Video Workshop Classroom Questions?

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #37867

      Hello Everyone! This is my first forum posting. I am happy to find a forum where other people enjoy videomaking like I do! My favorite postings are when videographers post samples of their work and provide new information about video. (Education)

      An introduction of my video background. I’m a big fan of Public Access Television. They provided me a great opportunity to take affordable video classes, work with professional instructors, and showcase my work on television and streaming media. I was very excited to win two Best of Show Awards for two of my documentaries at the Northeast Alliance of Community Media. This helped me build a great resume which transitioned into community organizations hiring me for promotional videos. I’ve worked mainly with churches, hospitals, and historic sites promoting travel and tourism. Especially enjoy working with archival collections.

      Now I have an opportunity to teach a community workshop. This will be the first time I have to prearrange the technical set-up. The classroom environment will be a multi-purpose room at a library. The seating is for about 35 people. There is a new techie multi-media guy (Nigel) who is so super excited about my class and he is eager to set everything up. As a Video Producer, I have always been very appreciative of the techies. I have basic concepts of what I need but its great to have techies on hand who are so intuitive about fixing anything that can go wrong with equipment and set everything up and test it in advance.

      The students will be general public, all adults. The workshop focuses on a fun, informal class for beginners on shooting great vacation videos. (This is a tourist destination) The library says I can have a 2 to 4 hour time block. I would love to show samples of my video work to give the students concept of the type of video shots I’m explaining. I envision one of those machines (can’t remember offhand what they are called) that projects your work from a DVD onto a large screen. Or is there a better way?

      Would love to hear idea from anyone who enjoys teaching videomaking and your classroom experience.

      Thank you so much! Tara 🙂

    • #167734

      Hi Tara –

      Congrats on the class! I have been teaching photography for over 20 years and video for about five to folks ranging from 12 year old boys (I am a Merit Badge counselor for Photography & Cinematography) to 80 year old grandmas (I also taught on cruise ships) and everything in between (private lessons from my home). It is incredibly rewarding.

      In a large group, the projectors hooked up to a laptop and/or DVD player work best. For small groups a large TV (I have a 65″ LCD) works great and for one or two I just bring them to my edit bay.

      I like using a PC for presentation work since you can not only show video but show how you made it and bring in behind the scenes toys & tricks that are difficult to show on a DVD.

    • #167735

      Hi Tara: Sounds like a great opportunity you’ve got here. Opt for the 4 hour block of time; you’ll find that the many questions you’ll get asked will make anything less very frustrating.

      I’ve taught a couple of day long seminars for Videomaker Magazine in Seattle and the format they use is excellent. It assumes a) that people who attend the seminars really don’t know much about video production; b) that showing is better than telling; and c) that you have a rock-solid outline and can be in control of the progress of the session if you’re going to complete everything in the time allowed.

      Your idea of showing examples of your work that illustrate points you want to cover is excellent. In the time you’ve got, and the audience and goals you describe, I would focus on camera controls — e.g., focus, white balance, iris, gain, audio level controls, etc., and what they do.One thing that the Videomaker crew tipped me to was the usefulness of connecting your camera output to a projector or large video monitor. That way you can show the effect of camera control as you talk.

      I would also focus on the basics of good shooting practices, and on compositional elements such as framing, camera movement vs. letting subjects move, etc. Camera supports would be a quick but very useful item, too. And I’d spend time talking about the difficulty of good audio acquisition with a consumer camera.

      Given the time you’ve got available, I wouldn’t bother to do much talking about three point lighting or much at all with editing, although quick tips about in-camera editing would be useful. Talking about using natural lighting effectively and about problems created by back light would be far more useful to your hobbiest audience, it seems to me, than telling them about studio/controlled lighting that they’ll never get to use on the beaches of Cape Cod.

      I envy you having this opportunity. It’s always fun and rewarding to talk about our profession to a group of folks who really want to learn. Good luck.


    • #167736

      Hi Bruce & Jack,

      Thank you for your encouraging words and helpful information. I appreciate it!

      To Bruce:

      Another photographer! I meet so many photographers who also enjoy videomaking. They have always been so valuable, especially when it comes to portrait lighting. The concepts of working with shadow and light has always fascinated me which is probably why I enjoy old silent and classic black and white movies on Turner Classic Movies.

      I see you also enjoy working with community videos. I know I found my “specialty” niche. I enjoy working on community productions and teaching new people about videomaking. I’ve mostly mentored new crew members on location shoots, but as you can see here, I definitely want to get in front of an audience and teach workshops too.

