It is Always About the Deal; Creative Media Institute Looks Beyond Hollywood

ACANS News & Information Center

It is Always About the Deal; Creative Media Institute Looks Beyond Hollywood

On Friday, Jan. 6 th , NMSU hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on a dream for New Mexico’s future, the Creative Media Institute for Film and Video (CMI).

Many visionaries, including Governor Bill Richardson, members of the New Mexico Legislature, NMSU President Michael Martin, NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost William (Bill) Flores, Vice Provost/Dean of the College of Extended Learning Carmen Gonzales, NMSU senior management, and faculty members invested in New Mexico’s third largest economic entity, the film industry.

The newly founded program, which is housed in the College of Extended Learning, will educate students in 21st century professional literacy.  Students will learn how to manipulate text, sound, images, and cinema, and they will learn animation in 2D and 3D realms.   In essence, they will be schooled in the art of digital storytelling.   “In the end,” said James Hindman, CMI executive director, “it will be the stories our graduates tell and the responsibility they take for moving an audience that will be the measure of our success.”

In 2004, Governor Bill Richardson secured $2.5 million to initiate the program envisioned by Flores and Gonzales.   Since that time, members of the New Mexico Legislature and NMSU’s senior management have adopted that vision as their own, and all have committed to film and digital media as central to the future of New Mexico.

James HindmanJames Hindman

Among the first to come on board was James Hindman.   He is a recognized professional in the Hollywood arena and spent 24 years in senior management at the American Film Institute.   Hindman was invited to the university as a consultant and once he got here he realized the potential, he felt the enthusiasm, and he saw the talent.   “…it seemed pretty clear to me that something remarkable could happen   here,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

For the last year, selected professionals and academics have been building the curriculum.   “We have professionals from the industry who helped in the planning, but we’ve also had an incredible system from our own faculty,” says Cissy Lujan-Pincomb, CMI Program Director.   “We are creating a cross disciplinary, cross technology approach.   This is very innovated, not only that it is a new creative media institute, but that it is incorporating many colleges and departments.”

The Creative Media Institute is a three tier program: the Film Technicians Training Program (FTTP), an associates degree program in creative media technology, and a Bachelors of Individualized Studies in Creative Media.

Students who complete the two semesters of course work in FTTP will have the opportunity to get union certified so they can work on productions in New Mexico.   Students who earn an associates degree in creative media technology will be trained in the tools of digital media (digital filmmaking and animation), and students who earn a Bachelors of Individualized Studies will be prepared to work in any field using 21 st century professional literacy.   And according to Lujan-Pincomb and others that will include the entertainment industry, military, government, theme parks, museums, and countless other professions.   “We want our graduates to be marketable in all areas of digital media.”

Approximately 50 distinguished guests, including Senators Mary Jane Garcia and Cynthia Nava, Las Cruces Mayor William Mattiace, NMSU President Michael Martin, and Executive Vice President and Provost William Flores, were present at Friday’s   groundbreaking ceremony.   Additionally, Governor Bill Richardson and Senator Jeff Bingaman sent representatives to what Richardson called “an historic occasion for New Mexico that will long be remembered as a starting point for creating jobs and training future generations competing in the information age.”

The Creative Media Institute for Film and Video is housed in Jacobs Hall and occupies approximately 30,000 square feet.   It will feature a state of the art certified screening room, a post production lab, two audio production suites, and an animation lab.   Beginning this semester, Spring 2006, CMI will offers three classes: perspectives of film, film writing, and acting for film.   “By Fall 2006,” says Lujan-Pincomb, “we will be fully launched.”

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