Digital Domain Institute Opens Doors to Inaugural Class Today
The Digital Domain Institute (DDI), an animation and digital arts institute powered by Digital Domain Media Group and the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts (FSU), opened its doors to its inaugural class of students today in West Palm Beach.
The Institute, a pioneering public-private collaboration, takes a ‘best of both worlds’ approach to digital arts education by blending creative and professionally-geared technical training, and bringing inspiring filmmakers fresh from blockbuster movies into the classroom to share techniques and experiences.
DDI’s spring session began in the Institute’s temporary facility, co-located with FSU at 477 South Rosemary in City Place, where students began a 10-week Digital Arts Essential Skills program — comprehensive technical training in foundation digital arts skills. For its summer session, DDI will add new courses and expand its footprint on Rosemary. In preparation for the start of its fall dual-enrollment 3 Year Diploma Program offered exclusively with FSU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Digital Arts Program, the school is also expanding into new space nearby, to accommodate more students and additional lab and screening facilities. DDI administrative offices, co-located with FSU, are at 560 Okeechobee.
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio said, “I am pleased to be a part of the partnerships with Digital Domain and Florida State University. I welcome the first group of students to the area, where the South Florida weather is beautiful and they can benefit from the prestige that an FSU degree carries with it. It is a very exciting time for our City, with many opportunities for our youth in the future.”
“We’re thrilled to be starting classes, and the excitement among our instructors, students, and faculty is super high,” said DDI Director of Education Bruce Bullock. “We’ve been working toward this vision of lifelong learning and practical, professional training for a long time, and we’re grateful to the forward-thinking community of West Palm Beach which has helped us make it a reality. Their generosity is helping us to prepare a generation of students for careers in a growing industry.”
“Our mandate is to prepare students for successful careers in the motion pictures industry, but our vision goes beyond that – to give students opportunity to work on blockbuster films alongside the world’s top digital artists,” said Florida State College of Motion Picture Arts Dean Frank Patterson. “The start of classes at Digital Domain Institute is the beginning of that process. As an educator, these are the kinds of opportunities you dream about for your students.”
The start of its first classes brings DDI a step closer to a major milestone, the completion of its permanent campus at 401 Okeechobee. The 150,000 square foot facility is being designed by HOK from the ground up as a thoroughly modern, fully equipped educational, research and digital production facility. Supported in part via a land donation from the City of West Palm Beach, it is on schedule to open in January 2015.
West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell noted, “Universities and other higher education institutions make a significant contribution to regional economic, social and cultural development. In a globalized economy this role will only grow in importance. I am thrilled to be a part of ensuring that West Palm Beach is a leader in this endeavor.”
For more information on DDI’s programs, course schedules and descriptions, visit ddinstitute.com.