As the admin for this blog, I get to rub shoulders with some pretty talented and amazing technical instructors, and I do get pretty envious! But once in awhile they come to me for my little area of creative thought, and I get to do what I do best, which is to think of how on earth people use the internet to find what they’re looking for. I take that info and share it with the authors, so they can write technical copy to be reachable by those people. I don’t write the articles here, I take the written articles and insert them into the blog with pictures and videos. I add categories and tags, keywords, and I brainstorm about why kids want to come to summer camp – what are the needs that can be met and exceeded by our training and summer camps for kids, teens and adults and how Digital Media Academy’s training and summer camps can help people meet their goals. I try to make sure those important ideas and words are included. And it all ties in together – we have the terrific professional instructors, the amazing university locations for our summer camps (Stanford, UCLA, UC San Diego, University of British Columbia at Vancouver, University of Chicago, Drexel, Swarthmore, Brown, George Washington University Washington, DC, Harvard, University of Texas at Austin.) We just need to present the information in a way that is interesting, original, and findable. Findable being key! Read more
Summer is fast approaching and in sunny Los Angeles that means more time to do the things your kids love. Digital Media Academy courses at UCLA provide the perfect mixture of fun and education! Families looking for a summer sleepaway residential camp in California love the University of California (UCLA) American summer camp experience!
The addition of some great new teen programs such as our Action Sports & Media Combination courses allows our teen camp participants to enjoy skateboarding while learning practical skills in filmmaking. Digital Media Academy’s Action Sports Filmmaking and Skate Boarding and Filmmaking camp at UCLA will also give your child a competitive edge in the job market!
With the ever-growing industry in Action Sports in Southern California, Digital Media Academy at UCLA will be able to provide an advantage to anyone who is thinking of pursuing a career in that field. It’s a great way to get started on your new career choice using some of the hottest technologies. Students will be able to learn cutting edge cinematography techniques and editing footage that your teen films while they visit a real life action sports event.
If you’ve never made a movie figuring out exactly what tools you need to make one may seem pretty confusing. The process of filmmaking can be pretty simple and at it’s most professional level, pretty complex. But what do you need to make a movie?
Obviously you need a camera, but what do you need outside of that? Actors, check.
How about location permits or transportation. Didn’t think of that? No worries, here are the basic tools (and a few more) you’ll need both in the studio and on location:
A Video Camera
For filmmakers just starting out, there are a whole range of handheld, consumer (and prosumer) cameras that will give you really impressive HD images. HD video cameras are pretty much the standard now, and for the most part, the consumer level versions can be as simple as pointing them and pressing record. Most of these cameras record footage to memory cards.
A camera is key, but so is a workstation. Think of it as your production office, where you’ll not only develop a script but handle the business of making your movie. It’s also where you’ll edit your film. When selecting a computer, make sure your computer has enough memory to handle your editing and effects software (if you’re planning to use effects in your movie). Final Cut Pro and other editing software require more robust processors and digital video takes up a lot of space too.
Digital Media Academy gives students the opportunity to learn how to edit films using the latest version of Final Cut Pro. FCP is on of the industry standard tools for film editing and has been used to make movies like True Grit (2010) starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon and Zodiac (2007), starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo.
FCP’s interface is very intuitive (which makes it maybe the best editing software on the market) and because most of the editing is done on a timeline—editing clips and moving them to where they belong in your story—it’s easy to create a movie in no time. Final Cut Pro also includes a color correction application and other editing and film making tools, that if purchased separately could cost you up to $500.
A Cloud Service, and/or Blank DVD
One you’ve captured your footage, you’ll want to archive it. That’s where a cloud service like Dropbox comes in. Blank DVD’s can also serve the same function, but then you’ve got to worry about carrying around a piece of physical media. However, with physical media like a DVD, you don’t need an internet connection to access your content. On the other hand if you’re using a cloud service, you can access your content from any location you can get an internet connection.
Getting Ready for “Action!”
Now that you’ve got the basic equipment covered, you’re going to need a few more things if you want to be a serious filmmaker. Professional film training is at the top of that list, and DMA provides certification in film as well as beginner and intermediate film camps that can get you started.
But equipment isn’t all you need to make a movie, remember to put these items on your checklist, too:
Actors You can cast actors using a professional service, gather some friends or place an ad in a local paper. No matter where you find them, these are the people that will make up the characters that will tell your story.
A Crew Any good filmmaker knows the process of filmmaking is a team effort. Plus, things will go smoother when you have people to help you produce your film.
Permits If you’re shooting on location it’s highly recommended you get permission. That can be as easy as contacting the building manager in the location you want to shoot or as involved as contacting local agencies to get a film permit.
With today’s technology it’s easier than ever to produce a good quality film with something as simple as a smartphone and a few apps. But the equipment is just one of the parts of movie-making—Writing and being a good storyteller also play key roles. You’ll need to master them all to really take command of the craft.
News from HQ by Seamus Harte
It’s great when people recognize you for something you enjoy doing and do well. Digital Media Academy has once again been recognized for its world-class filmmaking program.
Digital Media Academy’s Documentary Filmmaking camp teaches future (and existing) filmmakers how to use the medium of film to tell a story. With instructors that are both award-winning filmmakers and educators with working experience in the industry, DMA’s filmmaking course gives you the chance to get first-hand experience from professionals.
10 Best Documentary Filmmaking Programs
Ranked as one of the 10 Best Academic Programs for Documentary Filmmakers, DMA is in good company. Schools like Duke, University of Florida, NYU, and George Washington also made the list.
DMA doesn’t offer a Master’s Degree for attending filmmaking camps, but they do offer professional, top notch instruction. In fact DMA has been cited for it’s ability to provide a “quick but comprehensive taste of the craft.”
