Orlando, Fl. – The Digital Animation and Visual Effects (DAVE) School celebrated its quarterly graduation ceremony at the AMC Universal Cineplex at Universal’s City Walk. As the graduating class received diplomas, many of the students’ phones were ringing with offers to work at Stereo D, a Hollywood production studio specializing in stereoscopic 3D film conversion.
The commencement speech was given by Hollywood actor Giovanni Ribisi, best known for his roles in Avatar, Boiler Room, and Saving Private Ryan, among others. Ribisi is the co-owner of Stereo D, the company best known for its 2D to 3D conversion of James Cameron’s Avatar. Ribisi and his business partners arrived at the DAVE School two days prior to graduation looking for artists. What he found was a treasure trove of talent. Eighteen DAVE School graduates landed jobs on the day of graduation.
“I am extremely proud of our students and very happy to share the success story of our 35th Graduation Ceremony,” says Steve Warner, Executive Director at the DAVE School. “We have graduated approximately 850 students in the past 10 years. Our high placement record clearly shows that we have one of the best visual effects programs in the world. We know what studios are looking for in their employees and the skill sets that are in high demand. We provide focused training to our students to ensure they will meet the studios’ exact needs.”
The DAVE School’s Alumni have worked all over the world at companies such as DreamWorks, Sony Imageworks, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, Café Fx, Activision, Walt Disney Feature Animation, and on projects such as Beowulf, "Lost," "24," Avatar, Meet the Robinsons, "Battlestar Galactica," The Guardian, and more. At this time, roughly 30 to 40 of the school’s graduates are working for Stereo D. According to Warner, “It is critical for today’s students to know that they possess highly marketable skills, especially when we are going through a difficult economy. We provide students with the exact skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a competitive marketplace.”
At the DAVE School, employment skills and career building are woven throughout the entire curriculum. The program is designed to provide students with real-world skills in high-demand computer graphics disciplines, ranging from modeling and animation to stereoscopic 3D compositing. This gives students the broadest range of job opportunities upon graduation. Students are trained using the same software and hardware as major studios, and come away with the equivalent of two years of professional work experience. The program culminates with a 12-week production that places students in a real-world visual effects environment, giving them a unique training experience unlike anything offered by competing institutions.
The DAVE School is an educational partner of EduK Group, a family of over 30 post-secondary institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico. Located on the back-lot of Universal Studios Florida in Sound Stage 25, the DAVE School offers intensive career training in Computer Animation for Film, Television, Gaming, and more, and is the nation’s leading school for stereoscopic 3D production. Its programs are licensed by the Florida Department of Education and can be completed in less than one year.