Tags: Communications & Media Technologies,  Advertising,  Undergraduate Students,  Graduate Students

“Dim the Lights…& Here We Go!”

Academy Idol is the largest production class offered at Academy of Art University and offers a variety of ways for aspiring media personalities and creators to get hands-on experience. Students learn how to operate cameras and audio boards; act as hosts, judges and directors; and produce a full-length live-streamed show. It’s produced and recorded live at 79 New Montgomery every Wednesday during the semester, and the Academy community is invited to attend and watch the competition unfold.

“We create an atmosphere, an environment, so a student can grow. And they feel comfortable to try things, and fail and succeed.”

—Steve Kotton, Associate Director, School of Communications & Media Technologies


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Go Beyond the Classroom

Maybe producing a reality show isn’t your scene. Maybe you’d rather advance the way we consume media through the experience of virtual reality. Or provide creative direction for an award-winning advertising campaign. Or host a thought-provoking podcast. Whatever it is our students aspire to do, we make sure they get to do it, in and out of the classroom. Here are a few examples.

Young & Hungry

With an office in the San Francisco's Financial District, Young & Hungry, a Creative Co-Op is a full-scale creative agency where School of Advertising students work with actual clients each semester to deliver innovative creative services. Students take on the roles of art directors, copywriters and strategists, and exercise their creative muscles while increasing their capacity for collaboration. Past clients include BMW, Tommy’s Margarita Mix, Ritz-Carlton Residences and San Francisco Tourism, to name just a few.


Urban Knights Radio

Gain on-air or behind-the-scenes radio experience by working on our Urban Knights Radio station on iHeartRadio. Host a program or learn how to run all aspects of a radio/podcasting media station in our media station management class. Students manage the weekly operation of Urban Knights Radio and investigate trends and audience data to inform programming and promotion decisions.


Drone Production

From photos and videos to audio recordings, journalists and filmmakers alike are now able to access different angles and views using drones to produce innovations in media. In this new class, students learn to fly professional drones to create dynamic aerial footage. Those who complete the class are fully qualified for employment as cinematographers and aerojournalists, and prepared for federal certification.


Housed in the School of Animation & Visual Effects, StudioX gives students an incredible opportunity to work on high-quality film projects in a class that mirrors the studio filmmaking environment. Students collaborate on character rigging and modeling, 2D and 3D animation, visual effects compositing, and CG texture and lighting...while developing professional relationships with industry leaders. Past projects include work on the Academy Award-nominated films Beasts of the Southern Wild and Theeb.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality, VR, is one of the most exciting emerging technologies and full of untapped potential. To prepare students for this evolving medium, we’ve created a new VR class offered jointly by the Schools of Motion Pictures & Television and Communications & Media Technologies. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, it provides instruction in cutting-edge virtual reality and 360-degree video production equipment and post-production software. VR has been called the “ultimate empathy machine,” and this class allows students to get hands-on experience working with different camera rigs, stitching footage together, and exploring storytelling techniques.

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School of Communications & Media Technologies

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