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January 28, 2010 at 9:42 PM #48502
I have recently started my own wedding/event videography business as I have been laid off for over a year. I AM getting some people signing contracts but, I do get asked now and then, “Do you have any official training in this type of work?”
Now being unemployed the way I am qualifies me for a “dislocated worker” program and benefits. One of them being able to get assistance with some schooling and training. Unfortunately one of the requirements for this is the field of work I want to go into has to pay “signicantly more” than the job I was laid off from. Being that I was working a minimum + tips job bringing in $60,000 a year before being laid off, I have a feeling this will be tough to prove. I am not qualified for much outside what I was doing so seeing those figures again seems like a dream – which is why I wanted to get some training to help my business.
What kind of programs could I look into that would both benefit my personal business as well as help qualifiy for some jobs that would potentially pay more than $60k a year so I can prove that schooling woud be very beneficial to me?
Specific names of programs and jobs would be really helpful here.
Thanks in advance!
January 29, 2010 at 2:29 AM #199275
Your demo is what wil get you gigs, not a degree or certification. Today, it’s much easier to spend the money on gear than invest so much time in a college or something of the like. Theyt’ll only teach you how THEy do it. You need to develop your own style and that will only come with experience.
January 29, 2010 at 3:10 AM #199276RobParticipant
Yea I agree. You don’t really need school in this industry. Get a damn good reel together to show people. Make it so good that people aren’t even asking “do you have an official training blah blah blah….” Let your work speak for itself.
January 29, 2010 at 6:30 PM #199277
Starting a business without experience in it is just an expense, really.
You’ll be best off obtaining another job you can make that 60k with and then work on the side in the video business until you move up enough in the ranks to make that salary. When comfy, go freelance for enough years to know the business well enough to then start a business. Buying some gear and wingin’ it is just unemployment with an overhead.
January 29, 2010 at 9:58 PM #199278
There is some validity to ‘just going for it’ in this biz. Without some training you’ll get experience but your mistakes, miscues and missteps are going to cost you a lot of time and money. In some respects, filmschool is overrated but for many it’s worth every penny. For someone in your situation I’d strongly recommend community college or university non-credit courses, training seminars, training DVD’s, books and sites like this one with short ‘how to’s’.
If you don’t live in a large city with a large film & TV market, then your opportunities to learn higher-end techniques will either be limited or non-existent. You’ll need to go to school or take training courses to get your hands into stuff like that. The good news is during those courses, you’ll meet people who are doing the things you are and you can network. That’s the biggest advantage of going to school. I know people with advanced degrees in film that I wouldn’t let shoot my dog.
Having certifications and degrees are just the paperwork that say you can do something. Yeah, you could design buildings without being an architect, good luck getting people to take you seriously. No you don’t need a degree to be a videographer, editor and so on. Having those pieces of paper just make people interested in hiring you take an initial look. What will sell you is your reel. Getting training just cuts down on the time it takes to go from the ‘pullin’ stuff out of your butt’ stage to the ‘knowin’ what the hell you are doin” stage.
I agree with Grinner on the “Unemployment with Overhead” thing. Without a real plan and some training to go with it, you’re going to do a lot of expensive ‘flailing’. What I don’t agree with is that ‘Spend the money on gear not school’ foolishness. Just because you get gear doesn’t mean you know how or what to do with it. Hell, we all had to learn how to eat even though mouths came as standard gear!
January 29, 2010 at 10:00 PM #199279
Alright I appreciate the responses BUT, the fact is my schooling would be largely covered with little expense to me and being laid off would make things a lot less boring around here. I don’t mind doing any of it because I DO have the free time.
Even if it goes beyond videography, what is out there?
I do have a fair amount of gear to start right now and will be getting some more with a hefty tax return.
January 29, 2010 at 11:17 PM #199280
You’d do better investing that time in the internship you’d have to take after school. A degree won’t get you any gigs. Not one. If not investing the time in the intership you need, grab your camera, go shoot a short or a music video and edit it. Then do it again.
Make the reel that WILL get ya some gigs.
January 29, 2010 at 11:46 PM #199281
January 29, 2010 at 11:57 PM #199282
Grinner, Lets get past the idea that I am doing this to get gigs. I want to do this to better myself and maybe learn a thing or 2 personally. I have a lot of free time at the moment, getting a sore behind from not getting out as much as I should. Even if it comes down to an internship after school, I would need the school to get me that far. I am looking for something that could get me into the field even BEYOND “gigs”.
