Post Magazine

November 2011

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Student to Pro From Making the transition seamless. By Randi Altman Many of the kids entering their freshman year at schools like The DAVE School, the Academy of Art, Full Sail and others already have a leg up on the generation that preceded them. More and more high schools have embraced professional creative tools and are offer- ing specific programs aimed at helping the artists of the future build a solid foundation before they have even seen their class schedule. When they do get to these schools they can not only learn more tools and enhance their technical abilities, they can also focus on collaborative workflows and theory. Here are just a few success stories. DAVID MORELLI — ALPHADOGS AlphaDogs assistant editor David Morelli is part of a generation that has grown up aware, and sometimes even proficient, on professional tools. His Burbank-based high school, Providence, offered a four-year media-focused program that he applied to as a freshman. It touched on all aspects of filmmaking — the history, animation, screenwriting, directing, editing and acting. "It was a really good program for a high school, and that's where the seeds were planted," he says. "My teacher had worked in the industry, so he held us to those same standards. We had to form committees, pitch ideas and gain approval." Morelli calls the program rigorous, but says it helped him narrow down what part of the media industry he wanted to specialize in. "It is where I discovered editing — the idea of taking various segments and putting them together to create a story." Providence is also where he got his first look at professional editing systems: first a AlphaDogs' David Morelli got lead editor credit on this indie film Where Are They Now. He used Avid's Media Composer V.5. 40 Post • November 2011 version of Media Composer, and then Final Cut Pro V.3. For college, Morelli opted for UC Santa Cruz, where he was a Film and Digital Media major. "Within the major you have your concentration of theory/critical studies as well as actual production. I opted for theory," he explains. "I felt that was important because I did have somewhat of a technical background — the hardware — and had been creating stories, but I felt it was important to also grasp the theory that moti- vates the filmmaking process. So it was about having a good balance, because those aspects inform one another." While there were a few classes that offered hands-on editing opportunities, via Final Cut systems, most of his courses came at film and digital media from different angles. "Some of it was telling stories through photography; we learned about sound design through Foley work using ordinary items," he reports. All very valuable, but it still wasn't a professional environment. "College prepared me on paper, but it wasn't until I applied that knowledge and discipline to an internship that I began learning through experience and felt much more prepared." After graduating in 2008, just as banks were closing and the economy was tanking, Morelli had a hard time finding work in the industry, so when he discovered an internship at Bur-

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