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How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck

What about Video Classes? Can You Help?

Hi Steve,

I’ve read your book and improved a lot after reading it – thank you!

Now I have a fancy new DSLR, and want to take my home movies to the next level. Do you know anything about some of the courses that are out there, such as dvworkshops.com, or nyvs.com? I’m thinking they might be  good resource to help me work on polishing my camerawork and editing.

—Lilia

I have an extreme bias toward experiential learning in video.  Theory is nice, but practice is what makes you better– practice in both the physical job of shooting and practice critiquing your own work and the work of others.  Video classes where a great instructor leads you in exercises, then leads class critiques of student work can be really useful.

Be careful though that it’s a great group and great instructor.  Seek recommendations, read reviews carefully.  And if, at the end of the first class, you dislike the instructor or atmosphere– get out.  Video is about creativity, and nobody’s creativity flourishes in an environment that makes them uncomfortable.

I learned a lot about screenwriting from these types of experientially-driven workshops, and I teach people video that way myself– which is why the book is full of exercises.  But to be honest, I don’t know a lot about other classes or courses.

If you don’t need a formal class, I recommend looking through the great videos available free at Vimeo Video School.

For those who want more structure– Does anyone have a fave school/teacher/course you’d like to share?  Leave a comment below.

 

 

6 thoughts on “What about Video Classes? Can You Help?

  1. A couple of resources that I have used and recommended are http://www.macprovideo.com and lynda.com. Both are great technical resources regarding camera and editing software and lynda.com has a few resorces dedicated to storytelling process workflow. They are both paid subscriptions, (very reasonable), and include training material.
    Hope that is helpful.

  2. A couple of resources that I have used and recommended are http://www.macprovideo.com and lynda.com. Both are great technical resources regarding camera and editing software and lynda.com has a few resorces dedicated to the storytelling process workflow. They are both paid subscriptions but include an incredible amount of information as well as exercise material that you can use with the lessons, or you can just apply the information to your own projects.

  3. Lilia – For what it is worth – and do take this with a grain of salt because my my own videos are still aspiring not to suck – I think the best most of us can do (most of us being non-film school students with a real life) is to cobble together a video education a la carte, wherever we can find it. Sure, I'd love to take off for 6 months and do nothing but audit classes at a great film school, but unless I win the Powerball tomorrow night, that's not going to happen. I've only recently discovered Steve here, and his book has been a tremendous help, allowing me to connect dots, correct stupidities and – most of all – helping me to understand the finer points of video as storytelling. I have also been a big fan of Michael Rosenblum over at NYVS – which does, by the way, have some great training (tip: if you buy or download his book, The iPhone Millionaire, you'll find a code in it somewhere for a free 30- or 90-day trial subscription to the NYVS site.) And I'm getting ready to use Lynda.com for some Final Cut Pro X training; I've been using iMovie up till now. See – little bits of knowledge here and there. I think Steve is right when he says that the best thing to do is just play with your toys, learn what you can on your own, and not be afraid to make video that sucks. That's the only way you improve. Steve – thanks for a great book. I've really, really enjoyed it and learned a remarkable amount in a short amount of time. Not only are you a great video storyteller; you're a great writer, too. I just wish you made more videos about making videos; if you have, I'm not finding them on your site.
    With gratitude,
    Ken Haedrich
    Dean of ThePieAcademy.com

    • Thanks, Ken, nice to hear from you. I was recently gifted your maple syrup cookbook, so I’m a fan! Working on more videos to train video…not ready to announce yet, but soon I hope. Definitely check out Vimeo Video School too– totally free, and quite good.

      • Hi Steve – My maple book, huh? Small world. I hope you enjoy it. I'm glad to hear you've got some video training videos in the works – or so it sounds. You have a lot to offer and I think you'll find a large and dedicated following with your commonsense approach. I have indeed watched a lot of the Vimeo training; it's very good and I recommend highly as well. Thanks again for your good stuff, and let's stay in touch…

        Ken

  4. Steve, Ken & CL – thank you very much!! appreciate the tips. Will check those out. Still considering DVworkshops, it looks hands-on and it's only a weekend (or 4 days if I stick around to learn Final Cut) but we'll see. Feels weird spending $350 + travel costs on what is really just a hobby.

    I will start with doing exercises in the book – the video above is really inspiring!!

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