Boston may be “The Hub,” but it it didn’t earn that name by being a hub of the film industry — at least not originally. The city has always been a little behind in the world of film and fame, especially when compared to New York and Los Angeles.
Future Media Concepts, a nationwide digital media training company, has been training professionals in the industry since 1994. The New York City-based company has branches in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Orlando, Chicago and even Dubai. In 1998, the company opened it’s Boston branch. Back then, the office was as small as Boston’s film industry.
“That was when non-linear editing was coming into play and a lot of editors were hesitant to accept the new technology,” said Kathleen Langlois, a representative for FMC.
Now, more and more filmmakers and others in the digital media field are coming to Boston. Award-winning movies like “Good Will Hunting” and “The Departed,” as well as a 25 percent tax credit for the film industry, draw more attention Beantown as it becomes increasingly appealing to filmmakers.
FMC spotted the trend, and this year moved their Boston branch to a new and improved location in Kendall Square, where some of their clients include PBS, Fox, Akamai and ESPN.
“In the past year we’ve seen 12 more feature films filming in Boston and they have the production studio opening.” said Langlois. “(FMC) wanted to offer more classes and have more classroom space.”
FMC Boston reopened on July 13 and immediately went back to business. They offer upwards of 50 certification courses for programs like Media Composer, Mac OS X Leopard, Final Cut Pro, InDesign and more.
“Most of our classes are three days long, but they vary from two to five days long,” said FMC Boston Branch Manager Keri Wilson. “It’s not the traditional semester.”
And FMC doesn’t just serve the film industry. “While the film industry continues to be a source of business and FMC supports many film festivals in the area as a sponsor, the explosion in digital media is not just for the film industries but for all major corporations who utilize content creation software,” said FMC co-founder Jeff Rothberg in an email. “We continue to support both by hosting Users groups, having open houses, and running industry leading conferences.”
Classes usually have about six students and the cost runs from $575 to $2,245, Wilson said. The facility has five training rooms, but Wilson said that only about three are occupied on an average day. On a busy day, she said, there would be about 22 students — an increase since they moved.
“People have been calling to find out more about the new facility,” she said. “We allowed more people to register because we’ve got more classrooms.”
Those students include professionals already working in the industry, as well as digital media newcomers. Mostly it’s “employers sending their employees on the higher end rather than people who are independently funded,” Wilson said. However, FMC Boston also sees people who are looking for a career change and have always been interested in digital media.
And FMC doesn’t just offer classes; as a nationwide organization, they’ve been able to collaborate with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for the NAB Post Production World Conference in April 2010. They will also host the NY Post Production Conference in October 2009, the Digital Media DC Conference in December 2009, and an Editors Retreat in January 2010.
Meanwhile, in Boston, FMC will continue to offer the city a leg up on it’s way to becoming a real digital media hub.