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CÉGEP de Jonquière Uses CEV to Upgrade its Media Production Infrastructure with Avid Media Campus

Located in Saguenay, Quebec, the CÉGEP de Jonquière is recognized as the ideal place to study in Art and Technology Media (radio, advertising, journalism, television production and postproduction and multimedia integration.) Indeed, many graduates of this French technical College acquire coveted jobs in the media and visual effects industry.

Since its creation in 1967, the CÉGEP de Jonquière has seen audio – video technology evolve dramatically over the years. Its early adoption of Avid editing and other digital media tools underscores its commitment to educate the next generation of professionals such as journalists, visual effects designers, editors, cameramen, and audio professionals – using the latest technological solutions.

 

Keeping pace with technology

To remain on the cutting edge of digital content creation, the Cégep de Jonquière asked CEV Inc.,- an elite Avid reseller in Montreal—to help them upgrade their Avid equipment and infrastructure, including TV news, audio and post-production studios. Known for its high level of engagement with customers and technical support, including trained and certified Avid technicians, CEV has been working with the school for the past 15 years, upgrading its technology every five years.

With this latest upgrade, the Cégep de Jonquière has taken a leap forward, transforming its production infrastructure into an avant-garde Avid Media campus. Introduced by Avid in April 2017, Avid Media Campus is a new program that provides schools with flexible licensing and deployment options to better train their students using the latest video and audio production solutions and creative collaboration workflows.

“The beauty of this approach is that everything, including studios and multimedia resources, is seamlessly integrated into a unified workflow and collaborative user experience,” says Justin Meunier, VP Sales – Broadcast, Digital Media & IT Solutions at CEV. The CÉGEP has deployed Avid Media Campus throughout, including its main production and broadcast studio, audio production studio, news and editing rooms.

Maximum Creativity

“Avid Media Campus enables us to support schools and universities worldwide to help teach and nurture the next generation of creative talent and media professionals, “said Tom Cordiner, Avid’s Senior Vice President of Global Sales. “The CÉGEP de Jonquière is a key educational partner for us in Canada, helping us to train students who will ultimately shape what and how we watch the news delivered from our Canadian broadcast customers.”

«Avid Media Campus» is based on the «Avid MediaCentral/Cloud UX», which enables all aspects of end-to-end multimedia production. The CÉGEP students in Jonquière can work and collaborate with each other in real time and share media resources from a unified environment, from anywhere on the network.

“From classrooms to studios, teachers and students can now work together in real time to create a final product, no matter where they are, on any connected device,” says Meunier.  “This gives the students an invaluable understanding of the real-time workflows that increasingly connect media professionals, whether they’re working locally or remotely.”

 

Avid a reliable partner

With its team of Avid-trained and certified technicians fluent in French, CEV is ideally positioned to support the school’s technology needs. CEV also offers a wide range of high-level services covering sales, systems design, engineering, installation, training and maintenance.

With 24 years of experience as an «Avid elite reseller and integrator», CEV provides on-site and remote technical support for software-driven Avid systems tailored to the specific needs of each customer. CEV is also distinguished by its role as being the Official Avid Control Surface Repair Center for Canada.

Training future professionals of the industry

“Our goal is to teach our students to be professionals in their craft, with the skills to create expressive and engaging media and to get rewarding jobs in the communications fields,” says the Assistant Director of Studies of the CÉGEP Jonquière, Ms. Hélène Roberge. The majority of ATM graduates are getting jobs in the industry, including first rate positions at Canadian television stations.

“For the CÉGEP, this ensures the continuity of training and the sustainability of existing products, while providing a simple and effective transition both at the pedagogical level and the level of technical assistance to students and teachers. “, adds Gilles Gauthier, Project Manager at ATM integration of new technologies. “We chose Avid because their products are the industry standard, especially for broadcast newsroom workflows. We trust Avid to provide a complete environment that reliably integrates all aspects of our work, including remote access, storage and resource management. ”

In order to familiarize the students with state-of-the-art systems, the CÉGEP Jonquière has selected several key Avid products, including Avid NEXIS, iNEWS, Interplay and Airspeed, which are now integrated in all ATM pavilion facilities.

