At the start of class seven, Spring, 2017, I asked students to write directly to you, the class of 2017 heading into your final semester. Anonymity was promised so they could be fully honest and I promised I’d publish everything they wrote. So if they didn’t like something about me or the class, for instance, if they disagreed with my choice in shoes, they could write that. Here’s everything they wrote. 10 March 2017
Be ready to challenge your ability to find great stories and then receive and give powerful feedback to make them always better. Take advantage of every minute during the week, because you will spend hours and hours shooting and editing. And last but not least: Practice your pitching skills!Spring 2017 student
I was worried about taking this class along with another production class like radio, but I think it’s manageable. I’m enjoying video storytelling, because you learn how to create videos for the web that people want to watch. The emphasis is on an individual’s story and there’s really no need to include an expert or narrator in the story. I like this concept a lot, because in our other classes we’re told to always include at least one outside expert and some other statistic or overall newsworthy issue. We still need some kind of newsworthy aspect to anchor our video stories in video storytelling for the web, but it doesn’t need to be drilled into the story.
Bob lays everything out on the syllabus and the assignments and deadlines are organized. He’ll always let you know what you have to do for the next assignment. Before I signed up for Video Storytelling I emailed Bob about managing the workload for this class along with Radio News Reporting and Writing. I also asked previous students in the Facebook group if they took two production classes. Some students said not to take both a video and audio class, but there were two students who actually took Radio News Reporting and Visual Storytelling and they said that they managed the workload, barely. I thought about everyone’s comments and made a decision based on what I want to get out of this program.
I only had experience in print journalism and was very quiet as a undergrad student so I decided to experiment with a radio and video class this semester. I knew that one of my semesters here would be the hardest and if it has to be this one then so be it.Spring 2017 student
You will learn the basic techniques of taking quality video in a fast pace. It’s fun, but a lot of hard work. You have to be on your toes constantly. It’s good training to develop a good eye for good scenes and compelling storytelling- for the web.Spring 2017 student
At the start of class seven in the Fall of 2016, I asked students to take a moment and write directly to you, the class of 2017 heading into your second semester. The cloak of anonymity was promised so they could be fully honest. I told them I’d publish everything they wrote and if they didn’t like something about me or the class, for instance, if they disagreed with my choice in shoes, they could write that. Here’s everything they wrote.
14 October 2016
Do it! This class requires the most work and focus of any of the classes I have taken at this school by far. And it is all about storytelling first and video producing second though. So don’t be overly scared off by the video stuff. Bob will show you the way with all of that. And you will get many, many, many useful insights, lessons and experiences out of this class. It is worth it!Student Fall 2016
Make sure that your schedule allows you to have enough time to perform all of the necessary tasks for this class — especially shooting in the field. If you want to delve further into web video, you should take the class in addition to video craft (which allows you to explore different video forms). But it’s unwise to take this class and video craft at the same time. This class will both be more intense than you thought and more fun than you thought. If you follow Bob’s guidelines, you’ll be fine. I’m taking the class as a third semester student, and I’m glad I did.Student Fal 2016
If you take this class, you need to be able to work backwards on each assignment. That means that you have to schedule your shootings and editing sessions right away, as soon as you know when the final cut is due. I guess my only word of advice is DON’T WAIT. If you can arrange an interview for today, arrange it for today. If you can start editing your footage today, start editing it today. Things like transcribing interviews take a mighty long time. Be rigorous. Don’t be like me. And don’t take drugs.Student Fall 2016
Take video craft. Then take this class in your third semester. Video craft is the best craft because video is the best. Get down the basics in your second semester and then do this. If you come at it with a semester of video experience this class won’t scare you with the formal expectations and is the best opportunity to do video work you’ll be proud of. Video craft is geared towards covering the fundamentals whereas this class is a space to challenge those fundamentals, to break the rules you’ve already learned. Bob creates a environment where experimentation is encouraged and if you want to think outside the box, and think like a filmmaker while still doing journalistic work, then this is where you’ll be able to do that. As long as it’s clear that you worked hard, Bob will push you to do more weird, more original, more creative and those stylistic decisions will be the things that make your work stand out and feel authentic, meaningful.Student Fall 2016
Hit your deadlines, be on time and take advantage of all the exercises. As long as you do those three things, video storytelling is worth it for anyone pursuing video as a full-time career.Student Fall 2016
At the start of class six in the Spring of 2016, I asked students to take a moment and write directly to you, the class of 2016 heading into your final semester. I promised them anonymity so they could be fully honest. I told them I’d publish everything they wrote. So if they didn’t like something about me or the class, for instance, if they disagreed with my choice in shoes, they could say that. Here’s everything they wrote.
