State to sponsor workshops on entertainment technology
By Tom Harlan
The Governor's Office of Film & Entertainment is planning workshops on entertainment-industry technology in February at Miami Dade College.
The office is partnering with the college, University of Miami and the Miami International Film Festival to offer film, video and entertainment professionals workshops on the creative, technical and business aspects of the industry.
The series is set for Feb. 4-6, the first three days of the festival, at the School of Entertainment & Design Technology on the college's North Campus.
About 35 media advisers, industry professionals and entrepreneurs are expected at each workshop, said Florida Film Commissioner Susan Albershardt.
Instructors are to focus on various aspects of the business, she said. For example, the creative workshop might include a lesson on how to pitch a screenplay, she said, and a business workshop might zero in on the legalities of planning a movie budget.
Ms. Albershardt said the technical workshop is to target editors, directors of photography and others who want to learn about new digital technology and film-editing programs.
"We're going to have a top-notch series," she said, adding that courses are to be taught using the latest industry tools. "This [series] is definitely for working professionals looking to keep their skills [on the] cutting edge."
For example, an experienced editor who has been using an older software program, such as Avid, might attend to learn about newer software, such as Final Cut Pro, she said.
Participants can attend lunches that feature speeches from industry professionals and in-depth reference materials and handouts.
"We want everyone to walk away with reference material so they keep on learning from that day forward," she said.
State officials chose to offer the series during the festival to attract top-notch instructors, who will be eager to teach and attend the festival, Ms. Albershardt said. Each track is to offer three to six published and experienced instructors who are at the top of their game, she said.
Miami was selected because it houses half the state's workforce in the industry and offers strong film college programs, she said.
The series is partially sponsored by an undisclosed federal grant administered by Workforce Florida, a 45-member board appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to oversee the state's workforce. The agency asked the governor's office to develop a series that keeps the state's film and entertainment workforce trained with the latest technology.
Similar development workshops are held at universities and organizations in California, Ms. Albershardt said. The state hopes to rotate the series to other cities, such as Orlando and Tampa, to build the brand so it will eventually sustain itself, she said.
"We are committed to growing the Sunshine State's vibrant film and entertainment industry," Gov. Bush said in a Dec. 10 statement. "In today's high-tech economy, a series like this one can be an important part of the continued development of Florida's workforce."
Details: www.filminflorida.com to learn more about the conference.