DMA Central


Who is Eadweard Muybridge?

Eadweard Muybridge was a British photographer that spent most of his career in America. His photographs of animals and how they moved were the genesis for motion pictures.

This Google Doodle pays tribute to Eadweard Muybridge, the man who invented motion pictures.

Muybridge took up photography around 1861 and became a successful photographer after returning to San Francisco in 1866. Even though his business cards advertised his services as a portrait photographer, his photographs of landscapes (particularly Yosemite and San Francisco) and architecture were what built his reputation.

Stanford and The Horse
Around 1876, Leland Stanford, the former Governor of California, avid horse racer and owner, approached Muybridge to help him settle a dispute: the question of the day was were a horse’s four hooves all off the ground at the same time in mid gallop. As trivial as it seems today, the topic was a popular subject of conversation, especially for horse racing.

Muybridge used his photographic technique to capture a series of images of a trotting horse and then viewed them together using a zoopraxiscope. The process, which was refined with funding by Stanford, would become the earliest form of motion pictures. The process was not unlike stop-motion photography or stop motion filmmaking.

“The Horse in Motion” project was funded by Leland Stanford, the founder of Stanford University.

Making Movies at Stanford
You can follow in the footsteps of Muybridge and Stanford, at the place that Leland Stanford founded in 1891 – Stanford University. Digital Media Academy offers a world-class tech camp with multiple options for future filmmakers. Adventures in Filmmaking & Special Effects for kids, for example allows kids the chance to make movies using stop-motion animation and even adding neat Hollywood effects.

For teens interested in making films there are a variety of ways to experience DMA’s film camps at Stanford University -  editing, filmmaking, acting and directing. Today’s technology gives you the tools to be a pioneer, like Eadweard Muybridge.


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How To: Make Your Video “Viral”

I get to rub shoulders with some pretty talented and amazing technical instructors. Once in awhile these same instructors come to me for my thoughts, and I get to do what I do best, which is to think of how on earth people use the internet to find what they’re looking for.  I take that info and share it with the authors, so they can write technical copy to be reachable by those people.  I don’t write the articles here, I take the written articles and insert them into the blog with pictures and videos. I add categories and tags, keywords, and I brainstorm about why kids want to come to summer camp – what are the needs that can be met and exceeded by our training and summer camps for kids, teens and adults and how Digital Media Academy’s training and summer camps can help people meet their goals.  I try to make sure those important ideas and words are included. And it all ties in together – DMA has terrific professional instructors and camps are set on amazing university locations for our summer camps (Stanford, UCLA, UC San Diego, University of British Columbia at Vancouver, University of Chicago, Drexel, Swarthmore, Brown, George Washington University Washington, DC, Harvard, University of Texas at Austin.) We just need to present the information in a way that is interesting, original, and findable. Findable being key!

Our campers love to post their videos on YouTube, what words do they need to use to be found and viewed? If I were a teen with a dream to make an amazing film and change the world, where would I start? I’d probably search the internet for amazing films that are already changing the world, and work backward from there to learn where to go to learn how to make an amazing video! Digital Media Academy teaches a wide variety of courses, some of which teach kids to make amazing films at film summer camp.

As I was writing a pretty dry document for our instructors to use this year, the nuts and bolts of posting student videos to YouTube, I was trying to think of a great example of a “viral video” – the holy grail of “viral” and how to achieve that goal.  And I remembered that I had used a great video as and example in a “surprise and delight your customer” post…  shown here.  (And you can also check out another amazing viral video:  educate girls)

If I were the original creator of this video, and if I had made it during summer camp, I’d post it with tags like this:  “Digital Media Academy Summer Camp”, “Film Summer Camp”, “Make a Film”, “Teen Summer Camp” and so on.  To view it on the blog here, post it, click on “embed”, select the viewer color box you like, and select size 560 X 340, and paste it in the post in “Html” view.

Enjoy the video!

I’m going to illustrate a few things simultaneously here, so bear with me as it all weaves together with this one incredible viral film!

Tips for Posting Your Summer Camp Videos to YouTube

  • Categories – YouTube has several categories that are appropriate for summer camp videos – check out the categories by clicking on the “browse” tab next to the search box.
  • Think about your video – if your video is the answer, what was the question?  If the question is “I want to watch something funny”, and your video is funny, consider placing it in the “Comedy” category.  If it’s a technical film about how to create something using a certain technology, consider “Education”, “HowTo”, “Science & Technology”, or “Gaming”.
  • Post your video and select your tags.  Tags help people find the video.  If the film is made by the Digital Media Academy staff or a student, use “Digital Media Academy” as one of the tags.  If it’s made by kids at summer camps, or if this film would help kids looking for a film summer camp see what happens behind the scenes at film summer camp, use “film summer camp” as a tag.  If the camp is about “skateboard summer camp” or “academy for game design” use those words in the tags.  Whatever the title of the summer camp is, that would make a good tag.  Use all of the available tags.
  • Write a brief description of the video, mentioning the name of the summer camp, the location of the summer camp, the age group, and what made it special.  Include a link to the page on the Digital Media Academy website that displays either the course name of the summer camp, or the location of the program.

