. Unearth Your Potential at Video Symphony ()

Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:24:38 GMT

Are you tired of languishing at home with your college degree? As you will learn in this video, you are not the only housewife who secretly wants a new and exciting career in media production.

Do you feel trapped in a life that seems to be going nowhere? Are you dependent on someone else for your income and social life? Get out of the house and start the career you’ve always dreamed of. It’s never too late to unlock your potential and step into the world of Hollywood film production!


Video Symphony is proud to offer a wide range of courses in post-production editing, film editing, and video editing. To learn more about our innovative coursework and available certifications, including AVID TV certification and Pro Tools certification, call us today at (818) 237-3545.

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Whether you’d like to focus on film editing or build the all-around skills of an indie filmmaker, Video Symphony has the program for you. You can learn more about professional film training by looking to the links below.

Schedule a visit to our Burbank campus by calling us at (818) 237-3545.

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Congratulations to VS Admissions Advisor Johnny Wilson for his recent work on the critically acclaimed and Golden Lotus Award-winning film Chittagong. Johnny served as Music Coordinator and Music Editor on the "uplifting and action-based drama" based on a true story. The film recently won three Golden Lotus Awards in India, representing the highest honor in that country's film industry.

In addition to the three Golden Lotus Awards, Chittagong has also won an award at the Sedona International Film Festival, Cinequest International Film Festival, and the Florence River to River Film Festival.

At Video Symphony, we offer a range of exciting programs to jump-start your career as an indie filmmaker. To speak with an expert about our new media production program, call our Burbank campus today at (818) 237-3545.

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Have you ever dreamed about having a career in the entertainment industry? You don’t have to be an incredible actor or musician to be successful in the film and music worlds. There are many entertainment production careers available for the right candidate. Attending a film editing school can give you an advantage in this competitive industry. At Video Symphony, you’ll get your Avid certification as well as hands-on experience to make you an attractive candidate for potential employers.

If music is more to your liking than video editing, you can get your Pro Tools certification and become an integral part of the audio engineering process. Take a look at our infographic to learn about some of the exciting careers available in entertainment production. Please share with your friends and family and get ready to start on your new path today!

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Today’s media professionals need a broad range of skills to succeed. That’s why enrolling in a comprehensive film editing program is a must for any aspiring film editor. Here’s a guide to some of the key benefits of enrolling in Video Symphony’s film editing program.

Breaking Into a Competitive Field

Film editing is a fun and highly lucrative career, but jobs in the field are incredibly competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , film editors command an average salary of roughly $45,000, but face a crowded job market. Having a certificate from a prestigious film editing school will help you to stand out from the crowd as you pursue opportunities. From your job interview to your first days on a new project, you’ll be able to demonstrate sound knowledge of the fundamentals of video editing.

Learning All Aspects of Video Editing

Because the film editing field is so competitive, it’s important to avoid limiting yourself to narrow career pathways. In your film editing program, you can learn how to edit everything from commercials and short promotions to feature-length films. You will come away from your program with knowledge of story structure, visual effects, sound production, finishing, and many more essential aspects of film editing.

Mastering Software Used Throughout the Industry

Having knowledge of a few fundamental editing programs is important across the media industry. In your film editing program, you’ll become a master in programs like Avid, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and more. At the end of your program, you’ll have the opportunity to obtain your Avid certification, as well as proven credentials in a range of other film editing software programs.

At Video Symphony, we provide a high level of training in film editing from professional industry instructors. To find out about enrolling in our film editing and Avid certification program, call our Burbank campus today at (818) 237-3545.

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These days, there are more ways than ever for an aspiring filmmaker to get exposure and find audiences. All you really need is a camera, a story, and the practical skills to turn your indie film idea into a reality. Here are just some of the ways Video Symphony’s new media production program can give you the skills needed to succeed as your own one-person production studio:

Channeling Your Creativity

Having an innovative film idea is one thing. Knowing how to turn it into a reality is quite another. At Video Symphony, we will help channel your creative energy into the practical skills needed to produce a high-quality film. You’ll learn every component of filmmaking, from screenwriting and storyboarding to filming, editing, and even marketing. Graduates of our program are equipped with the skills to produce truly compelling self-produced films.

