DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

E3 2012: Console Updates, New Features for Wii U, Xbox

Welcome to Day 3 of E3 2012, the biggest tradeshow dedicated to the art and business of video games. In yesterday’s Day 2 report we showcased ten of the most anticipated video games of 2012 being shown this week at the L.A. Convention Center. Today let’s look at the console side of things—particularly newly announced features for two game platforms: Nintendo’s Wii U and Microsoft’s Xbox.


For Nintendo, this year’s E3 show was all about the Wii U.

Wii U: Still Connecting the Dots
For Nintendo, this E3 has been all about the Wii U, the game giant’s next-generation handheld game console. The device is built around a touchscreen controller (as with the Nintendo DS) and it supports the same motion-sensitive gaming that Nintendo’s Wii remote used to transform family dens everywhere into arm-waving, foot-pounding game salons. In addition, Wii U will enable streaming media from content providers like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu and Amazon Video. And in a nod to the social-media revolution, Nintendo has pledged that Wii U will deliver features that enhance the experience of connected gaming.

There have been changes to the Wii U controller GamePad that was shown at last year’s E3, although most of the alterations involve tweaks to make the unit more ergonomic and functional (a pro gamer controller—which looks more like an Xbox controller that was also announced). The big selling point for Wii U is the console’s second screen, which can be used to activate different game controls, trigger alternate camera views and switch perspectives. For example, during certain games, players will be able to hold the controller pad up to their television screen and scan for enemies. Similarly, a new karaoke game will utilize the second screen as a teleprompter for displaying song lyrics.


The Wii U will ship with “NintendoLand,” a mini-game sampler with a theme-park feel. 

Despite not delivering more information about the Wii U (such as its price point and its exact release date, although Nintendo assured attendees that the device will be released in time for holiday shopping), Nintendo was able to point to an initial batch of Wii U games—nearly two dozen of them—that will be ready to instantly support the new machine. Nintendo also unveiled a mini-game sampler called “NintendoLand,” which will ship with the Wii U.

Xbox: Ruling the Roost
E3 attendees hoping to get an early look at Microsoft’s much-rumored Xbox 720 (which sources say will arrive sometime during 2013) were disappointed by this year’s show, but Microsoft had plenty of news to keep gamers satisfied. Besides, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is still currently winning the “console wars.” And that’s for a couple of reasons—one is the games, the other is Xbox Live being a superior online service. To that extent, a large majority of Microsoft’s announcements were focused around updates to the Xbox Live services:


Microsoft brought famed 49ers quarterback Joe Montana out of retirement. He was on hand to promote “Madden 13″ —while R&B star Usher opened the Microsoft press event showing off “Dance Central 3.”

  • Microsoft announced that the Xbox’s streaming media capabilities will be enhanced by the addition of new broadcast networks, such as ESPN and all of the major pro sports leagues in the U.S. Likewise, new media apps from entertainment providers (like Paramount Movies, Nickelodeon and Univision) will find a home on the console.
  • Featuring a reported 30 million tracks, Microsoft’s retooled music service will simply be called “Music” (as opposed to “Zune,” its former title). In addition to Windows 8, Music will be brought to the Xbox.
  • Possibly in response to the intense popularity of rival Nintendo’s “Wii Fit” exercise program, Microsoft announced a partnership with Nike to bring the sports company’s Nike+ training platform to Xbox Kinect. With it, users will be put through their exercise paces by a virtual trainer and will be able to receive helpful fitness reminders directly on their smartphones.
  • Microsoft also unveiled its plans for Xbox SmartGlass, a new application that will let users bridge their different electronic devices (e.g., Xbox, smartphone, tablets and TVs) and enjoy the same content across all of them. For example, via SmartGlass a user could start out watching a movie on their tablet computer, then pick up where they left off by resuming watching on their phone or Xbox.


Microsoft wowed the crowds with the eagerly awaited “Halo 4.”

See Ya Next Time!
E3 2012 will be wrapping up soon, but the news coming out of the show will be rocking gamers for months (and years) to come. Whether you’re a gamer or someone interested in learning how to design video games, check back here for more video games news.

