Community Media: Film/Video School Alternative

(via Media Policy Blog)

Download web version, full-frame version for playback on DVD, and full-frame MPEG-2 for server playback at Media Policy

Where does the general public go when they want professional, hands-on training in the film and video industry? Jaime Lloyd, independent video producer, highlights the training opportunities she has utilized at her local Community Media Center, Cambridge Community Television.

There are hundreds of ways to get a video education and many of them include university programs, community colleges or vocational schools. Unfortunately, these schools only cater to those who can afford the cost of tuition as well as the expense of renting equipment and buying film stock. A secondary education in the film/video can range from the $4,694 per semester (in 2004) at a 4-year public institution to $1,905 per semester for a 2-year public institution (1). At these prices, a secondary education can be out of reach to many individuals.

Community Media Centers, also known as Public Access Television Stations, provide access to affordable film/video production classes as well as often free access to expensive production equipment. According to the Columbia Media Review, many Community Media Centers offer $25 or less membership fees with nominal fees for classes. Better yet, many Access Centers offer these classes for FREE. Individuals can get hands-on training with live television studio production, field documentary production, as well as editing training on industry standard edit systems.

Community Media Centers all over the country have been feeding the mainstream media industry with talented, motivated, and well-trained individuals since its inception almost 30 years ago. Independent community media producers have found their way into prestigious film festivals, PBS positions, local and national news network positions as well as into academia as film/video as teaching professionals. Perhaps someday, we will be watching a Jaime Lloyd production, until then you can find her taking classes at her local media center.

(1) According to the College Board 2005 study of tuition costs.

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