LIHUE » Filmmakers and artists at Kauai Community College are getting a boost from new equipment that they can use to make documentaries about life on the island.
The school’s digital media arts department now has $100,000 in state-of-the-art equipment. The money for the digital cameras, lenses and printers came from state initiatives and private donors, the Garden Island newspaper reported Monday.
"There are way more toys to play with now," said aspiring filmmaker Bonnie Hailer of Kapaa, who’s working on a documentary about the bison and cattle herders on the island’s north shore.
KCC Chancellor Helen Cox said the additional equipment will increase student enthusiasm.
"There are students attending here that would not have necessarily come if it weren’t for these classes," Cox said.
"It’s similar to the Hawaiian studies program. The classes hook them and keep them here."
Digital media arts instructor Matthew Fulmer is preparing an expanded curriculum. He wants to certify courses for an Associate of Science degree and strengthen the digital media arts program.
"When I came here the equipment was a little long in the tooth," Fulmer said. He was accustomed to working at schools where students were winning national awards.
"Now we’re on par with any great program you would find on the mainland," Fulmer said.