Avid Certification for Media Studies and Production Students

Five Seniors Earn Essential TV and Film Professional Credential

Marist students are constantly raising the bar in pursuit of obtaining their academic and professional goals. For Media Studies and Production students Marissa Bellantoni ‘16, James Maxson ‘16, Rachel Karach ‘16, Alec Rizzo ‘16, and Lindsey Mulcahy ‘16, this success came from earning their Avid Certification.

Marist Students Earn Avid CertificationBecoming Avid Certified aids students in obtaining outstanding post-production skills and credentials through Avid’s Media Composer, a top leading, industry-recognized editing software. The newly-certified students earned the professional certification in this fall’s Advanced Post-Production classes taught by Professor Jeff Bass. Marist has been an official Avid Learning Partner since 2009, a partnership that has resulted in more than two dozen students becoming Avid certified.

“Avid is number one in the market,” explained Bass. “When you’re in the television and film industry with that certification, it has instant meaning and it’s a professional credential. Even if you go to a place that doesn’t use Avid, they still know what Avid is and when you say, ‘I’m Avid Certified,’ there’s instant recognition.”

To earn their certification, the students were required to complete two rigorous semester-long courses: Advanced Post-Production and Advanced Editing. Each course had its own extensive curriculum and examination. Students were taught various editing methods, tools, and techniques using sample footage provided by Avid, as well as additional footage Bass had acquired in his 11 years of teaching. 

“The main advice I give students is: Avid is difficult. Avid is complex. But Avid is also powerful,” explained Bass. “The power of the software is directly related to its complexity. So a lot of students see Avid for the first time and they think it’s intimidating, but once you master all the things that make Avid so difficult to learn, you’re able to do so much more.”

In Advanced Post-Production, students learn the software’s basic editing techniques. In order to be eligible for Advanced Editing, where students learn the creative methods behind editing, the students must pass the exam at completion. Both exams were online and consisted of 50 multiple choice questions each regarding Avid’s features, concepts, and methods. Certification is received only if a student scores at least a 40 out of 50 on both exams. 

“Both courses and exams cover at least 10 lessons, so we always had a great deal to do,” said Karach. “Working so tirelessly with Avid got our small group more familiar with professional editing. We now have a solid understanding of the program, and are more prepared to use it.”

Being that there were two courses, the students had a multitude of material to study when it came time for the examinations. Karach credits Bass’ experience and teaching methods with giving her the skills needed to pass both exams. She said that his assistance made the certification process “an accomplishment rather than a worry.”  

“Professor Bass really is an expert with Avid and he has a real personal interest in the success of his students,” said Karach. “He walked us through each lesson and pushed us to make use of what we saw in the textbooks. This certification exists as a powerful mixture of hard work on the students’ part and some great teaching on his part.”

For these students, being Avid certified creates a number of professional opportunities. In the past, certified students have moved on to work for big names in the media industry like CBS and Avid Technology. Bass explained that in some cases being certified can often be the deciding factor for an employer during a job interview.

“Being Avid Certified makes me more confident in finding a job because it’s valued when becoming an editor,” said Mulcahy, who hopes to work in the television industry as an editor or a producer. “Having it on my resume will make me stand out among candidates and make me more prepared for a career in the industry.”

In addition to becoming Avid Certified, Marist also offers interested Media and Production Studies students the opportunity to become certified in Adobe, another high level editing software brand. Last semester four students earned their Adobe Certification in the Advanced Post-Production class and had two certificates by the end of November 2015. 

“I believe that this gives our students an advantage,” said Bass. “I think when they go out there, they will be better off for having these programs, these opportunities, and these certifications. The industry is very competitive and anything that can separate you from the rest and make your resume stand out is always good.”

Written by Emily Belfiore '16

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