Deep Dive Digital Media partners with WESST Comcast Studio – students gain valuable skills

Judah Medina-Armstrong knew he wanted a career focused on art and creativity. The problem was that he couldn’t see himself on a traditional college track. He was working in foodservice and doing art on the side, when he discovered Deep Dive Coding’s Digital Media Bootcamp.

When he started the bootcamp, Judah immediately took to nontraditional animation styles and developed his own method of rotoscoping, a technique where the artist draws over a video frame-by-frame.

During the bootcamp, Judah and his classmates had the opportunity to work on projects for many Albuquerque institutions and businesses. They completed projects for Explora science and technology museum, filmed video interviews for students, and acted as the in-house media team filming TechFiesta at StoryLab (now Electric Playhouse). During this time Judah was also setting up a multimedia production business.

After the bootcamp, Judah knew he didn’t want to go back to a job outside of his chosen skillsets, so he actively searched for and took any media related job he could get his hands on. That’s when a 3-month internship at WESST, the eminent New Mexico small business development and training organization, became available.

“When I started the Digital Media bootcamp I never thought it was possible to actually work in a studio. The bootcamp taught me how to be a working professional in a studio environment. Then, I actually got to work at the digital media studio at WESST. The Comcast studio definitely inspired my creativity and gave me the confidence to go out on my own.” Judah Medina Armstrong

WESST houses a million-dollar green screen studio, funded by Comcast. They needed an intern to help keep the studio running and to provide multimedia services for their numerous incubated businesses. Judah and his teammate Michael, also a Digital Media alumnus, immediately took to the work. Creating promotional videos, doing product photoshoots, educational animations, and even filming a Ted-talk style presentation over that first 3 months. WESST was so impressed with the quality of work they were receiving that they extended the 3-month internship to 6 months.

“The collaboration between CNM Ingenuity’s Digital Media Bootcamp and WESST that is happening in our Comcast Digital Media Studio is such a natural fit, and is one that has already shown much promise and substantive value,” said WESST President Agnes Noonan.  “ To have interns like Judah here in our facility, working with the tools and equipment that help them grow their skills has been a great benefit to many of both our WESST Enterprise Center Incubator members, as well as to our staff and WESST’s Training clients as well.”

“We’ve just started marketing the Comcast Studio to the public and we look forward to what the future holds.” Judah Medina Armstrong

Deep Dive Digital Media students regularly use the Comcast green screen studio to develop their film production skills, including creating original computer generated imagery (CGI) special effects, motion capture content, and using the editing bays to refine their work. It is a rare opportunity for New Mexico film students to have access to a professional grade special effects studio.

“It is a gift for an educator to see the physical, mental, and creative transformation of a student when they complete the Digital Media bootcamp. Then, to see them grow and display their talent in the professional world is extremely rewarding.” Dr. Rod Sanchez

The Comcast studio has been instrumental in allowing students to expand their creative expression while fueling their entrepreneurial mind-set as it relates to film production and technology product development. A recent cohort of students used the studio as part of their ‘Digital Media as a means of Positive Social Change’ campaign that featured everything from a drug rehabilitation facility that is planning to use virtual reality as a therapeutic tool to a local pediatric physician who is using augmented reality to help kids in the hospital ‘visualize’ themselves healing. The Comcast studio has been the key for many students to unlock their creative potential. Along with Deep Dive Coding, the Comcast studio has been the vehicle for true transformative education and job placement for some of Albuquerque’s economically vulnerable population.

“Aside from the technical skills Deep Dive Digital Media students develop while in the bootcamp, they also develop confidence, professionalism, problem solving, and analytical thinking. These are critical skills for digital media professionals. When students first enter the Comcast studio the beginning of their professional transformation is palpable.” Dr. Rod Sanchez