I already have started “going for it” in this business but with the free time I have I would still like to learn more personally.
Composite1, I just read your reply after writing the previous paragraphs. We have a habit of replying at the same times I guess and I always seem to miss what you have to say.
What kind of courses are there out there that would limit my “learning curve losses”? I think you are closer to what I am getting at. Yeah I have to find my own style, but I don’t see why some classes would kill me.
January 30, 2010 at 12:03 AM #199283
JSJarvis, ohhh I will check that out, hope there isnt a time frame for enrolling today – the entire course is $299 (dont know all what it covers but I will look at it a little more thouroughly here in a sec) thanks!
January 30, 2010 at 4:35 AM #199284
Check out the Sony Training Institute. They have courses from 2 days to a week in production, writing and producing, technical training w/Sony based gear and more. Also, VM has training seminars that could be of help to you as well. Another outfit is Future Media Concepts they like STI have seminars all over the country so you could probably get into a course near where you live. Also, check your local Community College for non-credited courses in production via their Communications Dept. Also some Universities if they have a film dept. will allow you to audit the course (no credit) so all you’d have to do is pay for the class.
Whether you go to the ‘school of hard knocks’ or actual school, you’re still going to take a beating in this biz for fun or profit. What the training environment does is allow you to learn and make ‘mistakes that don’t count’. In addition, you get direct mentoring from people who have already been through the stage you are now and can help you get to the next level. Ultimately, how much you get out of it is up to you. When I went to filmschool I blew right through it. It was by no means easy, but I was a ‘ringer’ going in and was so motivated to learn more I had a string of ‘A’s to go with it. When I went in, I was about a 350lb Gorilla with the skills I had. By the time I finished school, I was a nice round 500lbs! It was a year well spent. Was it expensive? Sort of. Was it worth it? Hell yeah! Is it for everybody? Probably not.
You sound like you’re wanting to get to the next level. Everybody ain’t able to do that on their own, some need assistance. Training is one way to get there. If it’s something you’re looking for, then do your research like I did and find what works for you. That may be school, seminars, training videos or working under a mentor. You’ll figure it out.
January 30, 2010 at 4:58 AM #199285
Thanks Composite I will look over the sites you mentioned as well.
As far as Lights Film School, I am kinda skeptical as I sent a requests for a “grant” and was almost auto responded with a $100 grant on their course making it a $199 course. If they have some decent info I think that is worth it but when is a grant a grant and not a coupon/marketing gimmik like it seems? Also if I go there tomorrow, will it say the next deadline is Jan 30th (like some sites always have the “last day to get in”)? If the courses there let you go at your own speed I dont see why classes begin on a certain date.
Like I said if they have a decent course there I am all for it and $199 is a drop in the bucket, but I am not real keen on those kinda of marketing setups.
January 30, 2010 at 6:15 AM #199286Luis Maymi LopezParticipant
It have been a year since I join Videomaker community and this has been like a school to me. By the time I found this web site I was starting to learn to edit videos and some basic camera moves by my own. A few months later I took a film class in my university and I learn a lot about film, scriptwriting, working with a team to make a short film and among other stuff. Just by going to the class, being in the atmosphere of shooting a video, working with people and actors you do not know was a great experience. I had an advantage over the others team members, I had edited many videos and work with cameras before and most of the things I learn were from videomaker.com. But this is just a website exposing you with theories and tips, if you don’t practice them in real life you will not learn. I volunteer to make weather forecast (http://www.youtube.com/user/juracantv) in my university and in here I learn advance editing, chroma keying, lighting, basic directing, audio, well a lot of things and I didn’t have anyone helping me nor the best of equipment, but I had a huge desire to keep learning. I only took one film class and then continue on my own (I actually study economics) working hard consuming every video related article and tutorials I can find. Did that film class help me? Of course it did and a lot, but I have learn a lot more on my own making a lot of free jobs. Jumping to the video business side is so hard that I sometimes wonder why I keep doing this if I’m not receiving anything. And the answer is simple, I have finally found something that I really love to do and enjoy. I keep moving, giving my business card to everyone, making more videos, getting to know myself around and always continue learning. My next move is helping in a television channel. I already visit it, they show me around, I ask a lot of questions to the engineer (he was really excited) and show him some of my videos. They told me to go next week to see how they record a show. I will keep asking question about everything and once again work completely free (I’m willing to bring them their coffee. If I can learn more I will do it with all my heart.)
