‘‘That’s a wrap!’

WCC builds momentum for its Digital Video program by launching new YouTube channel

You might call it “channeling.”

Washtenaw Community College recently launched its own Making Movies YouTube Channel.

Making Movies was created by the Digital Media Arts (DMA) department as a way to gain prospective students, ideally those in middle school and high school, with an interest in digital video. Over the course of the next few weeks, additional episodes, around two per week, will be uploaded and each production will focus on a different aspect of filmmaking, including audio, lighting, editing, and storytelling.

“Having this YouTube channel will help to position the college and serve as a preview of what students learn when they choose WCC for digital arts,” said Dr. Kimberly M. Hurns, dean of Business and Computer Technologies at WCC. “It exemplifies the quality of our instructors, while also showcasing the skillset of our talented students.”

According to the Making Movies website, the channel will also offer tutorials on conducting interviews and framing a shot, as well as comprehensive build kits that educate young filmmakers on how to build their own equipment for a fraction of the retail cost. Student films that “really hit the mark” will be showcased as well.

The Making Movies YouTube channel, as Hurns pointed out, is being marketed to prospective students through email from college recruiting, as well as strategic placement on relevant sites, such as Twitter and Instagram to gain subscribers.

“It’s the coolest thing ever,” said WCC student Eileen Meier, who’s enrolled in the Digital Video program. “It gives me more excitement to learn about the field. All the instructors here have so much knowledge, so I can’t wait to see what else is in store.”

Described as “the YouTube channel for filmmakers,” Making Movies has been more than a year in the making. DMA faculty member Garrett Sammons, who’s also a former WCC student, said the new channel was a true collaborative effort that wouldn’t be possible without the entire team.

“We talked about doing something like this for a while, so it’s exciting to see it finally come together,” said Matthew Zacharias, WCC Digital Media Arts faculty member. “Now that it’s finally here, we just want to keep it moving forward. No other college is doing what we’re doing.”

Although Making Movies was created to highlight the college’s Digital Video program, WCC’s DMA department is also known for its hands-on programs in 3D Animation, Graphic Design Technology, Photography, and Web Design & Development. In each program, students learn from and make connections with industry experts, while utilizing the latest state-of-the-art equipment and technology to hone their craft. They can either complete a certificate or associate degree or transfer to a college or university.

Furthermore, WCC students in the Digital Video program have taken home first place awards at the Annual Michigan Emmy Gala for three consecutive years, which Hurns pointed out as one more reason not to underestimate a two-year institution such as WCC.

“When most people think of a community college, they think of a place where students can get all their (general education) courses out the way before they transfer to a four-year college or university, but WCC offers much more than that,” Hurns said.

“When thinking about everything that our Digital Video program offers from allowing students to rent equipment, so they don’t have to purchase it themselves, to our faculty’s expertise, I don’t believe there’s a better value anywhere else,” she continued. “We want prospective students to realize they don’t have to attend a private art institute that costs an arm and a leg. They have a gem right here in their own backyard.”

To learn more about the Making Movies YouTube channel, visit makingmovies.tv.

This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of On the Record.

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