School districts in the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES region will soon see world-class animations gracing their hallways, school buses, gyms and theaters.
Through a new partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology’s MAGIC Spell Studios, the Information Technology Department at BOCES is preparing to offer custom animation offerings to component school districts in the region.
Michael Graf, BOCES information technology director, said that the new opportunity will be a forward-looking opportunity for school districts.
“While we already have a professional animator on our team, our new partnership with MAGIC Spell Studios has allowed us the opportunity to work with a professional-grade studio team in offering animation on a broader scale to our component districts at a reasonable price through existing CoSer structures,” he said.
BOCES superintendent Scott Payne said he believes the partnership will be advantageous to both the BOCES organization and component school districts.
“Customized animation options like this will allow our educators, both in BOCES classrooms and in our component districts, to use even more creativity when working to engage students,” he added. “I am excited to see this program offered in our region.”
MAGIC Spell Studios, LLC, is the entrepreneurial and commercial heart of MAGIC at RIT. Encompassing a fully functional film sound stage, sound mix and color correction post-production studios, a 4K Dolby Atmos theater and several working media laboratories, MAGIC Spell Studios and their student and faculty talent is ready and available to work on animation and media projects through this new partnership with BOCES.
BOCES is currently running pilots with two regional school districts to finalize programming and will soon announce program details to all component school districts. Potential projects include animated avatars of administrators and mascots, character education animated story lines and 2D/3D creations for use in sensory rooms and hallways.
Graf said that he is also excited for what this type of programming can do to boost this career field in the region.
“Aside from providing this high-level of affordable programming to our districts to help engage students, we have partnered with a world class university and production team to blend together our current technology offerings and support with animation and whatever new technology is around the corner,” he said. “The hope beyond this is to interest students in video, animation and create a strong presence in our region for this field that might typically land in an urban setting.”
Graf also mentioned that he is impressed by the caliber of programming and support at RIT. “The team at MAGIC has been extremely helpful and engaged in creating programming that benefits their students professionally and also creates good learning experiences and engagement for youth in our region – it is a win-win.”
MAGIC director David Long said Spell Studios is also excited to contribute the expertise and talents of RIT’s animation students to this fun and exciting project with the BOCES team.
“Putting positive themes into school buildings with living animated characters, school mascots and even cartoon teachers and administrators is a perfect way to make these messages engaging and exciting for everyone,” he added.
Programming is projected to begin in early fall 2021.