View Full Version : Fast track video instruction / school?

Tom Henderson
01-10-2006, 10:38 AM
I am a full time professional still photographer, and have now been approached by one of my clients to do some basic training videos. I have some video, audio, and grip equipment. I have editing software and a powerful computer. Now I need help in putting all the elements together!

I have a lot of knowlege about lighting, lenses, composition, all that stuff. What I need is nuts and bolts education on the techincal aspects of film/video production and editing. I don't need a BA degree (already have one), so a full on college education is not what I'm looking for.

Can anyone suggest some tightly targeted education? Could be from a reseller, could be on DVD (but I prefer live instruction) could be at a community college, could be one on one with a private instructor. Ideally any classes would be in the evening, and be somewhere between LA and San Diego (San Diego area preferred).

Thanks for your help.

01-10-2006, 01:35 PM
It's a bit of a drive, but check out OCC. Orange Coast College. Very highly recomended by friends in the industry, even though it is a junior college. It's in Irvine/Costa Mesa. They might offer day classes.


01-11-2006, 01:06 PM
You could also seek someone to partner with. I think video is more complicated than still photography, especially something like a training video. Proper project planning, expertise in training, eliciting info from content experts, pre-production scripting/planning, and keeping it interesting are all more difficult than the significant technical issues involved in audio capture, editing, CG, and more. Planning a shoot from several takes so that it edits well is going to be totally foreign to you. Properly planning b-roll to not produce a "talking head" video is also a challenge. It's not that you can't learn it all, but your first project will be HUGE and IMHO you should not subject your client to that big a learning curve. In all probability if you tackle it yourself, you will end up doing it twice or three times(if you are anything like me in terms of professionalism and pride in your work).

School will teach you the nitwit stuff, like how to turn on your editor. But hire or partner with an experienced pro ((preferably a training pro) if you want a real educational leg up on all this. Or plan on a dozen books and a few months on your own.

01-11-2006, 01:08 PM
Public access TV is a good place to start learning hands on.

Tom Henderson
01-12-2006, 09:49 AM
Thanks for your suggestions.

J: OCC classes are already full for this semester, but I'll keep my eyes open.

Galt: I like your idea, and had already had similar thoughts. You're right -- my photography clients like me because I produce a very high quality of work in a timely and cost effective mannner. They would expect the same from any video production. Except that I'm basically pretty clueless at the moment. So I don't really want to show up for a project, fumble my way through, and then have to do two or three reshoots to get material I forgot the first time! Ego wise, I don't really mind acting more like the producer and letting more highly trained professionals help me with the technical aspects.

So perhaps I should revise my question -- can anyone suggest where I should look to find a good crew? This will be a paying project, but probably not IATSE rates!

01-12-2006, 10:05 AM
If you're paying, you can post on the dvxuser jobs forum.

01-12-2006, 10:13 AM
You missed part of my point. The technical aspects are only part of it. I consider camera and sound work and editing to be technical/artistic. But the producer jobs of budgeting, scriptwriting, conceptualizing, and project planning are where experience will REALLY pay off. Find a small-time producer of training videos, get him to sign a non-compete protecting your client relationship. I think it is important to find someone who actually does good training videos, so many of them are crap as people shoot talking heads and do quick edits. You may even hire someone to help you manage the producer part of the job, and then hire a separate crew for shooting and editing. This is probably what I would do. If you have a good script, shooting, audio, and editing become mostly technical jobs that lots of people without specific training background can do well.

Yellow Pages, Craigslist, mandy.com, productionhub.net, job forums here and at DVinfo are some places to start.

Good Luck.

Tom Henderson
01-12-2006, 05:19 PM
Hey Gault -- thanks for the clarification. I did not really miss your point, exactly, but I confess that I did not think it all the way through. You're right -- I really need to hire a whole team, collectively or individually, then watch carefully and learn as we go. I truthfully don't even know where to begin with even a medium sized production. But I do have a client, so that seems like a pretty good place to start! Now I need to not screw it up! I'll check out the resources you mentioned.

01-12-2006, 05:38 PM
If I was closer I would apply for the job...