RIT & LA entertainment studio announce partnership, will provide student opportunities, jobs, industry

Local News

HENRIETTA, N.Y. (WROC) — RIT’s MAGIC Center — their media and gaming research and entrepreneurial center — has a new partnership with a huge Los Angeles entertainment studio, Pure Imagination Studios.

Both the school and the studio say this partnership will benefit the university, its students, and Rochester.

David Long, Director of the RIT MAGIC Center and company, says that the entire center is based around the idea of collaboration between different disciplines, and students of those different disciplines, a chance to work together.

“It’s really important that all these disciplines are together for creative collisions,” he said. “The world of games, the world of film, the world of AR/VR, they rely on a lot of similar technology, and a different creative mindset, so learning the technical tools together is great, but having that different creative perspective really leads to some innovative and novel things.”

He adds that while the students can also learn the “hard skills” — think coding, design, and other practical skills — these projects, that often have some real world level of use, teach “soft skills,” like teamwork, communication, and leadership. And that process has worked.

Since 2018 when the building was completed, the MAGIC Center and MAGIC Spell Studios (“Magic is Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity,” Long says) have launched countless careers, become the the first university to publish an Xbox game under its own label spawned innumerable “creative collisions.”

All of these assets, along with RIT’s state of the art equipment and facilities, made the partnership with Pure Imagination Studios a natural fit.

“When things kind of happened during the pandemic, and things were closing down in Hollywood… We were thinking, ‘What if Hollywood had a bigger presence at RIT,'” said Chief Content Officer John P. Roberts, referring to conversations with his wife on his move back to the 585, as well as his company. “You realize that there’s an amazing talent base here at RIT, and its literally like sifting for gold, because there’s so much potential here.”

The studio has worked with the likes of Pixar, LEGO, Marvel, as well as Disney theme parks, and even “out of this world” original projects. Roberts says students will be shown the potential they have, and will give the studio fresh and eager eyes.

And for the once-again Rochesterian, it’s even a warm homecoming.

“It’s a way to do some payback,” he said. “The ability to bring the entertainment industry here and looking at creating new opportunities for people here. It’s amazing.”

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