Sometimes the term “Digital Media” seems to be an elusive, perhaps intimidating term, encompassing a vast array of industries.
It’s not so complicated when you stop and realize that you are exposed digital media in many forms during your every day routine. You experience digital media every time you see a video or any kind, or graphics in motion– whether it’s seen online at your desktop computer, on television, through your gaming system, on your mobile device, or a digital billboard.
Digital media is not just limited to full-length feature films. Short form filmmaking, like music videos, commercials, title sequences, video game trailers, how-to videos, promotional videos of any kind is digital media, too.
As technology continues to evolve allowing mobile smartphones, electronic reading tablets and other devices to become even more prevalent (and affordable), the demand for digital media, and digital media artists, is without a doubt, only going to grow. According a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in April 2012, “nearly nine-in-ten (88%) U.S. adults own a cell phone of some kind as of April 2012, and more than half of these cell owners (55%) use their phone to go online.”
Below we’ve outlined our Top 10 Count Down List of “Everything You Need to Know about Digital Media.” It’s clear that this industry is full of possibilities.
TEN Skills You Learn Digital Media:
At FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, students earning their Digital Media degree learn a variety of advanced software and hardware, getting hands-on experience in all things digital media. Students gain a cross-platform foundation in film making, which means that they know how to apply their knowledge of multiple programs to develop various parts of a film project.
A typical digital media pro might have skills in:
1. Motion graphics
3. Sound design
5. Digital storytelling
6. 3D modeling (rigging/lighting/texturizing)
8. Video production
9. Web design
10. Digital photography
History of Motion Graphics
Above: “What is motion design? Watch the video above developed by Motion Plus Design about the history of motion graphics.
NINE Famous Title Sequences
Below are nine famous movie title sequences that influenced the industry, and every Digital Media artist is likely to know:
1. Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Georges Méliès)
2. North by Northwest,
3. Man with the Golden Arm, and
4. Psycho (Saul Bass)
5. Dexter (Eric Anderson/Digital Kitchen),
6. To Kill a Mockingbird (Stephen Frankfurt)
7. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Danny Yount)
8. Alien (Richard Greenburg)
9. Se7en (Kyle Cooper)
EIGHT Digital Media Software Programs:
FIDM Digital Media Students learn an ever-evolving variety of cross-platform video post production software. Having a foundation in all of these programs is unique to the industry. FIDM Digital Media Students learn skills in:
1. After Effects,
4. Final Cut Pro,
7. Pro Tools and
SEVEN Companies Hiring Digital Media Pros:
Having skills in video production and post production applies to every industry.
“The best thing about Digital Media is that you can go to any industry, any business, and they need a person like you. They want a person who understands video, understands web and understands how to do graphics,” says FIDM Digital Media Student, HJ Chong. “Even if you don’t want to get into the film industry, having digital media as a degree on your resume will help you so much.”
FIDM Digital Media Alumni are currently working in various industries– from film/TV/gaming and entertainment marketing companies, to major production studios, to fashion companies:
(Above: Online video for JewelMint).
SIX Job Titles in the Digital Media Industry:
FIDM Digital Media Alumni have careers in various areas of focus within the industry. Since their skills translate to multiple areas of focus, FIDM Digital Media Alumni will often handle various aspects of the video production and post production.
Their job titles include:
1. Motion Graphics (Editors, Designers)
2. Directing (Creative Directors, Storyboard Designers, Segment Producers)
3. Visual effects (VFX artists, 2D/3D Compositors, Rotoscope Artists, Motion Graphics Artists)
4. Video Production (Associate Producers, Production Coordinators)
5. Post production (Video Editors, Assistant Editors, Photo Digital Assets Managers)
6. Game Marketing (Games Capture Director, VFX Artists, After Effects Compositors)
FIVE Digital Media Job Responsibilities:
As a digital media professional, some of the exciting day-to-day job responsibilities you might have include:
1. Editing trailers for video games, television shows and films
2. Recording and editing music and or sounds for films and videos
3. Designing the opening credits or title sequences seen at the beginning of films or television shows
4. Creating a video game character or other 3D elements for a video trailer or movie trailer
5. Playing video games or watching movie clips as research before they are available to the general public
FOUR Alternative Definitions of Digital Media
Digital media sometimes adopts different names, but as an industry, it encompass all of the following:
1. Digital filmmaking,
3. Motion graphics,
4. VFX (visual effects)
(Above: Greenhaus GFX is a leading digital creative agency focused on entertainment marketing for film and television. Two FIDM Digital Media Alumni, Kyle Brosius and Kylen Thorsen, work at Greenhaus GFX as Lead Animator and Lead Designer, respectively. Read more here.)
THREE Great Digital Media Websites:
We love these sites dedicated to digital media-related topics for news, job listings and inspiration:
TWO Definitions You Need to Know:
Animation vs. motion graphics- what’s the difference? Often times, there is confusion between what separates motion graphics from animation. Shortfilm documentary “What is Motion Design” (shown above) by U.K. based design team Motion Plus Design outlines the difference stating, “Although the boundary between animation and motion graphics remains blurred, the distinction lies where:
1. Traditional animated films features a story in which characters express themselves
2. Motion Design can also portray characters, however, they do not directly express themselves– they are often used as devices to represent an idea, message or sell a product.
ONE thing that sets FIDM’s Digital Media Program apart
FIDM’s Digital Media program is redefining the traditional film-making process by educating students in multiple areas of video post-production rather than just one.
While traditional film-making schools will cater their programs to help students become experts in particular fields (such as editing, directing or production), the FIDM Digital Media program takes a different approach by educating students on the entire post production pipeline. These skills, in turn, make them better video producers and directors.
Gene Lebrock, the Director of Digial Media at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, emphasizes that it takes more than technical know-how to succeed as a digital media professional, but also a great attitude and a strong work ethic.
Hiring managers agree. Helen Greene, executive creative director and founder of Greenhaus GFX, has hired several FIDM Digital Media Alumni in the past and clearly, their attitude influences her decision to hire them.
“If you have a good experience with certain people from different schools– that will stick with you,” she says in an interview with FIDMDigitalArts.com. “FIDM graduates don’t take [criticism] personally, they have really thick skin. That’s one of the most important things that you have to have. This is not fine art, this is advertising.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Top 10 Count Down List of “Everything You Need to Know about Digital Media.” Below, watch FIDM Digital Media Student, HJ Chong, in action editing a music video and adding effects using After Effects.
Questions/comments? Email the editor, Mani O’Brien at mo’email@example.com