Digital Video Camp – take 3 or 4 is it?

The years fly by and I forget how long I’ve been doing stuff. Back in the dawn of digital did a video workshop at Delta College with co-conspirator Larry Nance. Two aging geeks with a fire for new. So we proposed a one day video workshop to introduce the world to nonlinear and basics of production. An entire six people turned up as I recall…

Then my mentor Willie Kee passed away and I began to put on workshops for college students under the umbrella of SFBAPPA. First few years well attended and then – SURPRISE!! Twenty still photogs turned up, all clamoring to learn video. Although the Platypus movement predated this by more than a decade (it ain’t a duck or a fish or a mammel – it’s a mixture), this was the first I saw how the times were a changing.

The avalanche began for real. I was out of news and in the classroom and now I’m teaching kids what they need for jobs that haven’t even been dreamt up yet.

Today I packed bags of gear and goodies back to Delta College for the (is it the fourth???) Video Boot Camp – or Digital Video Camp. It’s not a money maker. It’s not about deep knowledge. It is all about instilling a passion for video. So skip the in-depth for now about how to set up a program and the minutia and details that make your a pro. For once I say, let’s make a movie kids!

Two quick lessons on using the camera, editing basics, and animation (for team building) and we plan and shoot and go with the KISS plan. (keep it simple silly)

For the first time I have access to Delta’s TV studio and a ton of wonderful iMacs with Final Cut Pro (thank you Professor Will Story). And for the first time I prodded and cheered a tiny band of summer-crazed videots through a two hour session in the basics of Final Cut. At which point they could cut a clip, lay in timeline, add titles over black and video, and add transitions. Don’t know how the students felt, but my head hurt. But videots they are – they were focused and playing with adapting and personalizing the titles and playing with transitions like pros. I had to pull them away to get them started on the animation assignment.

Tomorrow they finish the animation shoot – run it through FC and we’re off to plotting and shooting the movie.

I debate with myself it I’m doing the right thing here. In the past I’ve taught using iMovie – easy to learn but a dead end if you want more. I could cruise thru editing and focus on the rest of it all.

Teaching Final Cut is harder on all of us – but students can see the power of real editing. And to tell the truth the computers available only have iMovie 9. (everyone say, “OH NO!!!”) A pox on it – a bastard program that takes us back back back to the land of editing for dummies.

Oh – back to reality here. I have two more days of fun with my videots and then it’s back to my studio at McNair High School to rewire the control room and set up the lights on the lighting grid. And try to find out what caused our switcher to crash right before the studio assignment this past term.

Enjoy the sun…enjoy the summer.

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