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Digital Media Courses Help Prepare UVU Students For Film Careers

5 June 2012 One Comment

June 4, 2012
For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Cheryl Kamenski (801) 863-6351

Students who want to pursue careers in film editing are finding many choices at Utah Valley University with the latest being courses in award-winning video and audio production tools from Avid. UVU is the only university in the western U.S. to serve as an Avid Learning Partner, which provides courseware on the latest Avid technology in addition to helping prepare students for the Avid certification, which many employers are looking for.

“These jobs are found in feature films, corporate video, commercial production and training production,” said Dennis Lisonbee, UVU associate professor of digital media, who teaches the Avid courses and is certified. “The coursework is very rigorous and prepares students with editing skill sets needed for upper-division courses and entry-level jobs with Avid editing systems.”

According to Lisonbee, even though students might be hired to edit film using a different software package than Avid, the workflow and problem-solving skill sets they learn in the Avid courses make them more valuable to employers.

“I’m using lots of different skills I used in class. Really, the most important thing to know for assistant editing is the software,” said Merrill Nielson, a UVU junior studying digital media with an emphasis in cinema production who is currently working as an assistant editor for a movie production. “You need to know the software inside and out and then back inside again. That is what the course at UVU teaches you.”

Nielson utilized what he learned in the Avid courses at UVU to help him study for and pass the Avid certification exam. He and Courtland Driggs are the first UVU students to earn this certification while Lisonbee and Robert Trim, a UVU associate professor of digital media, are the only two instructors in the state to be Avid certified.

“Getting certified is hard and the tests are grueling,” Nielson said. “This class has definitely given me more of an advantage to finding a job in the film world.

Avid certification is an industry-recognized credential that can help advance each student’s career and provide measurable benefits, related Bryan Castle, Avid Worldwide Training program manager. However, not all students who take the Avid courses at UVU go on to get certified. Nielson said just learning Avid’s Media Composer software is worth the effort.

Brittney Johnson, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in digital media with an emphasis in cinematography from UVU in April, agreed.

“The class was by far one of my most time-consuming and difficult classes,” she said. “It was helpful to work on projects on my own outside of class because that is when I ran into problems that I could ask about in the next class.”


About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.

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One Comment »

  • Tyler from BMHQ said:

    Training in Avid editing systems is so important, it’s fantastic that Utah Valley is offering this to its students.

    As this article says, the skills and workflow familiarity that one picks up when working with Avid carries over very nicely to other film editing software. Avids Media Composer is an industry standard and anything you learn in this program will expand your knowledge in the field, period.

    Although getting certified is no easy task, it’s tough and takes a lot of work, but students at UV would be wise to take advantage of this opportunity that has been placed in front of them.

    Take care and great article!
    Tyler from BMHQ

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