Dominic Vincent, who is graduating from New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute in May and Brandon Trevizo, who will graduate from New Mexico State University’s animation program in the Creative Media Institute in May 2022 | Photo courtesy NMSU
Two New Mexico State University Creative Media Institute students are among 30 in the country selected to join the 2021 Television Academy Fellowship program.
Brandon Trevizo is a junior animation major and Dominic Vincent is a May graduate in film production.
“The Television Academy fellowships are exceedingly competitive,” said Amy Lanasa, professor and head of NMSU’s Creative Media Institute. “There are only 30 offered every year, and thousands of students from undergraduate film and animation programs all over the country apply. To have two of the 30 be from CMI is a wonderful testament not only to Brandon and Dominic’s strong portfolios, but also the strength of CMI’s faculty and programs.”
The fellowship program offered by the Television Academy Foundation, the organization behind the Emmy Awards, teaches upper-level and recently-graduated students how to navigate and succeed in the television industry. The program features weekly career-building panels from leaders in television, as well as personal mentorship from industry professionals.
Trevizo grew up in Albuquerque and is working with animation and visual effects and planning to graduate in May 2022. Vincent is from Carlsbad and his focus is on visual elements of filmmaking like cinematography and editing.
“In my essay, I had to discuss what television means to me, why I want to pursue it and how it affects me,” Vincent said. “The word limit was only 400 words so it was really a challenge articulating all of it in so few words. I talked about how my favorite TV shows inspired the way I create films to this day.”
“I’d like to believe what made my application stand out was a combination of my diligence and ambition mixed with the new ideas and concepts that my professors passed down to me,” Trevizo said. “That inherently forced me to push myself to new areas I would’ve never thought I would explore, bringing something new and interesting to the application.”
The goal of the internship and fellowship programs is to identify, educate and empower an inclusive group of future television leaders. The program is designed to train, inspire and open doors for diverse and highly motivated students who might not otherwise have access to the industry. Participants are selected by members of the Television Academy.
“I hope to gain a greater insight into the industry and hopefully feel more confident and prepared when I graduate to be able to navigate the job market,” said Trevizo. “Right now, it is a process of trying to refine myself and going out and finding any opportunity to work in animation production. I hope to find excellent opportunities remotely, especially since COVID has caused a lot of industry studios to seek out talent online.”
“I love learning. I love creating,” Vincent said. “Now, in this fellowship, I can continue learning how to create. Plus, I can meet some really great people and put my foot in the door. I truly cannot wait to see who I’ll meet and what I can learn from them.”
The Television Academy Foundation’s programs also serve as a pathway to employment for aspiring students.
“These fellowships are going to provide opportunities for the students involved to connect with leaders in their field of study, develop relationships with potential professional mentors, learn how the industry works from a unique angle and hopefully help them jump some of the entry-level steps as they seek employment in the entertainment industry,” Lanasa said.
“We provide unique opportunities for students to gain experience and network with top creative and executive talent, which can directly impact their career,” said Madeline Di Nonno, chair of the Television Academy Foundation. “The challenges of launching a career post-graduation during the COVID-19 pandemic are daunting. We are committed to offering these outstanding students added remote opportunities to help further their professional development during these unprecedented times.”
After graduation, Trevizo is focused on finding small remote jobs to gain more experience and connections in the industry while working up to larger studios for the opportunity to collaborate on larger film and television projects.
Vincent is open to whatever the future holds after his fellowship with the TV Academy. “Film is the ultimate artistic and storytelling medium – it’s a mix of stories and writing, visual art, music – there’s just so many things that can be done to make films, to truly create something meaningful, that other art forms can’t do.”
Both Vincent and Trevizo said choosing NMSU and the CMI program was the right decision based not only on training in industry standards and the faculty mentorship, but also the peer interaction.
“I initially chose NMSU as to avoid having crippling debt but grew to realize that it is actually a hidden gem,” said Trevizo. “Whether it be the professors or your peers they all really amplify your experience at CMI. Everyone provides such a rich perspective, various backgrounds and styles. Your graduating class really becomes your extended family to the point where you all can recognize each other’s styles, ambitions and interests.”
“There was also just something about NMSU always drew me in, in ways that other universities didn’t,” said Vincent. “I just really wanted to go to NMSU and I am so glad I did. It put me on such an exciting path for the future.”
Author: Minerva Baumann – NMSU