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Loyola unveils new digital film program with community events

Loyola press release - August 21, 2015

Canon, Hollywood Rentals, YES and IATSE Local 478 partner to showcase equipment, tools, techniques and professional opportunities

A new digital filmmaking major at Loyola University New Orleans rolls into action next week, providing new and prospective students an introduction to the business and associated career opportunities.

“It’s a professional degree and a practical degree,” said Jim Gabour, director of the Digital Filmmaking Program and a Grammy-nominated filmmaker. “Everyone on our staff is a working professional, and the whole degree is designed as much for the practicality as for the art. We want our students to graduate from this program and be able to make a living at something they love.”

Six years in the making, the bachelor of fine arts in digital filmmaking program at Loyola officially commences this semester, with official accreditation and nearly double the expected enrollment. The only program of its kind in the region, this course of study is for students who wish to learn digital filmmaking, screenwriting, acting and directing, along with an emphasis on the business of film. One of the year’s most popular majors among incoming first-year and transfer students, the program brings local film professionals to campus next week for hands-on information sessions and demonstrations open to students and the community.

“This is a really unique degree because it is one of the four or five film programs in the country that has more than minimal business coursework,” Gabour said. “We have 21 hours of full business courses, including: management, marketing, accounting, and in-depth legal studies.”

The Loyola digital filmmaking program is designed to familiarize graduates in all ends of the film business as a way of ensuring long-term success, Gabour said. Local unions are now helping Loyola to develop courses that cover all of the crafts needed on a professional crew, including gaffer, grip, camera crew and art production positions.

The program also promises hands-on experience and the opportunity to work on state-of-the-art-equipment, Gabour said, citing student work and film credits on the Grammy-nominated film on Terrence Blanchard, “Flow: Living in the Stream of Music” and a Norah Jones House of Blues concert performance that became a multi-platinum DVD.

Students have also worked with DreamWorks and participated in filming episodes of Treme, where some performed as extras.

Loyola students work on cutting-edge equipment, including 10 brand-new state-of-the-art digital filmmaking cameras made by Canon, Gabour said.

Next week, Loyola’s new digital filmmaking program hosts several events open to Loyola students and the community at large:

Wednesday, Aug. 26

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The YES Productions Hi-Def Digital Production truck, with 14 cameras onboard, has recorded Super Bowls and NCAA championships, and every sport and event imaginable, including a Norah Jones concert that spawned a multiplatinum record and the 25th anniversary concert of Spinal Tap. The truck will be parked on Saint Charles Avenue, at the Loyola University corner of the Calhoun Street, fired up and open for tours.

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parked right behind YES will be Hollywood Rentals’ 73-foot-long 18-wheeler grip truck, loaded with gear for a full theatrical film production. This truck has worked on more than 100 feature films in the last three years and will be available for tours.

12 p.m. to 3 p.m. IATSE Local 478, an international screen engineers union’s local chapter representing Motion Picture Studio Mechanics, will present jobs and methods in local filmmaking in Studio D, Communications/Music Complex 421.

Friday, Aug. 28

12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Canon will host an equipment fair, including demonstrations of all new camera and video gear for 2016 on the first floor lobby of the Communications/Music Complex.