Author Archives: Gus Andrews

Production meetings at the Gottesman Video Collective

Production meetings are central to our video-making process at GVC. Without them, many of us we wouldn’t know half as much about video production as we do! These Monday morning meetings are a time to talk about the videos published the previous week, discuss what worked and what didn’t, share tips on how to do better next time, help each other solve problems, and discuss what work needs to be done in the coming week.

Through this process, we learn from each other. Some people started at the lab with more experience than others, and frequently they share their technical expertise. But each of us has learned a little bit simply by working on production, and that also contributes to the group’s shared knowledge. Nick, our equipment manager, performed a number of tests with the cameras which generated some knowledge about how to use them to their best effect. We also periodically work through tutorials on Lynda.com or even on YouTube (which is where we picked up some tips about greenscreening and puppet construction), and bring that information back to the group. Frequently, we find that our high school and college interns teach us as much as we teach each other! Intern Corinne, for example, taught us a lot about color correction, and Reynaldo worked out some neat rotoscoping tricks using AfterEffects.
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Learning Video Production – Introduction

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.
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Teaching Media Literacy – Introduction

In the spring of 2010, Gus and co-worker Skye MacLeod from the Gottesman Video Collective set out to a high school in Brooklyn to test out using the Yell and Sell episode as a tool for teaching media literacy and media production. Over the course of five weeks, meeting with the class one day a week, we met with a class of about fifteen high school seniors, all of whom were relatively recent immigrants to the United States, and were from places as diverse as Tibet, Ghana, and the Dominican Republic. The goal was to have them produce “mashups” of commercials in response to Erna and Weena’s prompt at the end of the episode.

In the “Teaching Media Literacy” track of this case study, we present the results of that experiment in video form. We also provide additional lesson resources to support units on each episode of The Media Show. Further description of the high school class follows.

(One quick note: You may find that there is a great deal of overlap between this track and the Teaching Video Production track of this case study. Media literacy educators have long discussed whether an understanding of video production should be a part of media literacy education. We believe it should! Understanding how media get made supports an ability to deconstruct the messages they deliver. We recommend browsing through the Teaching Video Production articles, and seeing whether you can incorporate them into your media literacy teaching as well.)
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