Finding Platforms

New media has fundamentally changed film production. You no longer need a major production studio to make a splash as a filmmaker. Famous indie filmmakers like Freddie Wong (freddiew) have made their names on free platforms like YouTube. In our program, we’ll teach you about the various ways to make your mark as a modern filmmaker, from social media platforms to funding programs like Kickstarter.

Learning the Software

New film and sound editing software makes it possible to develop a feature-length film on a single desktop. As part of our program, you’ll become well-versed in essential filmmaking software, including Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Avid, Cinema 4D, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. You’ll be a “jack-of-all-trades” in film production, capable of producing a high quality indie film from start to finish.

At Video Symphony, we offer a range of exciting programs to jump-start your career as an indie filmmaker. To speak with an expert about our new media production program, call our Burbank campus today at (818) 237-3545.

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Discover your creative potential by enrolling in a one-year program at Video Symphony today. Call (818) 237-3545 to learn more about our programs in film editing, animation, and much more. Visit us on the Web to explore your career options and learn more about what a Video Symphony education can do for you.

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Far from a mere trend, the 3D boom in filmmaking will become even more ubiquitous as the technology develops. So says famed “Avatar” and “Titanic” film director James Cameron. He speculates that “autoscopic” displays are the next big thing in filmmaking technology, allowing users to watch 3D films without 3D glasses.

Learn about some more of Cameron’s predictions for the future of 3D filmmaking by watching this video from Smart Planet.


Video Symphony offers innovative programs to help you master the art of 3D filmmaking. Learn more about our film editing, new media, and graphics and animation programs by calling us at (818) 237-3545.

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Unconventional. There’s no better lead in to prepare you for KILLING THEM SOFTLY or this article than the word unconventional. I suppose that could be expected with the auteur, Andrew Dominik at the helm. He has written and directed all of his films, including 2000’s CHOPPER and 2007’s THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. With editor Brian A. Kates, (A.C.E.?), Dominik spent countless hours building hundreds, literally hundreds, of variations of certain scenes before reaching the final product.

“Andrew loves editing and is very hands on,” said Kates. “We built more versions of each scene in this movie than for any other movie I’ve done in my career. In some cases we reached 200 different takes. There’s just the barest skeleton of a plot in this film so the challenge was creating absolutely truthful performances that were emotionally alive. Our challenge was finding the perfect balance between dialogue scenes, which are almost play-like in their simplicity, and the almost pure-cinema visual style of the action scenes. It wouldn’t have been possible without a great amount of playing around; including indulging any ideas I had, but we did it together. There would be a time for building, and a time for playing back what we built and when one of the versions of something we built was something special, we would know it.” Co-Editor, John Paul Horstmann, (A.C.E.?), added “Our workflow was a full exploration of the performances that Andrew had shot. Sometimes that meant re-watching footage again with new eyes, sometimes it meant throwing away things we loved and trying to do it differently, with different shots. But we definitely put the work in. Andrew has an incredible talent for watching and working performance, and a decisive eye. You can learn a lot just sitting next to him. My favorite scenes to edit were the robbery and the killing of Amato, because Andrew is so talented at playing with tension in a scene, and all those lovely dark spaces between lines. ”

Exploring the space between was also one of First Assistant, Tara Fidler’s favorite aspects of the film.

“I think it’s great to not have a cut every few seconds” she said. “It reminds me of older films where shots just played out. I think there was some intention of this from the beginning. Watching a single take, I could definitely feel suspense and emotion without sensing the need to cut.”

One of the more difficult scenes to film and edit may have been delivered through Ray Liotta. In the film his character, Markie, takes a vicious beating after a robbery that he is assumed to have been behind. Truth be told, I flinched, winced and eventually covered my eyes. I remember thinking to myself that they must have covered this fight from every angle, in every speed – and I was right.

