Over 750 live YouTube viewers joined the graduates of Miami Dade College’s Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) as they streamed their capstone projects. MAGIC’s “Premiere Night,” its fifth annual showcase of animated films and video games, went virtual for the second year in a row.
Hannah Roza’s short animation, A Lesson in Magic, follows a young witch who wishes to attend magic school, but cannot speak or hear. Unfortunately, magic can only be performed through speech in her world – until her magical spirit animal teaches her to believe in herself.
“We spoke to members of the deaf community who helped us with the sign language used in the short,” Roza said. “We translated the short into English, Mexican Spanish and Portuguese, each using unique sign language. Proper representation was important to our team and we strived to make sure even the tiniest details in the signing were accurate.”
Veronique Vilpin’s adventure animation, Bunnie and the Hidden Treasure, also streamed. MAGIC’s television industry partners, Nickelodeon and Univision, respectively, sponsored and mentored those creations.
Erick Breto’s obstacle course video game, TeraFlow, features a scientist experimenting with virtual reality who is testing human limits. Gamers run through different simulations, acquiring and perfecting new skills while besting the clock. The game will be available soon on Steam, a popular online video game digital distribution service.
MAGIC students produce short films and video games as capstones during their second academic year. “At MAGIC, we focus on teaching skills geared towards industry needs,” said Mauricio Ferrazza, MAGIC’s department chair. “Our programs teach and train our students skills that will get them jobs once they graduate.”