I used to be an actress, then I figured out I had stage fright. When I did theatre I really liked being behind the scenes—painting the sets, making sure people knew their lines and cuing in the background. When it came time to choose a major I thought, film is creative and it encompasses that.
I did the Urban Indie Filmmaking course in Montreal over the summer and it was honestly the best thing I've done in my life. The group I went with was so inspiring and talented. The older students took us under their wing and were eager to teach us. Their class has a bond and they all work together, and as the years go on I'm starting to see my class bond. These are the people you're going to make films with for the rest of your life.
Champlain gives you the chance to do whatever you want, and is really good at making sure you get where you want to go. You can change your major, or add a specialization and Champlain will put you on the path to help you succeed. You have teachers who care, who've worked in the field and come back to teach you what they've learned. The community is there to help you and that's not something found at every school.
Scarlett, Filmmaking MajorHouston, TXDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
I've been fascinated by movies ever since I was a little girl. I love how they come together and how the art of the movie can move a person. So I decided to study filmmaking in college. At Champlain, the Filmmaking major is competitive and demanding, but it makes me stronger. I work long hours writing, planning and shooting film; in the end, watching this thing that I've been cultivating and molding on a big screen in front of my peers is so rewarding.
One of the best parts of my major is that the professors actually care about you, not just your work. They listen to you and when you have a problem, they work with you to make things better. I once felt like I wasn't cut out for this program, but one of my professors rallied behind me and showed me how wrong I was. My professors have guided my hand and taught me that I am more than capable of being a great filmmaker; without them, I wouldn't be here today.
I have very strong bonds with my professors because they were willing to put themselves out there so I could trust them when I felt like I had nowhere to turn. I've had professors laugh and cry with me, and push me so hard because they can see the hidden potential that I didn't know was there. When we're in the classroom, they constantly tell us to dig deeper, and they don't stop until they see the light in our eyes from our own accomplishments.
Christa, Filmmaking MajorOwego, NYDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
When I first started thinking about college, I didn't really take an interest. But my best friend kept talking about Champlain College, so I decided to go with her the next time she visited. I came to Vermont and fell in love with Burlington. I looked at a brochure with all the majors, and Digital Filmmaking stood out to me. I talked to some of the program faculty, and they were very passionate about what they do, and I'm a very passionate and creative person. In high school, I didn't think twice about what goes into a film, but decided I wanted to know what it takes.
Over the course of my time at Champlain, one of my most important opportunities has been my internship with Imagine Entertainment. Networking is essential to the film industry—I got the internship because of a Champlain professor who knew Michael Rosenberg. I was lucky to further my connections through lunches with writers, assistants and executives, which gave me a chance to really talk to them. I even had lunch with producer Brian Grazer!
I've gained tremendous knowledge as a filmmaker about many things I didn't know before my internship, and I've learned from industry professionals. I wouldn't have learned about creative producing without them!
Davi, Digital Filmmaking MajorBridgeport, CTDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA
When looking for a school in the Northeast to get a film degree, I saw that Champlain had a fairly new Digital Filmmaking program, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I was excited to take classes from Rob Barracano, Director of Wrong Turn and Alphabet Killer.
Through the work-study program, I started working for Rob during my sophomore year, doing program research, marketing, catering at DFM screenings, and I was a TA for him. Every day I learned great career advice from him. The work helped me learn how to organize and how to go about starting, executing and completing productions.
I scored a Production Internship at Element Productions in Boston and was able to use everything I learned from Rob, the DFM alumni and my production classes while I was on set. I also got to be a PA for the first Boston Calling Music Festival. I now have connections in Boston from both of these experiences and I'll have people to contact when I graduate.
Film is unlike any other career because it's a freelance business from the bottom all the way to the top. While people are job searching, we're building reels and applying for any and all PA gigs we find. Not everybody needs film school, but I sure wouldn't be where I am professionally right now without the Champlain DFM program.Patrick, Digital Filmmaking MajorBedford, NHDIVISION OF COMMUNICATION & CREATIVE MEDIA