Last summer, Azusa Pacific unveiled its latest effort toward maintaining cutting-edge technology, an invaluable resource for film students—the Galileo Film Studio. Named after the Italian scholar, the studio enables students to obtain hands-on field experience by exploring 3D technology, shadowing film shoots with outside groups, and serving as production assistants. This exposure makes the students more marketable in the competitive entertainment industry.
The studio, made possible by a gift from a private donor, features a 40-foot-wide, 35-foot-deep, and 12-foot-high green screen that can be used to film in either 2D or 3D. The studio serves the APU community for university projects and works with outside groups interested in renting out the facility. It offers everything a filmmaker needs to shoot a 3D movie, including a camera, monitor, and lighting.
“3D technology is going mainstream and will eventually be in homes across the country,” said David Weeks, Ph.D., dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, an advocate for the 3D-focused film studio. “Being among the first 3D content providers, we have a rare opportunity to distribute material that reflects the ethos and values of our Christian community.”
“At the end of 2014, the industry predicts that 80 percent of all movie and television screens will be 3D capable,” said Barbara Harrington, executive director of the Galileo Film Studio. “This studio presents a great opportunity for APU to take the lead in technology and for Christians to be at the forefront of producing films from a faith perspective that gives people hope.”
The studio currently offers workshops for students, allowing them to become familiar with the facility and begin using it for projects. Outside organizations recently used the studio to produce films on topics such as leadership trends in the 21st century, art education, and cosmology. APU students assisted the filmmakers and seized the networking opportunity. “Being on a professionally run set was a valuable experience,” said Ender Waters ’13, a cinematic arts production major who recently served as a production assistant on a shoot. “I was able to meet and pick up tips from people who are working in the industry and make professional contacts.”
The studio, which involved three years of planning, distinguishes Azusa Pacific as the only Christian university in the country with such an extensive 3D filming facility. “The Galileo Film Studio has so many great applications,” said Harrington. “We seek to be a known presence in Los Angeles and have the studio in constant use. This medium presents the opportunity to reach people and minister in a professional setting as well as help produce cutting-edge scholars in 21st-century filmmaking.”