Salt Lake Community College features dozens of programs to help students pick a career choice. With the addition of the new Center for Art and Media (CAM) facilities at the South City Campus, the Film Production Technician program is the best choice for students that want to enter the film industry.
Film Production has been available at SLCC for 10 years, but in the last five years has seen an increase in participation and demand from students.
“They get a hands-on experience as soon as they enter the first semester and beginning class they’re actually learning the ins and out of a camera and they’re using the camera,” said Channing Lowe, Associate Professor at SLCC. “They’re learning film composition, they’re learning lighting and learning sound and they are going out and actually doing those things.”
Students are trained on the technical and post-production aspects of filming in order to get them in the workforce in as soon as the two years that it takes to get the degree.
The training students receive is to help them become assistants for film sets. Assistants’ jobs can vary from departments such as camera, sound and production, but SLCC’s course focuses on camerawork.
“On any professional Hollywood type of shoot you’ll have the director of photography over the camera department, but over each camera you would have camera operator plus two assistants,” said Lowe, “The assistants are people who know how to build a camera, swap out lenses, put on map boxes and pull focus marking shots. We’re teaching them very specific camera positions.”
Students have access to the new equipment and facilities at the South City Campus like the multiple editing bays, sound stage, screening rooms and even RED camera set ups.
Classes and assignments can range from creating a short film, recording and mixing sound, making commercials, and even directing a set.
This course could prove to be a step in the right direction for students that want to enter film production as a career choice, especially since Utah does act as home for the independent film festival, Sundance.
Lowe does warn that students looking to enter the film industry here in Utah may not be able to work on films continuously, but rather can find steady work in commercial filming for local based companies.
Students have been able to work on big budget and independent films in Utah like “127 Hours.”
The Film Production Technician program awards students with an Associate of Applied Science degree after completing the minimum 68 credits required. Classes start and are available in the Fall and Spring semesters.