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posted by Phill Powell in Featured and have No Comments

Harrison Ford Plays Uncharted 3

He’s the world’s greatest adventurer, and he’ll go to the ends of the earth to find a hidden treasure or long-forgotten religious artifact. We’re talking about Drake, of course, from the Sony PlayStation 3 game Uncharted 3.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yolfkkMcAtg

But another globe-trotting adventurer is making waves by putting Drake through his paces. His name is Harrison Ford and the actor is seen in this video playing a pre-release version of Uncharted 3.

Big in Japan
As you might imagine, Harrison Ford is a pretty big deal in Japan. The co-star of three Star Wars movies and the actor who immortalized a whip-wielding archaeologist named Indiana Jones, Ford is an even bigger star in Japan than he is in the U.S. And like most American film and television stars, Harrison Ford sells products in Japan – away from the eyes of watchful American fans who might look down upon him because he’s shilling video games.

Ford is playing and talking about the adventures of Drake – a modern day Indiana Jones – in the new Japanese commercial for Uncharted 3. It’s awesome to see Indiana Jones, er, Han Solo, with a PlayStation controller in his hand – and it makes us feel even better that he loves video games as much as we do. And like Ford, we are definitely looking forward to Uncharted 3, which releases on November 1st.

But this isn’t Ford’s first brush with video game fandom; he’s also made rounds on the Internet as video-game pop art, and part of the I am 8-bit exhibition:


Artist Brandon Bird created this piece called, “No One Wants to Play Sega with Harrison Ford.” The piece has been turned into t-shirts and limited edition poster prints. (Click the image for a larger view.)

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posted by Vince Matthews in News Blog,Video Game Design and have No Comments

Why Did Steve Jobs Wear a Black Turtleneck?

Apple’s former CEO was recognized as a technology innovator. He reinvented media distribution, and pioneered technology with products like the iPhone 4S and iPad. But what Steve Jobs was not known for was his fashion sense.


Steve Jobs in Paris in 1998, introducing the new iMac.

Unlike his hi-tech hardware, Steve Jobs stuck to routine fashion –  like a black turtleneck, Levi’s 501 jeans and New Balance sneakers. But Jobs didn’t always dress that way; in the 1980s he sported bowties and even vests.

Image Conscious
In the late 1990s, Steve Jobs started wearing black turtlenecks and sneakers. The outfit would ultimately make him the most recognizable CEO in the world. At times his plain and predictable look was parodied on Saturday Night Live and even The Simpsons, but Apple’s famous co-founder probably would have never adopted his trademark outfit if his employees hadn’t rejected the corporate uniform he wanted them to wear.


Pixar paid tribute to Steve Jobs with this image featuring Woody, Wall-E, Buzz Lightyear and other famous Pixar stars dressed in Jobs’ signature black turtleneck.

In Walter Isaacson’s new authorized biography of Steve Jobs, Jobs revealed to Issacson in an interview before his death how the late Apple CEO developed his trademark look. The new book (which releases October 24) is the culmination of forty interviews that were conducted with Jobs over a two-year period. The book is also said to include  interviews that took place just weeks before Jobs’ death on October 5.

From Issacson’s book, courtesy of Gawker:

On a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, Jobs asked Sony’s chairman Akio Morita why everyone in the company’s factories wore uniforms. He told Jobs that after the war, no one had any clothes, and companies like Sony had to give their workers something to wear each day. Over the years, the uniforms developed their own signature styles, especially at companies such as Sony, and it became a way of bonding workers to the company. “I decided that I wanted that type of bonding for Apple,” Jobs recalled.

Sony, with its appreciation for style, had gotten the famous designer Issey Miyake to create its uniform. It was a jacket made of rip-stop nylon with sleeves that could unzip to make it a vest. So Jobs called Issey Miyake and asked him to design a vest for Apple. Jobs recalled, “I came back with some samples and told everyone it would great if we would all wear these vests. Oh man, did I get booed off the stage. Everybody hated the idea.”

In the process, however, he became friends with Miyake and would visit him regularly. He also came to like the idea of having a uniform for himself, both because of its daily convenience (the rationale he claimed) and its ability to convey a signature style. “So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.” Jobs noticed my surprise when he told this story, so he showed them stacked up in the closet. “That’s what I wear,” he said. “I have enough to last for the rest of my life.”

