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Web Video University Review

Webvideo-UniversityAround a month ago regular readers will know that I wrote that I was about to start an online video making course at WebVideoUniversity.

Around 10 other ProBlogger readers signed up with me and have been partaking in this four week course over the month of May. I said that I’d give a review of the course at the end of the month so wanted to give a little feedback for others considering signing up.

I should say up front that I’m behind in the course. I’m still getting through week 3′s content – the reason being that there’s just so much of it and I’m rather time poor at the moment. Luckily buying the course gives you 12 months of access to it, including any new content that is added in future weeks. So I’ve still got 11 months to get through weeks 3 and 4!

I wouldn’t normally review a course half completed but enrollments for the June course are open for a few more days and as there’s a baby about to arrive at the Rowse House I thought I’d better review what I’ve done as it could be another month til I get to complete it!

So how’s the course been?

Overall my experience so far has been positive.

Content

There is no shortage of information, it is clearly presented and of a high quality. The content is largely presented in video with lots of examples given.

As mentioned above – there’s lots of content given. Week 1 has 12 videos (around 50 minutes), week 2 has 24 videos (around 3 hours of content), week 3 has 24 videos (over 3 hours) and week 4 has 20 videos (around 2.5 hours). That’s around 10 hours of teaching in total.

Topics covered in videos include:

Week 1 – in this week it’s mainly introductory information around different concepts and tools. There’s an intro to video editing software, cameras, audio, video lighting, music and voice overs, using stock clips, making a teleprompter, green screens/backdrops and technical terms.

Week 2 – this week focuses upon introducing the idea of ‘videos that sell’ where there is teaching on the kinds of videos that work well in selling online. Then you get into video editing and learning how to do some of the basics like working with text, using transitions and effects and many other aspects of creating a video.

Week 3 – this is what I’m working through at present and is focused upon more advanced video editing techniques, green screen video, whiteboard video, 3D compositing and other editing tricks.

Week 4 – is what I’m looking forward to more advice on and includes getting video on the web.

The focus of the course is ‘making videos that sell’ and as a result there’s an emphasis upon making ‘web commercials’ but I’m learning things that I think I’ll be able to apply in the making of the type of videos that I’m making here on ProBlogger (talking head ones) as many of the principles apply.

Each week not only has teaching but a ‘resource’ section which has lots of helpful links, examples and further learning suggestions.

Presentation

David Kaminski is the presenter in the videos and he’s done a really excellent job of pulling this course together. The quality of the videos are great. At times David is slightly dry in his presentation style (that could be extenuated by me doing this course late at night when I am also a little ‘dry’ myself) but he explains concepts so clearly and in a way that even I (a complete dunce technologically) can understand and his ‘dry’ approach actually grew on me the more I watched (after watching him for hours I feel like I see more of him than my best friends). I really appreciate the way that the course is broken down into bite sized videos – it means it’s not overwhelming and that you can actually do the course a little at a time in your own pace over time.

Support

One of the things that I’ve appreciated about the course is the support that David has given participants. He’s not only been helpful to me but in chatting to a few other participants they’ve also been impressed by his prompt replies to questions (usually well within 24 hours). He’s even added a section in the course’s home page which has video answers to some of the questions he’s been getting. It’s refreshing to find someone not only who knows what he’s talking about but who is genuinely interested in helping people apply it to their own situation.

Mac Users Should Note…

If you use a Mac then you need to note two things. Firstly there’s a bug that prevents you viewing the videos at present using Firefox unless you are using version 3. Safari is fine to watch it in though – no problems there.

The other thing to note is that David uses Sony Vegas as his video editing package of choice and illustrates editing using that. He is currently making tutorials for Mac users using Final Cut Express and says that these videos will be available within a month or so. I am a Mac user so found watching him edit on Sony Vegas a little frustrating at times but was amazed how much of what he showed was so easily transferable to my Mac software. Having the Mac focused tutorials will be fantastic though and I am glad I have access to them for another 11 months.

