South Carolina ETV Gets Digital with DSLR Training
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Just to give you a quick background, SCETV has 2 DSLR kits used on a regular basis with 2 producers trained to use those kits. One of the DSLR kits we received from DEG Grant 1 and the series Original SC was created from that. Others within the organization began to see the difference in video quality and were interested in attaining those skills for their projects. Enter Travis and Slavik.

This training offered by the producers of Indie Alaska and Indie America was a chance to grow the number of people trained on DSLR use from diverse parts of the organization. Those departments that made up the training session were from Radio, Education, Broadcast Content, Web Services and Electronic Field Production. This grant offered by DEG was invaluable to this organization because we would have never had the opportunity to all come together like this and learn this material with very little expense to us.

Before Travis and Slavik arrived at SCETV they spent a few days in the Lowcountry working on a story about a Grits Mill and the family working it. This served as the basis for Day ONE training on organizing and editing media.

This was very valuable. We learned how to quickly transcribe interviews and tricks on syncing audio for the stories. At this time ETV doesn’t create Radio edits for our stories but this was a great suggestion for getting our departments working together. Travis and Slavik also touched on a few tricks for color correction and exporting Broadcast Safe videos. Through this I personally learned I was doing things the hard way. I’m glad to know this “short cut” now thanks to Travis and Slavik.

“The DSLR training was a great opportunity to learn more about storytelling with people who are passionate about what they do!”

Other things we learned about on Day ONE were some tips and tricks on how to transcribe interviews in a timely fashion. I’ll be the first to admit this is not one of my favorite things to do but Travis and Slavik made it look so easy. I think everyone in the training now wants one of those transcription pedals.

Image - scetv_1.JPGImage - scetv_2.JPGIncredibly jazzed from the first day of training, I walked into Day TWO excited even more at the thought that we would get the full scoop on the gear the producers used and currently use for shooting.

We started out learning the ins and outs of camera settings for every circumstance (ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture) then moved on to framing and then to lighting. Lighting for these types of shoots has always been something that I've wanted to learn more about and Travis and Slavik certainly delivered on this aspect. The fun part about this was it was very hands-on.

We split into groups and worked through setting up the camera, audio and lighting asking the instructors questions as we went…an opportunity we never have in the field. We also learned a few tricks with using Magic Lantern.

They also touched on storytelling and interview strategy so it wasn't all about the gear. It was a good refresher for the older journalists in the room and very informative for the younger generation growing in the field.

“It was such an interesting and unique experience working with the Indie Alaska team. I learned different shooting techniques that I am practicing and hoping to implement in the future. It changed the way I look at creating a narrative and inspired me to frame my visuals in a way that drives that story forward in a cohesive way. I think the most encouraging thing of all was that they had an idea, went for it, taught themselves on their own along the way how to create the “look”” they were going for and evolved from there.”

Image - scetv_3.JPGTHE TAKEAWAYS
The great part about having a diverse group of people is that towards the end of the training session on day two we all got to talk about our experiences. We all, in a way, learned from each other. By the end we were all bouncing ideas off of one another on how we can use all of this new information and how this could help the organization as a whole. Everyone, even those affluent in FCP X and DSLR production, took away multiple tips and ideas from this training. 

"I loved it- it was better than cats"

“Onward and Upward” is something we like to say here at SCETV and this training has inspired us to not only create more content using DSLR technology but to also spread that content within the different departments of the agency.

The News and Public affairs Department is launching a new, web-based, content driven site where all of the video will be produced by 2 producers from the training session with new DSLR equipment.

And in the Content division we are hoping to launch a new web series based on towns within South Carolina by Fall of 2015.

“Learning how to set up a DSLR camera to get the most out of a person’s environment was a fantastic experience. Travis and Slavik taught with such passion and it infected all of ETV’s participants. ETV had all kinds of experience levels, and what I think proved most effective during the two day training was that everyone got something out of it, from interns, who had never held a camera before, to years of experienced professional television producers. I would do this training again and recommend it to anyone.”

All in all, the professionalism and knowledge that Travis and Slavik on all levels of production is what made this type of training so imperative to us here at SCETV.

“The DSLR training class was a very fun and informative class that gave basic to higher level teaching that truly can enhance any shooter, editor or producers abilities.”

If you’re interested in applying for a PBS Digital Studios video training, please fill out this application by April 24th, 2015.