12 March 2016
If you were ever unsure of your video skills from the multimedia class, this class will teach you everything you need to know and more. If you didn’t know how to properly use a tripod, you will definitely know by the end of the first class. Bob is a great instructor because he’s knowledgeable about video and will help answer any questions you have about shooting and editing.
Assignments and exercises will take up your time every week, so make sure you set out a day to film and edit so you won’t fall behind. The amount of work is worth it because you get practice with the camera.
Make sure you actually read the syllabus first before you ask any questions. People tend to ask the same 5 questions about assignments and exercises that are already in there. Also, make sure you’re never late to class, especially the first one. Bob is a stickler for that and will call you out in front of the whole class.Student Spring 2016
Video in general is a time-consuming art but if you want to understand how to create a good web video, take this class. Bob has high standards so don’t expect this class to be a breeze, but if you put in the work (you can ask for help when you need it from Bob and students), you’ll be rewarded. I have heard it’s tough to take this class in the third semester when you also have capstone work but it has been done before. If you want to feel inspired to create compelling web videos, Bob is your professor.Student Spring 2016
It is the FUCKING BEST!! Seriously what I came to this school for, I just didn’t know it. If you aren’t punctual this is the perfect class to learn to be so. I’m seriously getting all of this great feedback on my video skills and I blame it on Bob’s ability to explain things SO DETAILED!!! Love it!!! Come ready to WORKStudent Spring 2016
Bob cares a lot about video. If you are looking to improve the quality of videos you make…take this class. You will learn what keeps people interested and how to craft a beautiful looking video. However, if you are looking to learn some technical skills this is not that kind of class. You will learn the basics, but visit Chad or Allistar if you need technical help. I recommend this class for sure!Student Spring 2016
This class is great but it’s a lot of work – sometimes more than my craft class in terms of assignments due week to week. So if you’re not very good with equipment, premiere, etc; you’ve been warned. If you just want to dabble, take this as January Academy or a summer workshop instead.Student Spring 2016
I definitely recommend this class. It is very structured, super organized and immersive. You’ll learn a lot whatever is the level of your video skillsStudent Spring 2016
Is a very dynamic class that teaches you how to make compelling videos for the web and you learn a lot from the professor, the exchange of great video examples with your classmates and you will thrive technically. It’s demanding, Sacha goes fast and request your whole attention, but you learn with every experience.Student Spring 2016
Take this class if you want to improve your video skills. Don’t take it if you want a relaxing semester. Bob knows his stuff, he’s a little crazy, he shouts a lot, the hour before class every week is an armpit-flooding period of stress. But I learnt lots — how to tell a story, how to conduct interviews, editing miscellanea (which is very very important) and lots more. So I guess what I’m trying to say is, take this class.Student Spring 2016
VSW with Bob is an intense, hands-on and a very, very demanding class. If you decide to do it, don’t take it lightly. And if you do decide to take this class, it is time and energies absolutely WELL SPENT. I highly recommend this class.Student Spring 2016
At the start of class six in the Fall of 2015, I asked students to take a moment and write directly to you, the class of 2016. I promised them anonymity so they could be fully honest and I told them I’d publish everything they wrote. So if they didn’t like, for instance, my shoes or pants or anything else about me or the class, they could say that. Here’s everything they wrote.
