Film goes ‘hands on’

Wilfrid Laurier University’s film studies department recently announced a partnership with ADVIDEO, a leading company in the area of online video advertising, located in the technological hub of Kitchener’s Tannery District. The Tannery District is a hub for both leading and emerging new media companies including Google and Desire2Learn.

Following the successful employment of three Laurier grads, ADVIDEO CEO Francois Gand approached the English and film studies department in the hopes of initiating a mutually beneficial partnership through the creation of a new course called digital editing for online video production.

The course, beginning in the upcoming winter semester, will be held in ADVIDEO’s state-of-the-art facilities giving Laurier students practical, hands-on production experience for the first time in many years. “We are in the need of talented young individuals interested in video production,” said Gand.

“We’ve been hearing rumbling of all this change that’s potentially coming to the film studies department,” said Jacqueline Twomey, a fourth-year film studies and cultural studies student who was one of lucky few able to register in the course, which is currently restricted to 15 students.

“It gives us a leg-up if our school can broadcast that we’re not just a film studies program. We base in history and theory, but we also provide that extra [practical] aspect,” she added.

“Equipping students with those [production] skills not only, would, I think, better their analysis of film in the courses of history, theory and criticism, but will also equip them for jobs,” said film studies program co-ordinator and professor Katherine Spring, a key player in establishing the ADVIDEO partnership.

Building on the theoretical skills developed through the film studies program, this hands-on course has the possibility to make film students more sought-after candidates in a highly competitive job-market.

“The more people I talk to who are running businesses in the local community, the more they’re telling me that they want students who have an arts degree and who can think outside-the-box,” said Spring.

Though currently in its pilot phase, Spring has high hopes for the course’s success as she sees the enormous benefit for the development of similar courses in the future.

As for the students’ response, despite some grumblings about the course’s limited enrolment, the majority, Twomey expressed, said “they loved it, they thought it was so awesome.”

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