Animation & VFX Students Receive Hollywood Visit


Animation Students Receive Insight from Hollywood Stars

Fairhope, Alabama – Animation students at Faulkner State Community College received quite a visit from a notable Hollywood director and some of the film industry’s upcoming stars.  Director Dave Johnson and actors Cory Grant, Gabriela Lopez, Montrel Miller and Rachel Hendrix stopped by Faulkner State’s Fairhope Campus to give students a sneak peak into the world of film.  Johnson and the actors, who were in town for the release of the locally-filmed movie Coffee Shop, provided the students with insight from the film industry in a face-to-face, hour-long session. 

Coffee Shop premiered on the Fairhope Campus in late August, and due to the overwhelming ticket purchases, the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce opened a second showing for moviegoers.  Both showings were packed as locals filled the Centennial Hall Auditorium.  Students in the Animation program attended after visiting with the “stars on the big screen.”

The Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics & Visual Effects program at Faulkner State has grown as news of the exciting two-year certificate has spread across the area.  By creating imaginative, computer-generated environments, characters and videos, the students are expanding their skills to prepare for a career in the film industry.  Now in their second year, many students are artfully and tactfully assembling work to place in their career portfolios. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, the median pay for animators was more than $60,000 a year.  The BLS also refers to multimedia and digital visual effects as an “emerging labor market.” 

Addressing the growing needs of the program, Faulkner State hired a new Animation instructor, Kristen Barnhill.

“I remember the first day I saw the Animation program at Faulkner State,” Barnhill said. “I was very impressed, and still am, that the students have such an awesome program and the best equipment, including a real green screen room!”

Through a partnership with the National Animation & Design (NAD) Centre in Montreal, Canada, Faulkner State is offering top-notch instruction to fulfill growing industry needs.  With movies such as Coffee Shop, Vice starring Bruce Willis and Rage starring Nicholas Cage filmed in the local area, the students have much to be excited for as the film industry takes notice of the Gulf Coast Region. 

Upon completion of the program, students can pursue a Bachelor’s degree through the NAD Centre or can pursue a career in-field. 



Back to News Listing