Bob Sacha 14 October 2015
This is a tough class. But it’s rewarding. Bob’s demanding, and very, very involved–but I’ve found that’s a quality common amongst the best professors at CUNY. Be warned, as a third semester student, this is might interfere with your capstone; your sleep schedule; your sanity…but the work you produce will be exceptional.Anonymous class of 2015 student
I took VSW in my third semester. Not saying that I didn’t learn from my previous three to four video classes from the last year (I’m video-heavy), but it’s the first time that I first really learned how to use a tripod. Tons of good stuff in Bob’s classes and notes. Just take this class, for god’s sake.Anonymous class of 2015 student
This class is a must if you want to do video. And I would actually recommend taking it sooner than later, since Bob takes you step by step into what makes a good video story. Great class.Anonymous class of 2015 student
If you’re interested in making videos take this class with Bob as soon as you can. Every class you move forward in learning a new necessary skill. It is detailed, it it logical, it is challenging. I regret not taking this sooner in the program, as it is definitely the most organized video class here. One thing that is a little unnecessary is how the class materials are organized- in slack, in google docs, in the syllabus, on the VSW blog- there are too many platforms to pay attention to. A small hindrance though. But I hate his shoes and pants.Anonymous class of 2015 student
If you like what you see on the New York Times Op-Doc, this is the class to take. It will teach you all the tricks to get there… with a G-R-E-A-T instructor.
Anonymous class of 2015 student
Every semester I ask students in the class to anonymously write to the future, that is, talk to the class that is interested in Video Storytelling for the Web next semester. I promise that everything that students write will be published, no matter what it says. Here’s the raw unvarnished data.
I would recommend this class strongly–my advice would be to try and have story ideas coming in or early on so you have plenty of time to get good footage and spend time with your subject–the class goes by quickly. I’d also recommend thinking of the video coaches as a required part of the class and scheduling appointments with them from the start.Student Spring 2015
It’s a very engaging course and a very extensive course. There is, indeed, a lot of work but none of it feels for not. I think the syllabus is organized wonderfully.
You will get irritated on more than one occasion–carrying tons equipment, traveling around the city in horrible weather and etc.–but the course is extremely effective and worth the time and effort (and it demands 100 percent of your attention. Don’t take the course if you feel like you’re not going to be in tune and in step with what’s going on).Student Spring 2015
If you want to take this class, be aware: it’s a LOOOOOT of work. But at the same time, Bob is pretty amazing and you’ll learn so f*cking much. A piece of advice? NEVER BE LATE AND NEVER MISS A DEADLINE. Seriously. Shit gets scary if that happens.
Another recommendation: If you can balance your classes out in terms of difficulty, do it. This one will take a lot of your time if you want to do things right and learn properly.
If you’re up for the challenge, take it! And if you think that you need video experience for this, that’s not true. I didn’t.
Best of luck!Student Spring 2015
I wish Bob showed up to more classes — he’s missed three of our first six classes because of prior engagements.Student Spring 2015
You will learn an almost-overwhelming amount of information in the first few classes, and the course may seem too difficult. But, the more you go out and shoot and learn the vicissitudes of the C100, lighting, audio and managing your subject, you’ll gain confidence and your work will improve. It’s a learning process. Don’t think you’re going to come out with a New York Times Op-Doc in your first class exercise. Also: get action in every scene.Student Spring 2015
You won’t be disappointed, but be prepared to work. Challenging but totally worth it. Bob’s a hot commodity though, so sometimes he’s gone (for long stints of time). Generally his substitutes are cool, knowledgeable people though. Can be overwhelming but don’t let it overwhelm you. One of the best courses/ profs CUNY has to offer.Student Spring 2015
Stay organized. You will have a few deadlines. Like, film festival posts on Sunday night, voting on Thursday, exercises every week. Make it happen. If you are organized, it is not that hard. Also, use a tripod or monopod. Definitely important. One more thing, very important: think while you are shooting, remember tight/medium/wide and just try to find interesting shots.Student Spring 2015
