New Sandbox Director a Digital Media Superstar

Posted on: October 22, 2013

Dean Pam WhittenIt's no secret how proud I am of the college's Media Sandbox and the wonderfully talented team of faculty and students who learn and play in this unique place and space. Now in its third year and ready to ramp up to a whole new level, we recently underwent a national search for a new director.

This is a critical creative position for the college and we knew we wanted an incredibly talented, bold, out-of-the-box thinker who was well accomplished and clearly at the cutting-edge of the digital media arts industry.

Quite frankly, we were overwhelmed by the caliber of candidates that were interested in leading the Media Sandbox. After careful review, the search was narrowed down to three candidates who each spent a day in the CAS building and checking out the East Lansing campus.

Every one of the candidates could have been an excellent choice, which is quite an enviable position to be in given the level of competition for such talent in today's marketplace.

DSC_0133 copy-low resSo now for the drum roll: I am pleased to announce that David Wheeler, a true pioneer in the digital media entertainment industry, will be joining CAS as the new Media Sandbox Director on Monday, November 4.

Creative director, executive producer, writer, director of video games, interactive narrative, television and film, and entrepreneur are all hats that Wheeler has worn during his incredible career at the forefront of the digital media evolution.

Born in Toronto, Canada, and an honors graduate of the London Film School, he was brought to Los Angeles by CBS to work in film, television and commercials as a writer, director and cinematographer. He launched into interactive digital media when he directed one of the first full-motion interactive CD ROMs, "11th Hour," a sequel to the "The 7th Guest." His groundbreaking interactive movie, "Tender Loving Care," is a psychological thriller starring British actor John Hurt and based on the novel by Andrew Neiderman. The game pushed DVD technology to still unequaled heights.

Wheeler has held key positions with some of the largest names in the video game industry, including Vivendi/Universal and Electronic Arts. Also an entrepreneur, he has founded four companies: Terra Nova Productions in Hollywood; Aftermath Media in Ashland, Oregon; Digital Circus in Vancouver, Canada; and most recently in January 2012, Here and Now Transmedia in Los Angeles. To top it off, he just completed his first novel, "White Rabbit."

David-Wheeler-Talk2As the Media Sandbox Director, Wheeler will be responsible for leading what is both an integrated digital media arts curriculum and a community of students and faculty. Building upon the strong foundation that Bob Albers and colleagues have built in just a few short years, Wheeler will be welcomed by an enthusiastic, talented and dedicated team of faculty and students.

Working together with Wheeler in the lead, I am confident that the Media Sandbox will quickly become a major destination point for students from across the country and world seeking the best digital media learning experience available anywhere.

Top employers in the industry are already engaging in the Media Sandbox and recruiting our students for internships. They can hardly wait for them to graduate to hire them for full-time employment.

Please join me in welcoming David Wheeler to CAS and don't hesitate to reach out to him and share your ideas, resources and talents.

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