Overall – I’m impressed with WebVideoUniversity and am glad that I’ve invested in it. I know that there’s another 10 or so ProBlogger readers who did the course so I’d love to hear your opinions on it too if you’ve done it!

If you’re interested in joining in June’s run of WebVideoUniversity you can sign up for the next day or two here.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Wow.. the course seems like it could provide a lot of information I could use.. especially the making a teleprompter thing. That would be really helpful when I’m doing video reviews of movies that I”ve seen. I’ve wanted to do it, but I can never remember everything I want to say. Anyone have any tips for doing that where I don’t have to sign up for the course? ;-)

  2. Ron Pereira says:

    I just finished the course. Well, I’ve made it through all the videos one time and definitely need to make it through them several more times.

    My goal was to watch them through without taking notes, etc. Now I plan to go through and write my own notes.

    I’ve learned a lot and while I’ve yet to put any of his tips into an actual video I am definitely more confident. I’ve also been able to buy a better camera and get my teleprompter built and light situation improved.

    As Darren mentioned, Dave is great at answering questions. I’ve asked him several questions and he has replied with excellent responses quickly.

    I do wish we could download the videos to our hard drives for offline viewing (I travel a lot) but other than that I’m very impressed with the course and would recommend it to anyone interested in making web videos.

  3. Hi Darren,

    As one of your readers doing the course, I thought I would toss in my two cents. Bottom line, I’m really enjoying Dave’s course. In the first week, I immediately saw 3 things I needed to change if I were going to do videos: lighting, background and length of the videos. So, I ordered soft boxes, a black background and thought of ways to make the videos more to the point UNLESS I’m specifically teaching something.

    I’ve yet to do much with the rest of the material because I’m not editing anything yet. However, the videos I’ve looked at for editing were great.

    I found the last weeks materials invaluable, too. Using s3 at Amazon.com is a fantastic idea. I had wondered how I was going to afford bandwidth and storage if I didn’t use YouTube. Also, the details on converting to Flash were good.

    And then there is Dave: he has responded in 24 hours to 3 emails of mine asking questions. He steered me away from green screens unless I had pro video equipment and gave me some great suggestions on using FCE. Further, he told me he is recording new videos on using FCE and Macs just as you reported. He’s a really good guy.

    I’m going to shoot some videos this weekend, 2 or 3 short ones using my new equipment. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  4. Asif Ahmed says:

    I Red your Post of FriendFeed and also have signed up. Hope to learn Some more Tips to Publicize my Blog, Thank You for Writing These Posts

  5. Hemu says:

    Hi Darren, I need to look at this course. Thanx to You

  6. Chetan says:

    Good that it still is good with Safari :)
    Am with Firefox 2, so was worried about it.

  7. rick says:

    Darren, I need to look into this course as well. Would like to starting publishing how-to videos on my site…but need some tips before starting.

  8. Reginald says:

    Considering your review, this course sounds like it could be a feasible possible for many of your readers.

    I wondering, is there any printed reference material that accompany this course for future reference.

    I find videos are not that ideal as reference materials to due the inconvenience of having to find the right video and the right section of the video that contains the relevant information you are looking for.

    Just a thought….

  9. GirlPie says:

    Great review, I’d never have considered it if I hadn’t read about it from you, and the fee of $199 is smart. I also like the access for a year, since I can’t see getting through that much video too quickly. As for your last commenter: I guess your note-taking is your written materials!

    I’m not sure why a hands-off webinar series must be limited to an unknown number of students (unless I missed seeing the limit in the sales page?) but I’ll have to find out if he allows registration after the start date of 6/2 if he’s not ‘full up.’ Or wait for the next session.

    Loving your readers/co-students reviews as well — thanks!

