July 6, 2017

Film Faculty Spotlight: Trent Duncan – Life as a Creator and Instructor

In the latest Film Faculty Spotlight, Trent DuncanDigital Filmmaking & Video Production instructor – gives the behind-the-scenes scoop on classes at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Having worked in the digital media industry for 15 years, Duncan brings valuable knowledge through extensive experience to his classrooms. Plus, he has worked in both ends of filmmaking, production and post-production, which gives him a unique perspective that he passes along to his students at F.I.R.S.T. Institute.


In addition to working as a dedicated instructor, Duncan takes his passion outside of the classroom as well – finding new ways to utilize his expertise. When he isn’t teaching, he dedicates his time to creating production projects and short films with others in the filmmaking community. Recently, Duncan launched a successful YouTube channel with tens of thousands of subscribers and he currently nurtures its growth by creating fan films of popular horror movie characters. Additionally, he posts short films and other projects he and the local community produce. His most popular video, titled “Freddy Krueger vs Jason Voorhees vs Michael Myers vs Leatherface vs Ghostface vs Ash Williams” (isn’t that a mouthful?) has gained over 18 MILLION views and counting.


Throughout his filmmaking course, Duncan’s students learn an array of skills that will aid in their professional growth within the industry. The small class sizes and hands-on experience of a F.I.R.S.T. Institute education – along with the facilitation of dedicated instructors – increase the chances success of graduating students by equipping them with the tools needed to become fantastic creators. In Duncan’s opinion, the highlight of the F.I.R.S.T. Institute program is the short film at the end – where students have a chance to showcase what they’ve learned by creating a film.

Trent Duncan states: “This is where we see everything that the students have all learned finally come together. They’re working as a team. They’re using all of the skills they’ve learned to put together this short film that they’ve been literally working up to the entire year.”

By allowing students the hands-on experience of testing equipment and experimenting with camera, lighting, and sound, they gain a deeper knowledge that is unparalleled by alternate programs. Every aspect of filmmaking is explored: Screenwriting, audio production, filming and editing, and more.  This knowledge is put to the test throughout the course when students create commercials, testimonials, and music videos, until the biggest project at the end when they showcase their knowledge with a short film.

Duncan’s advice for students? “Take full advantage of every moment that you’re here… It’s a tough world out there, but if you continue to push forward, you will be successful. So take your time, be patient, and continue to focus on the passion you have.”