HomeA-Z Program Guide → Top Digital Video And Media Production Schools

Top Digital Video and Media Production Schools

Videography is a wide, all-encompassing term for almost any form of video recording or video broadcast that can include DVDs, music videos, broadcast news, YouTube shorts, and many types of animation. The term ‘videography’ actually dates back to 1972, but with the proliferation of digital video and editing technology almost every form of video media can technically be called videography.

Communications Media

Because the techniques and principles are the same, videographers often attend the same schools as cinematographers although they may take less of a focus on storytelling. Because of the short history of videography, much of the education for a videographer is based around broadcast or the short film. Classes may also focus on news broadcasting and newsroom production.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012) describes videographers as those who film small ceremonies or special events or who work with companies to produce videos or documentaries. Videographers may often edit their own work or run their own business. With the introduction of video streaming services, videographers may also publish their videos online and seek copyright protection for their work.

The Best Videography Schools

The Hollywood Reporter has included the following film institutes on its 2011 inaugural list of “25 Best Film Schools”. The top 10 below come from the list, which was based on tuition, degree programs available, and notable school alumni.

1.  American Film Institute
2.  University of Southern California
3.  Beijing Film Academy
4.  New York University Tisch School of the Arts
5.  University of California Los Angeles
6.  California Institute of the Arts
7.  The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague
8.  Columbia University School of the Arts
9.  Wesleyan University
10. The National Film and Television School

Below are some of the digital video and media production focuses available from schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

Digital animation

Long gone are the days of drawing a cartoon mouse by hand and producing a glorified flipbook. Today, a modern animator doesn’t need access to a camera because digital images can be transferred from the editing computer to the projector or website. Animation has also gone beyond drawing anatomically incorrect mice and can now involve various aspects of modern, post-production special effects.

Classes can include animation principles and techniques, analysis of form, anatomy, and also art history. Some schools may include digital editing classes as part of their degree programs. As most videography-related degrees are awarded in the arts or fine arts, much of the coursework may involve the practical aspects of the profession. Students of digital animation can expect to work with animation and editing programs.

According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), employers do not typically require a degree for employment, but some do look for portfolios showcasing strong technical ability. Some animators may even be hired on a probationary basis to see if they can do the job. The largest employer of animators was the motion picture and video industry, providing 11 percent of animators with jobs (BLS.gov, 2012). However, 59 percent of animators were self-employed and worked from home.

The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) reported an annual national wage of $6,830 for multimedia artists and animators in 2011. The top 10 percent earned up to $109,370 nationally and the lowest 10 percent earned up to $34,800 nationally. The BLS predicts nationwide employment growth in the field of up to 8 percent (BLS.gov, 2012).

Digital editing

Rarely is a movie, or non-live news broadcast, shot in the sequence the viewer sees presented. In the case of news broadcasts, an entire day’s events can be compressed into a 30-second clip. Rather than shooting chronologically, material is instead shot separately and edited together to form a cohesive story or narrative by a trained video editor.

Classes in cinematic storytelling, basic computer editing and introduction to sound and cinematography may all be required depending on the editing degree program. Bachelor’s degree programs may also require classes in journalism or writing either as part of degree requirements or to prepare students for editing broadcast news. According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), many editors are trained on a specific type of editing software in addition to the editing training they receive during a bachelor’s program.

The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) also notes that those joining the profession often start as editor’s assistants or edit room assistants before moving up to an assistant editor and finally being given the opportunity of running the editing room as an editor. The BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) indicated film and video editors made an annual national wage of $52,940 median in 2011. The top 10 percent earned up to $126,250 nationally and the lowest 10 percent earned up to $26,350 nationally. Employment for the profession is expected to grow up to five percent from 2010 to 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012) as broadcasting companies consolidate production roles.

Digital video production

Producing a corporate video or covering a wedding is no simple task. It can involve walking through the ceremony before it happens to pick out the best shots, plan where cameras will need to be placed, and decide what lenses to use for shooting. In some cases, the production of an educational video may require a videographer to write a simple screenplay.

Classes in video production can include broadcast journalism, screen-writing and audio/video editing. Students can find a variety of degrees available in communication ranging from the associate to master’s degree levels. According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), about a third of all camera operators and videographers were self-employed in 2010. According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), the national median salary for camera operators employed in television, videos and motion pictures, was $40,170 in 2011. The top 10 percent earned up to $87,850 nationally and the lowest 10 percent earned up to $19,770 nationally. The BLS predicts nationwide employment growth in the field up to 4 percent from 2010 to 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012).

Learn more about accredited digital video and media production programs from schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

When researching colleges and universities, be sure to verify your school is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council or another accrediting agency approved by The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both. DETC and CHEA both provide a searchable list of approved schools.

All fine art degrees in the U.S. are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design as well as some art degrees. Institutions that offer an associate of art degree, a bachelor’s of fine arts or a master’s of fine arts will be accredited by the NASAD. The association provides a searchable list of accredited institutions.


Sources and further reading:

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation

The U.S. Department of Education

The Distance Education and Training Council

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

O*NET Online

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design

The International Cinematographers Guild

The Academy of Art University

Digital Video and Media Production Schools

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