  10. Kelvin Kao says:

    I’m also not done going through the whole course, because there was a lot of information indeed. Now, a little bit about my background: I’ve already have about 20 videos on Youtube and my blog. I wanted to know how to make my videos better, though they aren’t exactly web commercials. I figured that I will want to either look online for information on bettering my video-making or read books, but since this is available and mentioned by someone I trust, I signed up for it. I figure the time I will save would worth the money.

    This video has some good information. Some of the stuff like what’s a good video length is something I was gradually figuring out by trial and error, so what he said sort of verified what I was thinking. I tend to watch the editing part while doing something else, because I already know how to edit in Adobe Premiere Pro. What I focused on was how to do good lighting, how to get good audio, and how to do video compression. Though I haven’t finished, I think it’s a worthwhile course. Knowing what the course is, and what you want to get out of it (and be realistic about which parts might be useless to you) would be helpful.

  11. Cindy King says:

    Darren,
    I signed up for the course as soon as you mentioned it here. I’m very glad you mentioned it.

    It was exactly what I needed. I have finished watching all of the 4 weeks of videos. But I didn’t have the time to make any of my own videos while watching the course. That is on for this month.

    My partner is out getting the pieces of wood to make the teleprompter.

    David Kaminski did a GREAT job. He explained things very well, everything is very clear. He made it all easy to understand. I doubt there is anything he left out – there is tons of information in there.

    I appreciated the fact that he is a copywriter, and he shows you how to make very professional looking marketing videos.

    The process is longer than I thought. The video editing software is another thing to learn – and I’m super glad to have David’s videos for a year to go back to a couple of times. He explained the software extremely well. With lots of little tricks.

    I wish I had a video up online now to show you, but the course material really took a lot of time – hopefully by the end of June.

  12. Cindy King says:

    Reginald – Getting lost in David Kaminiski’s video tuturials is not anything to worry about at all.

    The man is organized.

    Each week you get a whole series of videos. Each subject is on a separate video. David is a great teach and a great organizer. This is professional level training materials.

    As Darren said, he may come over as a little dry. You will hear his voice a lot. But he speaks slowly, clearly for anyone to understand (I pay attention to how non-native English speakers would be able to follow – that’s part of my business). His explanations are clear. He tells you what you are going to learn and when before he teaches you and then he re-caps at the end of each session, and tells you what’s next and why.

  13. How much time do you think it takes each week to follow that week’s material?
    What is the average $ investment in software and tools?
    Thanks!

  14. Tom says:

    Excellent rundown of the course David. I’m taking it right now and looking forward to the more advanced weeks 3 and 4 coming up. Already had the Sony Vegas Video Pro package and really wanted to dive into some of the advanced features. This course is exactly what I was looking for.

    In reply to Heidi’s question, the time involved each week probably varies per person. I knocked out the week one videos in one evening, but they were mostly a course overview. You can take the entire course without buying software (30-day trials are available) but I’d say if you were to buy at least the lower end software, maybe put together some lighting equipment (as the course shows you) from the local hardware, and investing in some decent microphones you are probably looking at $300 to $500 on the low end. But this can be spread out over time and you have a lot of options.

    Hope that helps…

  15. Thanks Tom,
    That gives me a good estimate of time and $ cost.

  16. It is an awesome course. I just finished it last week and have written my own review and posted my first video on my blog here:
    http://www.brooksvannorman.com/web-video-university-review/

  17. The process is longer than I thought. The video editing software is another thing to learn – and I’m super glad to have David’s videos for a year to go back to a couple of times. He explained the software extremely well. With lots of little tricks.

  18. it is clearly presented and of a high quality. The content is largely presented in video with lots of examples given.

  19. Patty says:

    I’m very computer literate and have played around with video a bit. Would you say it’s worth getting the extra email support or would I be able to get by with just signing up for the basic program?

  20. FatCow says:

    I find videos are not that ideal as reference materials to due the inconvenience of having to find the right video and the right section of the video that contains the relevant information you are looking for.