If you’re about to or have graduated high school and are thinking about attending a 4 year college to pursue a career in movie making, you should check DMA. They’ll help you get a head start on making your passion your career.
By Jenn Garrison, Filmmaking for Teens/Adults and Apple Certified Final Cut Pro Instructor
I have been teaching for DMA for almost 6 years now!
Wow! I always love the experience of working with the enthusiastic students that come to the variety of DMA classes I teach. I primarily teach Final Cut Pro courses as well as narrative film-making for both adults and teens.
When I am not teaching for DMA, I continue to shoot my own projects as well as teach and edit projects for some of the major studios here in Los Angeles.
I’ve taught editors how to use Final Cut Pro at Paramount, Sony and even NBC/Universal.
Over the fall, and currently, I have been cutting webisodes for networks like NBC/Universal and Mun2.
I love bringing samples of my professional work into the classroom when I teach, to better show my students what I face in the “real-reel” world media making environment. Some students want to pursue careers in Hollywood, some just want to make their vision come across the screen. Either way, I am there to help them however I can.
For this blog, I wanted to share some examples from one of the more recent editing I’ve done.
They are nothing fancy, and something that anyone who learns Final Cut Pro in DMA’s courses can certainly tackle. Enjoy!
Docusodes (a new genre for the web) created for NBC’s new show “Parenthood”
The basics of filmmaking are, to be perfectly frank, the most important things an aspiring filmmaker needs to know. Composition, screen direction, shot sizes, set direction—these are the things that get one hired as a director in the film, television, or advertising industry.
Students at DMA have creativity to spare. DMA’s filmmaking instructors teach them how to apply that creativity to the medium of film, and how to use the tools to realize their cinematic visions. It may sound odd to use a term like “cinematic visions” to describe short films made by teenagers, but it’s entirely appropriate—kids are eager to learn, and have lofty and amazing ideas—just like real filmmakers, they have a real sense of what they want their films to be.
In DMA’s film camps for teens students learn Final Cut Pro, an incredibly sophisticated (but intuitive) film editing program. Teens get the basics early on and very comfortably ease into using the software. At DMA we’re getting a lot of great instruction into 5 days or multiple weeks, depending on the course. Usually, during the first week, the end of the third day finds the entire class immersed in their project work.
If you’ve dreamt of making movies but never thought it was a possibility, check out how Digital Media Academy can get you started in this amazing industry. Imagine your credits at the end of the movie!
Sony Continues To Provide Professional HD Video Equipment For DMA Film and Video Courses Given At College and University Campuses in U.S. and Canada
Campbell, CA — The Digital Media Academy (DMA), a leading provider of film and video training for educators, adult learners and teens, announced today that Sony Electronics has renewed its official sponsorship and will remain the exclusive supplier of video equipment for DMA’s courses. Sony provides its most current state-of-the-art professional high-definition video cameras and other equipment for use by students in DMA consolidated classes, which take place throughout the summer on college and university campuses including Stanford, Brown, Harvard, U of Chicago, U of British Columbia in Vancouver, U of Texas, Austin and many more.
“DMA is thrilled to continue its successful relationship with Sony as a corporate sponsor,” said Dave Livingston, Director of Instruction for the Academy and its programs. “We’ve made our name providing beginner to advanced training for teens and adults, using the latest and greatest industry standard tools. This relationship puts the cutting-edge, professional Sony video technology, including the HDV™ series of digital video camcorders, directly into the hands of our film and video students.”
Sony’s high-definition camcorders are the choice of professionals working in a range of video applications including electronic field production and newsgathering, and event videography, as well as leading university film and video programs.
“Training programs like the Digital Media Academy are an important part of Sony’s educational focus,” said Shari Sentlowitz, Sony’s Education and Government marketing manager. “We are committed to preparing the next generation of industry professionals and educators, and we’re pleased to continue to be the exclusive video products provider to DMA’s film and video courses.”
About the Digital Media Academy:
The Digital Media Academy (DMA) is a nationally-recognized organization offering hands-on learning in a broad range of digital media technologies. DMA offers a wide range of courses targeted at kids, teens, adults and educators, Founded in 2001 by a group of professionals from Stanford University, DMA is known for its premier summer programs hosted at prestigious destination campuses nationwide. In addition to its summer programs, DMA provides on-site training to schools and companies throughout the year. For more information, go to http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org or call 866-656-3342.
Future filmmakers find inspiration in everything. TV, the internet, friends, and movies. DMA encourages creativity but at the same time we realize teens find inspiration in the media they interact with. These teens in Digital Media Academy’s Film Camp found inspiration in a scary movie!
“Re-Encountered” was created by, scripted by, storyboarded by, and starred teens from DMA’s teens in Filmmaking camp. How’d they do it? Using HD video cameras, directing the scenes, editing music for the video and editing the video in Final Cut Pro, on Apple computer workstations.
Check out the suspense-filled short film shot on campus:
By Katy Scoggin – Lead Instructor Hands On Digital Filmmaking for Teens
Right now I’m in the pre-production phase of a short film I’ll be shooting at the end of March. The project is a collaboration between me—I’m the writer/director—and a group of actors from the graduate acting program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
As a writer/director, I constantly have to communicate my vision to a bunch of collaborators: my actors, my DP (director of photography or cinematographer), my production designer, and my editor. But on set, when the camera is rolling, my most important relationship is with my actors. Directing is more about shaping and tweaking and discussing performances than anything else. It requires an ability to communicate, a strong will, great listening skills, and—perhaps more than anything else—concentration. Concentrating on performance, and knowing when you’ve got what you need, is immensely challenging to do in an environment where dozens of people and lights and equipment are always hovering just outside the frame. But once you’re in the cutting room, and you get to savor arresting performances, the hard work really pays off.