Monday, January 23, 2012

Boot Camp: Mission Accomplished!

Wow, it's been a while... An entire semester, in fact. I survived! My first semester at the ETC--the Immersion semester, also known as "Boot Camp"--ended about a month ago, and I enjoyed every minute of it. During this semester, I got to know and work with nearly everyone in the class of Fall 2011--a class chock-full of amazingly-talented, wonderful people, I might add. I have made some great friends this semester, bonding through the work we've done in our classes (we semi-jokingly refer to this bond as "a bond forged in blood").

One of the most time-consuming (but also one of the most fun) classes we took was BVW (described in my previous post). We made some really awesome virtual worlds in that class, with many different platforms. It was a great experience! I also tried my hand at being a sound designer and a producer (we had way too many programmers in our class, so a lot of us ended up as sound designers or in other roles). I thoroughly enjoyed both being a producer and being a sound designer, but I think they're maybe not something I'd want to do for the long haul. I'd miss programming way too much! However, I am pretty proud of the work I did for the class. You can check it out on my website (!

Also check my website for the work my group (Mad Scientist Productions) did in Visual Story, our film class. I had taken a film class before during my undergrad, but this is the first time I've gotten the chance to actually apply the concepts I've learned in making short films. I did some compositing in AfterEffects in some of our videos, and actually tried some acting as well! Overall, it was a great class!

Another class I thoroughly enjoyed (but didn't expect to) was Improvisational Acting. Before I started the class, I would never have considered going up in front of a class and improvising a scene, but by the end of the semester, I was improvising like a pro (well, almost). One of the things I loved most about this class was that every week, when it came time for Improv, I never wanted to go to class, because I had so much work to do, but I left every class feeling relaxed, stress-free, and giddy from all the fun I'd had that day. In addition to being a great way to unwind during a stressful week, Improv taught us how to be "fun to play with," i.e. how to work well with others. It also taught us important concepts when designing a game or narrative (see CROW - Character, Relationship, Objective, and Where - things a player or audience must know at all times).

My final class, Fundamentals of Entertainment Technology, was key in that it taught us valuable skills and concepts applicable in the Entertainment Technology space, in addition to aiding us in professional development - from mock interviews, to career counseling, to resume reviews.

Something else I tried for the first time - a kind of side project with a friend - was modeling. My good friend and fellow ETC-er Heidi Hastings is an amazing makeup artist and photographer, and she suggested we do a photoshoot together! It was a lot of fun, and some great photos came out of it.

Overall, my first semester at the ETC, while being a crazy amount of work, was amazing. I learned so much, met so many wonderful students and faculty, and had so much fun! I look forward to future semesters, and I hope that they'll be at least as awesome! :)