Monday, September 12, 2011

Grad School, Go!

Summer has come to an end, and I managed to stick with all of my summer goals (except for learning to cook, which I really only started on a few weeks ago). I've been here at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) for about two weeks, and in Pittsburgh for three, and I feel so blessed to be here. It's hard to explain this feeling that I have, that I am in the most perfect place right now, and that I belong here. I've been working nearly every minute I've spent here at the ETC these past two weeks, and I've been here literally every day since the first day of classes. However, I have thoroughly and completely enjoyed the work I've been doing, the classes I'm taking, and the people I've met. It's an incredible feeling to be doing something I really, really love, with so many like-minded people!

Like all the other first-semester ETC students, I am currently in the Immersion semester, affectionately called, "boot camp." All of the first-year students are taking the same four classes - Building Virtual Worlds (a.k.a. BVW, which is, essentially, video game design), Visual Story (film-making), Fundamentals of ETC (self-explanatory), and Improv Acting (really helps you learn to work in a group, and is a lot of fun and stress relief, besides!). BVW and Visual Story are group project classes. Of these two, BVW is easily the most intense and taxing course, with groups of students designing a new game every 2-4 weeks, each time with different team members. My role in BVW is sound design, something I I've dabbled in previously in a Computer Audio class and later a film class I took at Georgia Tech, and something I very much enjoy. We're currently halfway through Round 1, so stay tuned for some awesome games!

While I do love video games, the class I'm most looking forward to is Visual Story. We have the same teams for the entire semester, and in said teams, we will make several videos, such as a team promo and a music video. I'm hoping to use this class to improve my skills in Adobe AfterEffects and Premiere, and to learn more about film in general.

So, careers. When I first arrived at the ETC, I was sure of my decision to pursue a career in visual effects animation in film, probably as a Technical Artist. But, as Don Marinelli, the executive producer of the ETC, so aptly puts it, "We are here to confuse you." And so I am. I've found that I may also be well suited to a career in production - either as a game or film producer - but further research into this field is necessary.

More to come on BVW, Visual Story, and my life. Cheers!