Bob Sacha’s Video Storytelling is a great class. He’s an experienced video journalist that knows how to teach the many complicated facets of his field both successfully and entertainingly. Although the workload is continuous, it’s never overwhelming. Every week builds upon the last, and you become more knowledgable and skilled as the class progresses. However, the focus is on very short-form videos that are under ten minutes. If intended to learn longer form journalism, such as documentaries, there are other classes more fitting.Spring 2017 student
It is a lot of work. So you have to be ready for an elective that is demanding. But the way it is set up teaches you a lot about video storytelling – stuff that took me 5 years to learn. So if you are interested in video you will get a lot out of it.Spring 2017 student
Video Storytelling for the Web has been one of my favorite classes, if not my favorite class, that I have taken at CUNY so far. It is a lot of work but very hands-on and you will learn a lot about how to create a video story working as a one-man-band. The class itself has always kept me interested and engaged. It’s fun and I highly recommend taking it!Spring 2017 student
This class was probably my most time consuming, but most enjoyable class. I did not have much experience with video going into the class. The class structure was very clear and helped me develop new skills every week in a manageable way. Being in class and the assignments for the class were actually really enjoyable, even though it’s a lot of work. All of that work has a purpose and helps you get better. And some of that work is just watching videos, which is sweet. I even look forward to coming to this class. If you want to develop technically and conceptually, video storytelling is an amazing class. Take it.Spring 2017 student
Video Storytelling for the Web is a demanding, thoroughly rewarding class. The curriculum Bob has created is rigorous–a steady diet of shooting and editing exercises and film critiques–but highly organized and manageable provided you heed and plan around the deadlines. The class will help you learn to proficiently shoot and edit media and, more importantly, acquire the language, techniques and critical eye to create compelling visual narratives.Student Fall 2016
This is an awesome class. It’s like a breath of fresh air coming out of craft 2 video. Craft 2 video is extremely rigorous and stressful and does make you better at video storytelling, but deadlines are short and this leaves you less time to find compelling stories and tell them well. However, with this class, you have longer deadlines but I think more is expected of you. This way, in my opinion, leaves more room for you to tell the stories you want to tell, and well. You should end up with a good portfolio from this class. Would not advise taking it with video craft. It might be too much. The notes in this class are heavy and all over the place, so I’d write down all the sites and passwords on the first day. Fun class, fun teacher, fun times.Student Fall 2016
Definitely take this class. As someone who regretted not taking broadcast craft, Video Storytelling more than makes up for the skills I thought I wouldn’t be able to obtain.
Bob is the perfect combination of strict and cool; he is a stickler about deadlines (seriously), but he enforces them in a real-life context (because in reality, editors will not take kindly to you blowing them off). He makes you want to be early to class because of his enthusiasm and deep knowledge that he passes on to the class. Aside from him being super nice and extremely knowledgeable, he’s very accessible via office hours or Slack.
If you want to get your video skills up, learn how to create aesthetically pleasing stories for the web (without compromising the quality of the story), become a premiere whiz, and do this all under the instruction of a bad ass dude, take this class. Even if you don’t, do it anyway because you might regret passing on it!Student Fall 2016
The work in this class is a double-edged sword. Taking it in my third semester is proving difficult because the weekly exercises sometimes feel in the way of my other work. While sometimes I resented those smaller exercises because they weren’t always a part of the larger assignments, it was undeniable that it improved my shooting and editing skills. The more videos you make, the better you get. When it came time to shoot the first assignment, I felt more prepared and capable of producing better cinematography and experimenting with editing. On that note, however, I do wish this class had more lessons in advanced shooting and editing. I appreciated the class where we learned to put text on our videos and things that aren’t covered in Video Craft. To some degree, this class should have an unofficial prerequisite of Video Craft.Student Fall 2016
Video is not easy and I’m still working on issues with shooting, but this class is great to help you understand the elements of story and get to the nitty gritty of editing. Bob is a great teacher and he is a wealth of information.Student Spring 2016