I’d love to see all the videos made by students and staff this summer at Digital Media Academy!

This film was made by Keith English, acclaimed artist, animator and instructor for the Digital Media Academy. He created the animations for this promo for the Sonoma International Film Festival.

Kids, post your videos, and leave a comment on this post.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have a contest for the funniest video?  Please let me know (especially!) if you post a video to the comedy category!

Check out Digital Media Academy’s videos on YouTube! Have a blast at summer camp!

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Stanford and SkateWorks for Teen Summer Camp

Even if you don’t know an Ollie from a McTwist or Gain from Shutter Speed, Digital Media Academy’s got teens covered this summer at Stanford. We’ve teamed up with leading local retailer SkateWorks and are raffling off a board AND free spot in our upcoming Skateboarding and Filmmaking Camp for Teens.

Digital Media Academy + SkateWorks

Or if you’re an experienced boarder and have made videos in the past, you’ll be able to kickflip your vids to an entirely new level. This year’s class at Stanford is taught by taught by SoCal’s visual fx and skateboarding master Nick Guth with UCSC grad and extreme sport junkie Travis Schalfman.

As with all our camps, you have the choice to get a taste of the college life by sleeping at Stanford’s campus each night or come for five action-filled days. Regardless, you’ll wrap the week with a dynamic vid … and there’s even a rumor the Skateworks Team will showcase their gravity-defying talents in an exclusive session for the class.

But if you’re not in the Bay Area this summer, there’s no need to despair. Digital Media Academy also offers the Skateboarding and Filmmaking Camp at UCLA, UCSD, George Washington University and Harvard, while SkateWorks’ brand-name boards, decks, trucks, wheels, and apparel are available for shipment across the country from their website.

Classes are filling up, be sure to register for our raffle before June 18 !

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Infomercial Parody

By Lisa Ratner, Lead Instructor

As I prepare for Summer 2010 Stanford Filmmaking Adventures Summer Camp I am reminded of the successes of 2009. The project that always yielded the most creative and witty videos was the “Commercial.” The students’ task was to select a product and sell it to their audience. (An assignment quite familiar to professionals in the media world). Yet at Digital Media Academy the demand to produce high bucks is replaced with the enjoyable pressure to create high laughs at our End of Summer Camp Film-Festival.

First, we reviewed the 4 stages of film-making: Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production, and Exhibition. This enabled the students to really plan all aspects of the project before they filmed — an essential skill. Then the brainstorming began. The costume box was transformed from neat & tidy to the delightful whirlwind of a creative mess. Debates over wide-angle shots versus close-ups competed with the sounds of furious typing at the keyboard so the script would be ready in time for the production phase.

“Camera ready?” the assistant director calls out.

“Ready!” the cinematographer answers.

“Actors Ready?”

“Ready!” pipes a lion-dressed “salesman”

A kid from the web design class sneaks in to watch the action.

“Camera Rolling”


To me, the most fulfilling thing about being a film instructor is seeing the kids come out of their shells. When they perform in front of the camera, even the ones who seem “too cool” or “shy” simply can’t hold back and they shine brilliantly. I can see the surprise on their parents’ faces during the film festival. It is truly exciting.

Since last summer at DMA, I’ve been producing video tours and websites for a real estate company. I’ve been itching to return to DMA to see what kind of parodies these kids can make of video tours! It’s going to be a blast!

Do your kids long to be in film production?  Check out film school with Digital Media Academy this summer!

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Camp Fairs Raffle (Drawing #2) Winner Announced!

Announcing the Second DMA Camp Fair Free Tuition winner!

Congratulations to Darryl Sanjeant (Dominic) for winning the raffle for free tuition to the Digital Media Academy from our second round of camp fairs! Dominic can choose from our many great courses.

