Alum and FilmFest winner produces special effects for new movie

Posted July 12, 2012

Jacob Kitts ('12) is using his education in Digital Entertainment Technology on the set of a new movie, "Out of the Darkness." Kitts, a recent graduate and 2012 ACU FilmFest winner, is creating the special effects and working as an extra in the film, set to be released in November.

"Jacob is one of our first Digital Entertainment minors who is specializing in film," says Dr. Brian Burton, assistant professor of information technology. "The fact that he is already freelancing in the industry less than two months after graduation speaks highly of his skills in special effects, and what he learned in the DET minor at ACU."

Kitts credits his success in the movie industry to his experiences at ACU, such as FilmFest and DET classes, and his passion for digital effects.

"At FilmFest this year, my film won Best Picture," says Kitts. "I had many visual effects in that movie, and was able to show the 'Out of the Darkness' crew what I was capable of. Now I'm doing visual effects for the movie!"

While the plot has not been revealed, Kitts says the movie involves angels, demons and other spiritual elements. "The visual effects have been exciting and time-consuming," he says. "I'm adding fire to the angels' swords and lightning to the demons' swords."

The alum gained experience with time-consuming effects through his FilmFest winning movie, "Liberation." It took Kitts six hours to digitally blow up Smith-Adams Hall in his film. The close-up shot of the exploding building took three hours, and the wide shot of the camera rotating around an actress took another three hours. He also meticulously converted outdoor scenes from day to night. Read more on Liberation at Filmfest in The Optimist.

Kitts hopes to keep working in digital effects after the film is complete. "When the movie's finished, I'll need to find something else. Still, this has been a great film-related project for my resume and a nice stepping stone into the industry."

Learn more about ACU's minor in Digital Entertainment Technology.