I’ve never felt like I’ve learned quite so much in such an easily absorbed fashion. If you come in to this class attentive, if you listen and really apply what has been discussed, it shows fast. If you want to make videos with style, this is the ticket. Bob’s an excellent teacher.Student Spring 2016
Video Storytelling is like a lot of the specialized classes at CUNY J-school; it can feel all-encompassing. A few weeks in, I feel that I’m actually learning more about the technical side of things than I realized. Bob is pleasant and fun but does not accept missed deadlines at all. If you’re like me and your only experience with video and editing was the intro to video class first semester, you’ll feel in over your head, but it’s worth it.Student Spring 2015
Bob knows what he’s talking about, so just do it. I was already familiar with Premiere and how to shoot/edit video, but he has shown me some tricks that I probably wouldn’t have found out about for another couple years. He also wears terrible shoes.Student Spring 2016
Bob’s class is a chance to catch up on everything-video you missed out on during the first semester and then expand. The class is intense but fun and gives you wings you can use to levitate over the battle scenes of your CUNY life. Join the flock.Student Spring 2016
Try to make sure you have 2 hours after class to dig through the classnotes. There are whole bunch of good videos to watch. Sometimes, you will find Bob have to repeat what he wrote in the classnotes in case people don’t read. You will be one step ahead with it!Student Spring 2016
Video Storytelling is an amazing class! However, be prepared to do A LOT of work and ALWAYS BE ON TIME for Bob’s class. He treats us as professionals and has a lot of high expectations. We have great conversations about films and have learned a lot about story structure, conducting interviews, how to use the camera, etc., Bob is a great instructor and if you need help with anything, don’t hesitate to ask! I promise you that you’ll be proud of the work you produce in this class because its definitely a fun learning experience.Student Spring 2016
If you want to become comfortable with the camera and video journalism then you should take this class. It’s tough, and Bob isn’t easygoing, but he will teach you everything you need to know about video storytelling. He is not warm and fuzzy, so don’t expect to be coddled. If you are bad at making deadlines and arriving on time to class, then I do not recommend you take this class. This is serious work and it requires dedication. Each week there are critiques and it’s terrifying but it will make you a better journalist in the end.Student Spring 2016
In Video Storytelling you will learn all the technical things that you need to know in order to have good shots, including light, sound and composition. You will also learn the tips to tell compelling stories. You will have assignments every week and will receive feedback on all of them. The class is very intensive, but if you really like video, you will enjoy the class.Student Spring 2016
I took Video Storytelling for Web because I wanted to learn how to shoot and edit video, and to think about short form visual storytelling. This is one of the best classes I’ve taken so far at CUNY. The class lessons are packed full of information, though we don’t always get to all of it. It follows an organized schedule, and the assignments are broken into parts which helps you figure out the process of creating a web video in stages. Bob is a great teacher! Take it!Student Fall 2016
It’s a good class. Work isn’t going to bury you, so you got time to actually learn stuff.Student Spring 2016
Coming from a Craft II professor who taught us how to produce for t.v. news, video storytelling was a refreshing reminder of what videos on the web really look like today. I came to this school to produce stories and web videos are becoming, if they aren’t already, the most popular way for people to consume stories. You’ll come out of this class with beautiful video for your portfolio or website and unlike video craft, you are given plenty of time to pitch, script and edit your stories. I would recommend this class to anyone who loves visual journalism, photography or video.Anonymous class of 2015 student
This is an amazing class, not only because you will learn how to shoot with a C100, but because of the storytelling tips and techniques that you will be able to apply to many other assignments. However, video storytelling requires a lot of work and commitment (not impossible if you are organized). Bob is great and full of energy.Anonymous class of 2015 student
The class is incredible! But be aware it is a lot of hard and crazy work.
You will learn how to use the Canon C100 which is cool because you don’t have to work with a marantz for audio! (best part for me).