With Avid iNEWS, soon to be renamed MediaCentral | Newsroom Management – Future journalists and technicians learn to control every aspect of news and television news processing using a “story-centric” approach. They can create, view, and edit stories using the latest media content and content from many sources, including social media, and then broadcast their stories across multiple platforms. With iNEWS, journalists can work effectively from anywhere by simply using a mobile device or laptop.

An important part of the creative collaboration process involves searching for appropriate media clips and using them to expand more effective reporting. Avid Interplay has the power to make millions of clips easily accessible to media professionals, whether they work locally or remotely in a unified creative endeavor.

Hardware systems driven by Avid Airspeed and Avid NEXIS software are also essential for this high-performance processing environment, enabling real-time media acquisition and delivery as well as intelligent and configurable storage, providing bandwidth necessary for work in 4K / UHD. The CÉGEP students in Jonquière can work with these industry standard systems as part of their world-class training.

At the request of the CÉGEP de Jonquiere, Adobe Creative Cloud has also been integrated into the Avid Media Campus infrastructure. The entire upgrade took CEV close to one year, from the design and planning phases to installation and testing, while adhering to the college’s budget and approval process.

Brand image thanks to industry standards

The Cégep de Jonquière spokesperson Gilles Gauthier added: “With Avid Media Campus our students are well prepared for the Media Arts and Technology programs and the job market. When our graduates get their first job in the industry, we want them to be ready to go out and collaborate with other creators. With the help of CEV and Avid, we are able to train technicians, broadcasters and journalists to fully participate in production environments in the labor market.”

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Savannah Film Festival Celebrates Film and Benefits SCAD students

A film festival is always an exciting occasion. When you combine it with master classes, workshops and professional panel discussions, it’s cause for celebration. Every year Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)—a private, nonprofit, accredited university for creative careers—hosts the Savannah Film Festival, which is now in its 20th year. The festival has grown over the years, moving from a student showcase to include high-profile, international entries. The 2017 festival, held October 28 – November 4, featured competition film showings, special screenings and workshops, and honored cinematic luminaries such as Richard Gere, Holly Hunter and Aaron Sorkin.

In addition to recognizing the achievements of top creative talents and screening films from emerging student filmmakers and award-winning professionals, the Savannah Film Festival features important educational components that benefit both SCAD students and the general public.

Each year, Avid supports this lauded festival by bringing in video and audio professionals actively working in the industry to share industry insights, professional tips and career experiences with students and festivalgoers. SCAD is a valued member of the Avid Learning Partner (ALP) program, which enables students to receive additional training on Avid tools and earn official certification in addition to their degrees.

A unique opportunity

The festival is known as a breath of fresh air in the entertainment industry, both for its Savannah, Georgia location and its format. As Alex Newton, film and television professor at SCAD says, “this is an incredible opportunity to engage with mentors and creative artists who are working in the industry – those same artists who are making content that students engage with on a daily basis. They’re watching it and studying it in their free time and interacting with it on a professional level, so it’s very exciting for them and for us.”

Rough cuts to finals

Some 50 students were fortunate to learn from prolific editor (and sometime actor) Colby Parker Jr. His work on Friday Night Lights with director Peter Berg put the film world on notice, popularizing a documentary style of editing that increased the requirement of authenticity in film. More recently Parker teamed with Berg on the acclaimed feature Deepwater Horizon. Parker came to the campus studio armed with plenty of footage to discuss before and after scenes and the finer points of cutting a film in an editing master class.

Using Avid Media Composer, he got ‘deep into the dailies’ of both Ant-Man and Deepwater Horizon. “It’s intimidating to do huge sequences like you see in a film like Deepwater Horizon,” Colby says. “I was able to able to duplicate the story with four or five characters and show how it happens over time – how to build complete sequences for all stories.” In addition to thoroughly enjoying the process of sharing his knowledge and experience, he was surprised by the students’ level of sophistication and the enthusiasm of the school and the students. “I was really blown away by the festival,” he says. “You can see that everyone involved loves and cherishes film and nurtures the filmmaking process. I was happy to share what I know.”

Audio philes

On the audio side, mixer Jonathan Wales shared his wealth of talent and experience in a two-and-a-half hour master class that had him literally surrounded by students in a mixing theater as he demonstrated on a Pro Tools | S6 console with a Pro Tools | HDX system. Jonathan—who started out producing records in his native London before working as a film re-recording mixer and at world-class facilities including Universal Studios before finally creating his own company—loaded files from real-world projects to illustrate a range of mixing techniques. He too was amazed by the students’ savvy. “It was obvious to me that they were a very high-quality group of students with on-point, sensible and smart questions.”

