By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Digital Cinema Arts, a new degree program being offered at Eastern New Mexico University just approved this summer is starting to roll this fall.
While ENMU has been teaching film related classes for the past 10 years, according to ENMU Professor of Art Greg Erf, the idea of putting a degree program together has been in development for the past three years. Several departments are involved in the program, said Erf.
According to an earlier PNT article, the Digital Cinema Arts degree program will combine Art, Music, Theater and Dance, and Communicative Arts and Sciences departments.
“What’s unique about the program, is it brings together many departments of the university,” Erf said .
The film industry is growing in New Mexico and the program will provide training and opportunities for students in New Mexico, said the professor. Internships will also be built into the program that will allow students the opportunity to work in the movie industry while gaining class credits also.
Some of the students in the program, have already had some experience in filmmaking, either through a summer internship or from classes taken in high school, said Erf.
Eric Cathey is one of those students. An ENMU freshman from Portales, Cathey participated in a film class at Faith Triumphant, where he attended high school. Always interested in movies, he has been making them since he was a young child, he told the PNT.
“I hope to do anything that has to do with film,” Cathey said.
With the program being at ENMU, Cathey doesn’t have to go out of the state to pursue his degree and the costs are much lower, he said.
Non-traditional student, Dustin D’Amour, an ENMU sophomore, has already obtained an associate’s degree in Special Animation, from University Advancing Tech in Tempe, Ariz.
“It’s difficult to get a job in the animation world,” said D’Amour.
A network engineer for a company in Clovis, D’Amour is able to combine his multi-talents into his current job. By obtaining his four-year degree, he says he will be able to combine the two degrees and work experience into any future endeavors.
“We see a need and demand for students in this area. We are responding, this is our job as a university. Everyone is excited about it,” said Erf.