A student with a cameraThe Institute of Media Arts at San Bernardino Valley College doesn't want the pandemic to get in the way of students who want training in media and film production.

That's why the IMA has launched the COVID-19 Job Retaining & Scholarship Program, which covers the fees for the Production, Media Development, and Post-Production professional development certificates. This is similar to an initiative the University of Nevada Las Vegas offered students amid the Great Recession. "The idea is to target those students who are negatively impacted by COVID," Prof. Lucas Cuny said. "These are students who lost wages, a job, or had to quit school."

In addition to having their fees taken care of, students will also have access to career development services, receiving help on everything from resume writing to interview prep.

There are also two major grants available for established students in the Film, TV, and Media department. The FILM ON FILM grant for students enrolled in the FTVM 234 course provides up to $25,000, with the money used to finish the production of a short film. The student must have a complete budget, schedule, shot list, and script, and submit a letter of intent and elevator pitch. A similar award is available for students in the FTVM 235 course — the Cinema Production Grant provides funds to finish a large scale production, like a feature film or documentary.

The FTVM program regularly acquires state-of-the-art technology for students to train on, giving them a leg up when they transfer to a university or start a career in the entertainment industry. The program's most recent purchases include a drone and motion capture suits. Once they learn the motion capture technology, students will collaborate with the art, theater, and computer science departments on animation and virtual reality projects. Drones are used so much in the entertainment industry that knowing how to operate one "instantly translates into a career," Prof. Lucas Cuny said. Next fall, SBVC will launch a sports broadcasting class, and the drone will be able to capture above the field shots during football games and other sporting events. Students enrolled in FTVM 130 and FTVM 132 will have access to the new drone and motion capture technology.

Applications for the COVID-19 Job Retaining & Scholarship Program are due by Dec. 1 for students who want to start their certificate program in Spring 2022.