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San Jacinto College
College launching video and film program
News Release
Friday, April 29, 2011

PASADENA, Texas – San Jacinto College (SJC) Central’s department of theatre and film will launch an innovative video and film program in the Fall 2011 semester. Registration for the Fall semester at SJC begins on Monday, May 2 for all students.

The program will provide training for anyone interested in either the acting or the technical production area of the video and film industry. “This unique program is the only one of its kind in Texas, a program that blends training in live theatre and recorded media (film),” commented Dr. Jerry Ivins, chair of the Central campus department of theatre and film. “Students will have opportunities to direct, construct and/or perform in stage productions, as well as, write, produce and/or act in their own videos.” As part of the program, a departmental film will be produced and entered into national and international film festival competitions.

SJC has offered some video and film classes for a while now, but the College has never offered a full associate degree program in video and film. Due to an increasing growth in film employment in the Houston area, the College renovated facilities in stages during recent years in order to offer the new associate degree program. The department of theatre and film now has several new facilities, including an 874-square-feet production studio. The studio is equipped with cutting-edge Canon video cameras and Canon digital SLR still cameras, as well as clear-com communication equipment, a separate lighting grid, and blue screen equipment. The renovation included a post-production room with editing bays, and a 609-square-feet classroom with an electric screen and a ceiling-mounted projector. The 1,000-seat Slocomb Auditorium and the 175-seat Powell Arena Theatre have also been re-designed to allow for conversion into back-up video/film studios.

Ivins authored the curriculum, and will coordinate the new the new video and film program, along with veteran filmmaker Molly Vernon, who helped Ivins to develop the program.

“Our ultimate goal is to offer a technical degree in Performance for the Camera,” stated Ivins. “However, before that can happen, a degree in film production was needed. We are so fortunate to have the caliber of talent of Molly Vernon for this program.”

Vernon is an award-winning filmmaker and is highly regarded in the industry as a writer, editor, and in production management in multiple areas. She works professionally in theatre and film throughout the state, and has served on panels and adjudicated films at many festivals. She worked as assistant director on Wayne Slaten’s feature science-fiction thriller “Patriot Act,” and was the production manager for Larry Carroll’s horror feature “Jacob.” She also assisted Michael Colburne with a horror feature “The Toy Box,” and was an assistant director on Chuck Norfolks comedy “The Presentation,” and on Barbara Sundstrom’s historical drama “Kentucky Infidel.”

“Dr. Ivins and I have worked for four years researching the needs of the community to develop an innovative program that will prepare students for the work force or furthering their academic careers,” Vernon said. “I am excited about launching this program, and am ready to work with students in creating their visions for podcasting, YouTube projects, television work, the ‘big screen,’ and whatever new media is on the horizon.”

The new associate degree program can prepare students for a number of career choices and possibilities. “Practical skills in the areas of performance, education, and film production prepare them for film careers such as acting, directing, video production, cinematography, digital editing, gaffer work, sound production, special effects production, makeup design, set construction, and work as a casting agent,” commented Ivins.

Students may also consider other potential career paths such as arts administration, public relations, festival and special events coordinator, artistic director, business manager, and program planner. Areas in education include film acting, digital editing, film production, construction, lighting, and sound, while entertainment industry areas include lightboard programing, sound engineer work, and audio visual work.

In addition to required core subjects, courses in the new associate degree program will include television production, writing for electronic media, film appreciation, introduction to cinematic production, television production, acting, practicum in electronic media, and stagecraft.    

About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for nearly 50 years. We are committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of more than 29,000 students in over 140 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career-track choices. Students also benefit from the College’s workforce training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of ever-changing industry in the region. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or find us on Facebook at

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