What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Berkeley City College Offers Great Program For Fewer Students

BCC (part of the Peralta Colleges of the East Bay) has been slowly but surely developing an excellent alternative to the high-priced animation programs offered elsewhere. Not to knock those other, better-known institutions, but low and middle income students can’t necessarily afford one of the high-end schools (who have to subsidize faculty, real estate and TV ads with their tuition). But for some reason the Berkeley enrollment hasn’t quite taken off, despite being a solid program including artistic and technical training.

What gives? Is it a lack of adequate marketing? (The image above, from the enrollment brochure, couldn’t be more generic. It hardly speaks to the excitement and potential of animation.) The Bay Area is a world-wide hub of animation, but there doesn’t seem to be much interest from the big companies (you know who…) in supporting and nurturing fledgling animators and technicians. There’s a similar situation with ASIFA-SF, which, unlike ASIFA-Hollywood, is largely a student, independent artist and fan-based organization, so we don’t have a lot of industry supporters either. How can we bring these groups together, for the good of our community? Any ideas?

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2 Responses to What’s Wrong With This Picture?

  1. pam stalker says:

    Why is the Peralta school district determined to kill the animation program at BCC?
    What does the district have against multimedia when it’s the leading employer of Bay area folks?
    Many instructors have had their classes cancelled w/o pay at the last minute much to the dismay of the students who count on the low cost of community classes.
    Why aren’t the Facebooks, Zyngas, paypals, ILMS and Pixars stepping up to help out our local community colleges?
    I teach the same quality of classes at the cc as I do at private colleges in the Bay area. Is animation and special effects still going to be a rich white man’s industry? After 100 years! Is this really our future?

    Please, please let this issue be known around the animation in roads. It’s a SHAME when we loose something like the animation program that Lee Marrs has been building at BCC because of lack of funding and especially lack of advertising.

    Help out. Make a donation and target it for Berkeley Community Colleges Animation program.

    Thank you!

  2. Alishea Gibson says:

    BCC’s multimedia department doesn’t do much heavy advertising in comparison to other Bay Area schools who do receive industry attention. That may be a big factor in why big companies are not supporting the program and that enrollment is not as high. Anyone interested in attending or helping the end of the year Animation Show and Open House in the Spring to see what’s really going on with the student body I’m sure would be welcome. Information can be found via the BCC Animation club’s blog on http://berkeleyafterhours.blogspot.com/ or by contacting department representatives such as Lee Marrs or Pam Stalker mentioned above.

    Thank you for shedding light on the subject.

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