Jonathan recognized the value of the hands-on experience for students. “Theory is one thing,” he says. “In practice it’s very different. The more students get exposed to real work, the better.” He also emphasized the practical nature of seeing artists at work. “It’s important to give them the opportunity to see working professionals as normal people. We tend to idolize anyone working in the job we want. This is a job—a difficult one—but you need to be careful how high you build the pedestal. Events like this make it more real and achievable.” Students took every opportunity to ask questions – everything from technical specifics to breaking into the business.

Engineered luck

In the classes and joint panel discussion, which was open to all festival attendees, both creative pros reinforced some common themes and offered practical advice to aspiring audio and video talent. “Don’t underestimate really knowing your stuff – especially the tools,” says Jonathan. In addition to working 100-hour weeks for almost nothing, Jonathan speaks to the importance of a little good fortune – something he calls ‘engineered luck.’ “You need to be at the right place at right time but you also need to have the right skill set and attitude – you need to be prepared to go for it. Once you’re in the door you need to ask questions until you’re annoying – soak it all up.”

The two also agree on how much times have changed. While the road to professional success is extraordinarily competitive, technology has made the learning curve easier. “Avid wasn’t around when I was in school,” offers Colby. “You had to study your film and compose your thoughts in a very linear way. With Avid, you can do it all within minutes – try everything and quickly compose.”

It’s all storytelling

The common thread through all aspects of the festival? Storytelling. No matter what side of the business you’re in, or you aspire to, it’s all about telling engaging stories. And for that it helps to understand all aspects of the process. As Jonathan advises, “immerse yourself and learn as much as possible about as much as possible. You need to have a good understanding of the whole process. You need to know what makes things successful and cool – how a movie fundamentally gets made. You’re a cog in the wheel but you need to know what the machine is for.”

 

Tips and preparations

This is a sentiment echoed by SCAD’s Mitchell Gettleman, Department Chair, Sound Design. “Filmmaking is about collaboration,” he explains. “All of these accomplished professionals talk about collaboration and we model our teaching on what we learn from them and what our own professional experience teaches us. Mentoring students and fostering these industry relationships are extremely important to the students’ success.” Perhaps SCAD’s Alex Newton puts it into perspective best. “It’s our job to push them beyond – beyond the software and the workflows to what will prepare them for the positions they want once they’re done.” What better venue than one of the country’s most distinguished film festivals to see it all in action.

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Avid Supports Independent Filmmakers and Diversity at Sundance Film Festival

Record snowfall didn’t dampen the energy, enthusiasm or crowds at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Once again, Avid was in Utah to support our many university customers whose student and alumni films were showcased at the nation’s largest and most prestigious independent film festival.

“Premier West coast film schools like USC, UCLA and Chapman are true partners of Avid,” says Don Rohrer, territory account manager at Avid. “They not only teach Avid hardware and software, but also help us further our reach with future storytellers.”

Alumni from the University of Southern California’s Cinema School had some 40 projects at Sundance—from high-profile feature films to student and VR projects. Avid has a long tradition of supporting USC’s presence at Sundance and this year was no exception. We sponsored USC’s Filmmaker’s Brunch, a casual, intimate gathering for filmmakers at Sundance, and its cocktail party for alumni, students and faculty members with projects at the festival. We also donated Media Composer and Pro Tools software for prize drawings at the events.

“USC has had a presence at Sundance for the past 17 years,” says Justin Wilson, senior director of alumni relations at USC. “The cocktail party gets bigger every year, which is in no small part due to Avid. Avid has supported USC at Sundance for over a decade and has been a great partner.”

In addition to the USC events, we were also proud to support the University of California, Los Angeles’s School of Theater, Film and Television’s alumni reception, Chapman University’s festival event, and Scottsdale Community College’s screenings and Q&A.

Avid also supported film-centric crowd-funding platform Seed&Spark’s #100DaysOfDiversity, an initiative launched at Sundance, designed to make the entertainment industry more inclusive in 100 days. Seed&Spark is curating crowd-funded projects and streaming films that actively increase representation and diversity, and inviting industry leaders and filmmakers to join them. Attendees at the launch event filled out cards to define how they plan to act on their commitment to diversity in the next 100 days.

