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Daemen Opening State-of-the-Art Visual Effects Facility | Business

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Daemen Opening State-of-the-Art Visual Effects Facility
Business, News, Schools
Daemen Opening State-of-the-Art Visual Effects Facility

Marking an important milestone in a Buffalo Billion project targeting Western New York’s emerging film and television post-production industry, a newly completed nearly $2 million state-of-the-art visual effects facility will be officially unveiled by Daemen College at a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Dec. 5.

The celebration will take place at 10 a.m. in the Daemen International Center for Excellence in Animation located in the Tri Main Center at 2495 Main St. in Buffalo. Daemen President Gary A. Olson, members of the Daemen community and dignitaries are expected to be in attendance. An open house for the community is also planned from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 6.

The recently finished high-tech facility is the result of a year-long project launched with the formation of a college-business partnership between Daemen and Empire Visual Effects, a new post-production and animation company. The venture was funded by a $4.5 million Buffalo Billion grant, including $1.9 million to Daemen that was instrumental in outfitting the facility with the advanced equipment and spaces relevant to sophisticated visual effects work.

With this support, it also helped create Daemen’s four-month visual effects certificate program that educates students on post-production work in the film industry. Offered through the college’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts, the program serves as a professional pipeline to new jobs.

“With the new facility fully completed, it provides a rich environment for learning, training and business growth in the visual effects sector, making it mutually beneficial to our students and to Empire Visual Effects,” said Olson. “The region stands to gain from this unique collaborative effort that will fill a niche in a cutting-edge business and lead to job opportunities that are available right now.”

The almost 16,000-square-foot facility houses a new 85-seat theater and screening room, equipped with high-definition and 3D projection capabilities, surround sound, and a color editing suite. It is also home to a 20-student cutting-edge visual effects training studio, a green screen stage for an array of film and video production projects, and classroom and office spaces.

Dr. Michael Brogan, Daemen vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, cited the positive educational aspects of having the program’s learning community centralized at the site of Empire Visual Effects. “Being exposed daily to this type of innovative environment creates a more robust educational setting that’s substantially beneficial to visual effects students as they develop highly specialized skills while also connecting them to professional opportunities in a growing industry in our area,” he said.

In addition to serving as an educational-business setting, the new enhanced facility is well suited for showcasing student work and special industry presentations.

“In the end,” said Dr. Laura Watts Sommer, director of the Daemen Visual and Performing Arts Department, “students with career aspirations in the visual effects field will find Daemen’s program and high-quality technologies are designed to immerse and educate them in ways that will bolster their success in the industry.”

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