PHONE: 627-4521

DATE: 07-3-03



Filmmaking has made a permanent home in North Carolina, ranking it third in the nation for the 18th consecutive year according to the NC Department of Commerce Film Office. Annually the industry brings over $250 million into the state economy. Since 1980, North Carolina has attracted over 600 features and over $6 billion in production revenue. In 2001, 44 major productions were shot in the state, including 12 features and 32 television episodes.

The North Carolina filmmaking industry includes eight studio complexes, 30 soundstages, 400 production and support service companies, and a resident crew base of 1500 professionals. According to Bill Arnold, North Carolina Film Commission Director, "North Carolina is one of the most popular and cost efficient places to shoot in the nation." The diversity of the climate and geography is a filmmaker’s dream.

Persons interested in a career in this thriving industry can now get the skills they need by enrolling in the Film and Video Program at HCC. The program offers many options for its graduates, as well as hands-on experience of real projects and an outlet for creative and artistic energy. First semester students will study Hollywood filmmaking including processes and history and will be introduced to equipment and applications through a combination of lectures and laboratory environments. Other courses in the program are about 75 percent hands-on labs that examine many areas such as shooting video, lighting, building props and sets from blueprints, photographs, or sketches, the use of industry standard computer software, and much more.

Students will work on building the foundation for more complex work in subsequent semesters focusing on the importance of teamwork and responsibility by working on group projects. The year is spent mastering tools and gaining sound knowledge. In the second year, students will produce a commercial, public relations or instructional video. In the final semester, the students will work as a group to produce a longer form.

The HCC Film and Video Technology program uses Final Cut Pro software for editing, which is quickly becoming the industry standard. Four editing systems are used on different platforms to give a wide variety of experience.

According to Edwin Dennis, coordinator of the Film and Video Program, he hopes to give students practical experience in filmmaking and hands on experience in an exciting creative community. "I want to encourage students to pursue their dreams while giving them the foundation needed to make a living."

Dennis is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. He spent over five years as a location scout for the North Carolina Film Commission for the northwest area. He was instrumental in scouting many films including The Green Mile, Patch Adams, 28 Days, Hannibal, Forces of Nature, and The Patriot.

Renee Doutt, a second year Film and Video Production Technology student had never touched a video camera before starting this program. Now she manages Appalachian Video Productions, a company that she and her first year classmates started as a result of the many calls Dennis says the program gets for outside work. They specialize in video production and still photography and are currently working on a documentary about mountain clogging.

Appalachian Video Production employs students from HCC’s Film and Video Program in what Doutt describes as a stepping stone to major production companies. While students are responsible for work done by Appalachian Video Productions, Dennis advises the students when needed.

Doug Chambers, a Film and Video Production Technology student has worked with a camcorder since he was 11. Chambers says in his first year that he learned things he never considered, such as planning, working with scripts, and developing concepts. Chambers shoots weddings in his spare time and hopes to continue with the Alliance Program to finish his studies at Western Carolina University.

Beginning fall semester, Michael Zingale will teach part-time for the HCC Film and Video Technology program. Zingale was involved in the second unit camera work of such movies as The Godfather and Taxi Driver. Zingale will teach the first year camera, lighting, and grip and electric classes. He was instrumental in the startup of the film program at Pasadena Community College.

Ralph Nielsen will also join the teaching staff in the fall. Nielsen has extensive experience in wildlife footage and set construction, as well as working for the Disney Company. Nielsen will teach art department and sound operation classes.

Graduates of the Film and Video Production Technology Program have many options for their future. Through the Alliance Program, which leads to a BS degree in communications, a student can prepare for a career in broadcast television by completing three years of study at HCC and a final year at Western Carolina University. Through the AA pre-major program, a student can prepare for transfer to a university to complete their professional study. Through the AAS degree program, students can seek an entry-level position in the industry leading to jobs such as web video designer, working for a small production company, starting their own production company, or post-production or editing.

Haywood Community College strives to remain on the cutting edge in order to allow students a vast number of choices. With the Film and Video Technology program, graduates can capitalize on North Carolina’s unique position in the filmmaking industry.

Dennis encourages potential students to visit the HCC campus and talk to current students to see why this HCC program is drawing attention from all over the country. For more information on the Film and Video Production Technology program, please call (828) 627-4646 or visit www.haywood.edu on the internet.


(Cutline:) Photo attached. (Left to right) Edwin Dennis, HCC Film and Video Instructor, explains the fine points of operating a camera to summer session students, Chris Tate, Leah Gammon, and Lauren Rogers.