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“UT3D” a first-of-its-kind production curriculum for Radio-Television-Film students

Spaceships hurtling toward you. Touchdown receptions an arm’s length away. Front-row seats at big concerts. These experiences—or at least the illusion of them—are increasingly common in movie theaters and living rooms thanks to 3-D technology. And now UT radio-television-film students will have access to the nation’s first comprehensive 3-D production curriculum.

Through a $2.17 million grant from the Moody Foundation to create “UT3D,” students will produce a range of 3-D content—including plays, sports, documentaries, and narrative pieces—and explore evolving 3-D innovations such as glasses-free viewing for television, tablets, and cellphones.

Don Howard, associate professor and production area head in the Department of Radio-Television-Film, will serve as director of the program, which will begin offering classes to undergraduates this fall. In addition to leadership from current RTF faculty members, UT3D will draw upon industry professionals—directors, technicians, producers, and executives—to mentor students.

“3-D content and technology are headed for a revolution across all platforms. It’s imperative to share this new toolkit with future filmmakers so they have the training and experience for the jobs of the future,” says RTF graduate Wayne Miller, an executive producer at Los Angeles-based SD Entertainment who helped envision the program. “By providing students an understanding of 3-D technology and hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment, The University of Texas at Austin is bound to become the leader in 3-D education.”

The grant will be made over a five-year period. Classes will be taught at the Belo Center for New Media on campus and at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin—the recording studio for the PBS television show “Austin City Limits”—where students will use the studio’s 3-D production and performance facility.

“We’re delighted to support UT3D,” says Ross Moody, president of Austin’s National Western Life Insurance Company and a trustee of the Moody Foundation. “Students will gain firsthand experience at the Moody Theater to start their real-world training. And when they graduate, they’ll be ahead in the growing medium of 3-D.”

UT3D was also made possible by Tim McClure. McClure, a co-founder of the advertising agency GSD&M and College of Communication advisory council member, provided guidance on the creation of the program and will continue to connect the college with industry partners.

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