This unique program will provide an introduction to journalism and mass communication, while allowing you to personalize your experience with one of 22 different hands-on classes in one of the three fields below.
Communications: Journalism & Public Relations Workshop Descriptions
Backpack journalists do it all—and you can too. Learn to pitch an idea, shoot video, write a story, and record voice-over. Edit a final news piece and post it on the web.
This course introduces you to the field of broadcast journalism and related legal, ethical, and technological issues. Develop interviewing, reporting, and writing skills. Produce a brief radio documentary or a television field report for your portfolio.
Television, film, theater, music, sports, fashion, gaming…It’s all entertainment today. Learn from experts in the field and understand the importance of messaging. Why are ratings important in television? How do you promote a film? Could you represent a celebrity—be it an actor or athlete? What is that red carpet all about? Who gets $$ every time you hear a song? Is the gaming industry the next big blockbuster? An inside look and what you need to be successful in the entertainment industry.
What does the color red signify in traditional Chinese culture? What is the best approach for introducing a new beverage in Russia or for teaching Africans how to prevent the spread of malaria? Through role-playing, research, discussion, and meetings with international communications professionals, you’ll deepen your appreciation for cultural differences. Produce a media campaign for a topic of your choice.
Learn about the emerging news landscape, the history of investigating the people in power, powerful organizations and how to research an interview subject, as well as 10 types of interviews. Speakers will explain how they developed major investigative stories. Tours will show you the latest in data and investigative journalism. In addition, discover comics journalism, sensor journalism and drone journalism.
Media for Social Change
Learn how to influence people and help change your community for the better. As a collaborative team, students will learn how to apply the ADDIE model (analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation) to effect positive change. Students will create a powerful video, animation, or media campaign for a specific organization.
See what it takes to write a news story for print, broadcast, and the web. Get practical instruction in effective writing techniques for your school newspaper, neighborhood newsletter, or website. Learn how to distinguish between news and promotional writing. Hear professional journalists talk about their careers and visit a local newsroom.
Discover what goes into a blockbuster PR campaign—for example, how did the Taco Bell dog ring the bell at the N.Y. Stock Exchange? Learn how to strategize, develop, and implement your own campaign. Explore the art of messaging and talk to media reps about placing your story.
Social Media 101
Learn how to use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Flickr, and other media channels for professional purposes. Explore how to handle a crisis situation using social media, create practical social media guidelines, and learn about SEO, SMS, and mobile communications.
Sportswriting & Broadcasting
Bring your passion for and knowledge of sports and learn how to write and announce for live broadcast. Discover the secrets of exciting play-by-play announcing and commentary. Enhance your skills as an evocative sportswriter. In the past, Washington, D.C. students visited USA Today, Comcast sports, and ESPN 980, and received onfield passes and press box seats for a Washington Nationals baseball game. California students have had the opportunity to interview CAL athletes and held a mock press conference at the Oakland Coliseum. Students have also broadcast from AT&T Park and heard from local sportswriters.
Video, Film & Digital Media Workshop Descriptions
This hands-on course for beginning to intermediate students introduces you to the core concepts of animation production. Practice computer-based and hands-on techniques, and build your toolbox. Learn the fundamentals of drawing motion, character design, timing and syncing in animation, and cleanup.
Acting for the Camera
Develop skills to interpret a script and build character, and learn acting techniques for the small screen. Explore physical and vocal aspects of character development for camera work. Team up with student directors to create visual portfolios.
Directing for the Camera
Refine your basic visual vocabulary and learn essential skills to break down a script, tell a visual story, and communicate your ideas to those behind and in front of the camera. Team up with student actors to create visual portfolios.
Shoot and edit a short documentary using HD cameras and Final Cut Pro. View and discuss classic documentaries and consider production techniques and technologies. Learn practical information about distribution. Equipment provided.
Music Entertainment Production
Music has the power to excite and inspire. But how are songs actually put together? In a professional recording studio, learn about multitracking, mixing, and matching music to film or video. No prior experience required; students grouped by ability.
Scriptwriting & Video Production
Write an original short script. Produce a video, including shooting, sound recording, and nonlinear editing on Final Cut Pro, all in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. No prior experience required; students grouped by ability. Equipment provided. NOTE: Students interested in documentary film making may also enroll in Documentary 101.
Special effects are necessary to boost the “wow” factor in any science fiction or action film. Through the powerful 2D and 3D tool Adobe After Effects, learn digital tricks and methods for creating simulations like fire, explosions and rain, and masking for flying, teleportation, and sky replacement.
Video Game Design
Using accessible tools, learn how to create compelling virtual experiences. This course focuses on the craft of game design and critical thinking about the medium. Students should have advanced computer skills and familiarity with entertainment consoles.
Photography Workshop Descriptions
Explore and learn the powerful photographic techniques to make the most of your digital camera. Abundant opportunities to hone your digital photography skills by capturing images of plants, animals and the environment; to city sites, individuals and chance encounters. Assemble a portfolio and have the opportunity to publish your images. This class is offered only in California.
This course introduces you to the powerful potential of Adobe Photoshop, where you will learn the tools for manipulating digital images for book covers or movie posters and for creating vector graphics for powerful branding packages and logos. Learn the basics of color and graphic design theory that will communicate your message through both streamlined graphic art and complex digital photo manipulation.
35mm Photography I
An introduction to 35mm black-and-white photography and basic darkroom techniques. This hands-on course covers both aesthetic and technical issues. You must have your own 35mm camera. Film and darkroom materials are provided.
35mm Photography II
If you have basic knowledge of 35mm photography or have completed 35mm Photography I, this course offers advanced training in lighting, composition, and black-and-white darkroom techniques. Film and darkroom materials provided. Bring your own 35mm camera; we will provide one if requested in advance.
In conjunction with Nature’s Best Photography magazine and Nature’s Best Photography Students Online, explore techniques for photographing animal, plant, and environmental subjects. Attend discussions with editors and photographers from NBP and NBP Students Online. Go on field trips to museums and nature pre- serves. Assemble a portfolio and take advantage of the opportunity to publish your images.