First practical videography school opens in the PH

A group of local film makers just launched a pioneering school in the Philippines that teaches practical short courses on videography,

Called Shoot!, it officially kicked off with a 4-day wedding and events videography course last 17 November at the UP Film Institute with a full house of 18 students.

But different from your typical film school, participants were spending more time learning the techniques on the field with dozens of team exercises instead of just lengthy classroom lectures and grueling handouts.

Shoot! is the brainchild of EJ Mijares (pictured), a documentary filmmaker for 17 years, expanding what was initially an internal apprentice program for a wedding studio he owned in 2012.

With high-end cameras, lenses and gears now more accessible, Mijares said that amateurs can easily be disillusioned with their dreams of starting their own studio - not to mention companies eager to start creating their own AVPs and TV spots.

“It’s not as easy as having the gear and setting up a Facebook page or website. It takes so much more but from what I see, the talent and eagerness is there and that is a great place to start,” he said.

Practical doesn’t necessarily mean basic, says Mijares, explaining that it is invaluable not just for amateurs but also to self-taught experienced videographers who are eager to develop proper workflow and film theory to upgrade their skill base.

The course could also be invaluable to companies who are planning to develop video in-house and advertising agencies and production houses who want to train existing or incoming staff. So far, the classes are dominated by newbies and advanced practitioners.

Asked if he is concerned if Shoot! could reduce the dependence of corporate clients to third-party videographers, he said that it can’t replace the creativity and the experience of people who are remarkable at what they do.

“Ideally, the next time clients will approach us, they now have a better grasp of the whole process and what does it really take to translate their messages into video. But even it was to be produced in house, there will be always a market for us who need our experience to refine and execute ideas,” he adds.

Most interesting for brands and ad men are the other three advanced courses offered by Shoot! in addition to the wedding videography class. There is a corporate videography course which will introduce students to the lucrative world of producing videos for Corporate, NGO, and Government clients, a workshop on special equipment used in events videography like the glide cam, slider, crane and flying drones and a technical course about same day editing and color grading.

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Together with Mijares is a team of eight seasoned videographers with experience in commercial productions, corporate accounts, documentaries and short film. They are Dennis Abad, Lauren Faustino, Julius Olaya, Dan Pamintuan, Jepster Togle, Jake Olaso, Mac Eugenio and Michael Jamandre.

The first run of Shoot! will conclude next week on 1 to 2 December with the corporate videography course. Mijares said that the class for second batch next year is scheduled around February.