Georgia 3D - Opction E

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At the heart of Georgia State University lies the Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII), a beacon of innovation and creativity in the bustling landscape of Georgia’s entertainment and creative economy. Established with the vision to empower students to carve successful careers in the creative industry, CMII stands as a pivotal force in nurturing talent and elevating marginalized voices and storytellers within this dynamic sector.

CMII’s philosophy is deeply rooted in hands-on immersive experiences and training in state-of-the-art technology such as motion and volumetric capture. This approach not only prepares students to navigate but also to thrive amidst the exponential changes shaping the entertainment industry. Through its comprehensive programs, CMII is committed to developing the next generation of multiplatform creators and storytellers, thereby fueling and diversifying Georgia’s vibrant creative economy.

The institute’s inception is timely, paralleling Georgia’s remarkable growth in film, television, digital entertainment, music, and game design over the past two decades. Atlanta, recognized among the top 10 cities for game and esports opportunities, along with tech employment growth, has become a hub for the game design and development sector, generating an annual economic impact of $770 million. Furthermore, the music industry in Georgia, spanning various genres from hip-hop to gospel, employs over 30,000 individuals, with more than 200 music recording studios established in Atlanta.

To cater to this burgeoning demand for skilled professionals, CMII offers a range of programs designed to prepare students for careers in emerging technologies and creative fields. These include a Bachelor of Arts in game design, a Bachelor of Science in game development, and an innovative media entrepreneurship program where students can design their degree path starting with business coursework followed by specialized CMII classes. Additionally, the institute has introduced a Master of Fine Arts in digital filmmaking with a concentration in virtual production and visual effects, aimed at providing advanced training in post-production technology and content creation.

A noteworthy aspect of CMII is its esports program, which underlines the institute’s commitment to staying at the forefront of digital entertainment. Launched in 2017, the program supports 30 scholarship athletes competing in popular titles such as League of Legends, Overwatch 2, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Notably, the GSU esports program was ranked No. 7 on the list of the “Top 10 Varsity Esports Programs of 2022,” showcasing its competitive prowess and the quality of its program. With three national championships in Smite over three years, the program has established its mark on the competitive esports landscape.

CMII boasts an illustrious faculty and a vibrant Artist in Residence program, comprising scholars, professionals, and creative luminaries who collectively enrich the institute’s academic environment. The accolades among CMII’s faculty and artists in residence include three Pulitzer Prizes, eight GRAMMY Awards, 11 BET Awards, and many more, showcasing an unparalleled level of achievement within the United States’ creative industries educational sector. This esteemed group includes entrepreneur Imari Oliver, technologist Kris Pilcher, author Andrew Aydin, singer/ songwriter India Arie, technologist Dedren Sneed, music producer Dallas Austin, and film and television producer Diane Ashford. Their presence provides students with unparalleled opportunities to learn from and interact with leading figures in their respective fields.

A pivotal aspect of CMII’s mission is its engagement with the industry and community, fostered through strategic partnerships that offer students extraordinary opportunities. Collaborations with technology and studio-enabled services provider Wild Capture, and an enriching partnership with Reallusion Software, have significantly enhanced educational resources and provided unique opportunities for hands-on learning and contribution to real-world projects.

Additionally, partnerships with local and Atlanta-based institutions such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Opera, Alliance Theater, the Fox Theatre, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights have provided students with invaluable real-world production experience. Working alongside these esteemed institutions, students gain hands-on experience, allowing them to apply and refine their skills in a professional setting.

CMII’s commitment to fostering a global hub of creativity and innovation is highlighted by its international outreach efforts. In 2022, the Belgian Economic Mission to the United States, led by Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid, toured CMII’s advanced volumetric and motion-capture production studios. Furthermore, CMII has hosted delegates from diverse corners of the world, including the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Romania, and St. Maarten. These interactions facilitate a vibrant exchange of ideas and underscore CMII’s role in the global creative community.

The 2023 Ghana Study Abroad Program marks another significant achievement in CMII’s international engagement. This transformative experience delved into Ghana’s creative economy, cultural heritage, and burgeoning tourism sector, emphasizing storytelling’s power in connecting the African Diaspora. Collaborating with key partners such as the Ghana Tourism Authority, the National Film Authority, and the Ghana Board of Museums and Monuments, students engaged in multimedia projects with local creatives. This program not only offered insights into content production but also provided a platform for students to contribute to the broader narrative of Ghana’s cultural richness and economic development.

Reflecting on the institute’s broad impact and future direction, CMII Executive Director Brennen Dicker remarked, “Our mission extends beyond education; we’re crafting a nexus where innovation meets tradition, propelling our students and the creative media landscape into a future where their voices not only matter but lead the way.”

Through its distinguished programs, esteemed faculty and artists in residence, and commitment to diversity and technological advancement, CMII is not just shaping the future of creative media education but also significantly contributing to the cultural and economic vitality of the region.

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