Fidler confirmed, “We had quite a bit of footage. The scene was shot multiple times in different speeds (24, 30, 60, 120fps). It was very brutal going through dailies on those days. I definitely yelled out a few ‘ouches’ and ‘ooos’ watching.” Kates added, “It was extremely well covered. For instance, there was coverage of Barry (played by Max Casella)— the one doing the beating— head on, punching towards camera. In the end we probably use this angle for just one shot, which is less than a second long. There was coverage of the fight using the Phantom Camera, which is extreme slow motion, and John Paul built those takes into some stunning sequences, with droplets of rain and blood and flesh ricocheting in slow motion. In the end, however, we decided to favor the dirty medium shots. They had the most naturalistic feel, and the less stylized we went with the images, the more gruesome and horrible the fight felt, because it felt real.”

Mission accomplished. The sound of this movie only intensified the violence.

“Andrew worked very closely with our sound team to make a score composed of sound effects and backgrounds,” said Fidler. “Creating suspense and emotion without score is more of a challenge but I think we pulled it off well.”

Several other sequences in the film benefitted from this multi layered coverage, careful edits and specific score, including the opening, which laid the tracks for what lay ahead.

"The original concept for the opening was the same scene of Frankie (played by Scoot McNairy) walking in the wasteland of the recession,” said Kates, “but the music was intended to be a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Cocksucker Blues.” It always seemed a little ironic, so much so that for a long time we left the scene out, and started the film in an office. One day Andrew found a piece of music by Carl Stone, a composer who works with electronic loops and creates unconventional sound patterns.

Andrew thought the seeming random breaks and jumbledness was a great metaphor for the gobbledygook of the chatter of election propaganda. So we did an experiment where we cut the scene around the breaks in the music, completely letting Carl Stone’s pattern guide us. We loved it. The new version of the scene sat on the back burner for a little bit, but once we were bold enough to put it in we knew it was the right opening.”

Political sound bytes from President Obama, President George W. Bush, and Senator McCain all served as the echo of election propaganda, which served as an overtone narrative throughout the film.

“The idea with the political clips was to tell a story: there’s an economic crisis, there are calls for government intervention, the Bailout happens, order is restored. That’s the simplest version. However, there were also cuts of the film with additional story beats. For instance, McCain suspending his campaign to join the crisis-management, and also the eventual backlash against the Bailout. We kept shuffling the clips as the movie expanded and contracted until the very end.”

This was one of the few times I was mesmerized by casting. Think about the homage this was to the gangster genre. Brad Pitt has been in SNATCH and all three films of the OCEAN’S 11 franchise. Gandolfini will always be remembered as the iconic Tony Soprano from HBO’s “The Sopranos”, never mind that he and Pitt played cat and mouse together in THE MEXICAN. Actor Slaine (no last name) is from the new school of gangsters, with memorable turns in pivotal roles as a drug dealer and bank robber in GONE, BABY, GONE and THE TOWN, respectively.

“It is absolutely intentional casting,” said Kates. “Andrew wanted each character to come with his associations from other roles, and then deepen, or subvert them. It was a kind of shorthand. For instance, Trattman (Ray Liotta) was the social-climbing and likable mob guy in GOODFELLAS, but in our movie there’s barely any place to climb. He goes from living in a trailer to living in a very modest house and even though everybody ‘likes him,’ he ends up getting completely terrorized under the system. Similarly, Mickey (Gandolfini) comes with such an association of power from “The Sopranos” that his arc is about removing it until there’s nothing left. That’s one of the reasons why we started the scene in the restaurant with him barking at the waiter. There used to be quite a bit of dialogue before that, but entering the scene totally hard with him terrifying someone gives him a sharper fall.”

