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Old September 2nd, 2004, 10:21 PM   #1
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Which course to take? DV Prod or Film Prod??help!

sorry in advance for the long post!

I would like to take some classes in film and video directing and production. It's currently something I do very informally for friends that I would like to develop much further. My main interest is in music video, though TV, commercials, short films and docs are also an interest, basically anything other than feature films. Again, music video is definitely my #1 interest.

I would also like to be able to work on my own projects to some degree and currently lack the knowledge, though I have the tools (3ccd dv cam, mac, FCP+, drives, etc.), in addition to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to someday be involved on a more advanced level.

I plan to enroll in some evening continuing ed classes at NYU. I had originally thought their certificate in DV filmmaking was a good collection of classes to get me started, so I enrolled in 3:
1. Techniques & Technologies
2. Digital Video Production. I, and
3. Editing with FCP.

While at the open house recently as well as when speaking to some friends in the film/video industry, it was suggested that I would be better off taking Film Production I instead of DV Production I to start off with.

Several reasons were mentioned, including the fact that I have absolutely no knoweldge of film and should at least have some basics, that the directing skills were similar, and that film knowledge transfers better to video than vice versa. Also mentioned was the fact that most videos are in fact shot on film which is true.

1. Can someone provide some advice as to which I should take first, DV prod I or Film prod I.

2. Is it highly recommended that one take Editing with FCP sooner rather than later, or would the same skills taught in the production classes mentioned above (the prod classes are basic start-to finish production workshops that involve editing)?

FYI, I have a background in writing and journalism and I'm currently a web producer (though I have very little interest in working further in that medium).

TIA for any insight/advice !
Michelle Cohen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 2nd, 2004, 10:53 PM   #2
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I would take film production courses first. The basics are the same regardles of the medium. The reason I'm saying this is that I am aware of at least two schools that teach both, and there seems to be a big double standard. In the film classes they teach you to use a tripod, use good lighting, proper exposure, good composition, good sound recording, etc. And in the video classes they give 'em a camera and tell them to go make a movie or something. I've been a judge numerous times for such things as college documentaries on a regional level, and the stuff done on video seem to be really, really lacking in normal production values. You give them a movie camera and they get a lighting crew and a soundman; you give them a video camera and they don't even use a tripod or a mic.
I'm sure this isn't true of all colleges and universities, but I've seen it quite a bit at at least 3 different schools, one quite well known. By the time you get through with your education and in the biz, it may be all HD or something and you may never expose a frame of film, but if you know what you need to know about film production, you can learn everything you need to know about translating that knowledge to video in about a week or two.
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Old September 4th, 2004, 04:37 PM   #3
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I concur. Take the film course.

While I don't know what the courses have to offer, from my experience since film is regarded as the "gold standard" or production, more attention to detail and the full aspects of production...while DV tends to be seen as the low end and will be treated as such. On the ohter hand, the DV class might teach the proper techniques for DV video productions...lighting for DV and the like...which might be helpful if all you will be shooting is DV.

But...overall I feel that more would be gained from the film course.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 03:28 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for all the great advice, I think I will take the film prod. class. I'm interested in shooting DV for the accessibility and practice editing, etc. and as a way to work on my own projects to build experience, but I'm hoping the I'll learn enough to help me with both, and as I'm interested in music videos and have no experience with film at all, I think it will be good at least get the basics....
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Old September 5th, 2004, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Editing in FCP - Check out The Edit Center, they have an interesting curriculum.
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