Wholly Original
While Steve Jobs may have been seen as a fashion oddball, his style was called ”wholly original” by acclaimed designer Ralph Rucci. No matter if you were a fan of his style or not, he certainly was an original.

More insight into the life of Steve Jobs will be revealed with his first and only biography, which hits stores in October.

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posted by Vince Matthews in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Sony Renews Official Sponsorship of Digital Media Academy

Sony Continues To Provide Professional HD Video Equipment For DMA Film and Video Courses Given At College and University Campuses in U.S. and Canada

Campbell, CA — The Digital Media Academy (DMA), a leading provider of film and video training for educators, adult learners and teens, announced today that Sony Electronics has renewed its official sponsorship and will remain the exclusive supplier of video equipment for DMA’s courses. Sony provides its most current state-of-the-art professional high-definition video cameras and other equipment for use by students in DMA consolidated classes, which take place throughout the summer on college and university campuses including Stanford, Brown, Harvard, U of Chicago, U of British Columbia in Vancouver, U of Texas, Austin and many more.

“DMA is thrilled to continue its successful relationship with Sony as a corporate sponsor,” said Dave Livingston, Director of Instruction for the Academy and its programs. “We’ve made our name providing beginner to advanced training for teens and adults, using the latest and greatest industry standard tools. This relationship puts the cutting-edge, professional Sony video technology, including the HDV™ series of digital video camcorders, directly into the hands of our film and video students.”

Sony’s high-definition camcorders are the choice of professionals working in a range of video applications including electronic field production and newsgathering, and event videography, as well as leading university film and video programs.

“Training programs like the Digital Media Academy are an important part of Sony’s educational focus,” said Shari Sentlowitz, Sony’s Education and Government marketing manager. “We are committed to preparing the next generation of industry professionals and educators, and we’re pleased to continue to be the exclusive video products provider to DMA’s film and video courses.”

Learning how to film with a Sony Camera

About the Digital Media Academy:
The Digital Media Academy (DMA) is a nationally-recognized organization offering hands-on learning in a broad range of digital media technologies. DMA offers a wide range of courses targeted at kids, teens, adults and educators, Founded in 2001 by a group of professionals from Stanford University, DMA is known for its premier summer programs hosted at prestigious destination campuses nationwide. In addition to its summer programs, DMA provides on-site training to schools and companies throughout the year.  For more information, go to  http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org or call 866-656-3342.

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posted by David in News Blog and have No Comments

Digital Filmmaking Bootcamp @ Stanford University

Last summer the Digital Media Academy offered a brand new filmmaking course and I was honored that they had chosen me to teach the class. The course was Digital Filmmaking Bootcamp and it was a huge success. We wanted to create a class where students could come in and learn every aspect of filmmaking in five action packed days. That’s exactly what we did and it resulted in one of the best screenings in any of my closing DMA film festivals.

The typical student that enrolls in Digital Filmmaking Bootcamp comes in with a little or no filmmaking experience, but leaves with a movie that they shot, edited, and compressed for DVD and web. We shoot with professional Sony HD cameras and edit with screaming fast Macs on Final Cut Pro. In fact, at times I found myself jealous that my students have better equipment to learn with, than the equipment I have at my studio to produce content with ;) .

Before teaching the class, I knew it would be a busy 5 days but I had no idea how much fun I would have teaching it. When the screening came we had 20 students with 20 amazing films to watch. It was an incredibly rewarding experience to watch students learn how to plan, shoot, edit, and distribute their films in such a short amount of time. I invite you to watch a couple of the videos that I posted from this class.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5F9xed74Q8

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRa0F8kkAqk

Both of these videos were created from students that had no experience shooting or editing. They are definitely two different genres but both videos are an amazing success for students with no prior experience.

You can also check out the Teen Filmmaking Bootcamp Courses geared specifically to teens or the Kids Film & Movie Making Courses.

Till next time,
Travis Schlafmann
DMA Instructor/Cinematographer & Editor

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posted by Travis in News Blog and have No Comments