Ringling College of Art and Design has been giving students the opportunity to leverage their artistic talents and education to work on meaningful, real-world projects for decades through The Collaboratory. Our commitment is made abundantly clear in classes and throughout the community: We create an engaging, rigorous, hands-on curriculum that comprehensively sharpens students’ skills to help them build the practical experience so crucial to landing jobs after graduation.
From Fine Arts to Game Art, students have been able to work closely with clients to bring deliverables to life, ultimately handing over projects that convey both passion and skill and final products that holistically speak to audiences with both practicality and ingenuity.
Our students are creatives, of course, but they are also budding professionals who walk the line between art and industry, designing a new model of what it means to turn theory into practice. And they’re at it again. This time, the focus is on the Film Department and a dozen of its students who are bringing an important local landmark to life.
Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater on the grounds of the Sarasota National Cemetery, honors veterans by inspiring patriotism through commissioned artworks, ceremonies, and events. The Patterson Foundation, well known for its philanthropic endeavors, fully funded the $12 million construction after working closely with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration on the design and construction of the venue. The space is meant to instill a sense of peace and reflection in a setting that invites the community to appreciate those who have served our country with pride and valor.
Now, our nationally-ranked Film Department will take on this project intended to give regional 8th graders the ability to experience the significance of Patriot Plaza from the comfort of their classrooms via an 11-part video series. The goal isn’t to be just another learning lesson, but to lead to group discussions at school and at home. Though the initial roll-out is geared specifically for local 8th graders, ultimately the hope is that the video series acts as the first domino in a chain reaction of opportunities to bring Patriot Plaza to life for a much broader audience, in both age and location.
Twelve Film students, with guidance from faculty and support from staff, are working together to document and edit the 11-part series, allowing each segment to stand alone as its own encapsulated learning module or to work together as a whole for a completely comprehensive look into Patriot Plaza’s conception and future goals. Our Film students are acting as more than filmmakers. Their job is to create compelling content that tells a visual story through cinematography, editing, sound design, direction, production, and post-production. Our students will think beyond the classroom to create a series that resonates with viewers, inspires dialogue, and becomes a favorite that will be watched time and again.