Entertainment Design & Technology at Ohlone - Article, Office of College Advancement

Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

By Ohlone College.

Student working at lighting control station.With the continual growth of the entertainment industry, there is a rapidly increasing demand for backstage technicians and artists with a high level of proficiency in high technology equipment that controls the lighting, audio and special effects of a production. Theater, TV, concerts, trade shows and major events all require a high level of visual and audio spectacle to complete the entertainment package. It is the craft of behind-the-scenes designers and creators continuously delivering greater entertainment value – that make it show business!

Ohlone College’s Entertainment Design and Technology (EDT) program is fully aligned to today’s entertainment industry, preparing students with industry level skills and hands-on experience using the latest technology so they can design and run a show, providing maximum impact for the audience. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for all aspects of the design and technology industry, taught by experts in the field with a wealth of professional experience.

Student working with lighting equipment.Ohlone’s EDT program emphasizes the tech skills, but also the “artistry” of the job. Students learn about communicating to the audience through light and sound to create the effect of a director’s vision. Students use the high tech equipment allowing them to create dramatic spectacles, such as loud booms and flashes of light; or subtle nuance—snowflakes falling in a gentle breeze. It’s all part of the package that entertains the audience.

“Students become good technicians who understand show business,” says Fred Alim, who educates students in the art and science of scenery construction. “Having learned their skills here, they can go anywhere in the industry.” The theatre department produces a fully realized production every fall, a dance production every spring and a musical almost every summer. In addition, students who are highly motivated can work at the Smith Center, which is active every weekend, helping them build a resume of productions they’ve worked on. 

The program is aimed at beginning students as well as entertainment industry professionals desiring to enhance their skills. “Ohlone is a great place to learn,” says Matt O’Donnell, EDT professor and award-winning lighting designer. “You can start from ground zero, in terms of experience, and if you’re interested we have so much to teach you!”

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