DMA Training Courses Changed My Life: 3D, Animation, Film, and Special Effects

By Philip Harding

“DMA gave me a solid footing for my future,” said Albert Frates, a former DMA camper who knows his future includes creating digital media. “I was only fourteen when I started coming to DMA…but the experience opened many new doors.” Albert spent three summers at Digital Media Academy, along the way, he met and made new friends. We recently caught up with Albert to talk about his DMA experience.

Film Student at Digital Media Academy
Albert Frates sets up a location shot for a student video project.

What courses/camps did you take at DMA?

I took a Maya Introduction with Adam Watkins, I knew very little about Maya…In less than a week Adam had brought the class out of the unknown, and into what I would call my first experience at a professional level. 

How did it help or inspire you?

(DMA) opened many new doors and other aspects of media, like film, animation, TV, games, web design. The following school year I worked on projects for my school. Doing live event recording such as graduation and sporting events. That was just the beginning. Later I entered a film into a student film festival.

What other software did you learn? And how did you use what you learned?

Using Adobe After Effects and Final Cut Pro, I created a festival winning film.  When I went back to DMA in the summer of 2007, I took courses that focused on After Effects (video motion graphics, and compositing) and a Hands on Digital Filmmaking camp. I recommend both of those courses, by the way. 

How did the DMA experience help prepare you?

Because of the tools and concepts learned at DMA I was fluent working in a professional environment at the age of sixteen. When the opportunity came up I was able to tackle it. 

Can you explain how?

After DMA, I met up with a producer on a school trip in Seattle who was working on live events for DECA.  After talking to him briefly during a seminar he had invited me to come check out the production backstage. I got to sit in on, and at one point help out with the production. After that I was offered an internship at the end of the show for the next conference in spring. None of this would have been possible without Digital Media Academy. 

Anything you’d like to share with someone considering attending DMA?

It’s never to early to start achieving your goals, especially with DMA. Plus, the friends and connections you make at Digital Media Academy are one of the best parts. The people that attend DMA share the goals and interests that you do.

Thanks Albert, we wish you much success in the future!