Mike Luciano knew he had found his career the first time he entered an editing studio.
He was impressed with the equipment, the people and the way they created something tangible.
Now, Luciano, who studied media arts at Mesa Community College and graduated from Arizona State University, has worked on the FX Series, “30 Days,” and is an associate editor at Subvoyant in New York.
Artistry is taking a new step in the visual world with the addition of made-for-Internet movies, animation for I-pods and mobile phones and the ability to add video, to business presentations in PowerPoint and other programs.
The demand for graphic designers is expected to increase because of these technological advancements, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook Web site, created by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.
“It’s fun, but has some grueling hours that go along with it. If you like computers and telling stories through a visual medium, this would be a dream job,” Luciano said. Local students are learning this cutting edge technology through several programs at community colleges and universities.
“The younger generation, this is their world. It is a very visual world. There’s the Internet. Cameras now are electronic. They’re starting to see movies and take pictures on their cell phones,” said Adam Honea, dean of the college of information systems and technology for the University of Phoenix.
Honea oversees a new bachelor’s program that hopes to help meet demand for these workers.
“The focus is on the realization that the Internet has moved us over to a visual world that’s less text based,” he said. “The corporate reports aren’t simply text reports anymore. The layouts for the reports use images and visual impact,” he said. “ Therefore these people can work in advertising. They can work as Web site designers .” They can also create business reports.
Mesa Community College’s Media Arts program is taking students from the classroom learning software such as Final Cut Pro and Shake to the film room working on movies such as “Napolean Dynamite” and “Robots.”
Students in these types of programs are learning about graphic design, digital imaging, animation, Web site design, electronic publishing and multimedia development.
“They have to make their images appropriate to the media they’re working in,” said Cyndi Greening, who teaches in the media arts program. “It’s the whole thing of capturing it and making sure it looks good and sharing it with others. Is the color good? Is the sound good? Does it work emotionally and aesthetically?”
Michael Montesa has studied with Greening and recently traveled to the Sundance Film Festival, where he captured many images on camera and video.
“I love visual art. I like to create things or capture the scenes I see in photography stills or moving pictures. I also like to communicate or share what I love on visual,” he said.
“The future in filmmaking is very competitive and always available but you really have to have faith in yourself and keep updating yourself on current technology. You always have to make sure you keep teaching yourself on the current software and read a lot of literature. Networking with friends is one of the important things to do too.”