Bob is a full of energy and even if you have classes on Friday you have your brain fried!Student Spring 2015
Take this class before even considering Documentary. It’s way too much, but do not despair, it’s worth it. Only for the strong of heart.Anonymous class of 2015 student
If you want to know how to shoot, edit, and produce video pieces, this is by far the best class to learn those skills. It is more demanding than probably any other class, but absolutely worth it, as you will get more out of it than probably any other class.Anonymous class of 2015 student
I really love this class! As someone who is intimidated by big, scary, expensive cameras, Bob makes it so easy to adjust to this stuff. In other classes, at times I’ve been given ONE WEEK from pitch date to get all my sources, film, edit and fully produce a piece, this is the opposite. After a couple weeks of drills, etc. to get us acquainted with equipment (which all the while we’re gathering sources for a possible big project), we have weeks to pitch an actual story, then a couple weeks to do a radio cut (just sound), before the final project is produced. I can understand why many quality published pieces come out of this class. Bob is an awesome teacher with TONS of knowledge, you should get him!Anonymous class of 2015 student
Do it. Video Storytelling will be one of the most work heavy classes, however, if you can take it with Bob, you will come out better than you went it. Even though we have all had video training, prior to this class, Bob builds you up from the bottom to make sure you know how to do everything properly. I highly suggest it, just don’t be late, you’ll have to take notes for the entire class. Sincerely, AnonymousAnonymous class of 2015 student
Bob is awesome, you will learn a lot but the class is intense, pretty fast paced. We didn’t spend too much time on basics so I would get practice using the camera and editing before you come. Use the coaches. Come with some good ideas for visual stories.Student Spring 2015
If you want to make video for the web that’s is compelling and beautiful, this is a MUST to take class! Bob is a great professor and human being, he will teach you everything you need to know and more… Take it, you won’t regret it!Student Spring 2015
This is a great as well as challenging class if you are interested in working with web videos. Not really for broadcasters: traditional standups, man on the street, 10-second sound bites — forget all! You have to think of a creative way to tell a compelling story on the web by finding a unusual story, personalizing it and perfecting it. The class covers different aspects of video storytelling, and most of all, Bob Sacha is an inspiring video coach.Student Spring 2015
Don’t fuck around. In class, take notes, review them, and make sure you practice what you hear about before heading out to shoot.Student Spring 2015
Get comfortable with the equipment. Start working out your ideas right away. Practice, practice, practice.Student Spring 2015
Taking this course is a great idea. It’s a lot of work, and the standards are high. However, you’ll get a ton of practice in video, and you don’t have to be on camera! Especially if you don’t feel confident in video, this is a great class to make you feel like you can make short films for the web.
Maybe avoid, however, if you’re prone to being late…Student Spring 2015
It will be a lot of fun taking this course but a lot of work as well. Watch the little things such as making sure everything looks as natural as possible. Audio too because that’s super important.Student Spring 2015
In the Fall of 2014, we asked students to give us their anonymous unvarnished thoughts about Video Storytelling, coming to you, the class of 2015 directly
The feedback was anonymous and every response is listed below without any editing, condensing or quote polishing
Here’s the raw data…
☛ If you want to do video, take this class ASAP…
… . I regret taking it only my third semester. Bob is one of the most recommended profs at CUNY, and for good reason. You will learn so much. Bob will give you a lot of feedback, so use him. I doubt we’ll ever get this kind of access to good editing after CUNY.
A know how of the DSLRs is essential so you can hit the ground running. If you’re new to video, practice with the Canons as much as you can before taking this. Same for audio — make sure you know all the basic tech stuff before this class so you can really focus on the creative aspects.
Also never be late! Bob hates that.
☛ This class has already taught me…
… a lot about storytelling and professionalism. It’s fun to have the opportunity to talk about stories and narratives openly in class, as opposed to hard news for once. It’s a big work load and lots of technical odds and ends to master and you’ll want to take each assignment seriously, so keep that in mind. And don’t be late to class.
☛ This class requires…
… a lot of organization to do your best work. You need to be on top of equipment and out in front gathering video. You should come to it with some good ideas. Bob Sacha is a great teacher and you learn a lot. But to make work you are really proud of you need to have really good content ready to roll. If you are just trying to learn technical stuff this is not for you. You will get technical answers but to maximize the class you gotta have some stories in your pocket.
☛ Do stuff ahead of time…
… . This will save you a lot of stress. Come in with an idea, make some calls, this is actually a pretty fun class because in essence what you do is in the field reporting but with a camera.
☛ This class is great for video storytelling beginners…
– Sacha is very organized, plans out exercises and assignments well, and is always available for help. However – make sure you have a decent handle on the equipment before this class (DSLR, Marantz, etc.). While Bob does go over it a lot and there is plenty of help at CUNY, it’s still complicated and it’s so crucial to have an understanding of it if you want good video and audio. I wish I would have messed around and experimented with the equipment more before this class to get a better understanding of it..
☛ This is a great class…
… to really hone all parts of the video production process (especially shooting useful sequences) and to focus your ideas about what makes good video.
If you are new to video, this is a great crash course. If you are more experienced, you will keep improving your skills.
☛ It’s heavy but not undoably so.…
… Don’t be late. Bob will be mad.
Would help if you have a little broadcast background.
