AES SHOW, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 5, 2007 — When it opened in September, Flashpoint, The Academy of Media Arts and Sciences, set out to change the way media technology is taught and learned. The school’s four main areas of study which include Game Development, Visual Effects and Animation, Film, and Recording Arts, literally converge rather than exist separately from each other. In order to remain focused on that goal, Flashpoint turned to GC Pro, the outside sales division of Guitar Center, to equip much of the school’s Recording Arts program. Through GC Pro, Flashpoint acquired a vast array of technology platforms and equipment from brands including Digidesign, Shure, Neumann, Sennheiser, Apple, Argosy, Tascam and Soundelux. The comprehensiveness with which Flashpoint accomplished outfitting its audio needs underscores the benefit of working with GC Pro, which has the largest range of professional audio gear under a single roof anywhere in the world.
Flashpoint was designed to be different from the start, and it would be the first new higher-education facility in the Chicago area in nearly 50 years. “Traditional schools that have digital media arts studies break them into separate departments that, because of politics or bureaucracy or just antiquated teaching philosophies, don’t communicate with each other,” explains John Murray, Chair, Recording Arts, at Flashpoint. “What our approach is based on is collaboration and workflow - the way the real world works. Today, when a major film is released, there is often a computer game version of it and a soundtrack released at the same time. The world is no longer linear, and neither should education be.”
Murray needed to outfit two major control rooms, one each for music and post production, as well as numerous mini-suites and other work areas. With GC Pro’s Dan Scalpone as the interface, Murray was able to access GC Pro’s huge inventory to find exactly the technologies and products he needed, and tapped GC Pro’s knowledge resources to find system-level solutions. “Dan was always accessible, even on weekends and at odd hours, which was critical to us as we neared our opening,” says Murray. “The store and department managers at both GC Pro locations were knowledgeable and had lots of practical insight about the products they sold. It’s such a pleasure to talk to people who know what they’re talking about.”
Flashpoint has already become one of GC Pro’s education partners, linked via the GC Pro website. This partnering has enormous benefits for Flashpoint’s students, who in addition to receiving discounts through GC pro, can also email questions about products or systems through the website and get quick replies from GC Pro’s resident experts. “I expect use of this feature to grow exponentially,” says Murray. “The whole experience of working with GC Pro was a pleasure.”
Flashpoint, The Academy of Media Arts and Sciences. Chicago’s first digital media arts college, offering an intensive two year program for high school graduates and adult learners in four digital disciplines: Film, Recording Arts, Visual Effects & Animation, Game Development. Classes begin September 2007.
GC Pro: www.gcpro.com