Maybe I *do* really want to direct.
July 13, 2009 8:57 AM   Subscribe

I want to teach myself to be more professional at digital video production. Are there any classes/seminars (online or in L.A.) that you'd recommend? If I could live in my dream world, I'd get to take the Travel Channel video course but without spending $2000 I don't have and having to drive to Santa Barbara for it. Thoughts?

Yes, my questions have had a theme lately, but you guys have been helping me so much with making my new web site better that now I'm just goin' to ya for everything! :)
posted by miss lynnster to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Skip the travel channel academy, I looked into it, and after doing the math, you're better off buying a camera, reading the tons of DV websites out there and just experimenting. Travel Channel has been pimping this Academy for the last 2 years in the hope of finding new talent but it hasn't worked out, occasionally they'll post video from students on their website and (IMHO) not really anything better than what you can find on youtube. Check your local junior college for classes on video production and specific software applications.

Also you're in LA, hit up Craigslist and volunteer to PA for a shoot, stick with that to see how the "biz" works. It also depends on what you want to work on, everyone wants to be the next Spielberg, so take a number if that's your plan. Drop me a MeMail if you want to chat more.
posted by Scientifik at 9:52 AM on July 13, 2009

everyone wants to be the next Spielberg, so take a number if that's your plan.
Trite much?

1) Don't listen to people who take joy in telling others they'll never achieve their dreams.
2) A lot of junior colleges like SMC have really good Film 100 classes.
3) Your best is to find some people who are doing cool stuff, like maybe on Vimeo, and talk to them to find out how they did it. The technology moves so fast that advice in books, and even from teachers who are out of the loop, gets outdated really really fast. Or is just wrong and dumb to start with. For example, I find most "how to make your own DV movie omg lol!1!" books don't even mention color correction. Or working with different lenses. Which to me is just an absurd joke, if you claim to be talking about professional filmmaking.

which reminds me of...

4) Filmmaking is photography, By FAR the best thing I ever did for my filmmaking was start taking a lot of still pictures. On a DSLR, you can learn about lighting and framing and lenses and all those kind of things that go into real filmmaking without breaking the bank. And if you get a still camera with a video mode (I have a Nikon D90), even better.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:01 AM on July 13, 2009

Response by poster: Okay, I should probably be more specific on what I'm doing, because it's specific. I don't want to go into the film business -- it's not my thing at all. I simply inherited a little Canon Optura 100 camera from my dad and want to learn how to make decent quality videos for the viewers of this web site. My ambitions are pretty specific.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:38 AM on July 13, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, and I take all of the photography for the site already. I went to art school and teach photoshop so I get some good stuff, although I'd like to take another photography class down the road too just to learn more about different effects and apertures and junk.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:39 AM on July 13, 2009

Response by poster: Just realized... I said specific three times in that comment. I hope I was specific enough.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:40 AM on July 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Trite much?

Far be it from me to squelch anyone's dreams, my point was "carve out a niche for yourself". LA is choc full of film school grads with a fancy piece of paper and a huge DVD library but not much originality.

Start with Panasonic 3ccd forum. You may not have a Panasonic camera but the community is very strong and very friendly to novices trying to learn. There's plenty of treads on all sorts of DV topics. Even if you just lurk you'll learn plenty to get you started on both the technical and artistic side.

If you're feeling a bit more adventurous check out DV info Forums. Its more technical and they are more strict on do's and don'ts but if you're getting serious about it there are some serious pro's on that board. I'm certain plenty based in So Cal.

Also check out Current's Help Guide there's good information in there if you're looking to shoot and edit for the web.
posted by Scientifik at 2:09 PM on July 13, 2009

Art Center at Night Film Classes
posted by krautland at 1:44 AM on July 14, 2009

oh great, that link seems to be a timed out session now. try this one and go to courses. you will find a lot of interesting film classes.
posted by krautland at 1:46 AM on July 14, 2009

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