☛ Hey future people!…
… My partner and I for the odd job piece started working on two different ideas right at the beginning of the semester. If you can, start hacking away at something as soon as possible because you will be so much less stressed and all of the exercises will basically be taken care of. We ended up foregoing one of the ideas for later because the nature of these stories is you can’t force them. So you just have to shoot a bunch, explore and see what’s going to work. Don’t ever be late for class even if you’re in your third semester and getting pulled by the real world!
☛ Try to use the camera early…
… as much as possible, when you don’t have too many deadlines, so that later on, when you really need it, you’re really good at using it and don’t make as many mistakes. And then that will give you more time to work on your editing, which I’m finding is really hard and time consuming. The C-100s are great, I’m a big fan, but not a big fan of the tripods they make you take–they work with the smaller tripods as well.
☛ This class is a lot of work…
… especially the first few weeks, but if you have a serious interest in wanting to know how to shoot great video then there is nothing better to take. Bob is a great resource, you will learn so much, and really be surprised how far you can come in a semester.
☛ Guys, you definitely want to take this class!
It is A LOT of work (but hey, that’s just the way video is!), so I would recommend taking it during your second semester and not your third.
AND start thinking about ideas/possible subjects for your video stories before the semester even starts… Trust me, it will make things SO much easier.
Feedback from 2013
In preparation for CUNY Grad Students to decide if they should take this class in the Fall of 2013, Bob Sacha asked the members of the current class to give you their thoughts, addressing you directly.
The feedback was anonymous and every response is listed below without any editing, condensing or quote polishing
Here’s the raw data, as it were..
☛ Take this class…
…if you want to push yourself visually and make totally different types of stories. The more comfortable you are with the camera and editing, the more you will be able to pursue alternative ideas. But if you don’t have experience with this, the class will be able a great place to form a good visual aesthetic.
Bob is an excellent teacher who supportive and critical in a way that pushes ideas forward. If you take this class, make sure to go to office hours.
☛ Incredibly well organized, demanding, and,
… Bob is very clear about what he expects. What does he expect? Meet deadlines, don’t be late, complete assignments in a way that challenges you to fail and don’t expect to coast through. Kind of basic life skills pasted onto a video storytelling class. Highly recommend if your serious and committed to telling visual stories.
☛ If you want to get…
a lot of hands on dslr camera work, this class offers good exercises that force you to get to know the camera which I found very helpful. I definitely recommend paying attention in fcp x workshops. You jump right into it.
☛ Get comfortable..
…with the equipment and the software early. Watch similar stories to the ones you’re wanting to do and have a clear idea of the shots you want to get and how a video story unfolds. It’s easy to get hours and hours of footage and still not have a story you can tell in a minute, if you don’t know what you need setting out. This shit is hard.
☛ This class takes a lot of time.
You can’t create a well-shot video story with strong narrative elements at the last minute, so make sure to build in as much time for this class as you can. We have been working on a 1 to 3 minute video story for the last month and it has required several days of on the scene reporting and filming and I still don’t feel like I have enough footage.
That said, it’s a lot of fun and the learning curve is steep.
☛ It’s a great class…
…but only choose it, if you are committed to do a lot of work. The workload is broken up in tiny bits and pieces but you have to work continuously. You will learn step by step and you will definitely get better in doing videos.
☛ Be prepared for a constant work…
… and try treat each of your videos (even exercises) as short stories. The class is intense and if you decided to take it you HAVE to work on 100% otherwise don’t take this class. Do not be lazy. NEVER
☛ Just take note ..
…that this class will take quite a bit of your time. A video assignment is due almost every week, so be prepared to be out shooting quite a bit. The two bigger pieces in the class also take a lot of footage time, so manage your time well. Think ahead. Prepare.
Also — uploading videos always takes longer than you think (I learned the hard way). Always give yourself buffer time.
Always use a tripod. The DSLR is incredibly shaky.
Have fun! Be creative!
☛ THis class moves fast…
… but you learn a lot very quickly. I had very little experience wih filming or editing but in just a few weeks I feel confident enough to produce pretty polished and professional(ish) work.
☛ It’s a great class!
I would say the best class I took here because it forces you to think, practice, and work on a project long enough to improve it, rework it etc.
If you’re planning to take this class, think about your two big projects from the beginning. You will have time to practice shooting and recording sound by the time you get to the final project.
You can also check out the feedback from previous years