      What a fantastic opportunity teaching on a cruise ship! I enjoy travel to Maritime destinations (seaport towns, islands) and cruise ship travel. Next year I’ll take my video camera on a Caribbean cruise to the islands of Antigua, Dominica, St. Maarten, St. Croix and St. Kitts. I took some cruise ship classes (beginning music keyboarding) from an instructor on Royal Caribbean who said he was hired by SixthStar Entertainment out of Ft. Lauderdale. He said Royal Caribbean offered him the best opportunity to teach a variety of classes so I would love to teach a videomaking class some day like this too.

      To Jack:

      I know the tremendous amount of hard work it takes to teach a day long workshop. What a great opportunity to teach for Videomaker Magazine. I appreciate the highlights you’ve given of what is most important to the workshop outline. This really helps me narrow down my focus because my draft outline definitely has far more information than I can teach in a four hour time slot. Now I’ve broken out the outline into a better structure: Camera Controls, Camera Movement, Camera Composition, Camera Supports, Audio, Editing In Camera, Natural Lighting. I thought about having supplemental handouts for more videomaking resources (Videomaker, of course!) for more lighting and editing techniques.

      Another thing I appreciate about workshop instructors is rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! Toastmasters has helped me tremendously to improve my public speaking skills and speak before an audience. This is truly like a performance. Now that I have my outline structure I can work on my presentation skills and partner with the Media Assistant to showcase my work. My goal is to educate the audience with how much fun it is to be a videomaker and make their own productions.

      Thank you both again! Tara 🙂

    • #167737

      Hi Tara –

      Yes, the cruise classes were great (got to do a 7 day all Hawaii cruise for me & my wife for $400!). If you like to travel, these are great – I only needed to present 4 one hour classes – Participants ranged from two (the Hawaii sailing) to over 60 on one Caribbean run.

      I also have found that having a “goodie” for the folks makes them very happy – I used to make DVD’s with royalty free stuff & demo programs (make sure you have rights to copy/distribute everything on the DVD – Many stock companies will give you permission). I also included a bunch of links to free or cheap stuff folks can use.

      Do you have any of your work online? (YouTube, Vimeo, etc…) – Would love to see some.

    • #167738

      Hi Bruce!

      Wow! You’re trip to Hawaii sounds fantastic! My husband and I were in Hawaii last year (Hawaii, Oahu, and Kauai) but would love to explore the islands again by cruise ship too. What a great adventure for you and your wife!

      Thank you for the great suggestions about the “goodie” bags. What a great idea! I do have some videos I’ve made with public domain clips I researched from historic archives. I like the idea about royalty-free stuff and demo programs too. I’m also a big fan of providing extra video resource links since I enjoy ongoing education and I’m such a library nerd.

      Yes, I do have samples of my video work online! I am in the process of updating my old website (copy and graphic layout) but I do have many video clips from my different productions for you to enjoy.

      My website address is: (Starlight Video Productions)

      From the home page you can click on the “Profile! Magazine” tab and see a listing of all my shows with video links. The closest I have right now to a “demo tape” is at the top of my “FAQ” page where you can see highlights of my work. I’m a big, big fan of early film history so it’s no surprise I have these video clips at the top of the pages.

      I noticed how you have the name of your video company and website address on your signature line. I’ll have to do this too. And check out your website and other videographer websites on this forum. I truly enjoy looking at all the video productions. There is so much talent here and I enjoy seeing all the projects everyone is working on.

      Tara 🙂

    • #167739

      Tara, good effort onProfile Magazine, Starlight Video Productionsand website. It all looks well organized. I think you have received great advice on the classroom question. As Video Business Host, I hope you will share, under a different post, more insight on your approach to developing, producing and marketing your niche business. I am trying to initiate profiles of vidi-entrepeneurs for the benefit of our community.It would be interesting to know whether your efforts are providing a return on your investment or whether you are pursuing a passion. Thanks a bigdistinction for most of the community. Also, on a seperate subject, your insights on public access programming would also be informative. Regardless, keep up the good work.

    • #167740

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your nice message! I appreciate it!

      I would be delighted to share more insight on my approach to developing, producing and marketing my niche business. The term “vidi-entrepeneur” is a new expression to me and I really like the concept of that title.

      Yes, my efforts do provide a return for my investment depending on which project I’m working on. I have a balance between what I love to do (passion, volunteer) and clients who hire my videomaking services for pay. It took a lot of hard work to get to this point (pay) and I can happily say I enjoy my part-time income.

      I would also be glad to share my insights on Public Access programming. I’ve always enjoyed working on community programs and teaching videomaking skills to new students. No surprise, I enjoy teaching and archival work the most. I think that comes from having a Library Media background.

      I will check out the other Videomaker forums and see where I can jump in and offer ideas in the future!

      Tara 🙂

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Best Products

The best lights for video production — 2021

Lighting needs run the gamut, from huge budget productions to small, DIY vloggers, and there’s something for every niche. This article will explain what to think about before buying lights and provide a list of the best video lights currently on the market.