Head of Technical Directors, Lucas Digital/Industrial Light and Magic

Barry Armour “We want well-rounded, well-educated people in our field because there's a certain life experience you need to bring to creating alternative realities.”

The study of wizardry will soon be making a strong impact at SMC. But it will have nothing to do with sorcery or magic of the traditional sort. Instead, the ‘wizards’ of tomorrow will immerse themselves in high-tech studies enabling them to create alternative realities in film, TV and a host of new media that are only now appearing on the drawing boards. These new worlds are taking shape at SMC’s new Academy of Entertainment and Technology, also known as the “Launchpad.” And the pathway to these new realms is being mapped out by top professionals in the field of dreams like Barry Armour of Industrial Light and Magic.

“In my work I get to make things up all day,” says Barry with a hearty laugh. “It’s all like living in a huge model train set. And they even pay me for it!” But it's work—not play—that has drawn Barry, along with his peers at DreamWorks SKG and Disney, among others, to this vital new program at SMC. “Our industry has a huge need for new people, and we’re casting our nets far and wide to find them. SMC's ‘Launchpad’ will be graduating people with a very distinct body of knowledge that will have been designed by the folks who are going to hire them,” says Barry.

Along with other ‘heavy hitters’ in the entertainment industry, Barry is thoroughly involved in guiding this technological dream to reality at SMC. “Sony, Disney, DreamWorks: everyone seems to be extremely excited about seeing this happen,” he says. “It will be nice to have a program in place where we all feel confident that graduates will have a certain base of knowledge that we won't have to worry about. And there's no doubt that those who do well will easily be able to find jobs. That’s the bottom line.”

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