There are a lot of people talking about the brilliance of Brad Pitt in this film and, mind you, I could write a doctoral dissertation on the absolute robbery that continuously befalls that man come Oscar time, but if James Gandolfini doesn’t steal the whole picture on this one, I don’t know what scene stealing looks like. Pitt and Gandolfini make each other better actors, but it was the editing of their scenes that brought out the characters and palpable emotions in the room.

“I was also blown away by James Gandolfini’s performances,” agreed Horstmann, “particularly the scene in the hotel room. I remember us watching James’ dailies from start to finish several times, our eyes just glued to the screen. I loved the careworn quality of our Director of Photography, Greig Fraser’s cinematography and the production design, much of which was inspired by Jacob Holdt’s photography book, “American Pictures”. I was also fortunate to be a part of pre-production for the first time, which was incredibly insightful. We edited camera tests, actor auditions, and really explored Andrew’s visual ideas for the shoot in short visual sequences utilizing stock footage.”

You’d never guess it by how much of an editorial feat this film was, especially given the amount of coverage and mixed frame rates, but this was Tara Fidler’s first time manning the Number One seat. Never mind the surprise of hearing she was the first member of the edit team on board, going on location with the film to New Orleans.

“I learned so much working on this project!” she commented. “One of the biggest learning lessons was how to prioritize when I had a long list of tasks. Assisting two editors while also satisfying the needs of other departments (sound, visual effects, etc.) was challenging at times. It really came down to priority and who needed what first. Generally too, whomever Andrew was working with at the time had priority. Organization and efficiency is key!” Horstmann lauded “Tara was amazing at providing whatever was needed quickly, always with a smile and her trademark ‘No worries!’—No matter how harried the request. She was also very good temping visual effects, such as compositing the politician’s speeches into televisions throughout the film. I remember her going frame by frame in the handheld shots, keying the motion as she sipped her tea.”

Now there’s patience… And here’s Tara Fidler.

Q: Where did you grow up and did that background lend to an interest in film or editing in particular?

TF: I’m a Los Angeles native so I’ve been surrounded by the entertainment industry my entire life.

Q: How did you get your start in editing?

TF: I’ve always been interested in “behind the camera magic” since I was a kid. After graduating from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, I decided to enroll in some editing classes to learn the software. One of my Teaching Assistants, Misha Tenenbaum, had asked me if I would be interested in assisting him on a RED/Final Cut Pro project. I gladly accepted. It all took off from there.

Q: Is there one scene in television or film that you can remember having given you an appreciation for what an editor does?

TF: When I was a kid, I was always amazed by how the “Ancient Egypt” documentaries on either the History or Discovery Channel were put together since they had so many clips and pictures and no real story with dialogue to follow.

Q: Is there something you’ve cut or worked on that you’re especially proud of?

TF: I’m very proud to have been a part of KILLING THEM SOFTLY. It’s my first 1st assistant editor job I’ve been a part of from beginning to end. Everyone on the project was great and enjoyable to work with.

Q: Is there a scene in television or film that you would love to go back and put your own spin on or work with the raw material?

TF: I’d never want to feel that I would was messing up a piece of art! However, it might be cool to play around with the raw footage of a classic or masterpiece such as the shower scene from PSYCHO.

Q: What platforms are you familiar with?

TF: I work with Avid, Final Cut Pro, and all the programs that go along with them. I’ve worked with film, digital, and 3D in Avid while I’ve only worked with digital in Final Cut Pro.

Q: Technically speaking, what have you found to be your system’s best feature?

TF: It’s ability to track metadata!

Q: What feature are you hoping to see in the future?

TF: A version of Avid that does not crash.

Q: Is there one person in the industry, living or dead, be it director, editor, or otherwise would you like to work with?

TF: I’m a huge fan of the JAMES BOND franchise so I’d love the opportunity to work on a Bond film.

Q: What upcoming film, other than your own, are you looking forward to?

TF: I’m looking forward to seeing THE HOBBIT. I loved THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

More from Video Symphony: Tara Fidler, Video Symphony Alumni

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