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Old October 13th, 2003, 06:19 PM   #1
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Majoring in video production (college), questions.

Let me start this off that I am putting this thread here, since it seems to me like the most logical forum, sorry if there is a better place.

Currently I'm a highschool student, and I have great intrest in pursuing a major/degree in video production. I have ran a community access station at my school for a couple of years now, and have a good understanding of most things.
But to get on to my question, I am looking around at colleges to major in video production (or the like) at, but I'm coming up short. I live in Missouri, and there is a fairly prestegious and old journalism school here (university of missouri (mizzou)), and of course they offer journalism, but they have a "sub-category" of broadcast journalism. Another college offers a major called "broadcasting and film." I really want to stay away from newspapers/magazines/radio, just want to be in as much video production (all aspects) as possible. Hopefully you guys could give me some insight as to what sort of degree would be best suited to myself. Thanks.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 06:47 PM   #2
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Many people like Webster University in St. Louis. Also Lindenwood in St. Charles.

Webster has a better rep. I don't know about schools in KC. Next stop might be Chicago but I don't know if you want to go that far. I can recommend one there if you're interested.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 06:47 PM   #3
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What type of work do you hope to do after graduation? Where would you like to work and what do you see yourself doing?
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Old October 13th, 2003, 07:06 PM   #4
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Well, I think I see myself working for a tv station or that line of work, with assorted video projects on the side. Thanks for the input.

And Rob- I don't see myself going all the way to chicago, I'm going to look into webster, though.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 07:33 PM   #5
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Jeff, you do know that the broadcast stations are dumping people left and right, don't you?

For example:

Channel 7 here in San Francisco:

Number of people on the floor in the studio = 1 (floor director) plus the talent. All cameras are computer controlled and monitored by one guy in a small room. The Control room still has a number of people but those are being reduced too. Director, Tech Director, Sound, and a few others are the limit.

The station originates almost nothing except news and the occasional charity event. Everything else is bought or comes from the home office.

Camera crews in the field have 2 people. A camera person and the talent. No more. In some places, a single person does it all now. Camera, sound, lights & on-screen talent.

It is a crowded field and costs are driving the stations to become empty shells as far as I can see.

It would appear that it is the content side of the business that is growing. If you can provide content or can work on a team to provide content (like covering a ball game) then there is a fair amount of work available. However, a lot of people are after those jobs.

If you haven't, you might want to visit a few stations and see what is available for a new kid on the block.

An alternative is to just go do your own thing and provide content for the networks.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 07:34 PM   #6
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If you want to work in broadcast TV then go to the best broadcast journalism school you can. You are fortunate to have one of the best schools in your backyard, so to speak. University of Missouri has a very good reputation and graduates in all forms of journalism, including broadcast.

I would make arrangements to travel to the school for a visit. Get a tour of the broadcast facilities by a current upperclassman and ask questions. Find out about their graduate placement programs and current percentages of grads working in the field. Find out how they define working in the field. Some schools define working in the field as working at Blockbuster renting movies.
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Old October 13th, 2003, 10:15 PM   #7
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Manpower cuts.

Mike's post is right on the money but it shouldn't discourage you from going after your dream.

I shoot, in-house, for two professional sports teams on the side, the Florida Panthers and the Miami Heat and one of the things that I have noticed is that just like alot of TV stations, they are cutting back on "control room" personnel. Camera crews seem to remain unaffected, at least for the time being.

The up-side to this is that most of the game day camera ops are freelancers who sometimes have conflicting dates whether they are conflicting with other games or with other gigs altogether.

In other words, the folks crewing these games need to have a pool of camera ops to draw from to keep the season covered.

Now mind you, this is NOT a career, it is just a nice way to pick up some extra bucks on the side.

I have to agree with Jeff D, go to the best school you can and work your butt off. Remember that no matter how well the theory is taught, there is no substitute for actual experience.

Good luck, RB
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Old October 13th, 2003, 10:25 PM   #8
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It seems to me that a lot of college grads learn more from working/volunteering/interning in a professional environment than at a school. It doesn't seem like college is worth it if you're there to learn just technical skills. If you go the university route you'll get a broader education and the degree may help you get promotions depending on what you do.

Right now I'm attending Ryerson for Radio and Television Arts. The first year you learn radio, the second year television, and in the third and fourth years you get to branch out. Most people in first year with me are more interested in television but from what I hear (from people who have gotten past first year) there are a lot of converts to radio.

Like others here on this board I would suggest you have a good idea of what you want to get into and research your choices. Visitng the university/college in question is a great idea and the students/faculties could give you pointers on how to get accepted. :) Don't be blatant about that of course.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 08:47 AM   #9
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Jeff,

You might want to check out Fort Hays State University in western Kansas. Affordable, small class size, a nationally recognized INT department (video(television)/audio(radio)/networking/web development), and nationally recognized faculty.

It isn't that far away (half way between KC and Denver). There you should learn all aspects of video production. Granted alot of it is through the production of programs for the local cable channel (including news), but a good student will be able to take the information and make it work for any production.

This semester they are working on 8 original programs that run on a weekly basis, producing their own commercials, and even doing some dramatic pieces.

You can check out the stations website at www.kfhs.net, and you can check out the university/department at www.fhsu.edu/int.

or you can call directly at 785 628 5373 (main office) and ask for myself or one of the other video faculty.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 08:48 AM   #10
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I forgot to mention that we stress realworld applications and doing internships in addition to all that book learning.

I think you will find FHSU is a more hands on university than most you will ever encounter. From day 1 you can start using equipment that students at other universities have to wait until they are in their junior senior year.
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Old October 14th, 2003, 03:47 PM   #11
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I'd like to thank everyone for their input, I'm checking into everything mentioned. Thanks
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