Navajo Technical University new media major Clinton Desiderio of Crownpoint, New Mexico stepped into the spotlight at the 9th Annual American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Film Festival by winning the Director’s Award and Best Special Effects category at this year’s annual AIHEC Spring Conference in Billings, Montana.
Desiderio was recognized with each award for his film “Sky Wars,” which utilized digital motion graphics and visual effects to bring a video game to life.
“It’s every kid’s dream to play themselves in a video game,” explained Desiderio of his film. “If you ever wanted to live it, that’s what we did.”
In bringing the video game to life, Desiderio utilized Motion and Adobe After Effects programs while editing, which according to Desiderio consumed a lot of time.
“It took roughly about three days to shoot and one whole day of editing,” Desiderio stated. “We were on a rush, but it was worth it in the end.”
For his hard work Desiderio was awarded for the second year in a row with the Best Special Effects award, but also the competition’s top prize in the Director’s Award—which is based on the best overall film and direction in Cinematography, Screen Writing, and Technical Design.
“When I first came to Navajo Tech, I was more into video games and IT,” said Desiderio. “(NTU) ended up developing a New Media program, and I just happened to get into film. It became a talent I never realized I had.”
Desiderio has since utilized his talent to earn himself internships with NTU’s Marketing Department and Tsehootsoi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona, where he has worked over the past year producing health and educational videos.
“It’s been a good experience. It’s introduced to me professionalism where I constantly have to keep up with my work and keep up with media,” stated Desiderio. “It’s a whole different place that I never thought of working, which is a great challenge for me too.”
In being recognized for his work, Desiderio thanked his instructor Hondo Louis, his actors, his two-man crew of Wade Shannon and Shawn Hosteen, as well as Navajo Tech.
“(NTU) is growing into something I think all us local Natives can benefit from. It’s something you don’t have to go long distance for. You don’t have to go all the way to Phoenix or another state,” Desiderio explained. “Navajo Technical University has the equipment, has the software, has the computers, and everything you could possibly need.”
The AIHEC Student Congress and the Institute of American Indian Arts created the AIHEC Film Festival in 2005 to showcase the talent of up and coming filmmakers from tribal colleges and universities. The Film Festival was also developed to promote friendly competition, knowledge sharing, and networking among student participants.
Navajo Technical University’s New Media program is a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Information Technology. It prepares students to be effective in video/audio production and post-production environments that also includes a unique blend of information technology skill sets.
For more information about NTU’s New Media program contact Hondo Louis at 505-786-4146 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.