It’s 12:30 pm, the day before 75 eager digital artists will descend on San Domenico’s brand new Digital Arts Lab for the first day of school. Director of Digital Arts Harry Maxon is calmly eating his lunch and sipping a Cherry Coke Zero. “Usually at this time, I’m tearing my hair out, madly trying to connect cables and finish assembling work stations. This has gone incredibly smoothly!” he says while calmly taking a bite of his sandwich.
Mr. Maxon can’t remember ever having the luxury of even a moment of down time before school starts. “I’ve gone from chaos to calm,” he says with a smile. He credits a six-month planning process and San Domenico's “incredible” tech team for the set up of 18 professional-level Mac Studio workstations, Apple’s most powerful computer for digital arts. “Last year we had laptops,” Mr. Maxon says with the excitement of a kid at Christmas, as he proudly surveys his state-of-the-art lab. “Putting this whole lab together was a collaboration among staff, administration, tech partners, and our San Domenico families.”
As a result of the smooth process, Mr. Maxon was able to focus on his curriculum over the summer. “My students will be able to produce professional-level digital animation, high-end visual effects for XR cinema (as seen on ‘The Mandalorian’), traditional filmmaking and documentaries, and scoring (composing music for pictures).
“The only thing left is to welcome the students as they walk through the door. My goal is to have each student feel empowered and have confidence that they’ll have the core learning, the opportunity for personalized learning, so that they can study and produce whatever truly speaks to their soul. They will learn how to be self-directed learners. And this Lab is the place where they get to come in like a professional, learn like a professional, collaborate like a professional, and produce professional level work.”
We can’t wait to see our students’ creativity in motion as the school year gets under way. “Pictures up, quiet on set, roll sound, roll camera, Action!”