.
"When the UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts program asked me to do this, I was excited to share my filmmaking and festival experience with the up-and-coming filmmakers of New Mexico," said Tizdale. "The two-day specialized course will teach the basics of post-production to explore the technology and procedures needed to take a film from the moment the camera stops rolling until it shines on the big screen. We will cover how to work with an editor, and linear editing techniques; incorporating the audio mixing of a score and sound design; producing visual effects and animation; the importance of color correction and grading; and designing film art and title credits. We will discuss the postproduction process and workflow using modern digital technology and software. On day two, we will further discuss utilizing the proper transcodes and codecs to best format your film for cinema projections, film festivals and webstreaming services. We will begin to strategize with the participants on how to best brand and market their films for distribution and how to cultivate an audience in this multimedia age."
Walker spoke about the program's evolution. "We have grown from a one-room, one-camera operation a few years back to a full-fledged associate of arts degree hosting five classes per semester, a relationship with Canon and a hub for creating a media workforce. We are proud to have a first cohort of students graduating this spring of 2019. We will be excited to follow the careers of these young mediamakers as they spread their wings. Anything can happen, and we aim to give our students the best possible foundation for success."
"I feel great gratitude to be the current chair of the UNM-Taos Digital Media Arts Department," Walker said. "In many ways it is the most challenging thing I've ever done. Fortunately, I'm back in my hometown surrounded by an incredible array of talented instructors, administrators, support staff, and of course, students. We are well-positioned to be a media workforce pipeline for Northern New Mexico and beyond. After more than 100 years of filmmaking in New Mexico, we are still going strong, and with big producers like Netflix coming to Albuquerque, the demand for local talent will only continue to grow."
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