SAU preparing for Computer Game and Animation Design program

Southern Arkansas University has released a commercial recently filmed in Magnolia Regional Medical Center’s Labor and Delivery unit, but surprisingly, the video does not promote the University’s popular nursing program.

“We wanted to produce a video promoting the exciting Computer Game and Animation Design program,” said Aaron Street, Assistant Dean of Integrated Marketing and Media Relations. “But since the program does not kick off until this fall, I had to think outside the box for a creative commercial idea.”

Karen Weido, MRMC marketing director and SAU alum, laughed when she heard the concept for the commercial and graciously opened the doors to the hospital for the video shoot. Adriane (Elliott) Delaney, another SAU alum and the Labor, Delivery, Recovery, and Post-Partum director, welcomed the shoot in her area and even took on a starring role.

The scene is set for the commercial in the opening shots at the MRMC Labor and Delivery unit, with Delaney working in the nursery and around the bassinets. She pulls up the blinds to the hallway window for the three proud “fathers” outside. They congratulate one another and take photos of their creations with their phones. At a certain point, the “babies” in the bassinets are revealed to be Apps playing on iPads. The climax of the video occurs when the “son” of one of the young “fathers” asks where Apps come from.

This commercial and another video spot for the new program are available to view below. 

The videos were produced by Street and Michael Kornegay of the SAU Communications Center. Actors in the video included SAU students Caleb Carrier, Cordara Newson and James Stone. Warnock Howell, 7, the son of David and Stacy Howell, played the part of the inquisitive boy.

As preparations for the new program are being made at SAU, promotions have been garnering attention from across the region. SAU is the first and only university in Arkansas and the region to offer a complete program dedicated to providing instruction from the technical end as well as the artistic points of view of game design.

On the art side, Rhaelene Lowther will be sharing her own professional experiences in game design and development. She was recently a lead artist for four years at Sensory Sweep after working as an artist for Microsoft. She was art lead for “Drama Queens,” a girl’s video game based on the MTV show “The Hills.” She has also worked on a number of snowboarding games and has created environments for a broad variety of 2-D and 3-D games.

Also new to SAU’s Department of Art and Design, Jeremy Day will draw from his 13 years of experience to teach web development.

On the technical side of SAU’s innovative video game and App development program, professors are ready to teach 3-D rendering, graphics, algorithms, game scripting, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and interface design. The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science offers students coursework to earn a Bachelor of Science degree for Computer Science in Computer Game and Animation Design.

The College of Science and Technology has a 3-D printer up and running on which students have already gotten hands-on experience. The art department is getting the University’s second 3-D printer geared up for the fall semester. 

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