“The mission of #100DaysOfDiversity is to increase diversity in the entertainment industry, both in front of and behind the camera,” explains Emily Best, Founder & CEO, Seed&Spark. “We’re lucky to have partners like Avid and it’s cool for filmmakers to find out that companies that make the technology tools they use actually care about diversity and are supporting filmmakers.”

A great example of a filmmaker who’s actively contributing to diversity both behind and in front of the camera is Barri Chase. Barri’s film The Watchman’s Canoe tells the story of a fair-skinned Native American girl who struggles to fit in with her peers on the reservation and embarks on a spiritual journey with the help of a tribal Watchman. Loosely based on Barri’s experience growing up on a reservation in the 1960s, the film explores cultural and social challenges that are just as timely now as they were then.

Barri cut the film at Under The Knife Post Production in Scottsdale, Arizona using Media Composer. With multiple tracks in the timeline and the need to collaborate with different facilities, Barri says she never considered using anything else.

“I’ve talked to other directors who have tried other tools and had a lot of issues, and as an indie film, we just can’t afford that—we have to be up and running all the time,” she says. “The people doing the sound and color all needed to access the film as well, and Media Composer is the only platform that lets you collaborate. With Media Composer, everything was simple and streamlined. We never had any issues with the output. It was easy to find media and get everything lined up. And it’s very user friendly, which for the indie world means that other platform users can step right into it.”

Brian Hathaway, owner and post-production supervisor at Under The Knife Post Production and adjunct professor at Scottsdale Community College, got involved in the film after its original editor landed a job with a major studio and recommended Brain to Barri. Brian echoes Barri’s thoughts when he reveals why he used Media Composer.

“When you have multiple editors working on one project, Media Composer is far superior to any other software,” he says. “We had four people working on the project in my office simultaneously, and we were able to share media back and forth with each other, and with the assistant editor in California. Being able to work so seamlessly in two different states is a huge thing.”

Brian also highlights Media Composer’s benefits for independent films: “The trimming mode is far superior—if you’re doing something long form where you have more than an hour in the timeline and 50 tracks, it’s far easier in Media Composer to maintain sync, and that intricate frame-by-frame editing is a lot easier. For an independent, lower-budget film, it’s a much better system. It has all the functionality you need of an editing system. I teach it at school and I love it. It’s by far the best software there is out there.”

While The Watchman’s Canoe wasn’t part of the official Sundance program, the film garnered lots of buzz and momentum with its premier—in true indie fashion—at a private screening in Park City. Riding the high, Barri is now in pre-production on her next project, supernatural-psychological thriller Coyote Howls.

“Sundance was a great opportunity to connect with our indie filmmaker user community and it was heartening to hear so many of them tell us how much they love Avid,” says Greg Lawler, Avid’s director of sales, West. “It was my first Sundance experience and we got first-class treatment. We’ll definitely be back next year.”

To find out how Avid’s creative tools can take your project to the next level, visit the Avid website.

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Avid Continues to Inspire Students at SCAD’s Acclaimed Savannah Film Fest

Avid was once again a proud sponsor of the 2016 Savannah Film Festival, a prestigious affair that brings together award-winning film professionals and emerging student talent for eight days of screenings, workshops, panels and lectures. Presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for over a decade, the festival has brought an arsenal of artistic powerhouses — from Oliver Stone to Olivia Wilde; Sir Ian McKellan to Mahershala Ali — to the city, and its students, each year.

“It’s an honor to a part of such a special festival, which is unique, not only in the type of talent it cultivates, but in that it’s hosted by a school,” says Doug Price, Director of Sales for Sports and Education in North America, referring to SCAD. SCAD, an Avid Learning Partner, claims nearly 13,000 students in over 100 countries, and takes pride in providing real-world opportunities for its graduates. “SCAD’s career-minded focus makes it a great fit for Avid,” Price goes on to say. “It’s important that we provide the tools and training these students need to be successful when they graduate.”

