So I successfully completed the Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media (IFDM) program (yay!) but I took a bit of an unorthodox route to do so. Being the only CS student in my cohort, I did not get to take the same electives as most of my classmates because my list of requirements focused on Fine Arts more so than a Production track. Towards the end of the program this caused some issues with the last few electives I needed to fulfill graduation requirements. Due to some scheduling issues, poor planning, and other obstacles, I ended up taking a 100-level course during my senior year—Intro to Video Production.
There was nothing wrong with taking this class, but it was definitely not what I was expecting to take after having finished my Capstone project. Most semesters I avoided all film-related electives because I was more interested in drawing and art history, and because I thought I was already getting enough film content with my core IFDM courses. In the end I happily accepted taking a lower-level course during my 9th semester at UNM because I knew the professor and because I took it as a learning opportunity. It was well worth my time! I got to really understand what the manual settings in a DSLR mean and how to properly use them, and I had way more fun than I expected. One of my favorite projects was shooting a stop-motion animation film using clay figures!
But anyways, this post is supposed to be about field trips so let me tell you about that. Turns out I was probably the only one in my cohort who had never gotten a proper tour of the Albuquerque Studios up in Mesa del Sol, which is right next to the IFDM building where I took many classes. During the last week of the Fall of 2017 I finally got to explore the huge stages I had heard so much about. While inside we got a brief peek at the set for Better Call Saul! We got to see the set being built, which was super cool. I hadn’t realized that a lot of these film sets aren’t really “recycled,” but rather built up and taken apart over and over.
We also got to see the inside of the trailers they provide for the actors as well as their green screen (which was actually blue at the time). There’s also a big set for a “town,” which has been used to resemble anything from Parisian streets to Middle Eastern or New Mexican-like towns. Since this set is more permanent than others, they had to fortify the structure to withstand our infamous winds!
Of course we were not allowed to photograph most of our experience (spoilers, proprietary sets, etc), but here are some images of an empty stage!

An empty stage. The ceiling can hold about 10,000lbs!

The catwalk!

So there you have it, my top four field trips of 2017. It’s great to be a Lobo!