MediaTech: When the Technical Meets the Artist

MediaTech seeks to redefine the college experience forever.
MediaTech seeks to redefine the college experience forever.

By Jaleesa Bealom

Before it took 140 characters to explain how you really feel to the world and bookend with a witty hashtag, there were two people to tell you how they really felt – your parents.

As a young adult, it was expected you would go to school, graduate, and then get a job. It was your job to “be better than your father and I.”

Now, in a much more post-secondary savvy era with the slamming of social media posts from Snapchat to Instagram and Tweets in a LeBron James-inspired announcement of taking your talents to [insert your school here], college has become a must-have.

But what if a traditional college isn’t your thing? What if you can’t find what you truly want to do? You’re in an “into drawing, but not in an architect,” kind of way, or you’ve been commended constantly on your steady hand when taking a group shot, but falling short in the “this is what I want to do with my life” journey. So, what is it?

If you’re the hands-on learner who has a fresh perspective of a creative, then MediaTech Institute is for you. The school is the premiere technical arts school for focusing on training in Recording Arts, Digital Film, Animation, Web Design and Mobile Applications development.

The History of MediaTech
Founded by President Russell Whitaker, a successful recording studio owner himself, the then MediaTech Institute was named Dallas Sound Lab. The facility hosted an array of artists ranging from the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, a little group called Destiny’s Child in which some singer named Beyoncé Knowles was a member, Erykah Badu and Pantera just to list a few. Dallas Sound Lab even hosted premiere television and film projects such as Any Given Sunday, Miami Vice, Baywatch: The Movie, and Beverly Hills Ninja. Whittaker proceeded to turn Dallas Sound Lab into MediaTech Institute.

On Jan. 4, 1999, MediaTech Institute held its first class, and then, by 2002, opened an Austin campus. A year later, MediaTech Institute added a Houston campus and another in Oceanside, Calif., in 2011. The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) accredited MediaTech Institute in 2007, then again in 2010 for another five years.

The Programs
All four MediaTech Institutes grant certifications in Recording Arts, Digital Film and Video Arts, Animation and Visual Effects, Mobile Application Development and Web Development and Design. Each course takes a year upon completion of receiving a certificate during graduation. All programs are hands on from beginning to end, granting an excellent learning experience for those intrigued by the technical aspects of the creative process. Recently, MediaTech Institute has added two new programs to its spring 2015 catalog – Animation and Mobile Applications.

Mobile application students recently competed in HackDFW, the first major student hack-a-thon against powerhouse schools like the University of Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University.

On the other hand, students in all programs are required to take business development courses in order to become more acquainted with their desired career path. There, students learn the ins and outs of the industry, networking, and other core skills. Plus, students receive career counseling with Career Services to work on job placement after graduation.

Trust us when we say you’re definitely going to want to schedule a tour and learn more about these programs.

The Facilities
Each facility is embellished differently, sprinkled with MediaTech Institute projects our faculty has been involved with plus state-of-the-art technology for students to receive the most updated training on what their industry entails. The main campus in Dallas houses several studios equipped for audio engineering, video editing, and other mixing applications. Studio A is the mother ship for aspiring audio engineers with Pro Tools HD and 48 tracks of analog capability designed by Russ Berger Design Group.

In addition to the seven studios, MediaTech Institute Dallas houses a 5,000-square foot sound stage with monitoring and lighting to simulate live concert scenarios, and film amenities such as the Black Magic URSA 4K digital camera, Fisher 11 camera dolly with track and other accouterments used to create the highest quality of videos. Don’t worry; the other three locations in Austin, Houston and Oceanside all have the same stellar qualities as the main campus.

Aside from the bells and whistles (don’t get us wrong, they are awesome), what makes MediaTech Institute the decade-long success it has been is the passion of the administration, the instructors, and most importantly, the students.

The beauty about MediaTech is the various backgrounds from which the students come. There are the traditional high school graduates to former military cadets and even, traditional college students like current student, Jeremy Jones.

“I found out about MediaTech in high school,” Jones said.

Although he wasn’t able to enroll at the school at the time, Jones went on the traditional route attending a four-year university before aspiring to get back to his passion of film.

“I came back from college and saw the school was doing pretty well and wanted to get back into what I love doing, so the rest is history,” Jones said.

Like Jones, student Kevin Ealy did the same by attending a Houston-based university before deciding to attend MediaTech Institute.

“One of my friends told me he was interested in coming here, so I came, checked it out, and thought cool, I like what I see,” he said. Initially, Ealy attended the school for Recording Arts and then again this year for the Digital Film program.

Student Michael Rodriguez discovered MediaTech in bartending school. After attending an acting program but prior to bartending, Rodriguez was looking for a program with more technical capabilities rather than theoretical ones.

However, the common mantra between students and staff is to know your career goals and the importance of loving what you do.

“Honestly, before you sign up, really think about ‘is this is what you want to do?'” said Jones. “It’s more than just sitting around, there’s more to this than being a creative, it’s a business. And if you’re not going to be passionate and decide that this is what you want to do and work hard at it, then you may want to rethink.”

For Rodriguez, it’s a split effort. “It’s 50 percent work and 50 percent passion, they work together and you have to love what you’re doing or else all of this is going to seem really long,” he said.

For more information about MediaTech Institute, visit us on the web at mediatech.edu. Like us on Facebook at MediaTech Institute or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MediaTechEdu.