“…grab your camera, go shoot a short or a music video and edit it. Then do it again.“
I agree with Grinner. Your friends will work for free for you because people like being in movies. So having a script at hand and organizing a small crew can make this a reality.
January 30, 2010 at 7:39 PM #199287
You hit it right on the head, nobody can do this in a vacuum. Before I officially trained as a videographer, I worked as a photographer. Part of my job was also to shoot video. I had been doing it for a couple of years even doing some truly ‘ghetto’ editing. I thought I had a handle on it until I got to videography training school. I quickly found out that I not only didn’t have a handle on it, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing!
After training, I went straight to work shooting everything from ‘hey grab a camera’ stuff to gigs where an hour of shooting time cost about $25M. I had a lot of great shooters, editors, photogs and tech’s around me and I tapped their brains at every available opportunity. Wasn’t long before people were coming to me to tap my brains.
After I moved on from that gig I knew that the tech was changing rapidly and despite my vast skills I was behind the curve and losing ground quick. Back then I turned to VM and even though much of the stuff they talked about was old hat to me, they still managed to toss some gems my way. They also got it into my mind of how to work at the same skill level, but on a much different scale. I had wanted to go back to school anyway and I then had an ‘excuse’ to go back.
Filmschool was a great experience for me. Since I was older and experienced in the biz, I was able to home in and focus on the work from a new perspective. I worked with some good people and raised my skill level significantly. The instructors were like me, fellow professionals and we spoke the same language. I had mentors who could have easily been working for me on the ‘outside’. But they were experts in their fields and I had zero problem picking their brains.
Doing all that from scratch/square one is possible, but it’s a PIA and your mistakes can get stupid expensive. That whole ‘take the money for school and make your movie’ is horsehockey. And the thought that ‘school is the only way’ is retarded too! If you stay in this biz and reach a fully pro level, you will find yourself looking through tutorials, training DVD’s and hopefully attending training seminars on a regular basis to keep up and keep moving forward. So spending some time in classes is not a waste of time or money. I try to go to the training courses at NAB often as possible. Each time I do, the ‘gorilla’ adds a few more pounds!
February 3, 2010 at 6:24 AM #199288JackWolcottParticipant
Whatever you decide, put yourself into a situation where your work is critiqued regularly and rigorously. You can get facts from a book, with or without a teacher, with or without formal instruction. What you need in order to develop in this profession, however, is an outside critical eye, someone who can look at your work and help you come to understand what’s good and what’s not so good about it, what works and what doesn’t.
Einstein described insanity as “endlessly repeating the same a process, hoping for a different result.” All too often that’s what we see among so-called “self taught” videographers and photographers. You can’t get better unless you become aware of what you’re doing and how it stacks up against the work of others. That’s where a mentor comes in.
You can do a good deal yourself, studying (not just watching) films and television. Look at how scenes are shot, how they are lit, how the screen space is composed. Discuss this with people who are already established in the business and find out what and why they thing a scene is well composed, well lit and well photographed.
If you can combine this approach with an internship, as has been suggested above, and perhaps some community college classes in the technical fundamentals of camera work, editing and — perhaps most importantly — in managing a small business, you’ll make it.
February 3, 2010 at 5:57 PM #199289
Grinner, Lets get past the idea that I am doing this to get gigs. I want to do this to better myself and maybe learn a thing or 2 personally.
Then proper training is in order. You’ll get that in the field doing it for real, not in a classroom situation. Intership, low-paying grip, PA, job, introductory vidographer/editor job, mid-level producer job, then some freelancing is what I recomend.
June 27, 2010 at 11:05 PM #199290AnonymousInactive
I came across this thread and have been reading it with interest. I’m a media intern at http://www.teksciproductions.comand I went from knowing nothing to knowing a tiny bit in a few weeks. It’s good to know I haven’t mastered everything already 😛
My background is in writing, and I will say that during this internship, that there are times when I wished I had some stronger video background. (maybe a film school, which some of the above advocated, while others hated.) Luckily, my company is supportive, but I am lucky, and maybe some other companies…not so much.
I think film schools are like that too, some good, some bad. (but I’ve never been, so I’m just guessing.)
I’d say given a choice between trying and twiddling, you might as well try (That’s what I’m doing now :P)
Jane P, Media Intern
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