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Proctors, FMCC and BOCES launch entertainment tech program

Joseph Dragone of the Capital Region BOCES and Philip Morris of Proctors outline the new Entertainment Technology program. Photo: Rick Karlin/Times Union

Joseph Dragone of the Capital Region BOCES and Philip Morris of Proctors outline the new Entertainment Technology program.

Joseph Dragone of the Capital Region BOCES and Philip Morris of Proctors outline the new Entertainment Technology program.

Photo: Rick Karlin/Times Union photo

Photo: Rick Karlin/Times Union

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Joseph Dragone of the Capital Region BOCES and Philip Morris of Proctors outline the new Entertainment Technology program.

Joseph Dragone of the Capital Region BOCES and Philip Morris of Proctors outline the new Entertainment Technology program.

Photo: Rick Karlin/Times Union

Proctors, FMCC and BOCES launch entertainment tech program

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Schenectady

Did you ever notice that at the end of a feature film the line of credits can go on for several minutes? After the director and stars are listed, there's a lengthy scroll of people who actually make the movie happen, such as those who build the sets, put up the lighting, record the sound, edit the footage and create the special effects.Those all represent jobs and now Proctors theater is teaming up with Fulton-Montgomery Community College as well as the Capital Region BOCES to create a program that will train the scores of backstage workers involved not just in films but in live theater, video production, electronic games, theme parks and other forms of 21st-century entertainment.

“There are jobs to be had,” said Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors Collaborative.

“It’s a program that essentially has jobs at the end of it,” added Jason Radalin, assistant professor at Theater Arts at FMCC.

Starting this fall, participating students will spend some of their time at Mohonasen High School learning the basics behind a variety of theater or entertainment arts. During their second year, they’ll have internships at Proctors or other theaters.  That will let them earn credits toward a new associate of arts degree in Entertainment Technology through FMCC.

Morris said that the Capital Region is home to more entertainment technology companies than people may realize. There are video game creators, builders of stage sets and video production companies. Proctors, in addition to being a local theater, also plays an important part in the larger national arts ecosystem through its role as a “tech location” where shows are launched before heading to New York City.

The upcoming play “Heart of Stone,” will be in Proctors before its New York City run. The theater already has an existing program with Schenectady High School and students there are handling the technical aspects of that show.

FMCC's participation in the new program also represents an ongoing trend among smaller colleges  that are looking to fill specific educational or job-training niches.

Joseph Dragone, senior executive officer at the Capital Region BOCES, which coordinates K-12 technical and career programs in the area, said this will help students forge a non-traditional career path. He later added that career programs in areas such as construction management are leading to lots of jobs for high school graduates who may not head to college right away.

Entering the world of theater or entertainment can be difficult for students outside of New York City or Los Angeles, added Maureen Sager, executive director of the Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy. “There are not many on-ramps,” she said, adding “What they are doing is giving kids a chance to make magic for a living.”

rkarlin@timesunion.com 518 454 5758 @RickKarlinTU.

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