The days when using audiovisual equipment was a minority pursuit are long gone. Pioneering image and sound-processing programs, new-generation computers, and user-friendly consoles have made the equipment more accessible than ever. And demand for professionals in the field is growing, making it a well-paid profession. Schools that teach film direction, music technology, sound recording and 3D animation are upgrading and attracting many more students. Art galleries, museums and even alternative downtown nightclubs are holding art and photography exhibitions and experimental video festivals. «The number of young people involved in applied technology in cinema and television is skyrocketing,» says Myron Papoutsakis, the director of Intergraphics, a private school that specializes in new digital technologies. «About 200 students take the course every year and more than 1,000 attend the seminars.» In the related field of film direction, new image-mixing programs are relatively easy to use and handling cameras appeals to youngsters who are keen to try out what was until recently an unfamiliar field. «A camera allows you to reshape reality. A director is a bit like a psychologist. He’s behind the camera, recording people, situations and feelings. He understands them and he reproduces them, adding his own stamp,» Andreas Loukakos told Kathimerini. A young director, Loukakos won second prize at the recent documentary film festival in Thessaloniki. Music and sound technology has also broken new ground. Directly connected with advanced computer programs, it is also used in radio and television programs, cinema and advertising. «Most musical compositions are made with the help of computers. Music technicians are essential to every kind of production,» Dimitris Mouziotis, head of music technology at the Akmi private training college, told Kathimerini. The first to become aware of the new status of the console were the 18-year-olds. «An ever-increasing number of young people are choosing to make a career out of their passion for music,» adds Mouziotis. «Music technology can ensure them a satisfactory income and they seem to realize that.» It is not by chance that a tertiary technical college of music technology and acoustics was established in Rethymnon a few years ago, and in the next academic year the Corfu-based Ionian University will be opening a new Sound and Image Arts department. Screenwriters are gradually finding their place alongside the cinema and television directors and producers. In recent years there has been a significant trend toward screenwriting, and some experts believe screenplays will feed the interest Greeks have traditionally displayed in literature and composing lyrics. «At the Old Polytechneio alone there are six open screenplay classes. More than 100 people attended the seminars in less than two weeks. Greece produces writers, while cinema and television are hungry for screenplays,» director and teacher of screenplay writing Thrassos Kaminakis told Kathimerini.