University of Texas at Austin Faculty Lead Series of Digital Media Workshops Through Collaboratory with Portugal

July 11, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas at Austin faculty have returned from leading a month-long series of workshops and lectures on digital media in Lisbon, Portugal, as part of The University of Texas at Austin|Portugal International Collaboratory for Emerging Technologies program, also known as CoLab.

Administered by The University of Texas at Austin, the New University of Lisbon and the University of Porto, CoLab is overseen by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation. The collaboration is divided into four programs—advanced computing, digital media, technology transfer and commercialization, and mathematics—and is intended to promote education and research, as well as economic development and job creation in Portugal.

The Digital Media Program focuses on education, research and business development in digital information and new media production and distribution, including digital and interactive media, online journalism and interactive forms of media content, such as documentaries and wireless technologies, and systems for new media distribution.

"As Internet-based applications and networked communications become ubiquitous, the ways we work, play and communicate are migrating to these networks," said Sharon Strover, chairwoman of the Department of Radio-TV-Film and University of Texas at Austin director of the Digital Media Program. "Grappling with how people are using these technologies and media, and how institutions and governments can benefit from them are an important part of any country's productivity equation."

University of Texas at Austin faculty members from the Department of Radio-TV-Film, the School of Journalism, the Butler School of Music and the LBJ School of Public Affairs worked with the Portuguese institutions to bring the Digital Media Program to more than 100 participants in June. The workshops were open to experienced professionals and students, and covered topics such as collaborative scriptwriting; digital Hollywood, creating music and sound for film; video and games; digital documentary; 3D graphics; and online journalism.

Karen Kocher, a lecturer in the Department of Radio-TV-Film, taught a digital documentary workshop where, over the course of two weeks, a class of 12 students produced seven short documentary films from concept to completion.

In addition to the workshops, University of Texas at Austin faculty gave several public talks showcasing their research in digital media, including "Re-mapping the Digital Divide," "Youth and New Media," "Digital Film and the Change in Hollywood Conglomerate Structures."

Thomas Schatz, a professor in the Department of Radio-TV-Film and executive director of the University of Texas Film Institute, curated a week-long film series held in the national Cinemateca. Titled "Innovation and Technology in Film," the series was open to and enthusiastically attended by more than 1,000 film-goers during its run. The series included "Citizen Kane," "Singing in the Rain" and other historically significant films.

Learn more about The University of Texas at Austin|Portugal International Collaboratory for Emerging Technologies program, also known at CoLab.

For more information, contact: Erin Geisler, KUT Radio, Moody College of Communication, (512) 475-8071;  Sharon Strover, Department of Radio Television Film, Moody College of Communication, 512-471-6652.