Digital Media and Dordt Engagement

Heya! It's Emi, your resident digital media sophomore here to talk about digital media things.

As the campus celebrates Dordt College's second year in a row of being ranked #1 in student engagement by the Wall Street Journal, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on what that means within my major.

First, a little bit about how I found Dordt: I have been intrigued in the art of filmmaking since I was around 8. Of course at first, this intrigue manifested in the form of really crummy "movies" made on the fly with my older brother's $40 camcorder, but eventually I got more seriously interested in pursuing a career in the film industry. With this developing passion for film, I had to start searching for a place to learn about film. I knew I learned best in a small-scale environment and that I didn't want to feel alone in my faith (especially when learning about this particular industry), so that narrowed my options by a whole lot. Somebody from my church mentioned Dordt's digital media production degree, one thing lead to another, and now I'm in my second year completely immersed in the film program and I am loving it.

If you are at all interested in video production, and the criteria that needs to be met for your best education experience matches up with mine, here's what getting a digital media degree at Dordt looks like.

  On the set of my first Dordt film experience as a crew member for recent grad Kyle Fosse's senior project, " The Way Out ."

On the set of my first Dordt film experience as a crew member for recent grad Kyle Fosse's senior project, "The Way Out."

While you don't take a film-specific course until your second semester, there are other ways to get involved in the on-campus digital media scene. My first semester last year, I volunteered to be a crew member for a senior film project. That experience was absolutely priceless. I find that I am now much more informed going into my film classes with general set, directing, and camera knowledge.

This year, there are 22 majors and 4 minors in digital media. All of those people will need help with their projects, whether that be crew, editors, actors, or countless other positions. I highly suggest that you experience all of these positions out if you are a digital media major or minor. Even if you know you're an editor extraordinaire, give acting a try! If nothing else, the experience of auditioning for an acting role will give you insight into what actors do. 

  Senior digital media majors Ellen Inggrid Dengah and Ben Kuiper take an editing break (which may or may not have included a power nap on the floor).

Senior digital media majors Ellen Inggrid Dengah and Ben Kuiper take an editing break (which may or may not have included a power nap on the floor).

The few times I've been in the digital media lab (DML) at the wee hours of the morning have been some of my most memorable experiences at Dordt. There is a sense of camaraderie that rises to the surface whenever a group of similarly passionate, quirky oddballs get together at 2 am that I will never get tired of. It gets a little nutty in the DML, but that's just how we like it.

  Me in the DML! (PS, take note of the coffee mug - you can expect your bloodstream to turn into 50% pure caffeine during your first year as a digital media major.)

Me in the DML! (PS, take note of the coffee mug - you can expect your bloodstream to turn into 50% pure caffeine during your first year as a digital media major.)

Whether you fancy yourself an editor, director, screenwriter, or producer, you will get the opportunity to pursue that throughout this program. If you are yet unsure of what your specific calling in the video-making industry is, you'll quickly find out what part suits your interests best. The neat part about this major is that all of those interests are incredibly valued here. For instance, my particular fascination with film is rooted in television production and cinematography, but I have friends within this major that have a really tailored interest in commercial production, or animation, or music video production! Isn't that cool? All of us have such different purpose that we pair with digital media, and every single talent we have in this field will be worked into a marketable skill over the course of four years.

To put it simply, Dordt College is #1 in student engagement not only because of the programs it offers, but also because of the deep care that the people running the programs have for the student's education. I love creativity and individuality, and to me those are vital components of any form of art - and I am grateful that my major, and my school's community at large, makes the conscious effort to cherish and personally assist me in further developing those aspects of my future career.

- Emi