MindFire Academy is happy to welcome Sam Roberts as our guest speaker to a community roundtable on June 20 at 6:30pm. As a senior producer with the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, Roberts stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the best in the news business.
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Roberts (pictured here
with Walter Cronkite),
was also Vice President of the New York Times and Chair of School of Communications for the University of Miami.
This picture was taken on March 6, 1981, Cronkite’s last broadcast as anchor of the CBS Evening News. Roberts and Cronkite were talking about how much time was left in the show and if any stories had to be dropped.
“I would go out and tell him how much time was left and he would often make a few two or three second cuts in a few stories in order for us to shoehorn in one more item,” Roberts explained. “He was a stickler for using every last second during each break.”
At the Community Round Table, Roberts will tell other stories of his time at CBS, including how Dan Rather came to take over the anchor chair. Time will be made available for questions and answers.
The Roundtable is free and open to the public.
One of the really exciting things about Camp MindFire, aside from the obvious, is being able to see all these young people get excited about art.
I want to be clear about this, I’m not making a political statement about the need for more funding for the arts, or anything like that.
What I’m talking about is the excitement of discovering a new form of expression. All young people have an imagination they want to use, they have something inside they want to express. When they get into their teens, they’re too old for construction paper and crayons. They need something more technologically advanced. They need a different tool to help them find their voice.
That’s where MindFire Academy steps in to help. We have the tools to teach everyone how to be a pro. We can show you exactly what it takes to be a pro, we use the same equipment the pros use, and all of our students are also professionals in the field.
We want to pass on our knowledge to the next generation of digital artists. We want to see the same excitement in their eyes that we had when we were young.
This summer, a lot of really exciting things are happening at MindFire Academy. Starting on June 17, we’re launching our annual Camp MindFire, serving as an opportunity for teens between the ages of 13 and 18 to get experience on the digital arts.
Teens will be able to use the same cameras the pros use when they learn about Basic Filmmaking and Storytelling. They can learn how to use Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator in our Basic Design classes. Or, they can get started on their animation career as they learn all about the basics in our Intro to 3D Animation class. Video game design is one of the most popular art forms of today. Colby Turybury is teaching the fundamentals in this summer’s video game design course. If your teen has a passion for music and wants to learn how to record and make an album, they can this summer in our professional audio studio. Classes are also being offered in the traditional arts like drawing, sculpting and acting.
Reservations are currently being accepted. We can’t wait until the 17th starts so we can start teaching!
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A number of Wichita middle school teachers visited our facility Thursday. They were here to get a look at not only what it is we teach but how to better incorporate the fundamentals into the real world.
A few math teachers told us they were thrilled to see, first hand, how basic geometry is tied into the digital arts. They now have an answer to the question, “When will I ever use this?” Well, when it comes to 3D animation, whether it’s for movies or video game production, an understanding of how a triangle works is essential to making it a success.
On our motion capture stage, they saw it live, in action. From things that might seem simple, like the placement of the motion capture cameras, down to how the suit was set up, the math was ever-present.
The teachers were here as part of the STEM program which USD 259 is implementing. STEM stands for, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Throughout the curriculum, teachers are stressing these fundamentals for college and career readiness.
Ryan stands at 5’9”, but once we’re done with him, he’ll be 36 feet tall and made out of stone.
Mindfire is the only location in the area to have a fully functioning motion capture stage, and Ryan is acting as a rock monster for our latest commercial. He’s dressed in the suit that’s outfitted with the active markers. We’re very excited to see what the final outcome will be.
The amazing thing about motion capture is how we can have the entire world, and universe, at our fingertips. This rock monster we’re creating, if we wanted it to take down Tokyo, we could with a few clicks of the mouse. If we wanted it to destroy a Sphinx, we could.
These are the same techniques used to make movies like Lord of The Rings. In those films, Andy Serkis was transformed into the character Gollum using motion capture technology, similar to what we have here in Wichita. More recently, Johnny Depp acted out his entire roll on a motion capture stage in the film Rango.
Video game developers also use the same motion capture technology to make their animation appear more lifelike, having athletes and martial artists mimic their moves on motion capture stages.
Our students are helping us out with this commercial we’re making, working as assistant directors and grips. This experience of working closely with professionals is one of the most exciting aspects of being part of Bethany College @ Mindfire Academy. They’re gaining knowledge both in and out of the classroom, and you can really tell they’re just soaking up the knowledge like a sponge.
This summer, we’re opening up our doors to high school kids so they can get a jump start on their college education. There’s little doubt they’ll be far ahead of their peers once the summer is over.