Doug Price, Steven Ticknor, Chris Nelson and Meghan Ross

Part of that training included two Master Classes and a panel hosted by Avid at this year’s festival. The first class, driven by Sony Pictures Sound Supervisor Steven Ticknor (Spider-Man, Lincoln Lawyer, Karate Kid), focused on a lecture and demo of Avid’s Pro Tools to a packed classroom; the second class, led by Universal Studios’ Emmy-nominated editor, director and producer Chris Nelson (Bates Motel, Mad Men, Lost), took students through the ins and outs of Media Composer and encouraged an open forum for discussion on what it was like to be a working editor in Hollywood.

Steven Ticknor

In addition to asking each of these experts technical questions about the functions and features of Avid’s programs, students shared a pressing concern across both classes: how do I get a job?  “Persistence, perseverance, a positive attitude,” answered Ticknor. “Be thoughtful. Have an opinion. Provide solutions,” added Nelson. Both agreed: “Know your equipment, stay up on the technology – you have to come to the table already understanding the basics of Pro Tools and Media Composer if you want a chance in this industry.”

Chris Nelson

Robin Beauchamp, Chair of the Sound Design program at SCAD, agrees: “Avid dominates the field – we’ve never had a guest speaker even recommend that we teach anything else for post. It’s really essential for the younger generation to hear this from industry professionals – these are the people that provide an important glimpse of what these students will need to be successful.”

Ticknor and Nelson continued to share their knowledge at an exclusive Avid-sponsored panel later that day, which concluded with a Q and A from the audience, and with both guests staying after the scheduled discussion to speak to students one-on-one – something Beauchamp appreciated.

“I just can’t say enough how thankful I am for Avid’s support. From the early years, when we created the first sound design program in the world, to the present day, as we grow our program for the ever-evolving media landscape, Avid has made a huge commitment to the Savannah Film Festival and to the school (SCAD). We’re very lucky to have their support.”

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Veteran Sound Supervisor Steven Ticknor Mixes it Up at Tulane University

Avid’s Pro Tools | S6 was the star of Sound Designer and Supervisor Steve Ticknor’s recent visit to Tulane University. Ticknor, who works at Sony Pictures, and whose credits include Spider-Man, Lincoln Lawyer and Karate Kid, treated the school’s Television & Film Sound Design class to a live demonstration of the S6’s professional capabilities – using one of his own mixing templates to give students a real-world perspective.

“Providing students an up close look at the console in the hands of a working professional was priceless,” said Dr. Mary Blue, Director of the Digital Media Production program at Tulane. “Something like 90% of all TV and Film is done on Avid. The students who know these products have a competitive edge.”

Giving her students the best possible advantage once they’ve graduated is one of the reasons Dr. Blue is so committed to Avid. “I’ve been purchasing Avid exclusively, ever since I took over this program in 2009 (we actually had the seventh S6 ever manufactured),” she continues. “Whenever I’m awarded a grant, Avid is the first thing I invest in.” Blue, who has grown her department from just four majors to an impressive 100 since then, believes other programs just don’t prepare students for the industry the same way Avid does.

Ticknor agrees – “Avid is the industry standard, and if you want an opportunity today to get into the industry you can’t just learn ‘on the job’, you have to come in as an intern and already know how to operate the equipment. It’s important these students know the industry standard of today so they make an impression on people in the business.”

This was just one piece of valuable advice that Ticknor doled out to students. Another was to stay on top of current technologies, and, tongue in cheek, to never fall asleep on the job. Film Studies major Katherine Heneghan, who attended the intimate two-hour demonstration and open lecture, was inspired by Ticknor: “His shared experiences really helped me to put everything in perspective. ‘This could happen to me, too,’ you think. His lecture made me consider a career in sound design for the first time.”

Ticknor, in turn, was inspired just as much by the students as they were by him. “We’re always looking for young talent – especially from a school like Tulane, which is one of the best. Our industry is dying to find good people who are smart and eager to learn. It is so satisfying to know that I could help open a student’s mind to this line of work.” Ticknor went on, “Our business is global, and ever-evolving, and it only makes sense to partner with these universities who have already invested in Avid, in the S6, in these systems, and to support them.”

Avid Pro Tools | S6 has garnered much acclaim for its seamless and creative process, Ticknor added. “Avid listened to the audio professional – they put in a user interface that was part of the workflow of Hollywood – they created the S6 to reflect the new digital world while keeping the tried and true principles of sound mixing.” Creating a seamless and collaborative process that is on the forefront of technology is a priority of Avid’s – and one that Ticknor is excited to share with students everywhere.

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