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Old August 31st, 2004, 07:59 AM   #1
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Sources of quality classroom training?

Greetings,

I'm looking for quality in-class training on all aspects of DV production: pre-prod, lighting, sound, cinematography, editing, compositing, motion graphics, compression, etc.

Can anyone share experiences, either good or bad?

The reasons that I'm looking for in-class training are: 1) to observe people who are successful in the industry (i.e. they make $$, its not just a hobby), 2) to get totally immersed in the subject for 2-3 days, 3) to get hands-on practice while being able to ask questions in real time, 4) to network with other students.
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Old August 31st, 2004, 01:12 PM   #2
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Videomaker magazine

I see you're from CA. Videomaker magazine offers short workshops a few times a year near their HQ in CA. (Sorry, don't remember exactly which city.) I doubt they get into compositing and compressing, but your extensive list is probably more information than an average student can effectively handle and apply in any useful manner.

Good luck in your search. Consider starting with the basics of good video (lighting, camera technique, and audio) before exploring the more advanced topics. Otherwise it's garbage in, garbage out.

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Old August 31st, 2004, 06:44 PM   #3
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I attended the Videomaker workshop. Save your money.

The least expensive approach is probably someplace like Diablo Community College. A bit more expensive but more comprehensive is to take classes from the Bay Are Video Coalition or Film Arts Foundation, both in San Francisco.

Above those are the full-boat film schools like S F State, The Art Center, and specialty schools like the documentary school at Stanford, Berkeley and Davis.

For specific topics like compositing, there are traveling classes either put on by the manufacturer or by some of the leading users of the products.

I've taken classes from Douglas Spotted Eagle on Acid, the Meyer pair on After Effects, and Photoshop from several groups. These tend to be a bit pricey but worth it for the content and the people you meet (Very very important).
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Old September 1st, 2004, 12:44 AM   #4
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Mike,

Do you have any links to the AE classes you attended?
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Old September 1st, 2004, 09:10 PM   #5
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This isn't how I got the info but here's one avenue:

http://msp.sfsu.edu/Instructors/rey/...tutorials.html

The Meyers write a column for DVMag and that may be where I learned of the their course in San Francisco.

Here is their Web site: http://www.cybmotion.com/training/
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 01:39 AM   #6
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Thanks. Has anyone tried the 3-day workshops put on by DV Creators (dvcreators.net) in Santa Monica? They claim to be the "market leader in DV training." I'm considering their Final Cut Pro 3-day class.
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Old September 2nd, 2004, 02:45 AM   #7
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Cameron, the only problem I see with 3 day classes are that they are highly concentrated and do not offer you long term immersion. You may have a handle on FCP within those 3 days, but a few weeks later you may need more answers. I think that courses taught at schools, community colleges, and universities are a better way to go.

FCP is like a language - you need to use it often or else you'll forget it.
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Old September 3rd, 2004, 10:08 AM   #8
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Thanks for the links Mike.
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Old September 3rd, 2004, 02:08 PM   #9
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Mike, thanks. That's a good point. My only concern is scheduling. I know I can schedule in 3 days, but am not sure about 9 weeks of Thursday nights. I checked with Berekely Extension, and they have a Final Cut Pro class that offers a total of 36 hours of instruction for $500, but its taught by an academic guy that gets his work shown in museums, rather than actually getting paid for stuff. I'm a little concerned about that. I think I'd rather be associating with people that actually make money in the business, since I hope to one day pay the bills with something related to video prod.
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Old September 3rd, 2004, 02:42 PM   #10
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One thing you may want to consider is PixelCorps:
Pixel Corps Fall 2004

For less than the price of a 3 day mini-class, you end up with months of training as well as access to thousands of dollars worth of software for the term. The program doesn't really focus so much on DV shooting, but your other prime objectives are well served, plus you don't have to "loose" a block of days.

The networking you do ends up being on a global scale. Instead of a dozen or so people in your area, you're in direct contact with hundreds of professionals from around the world. There's also a facility in San Fransisco with it's own concetration of membership.

By professionals, I mean active members that include videographers, photographers, artists, visual effects pros that work in feature films and television, and emmy winning audio engineers to name a few examples. Some work for newtworks and production companies, others are freelancers. There are also a number of people that are aspiring to become pros or simply want to learn more about the industry and technologies.

FCP is the video editor of choice for the group (all team projects requiring editing are standarized on FCP) so there is a high concentration of advanced users to communicate with, but to be honest, I haven't seen a lot of FCP focused training in the online program yet. (Though I am on a PC myself, so I don't really look for it. :) )

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this out there as it may be worth considering for you. Especially given the low price that could make it a "why not try it?" option. I've been a member since the beginning of the year (I get no "kickback", credit or recognition, for referring anyone and only post about it when it may actually be of interest. In fact, I think this may be the first time I've even mentioned it here.) and would be happy to answer any questions if you got 'em.

Good luck.
Have fun.
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Old September 4th, 2004, 05:18 PM   #11
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A great teacher for Final Cut Pro is Aron Ranen at SF DV workshops (http://www.dvworkshops.com). I have taken clasess from BAVC and others and no one is better than Aron. He is a working Indie and not an academic. He knows his stuff and also is a great teacher. None better
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Old September 5th, 2004, 12:26 AM   #12
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Thanks all! These are excellent suggestions that I'm following up on. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:26 AM   #13
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Aron Ranen

Just an Update: I took a class from Aron, he is a great guy, very generous with his time and expertise. The class I took was a basic videography course which turned out to be a little *too* basic for me, but there were people there that were definitely drinking from a fire hose. Also, be advised that he is a documentary film maker so his teaching and exercises tend to be very heavily focused on documentary techniques. His prices can't be beat so if you know anyone in San Francisco just starting out in video production, send them over to Aron.

His web site is at: http://www.dvworkshops.com/
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:14 PM   #14
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Can you link his info?
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Old December 14th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #15
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Aron Ranen Web Link

Sure, he is at:

http://www.dvworkshops.com/
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