Remember the video production training opportunity announced a few months ago? Since then, PBS Digital Studios, PBS Digital, and the Video Dads (the new production company started by former "Indie Alaska" producers Travis Gilmour and Slavik Boyechko) have rolled up their sleeves and gotten to work.
Not sure what we're talking about? Here's a reminder: this past summer, myself and Travis got a chance to visit a few PBS stations to train them in the art of producing contemporary video for the PBS Digital Studios network. We visited WETA in Washington D.C., NET Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, and WILLin Champagne-Urbana, Illinois.
Since then, PBS Digital Studios and PBS Digital SPI team have extended the training opportunity so more stations can participate in the multi-day video production course. After reviewing the grant submissions from stations, the following stations have been selected to take part in this round of trainings:
During the training we help to produce two episodes of the new PBS Digital Studios series, "Indie America." While producing two documentaries and training a group of PBS staff in a few days seems crazy, we want station staff to experience the workflow that makes rapid digital video storytelling a reality for staff at any PBS station. And to walk the walk, we will shoot one of the "Indie America" episodes a day before the training, and edit that short documentary during the training itself.
Since the winners were picked a few months ago, the Video Dads have traveled to KUED, OETA, and Vegas PBS. In addition to meeting the great staff at these stations, Travis and I have had the privilege of profiling some fascinating people for the video series. At KUED, we arrived at the airport at 9am, picked up the rental car, and at 10am began shooting the following Indie America episode:
During the training, KUED participants learned how to edit the hours of footage and interviews into a short web documentary, before moving on to a day of hands-on training on shooting, lighting, camera and lenses, audio, and interviewing techniques. One of the participants joined the Video Dads the following day for the second Indie America shoot, an episode on the Tonga community in Salt Lake City. That episode is still in being edited, but let's just say a Tongan wedding, an LDS church service, and a Thanksgiving meal was involved.
At OETA and Vegas PBS, the Video Dads worked with the staff to determine their needs and desires for building on their digital video capacities. For the Indie America episodes, we profiled a kid's songwriter, a bike workshop and community hub, a music collective in downtown Vegas, and a man who owns some lions.
What are stations saying about the training? In a recent survey, participants have said they think these trainings can impact many PBS stations and the way they produce videos. Some have said they think these trainings can impact PBS as a whole network. Mostly, it's just a couple days of learning that can be fun and useful to both seasoned pros as well as newbies to PBS and video in general.
From one of the participants: "I think other stations could take away the same thing we did -- a methodology for creating high quality digital stories in an efficient manner.....It doesn't take that much investment to really increase your capacity to capture and share the stories that are around you."
Want to hear more about how PBS Digital Studios trainings, in the next installment Chase Harvick, Communications Coordinator, OETA discusses the training held at his station.