Few people would disagree that learning video production requires a great deal of hands-on experience and time spent learning the craft from more experienced producers. It may not be the only thing a person needs to know to make video, but there’s a reason why internships and PA work have long been a part of video production curricula. With technology changing rapidly, it is unlikely that students today will be able to learn everything they need to about video production while in a classroom anyway. What is more important is cultivating their ability to learn from and work with peers and co-workers as they work on a range of productions, in a range of roles.
The Media Show was born at what was once known as AfterEd TV (now the Gottesman Video Collective) at Teachers College, Columbia University — an environment that thrives on a culture of peer learning. The show has been one of a rotating smorgasbord of short video series, produced by graduate assistants, undergraduate interns, and part-time staff. These producers all come together at a weekly meeting to critique each others’ work, share tips on how to improve production quality, solve problems with equipment, experiment with new techniques, and plan for future series.
This model has benefitted the growth of The Media Show immensely. Gus, Luke, Mary Kate, Corinne, Jaclyn, Victoria, and Robert — the show’s editors and producers — all came in to the show with limited video production experience, and grew as producers through these meetings. Often, we learned by trial and error, and because of the quick turn-around time for new episodes at the channel, there was no going back to fix mistakes. Despite that fact, the show’s production quality has visibly evolved in its two-year run.
In the video production track of this case study, we present what we’ve learned — sometimes the hard way! — in producing the show, as a sort of stand-in for sitting in on our production meetings. A number of the articles on this theme are linked to in this post, but you can also explore the Teaching Video Production topic. The Writing and Storyboards subtopics may also be of interest.