November Virtual Production Tech Talk

Diablo Valley College Interns Solve Real World Challenges

Our November Tech Talk (11/16) highlighted a recent foundation-funded initiative that connects current and prospective students with employers for paid career-based learning in the film industry through virtual production. The virtual production sector is an emerging technology in many industrial sectors, including health and sports.

Moderator Joann Denning discusses the Regional Virtual Production Academy (RVPA), a collaborative program involving six community colleges that focuses on virtual production and real-time technologies. The program has already developed a certificate of achievement for students, and plans to release an advanced certificate and associate’s degree in the future. The speakers also discuss their experience working on an interactive virtual character for the IBC Accelerator project as well as the importance of funding academic research proof of concept at community college level.

Faculty lead Kevin Leeper discussed the benefits of building partnerships with industry and having industry look to education as a partner. They also discuss the use of VR technology for storytelling and the potential for virtual reality suites to revolutionize the way filmmakers create immersive and interactive stories.

Our Speakers

Azimuth Wright (intern)

Hello, My name is Azimuth Wright and I’m currently working towards an associates in Game Design and a certificate in Virtual Production at Diablo Valley College. I am currently working under Kevin Leeper as a Virtual Production Intern on many projects including the RVPA and MOVRS. Coming from a game design background transitioning into virtual production was seamless, working in the same engine just with different learning goals. This program is the first time I’ve felt I’m right where I need to be and I’m very excited to see where it leads.

Justin Mead (intern)

My name is Justin Mead and I am a Bay Area resident. I’m currently pursuing a certificate in virtual production at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. I am also currently a member of the RVPA internship program. So far, I have been crucial to bringing the Real-Time XR Sport Edge project to life. Previously, I was a sound technician for various musical theatre productions in San Francisco. Those skills combined with my work towards an associates degree in computer science proved to be a very beneficial starting place for my career in virtual production. I am very excited to continue learning more about the ins and outs of virtual production. 

Kevin Leeper (RVPA technical Lead)

Hi, my name is Kevin Leeper, I am lead professor of 3D Modeling, Animation and Game Design at Diablo Valley College. I have been teaching 3D curriculum for over 20 years. I have lived and worked in San Francisco and in the surrounding Bay Area for over 30 years. I have worked in theater, amusement technologies, and production studios as a designer and fabricator in various media. I am proud of my part in the creation of the Tenderloin National Forest by designing and building the Cohen Alley Gate. I am passionate about working with collaborative innovative individuals in creative environments. 

Joann Denning (Moderator: Department chair of Art Digital Media and Film Television at DVC)

I am the current department chair for Art Digital Media and Film Television at Diablo Valley College. I have been teaching at DVC in the Art Digital Media program for over 15 years. I am also the Faculty lead for the Bay Area Regional Virtual Production Academy and Co-Chair Real Time Society Education Special Interest Group.