I work in production for a small market broadcast television station. I work with 2 others and our station is about 2 in the market. I have a degree in Communication and my co-workers have weak degrees in production from what society has dubbed "higher education" (feel the sarcasm!). No disrespect to our humble degree factories but we need good training. We are on a budget and would like to know some recommendations for training (seminars, dvds, schools, whatever!). We use non-linear editors (PCs) that we built in house, a Canon XH-A1, kessler crane, home-made dolly, small studio, and Adobe CS3 Master Collection. Our training really needs to focus on production. Thanks to wonderful people like creative cow, lynda.com, and video copilot, CS3 is easy to learn thru tutorials. However, our abilities to compose a shot, light it, and direct are lacking. Please help.
Ok, some may find these too obvious, but I find them very well-produced and good refreshers for those that already know about the subject. Go to the web site for Digital Juice, the jump-backs people, and locate and click the tab for their "DJTV" section. There are a host of very well-produced tutorials on a variety of subjects including lighting and shot composition, editing tips and tricks, and technical background, interspersed with sale pitches for their various products. There's also a series on the philosophy of *how* we work that is well done, and should spark some meaningful discussions in your office. Go thru their entire online back-catalog of these videos. Then look for and buy a DVD of their last 2 season's worth of the previous ones, which have some of Perry's setups and demos, which are no longer online, and you will quickly see some improvement in the level of your work and in how you approach it.
I second Mark's recommendation, although don’t over look college type reference books. I keep a stack of them on everything from lighting, audio, color correction, etc… on my shelf, just in case I want to double check how to do something. Don’t forget to get at least one book on each program you are using (premiere, after-effects, etc…) as every once in a while everyone forgets how to do something seemingly simple.
One last thing, your approach to your craft is truly “old school” the way television used to be produced. Just because you made something yourself out of whatever is lying around, that doesn’t mean your final product can’t be just as good as what the guys with the latest toys are doing. Best of luck, and keep on tinkering…