DMA attends many camp fairs across the country. Attendees are able to enter their name for a chance to win a free summer camp course by Digital Media Academy.

summer camp fair

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Sony Renews Official Sponsorship of Digital Media Academy

Sony Continues To Provide Professional HD Video Equipment For DMA Film and Video Courses Given At College and University Campuses in U.S. and Canada

Campbell, CA — The Digital Media Academy (DMA), a leading provider of film and video training for educators, adult learners and teens, announced today that Sony Electronics has renewed its official sponsorship and will remain the exclusive supplier of video equipment for DMA’s courses. Sony provides its most current state-of-the-art professional high-definition video cameras and other equipment for use by students in DMA consolidated classes, which take place throughout the summer on college and university campuses including Stanford, Brown, Harvard, U of Chicago, U of British Columbia in Vancouver, U of Texas, Austin and many more.

“DMA is thrilled to continue its successful relationship with Sony as a corporate sponsor,” said Dave Livingston, Director of Instruction for the Academy and its programs. “We’ve made our name providing beginner to advanced training for teens and adults, using the latest and greatest industry standard tools. This relationship puts the cutting-edge, professional Sony video technology, including the HDV™ series of digital video camcorders, directly into the hands of our film and video students.”

Sony’s high-definition camcorders are the choice of professionals working in a range of video applications including electronic field production and newsgathering, and event videography, as well as leading university film and video programs.

“Training programs like the Digital Media Academy are an important part of Sony’s educational focus,” said Shari Sentlowitz, Sony’s Education and Government marketing manager. “We are committed to preparing the next generation of industry professionals and educators, and we’re pleased to continue to be the exclusive video products provider to DMA’s film and video courses.”

Learning how to film with a Sony Camera

About the Digital Media Academy:
The Digital Media Academy (DMA) is a nationally-recognized organization offering hands-on learning in a broad range of digital media technologies. DMA offers a wide range of courses targeted at kids, teens, adults and educators, Founded in 2001 by a group of professionals from Stanford University, DMA is known for its premier summer programs hosted at prestigious destination campuses nationwide. In addition to its summer programs, DMA provides on-site training to schools and companies throughout the year.  For more information, go to or call 866-656-3342.

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Make a Music Video at Film Camp this Summer! John Lennon Bus

Written by Brian Rothschild of the John Lennon Bus 

Experience the ultimate music video summer camp.  Bring your imagination, and leave with the skills you need to create professional music and video projects with ease, from start to finish. The Lennon Bus has teamed up with the Digital Media Academy to provide a new course based on the techniques taught daily on The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. Using the latest audio, video and music gear, you’ll work with a diverse group of talented students and professionals to edit and create original music and videos. Make beats, write a song, record audio, shoot video, edit like the pros and author your own DVD. No experience needed; this course is for anyone interested in learning the basics of music and video creation.

Making a Music Video

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Get Creative with a Music Video! Learn How at This Film Camp

Make a creative music video that will make you famous!

Come take film courses this summer at DMA! Be sure you are learning from the best! DMA has also teamed up with The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus to offer a Music Video Production course! You will learn the skills you need to make the perfect music video. As I always say… the only limit is your creativity! Here are a few famous music videos to get your creativity flowing….

….Ever heard of Ok Go?

How can anyone forget this famous music video from the band Ok Go – “Here We Go Again”? This music video went viral and took the internet by storm. The band didn’t include the normal drums, guitar and bass you’d expect. Instead, the rock band turned in their instruments for treadmills. With over 45,321,935 views on YouTube, you know this music video made this band famous.  httpvh://

….The White Stripes get creative in their music videos!

The White Stripes always seem to stretch the creative boundaries in their music videos. This is such a creative example of combining technical filming and editing skills with a truly original idea. The video becomes more complex and interesting with each beat! httpvh://
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Here is another amazing White Stripes music video made with Legos! This is crazy creative. How much time do you think this could possibly take? Find out this summer!  httpvh://


Get a Certification from DMA: Game Design, Maya, Film, Web Design



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Make a Music Video at Film Camp this Summer!

Want to learn how to make amazing music videos?

Come to DMA Film Camp this summer! Learn how to shoot film on HD cameras, record and edit audio samples, mix the video and audio together, and produce a complete music video!

The band Coldplay continues to come out with innovative and very creative music videos. Almost everyone can remember the music video created for their song “The Scientist” in 2003. This movie was very interesting since the entire movie appeared to be shot in reverse. The music video won three MTV music awards for the video’s reverse narrative effect. 

One of Coldplay’s newest music singles is “Life in Technicolor ii”. This is such an entertaining and fun music video. This is just another example of what you can do with your film skills and some good creativity. Get inspired, and we’ll see you at DMA Film Camp this summer!

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Here is Coldplay’s award-winning music video from 2003, ”The Scientist”

View all DMA Teen Summer Camps and Film Camps

Music Video Production Course with The John Lennon Bus

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Camp Fairs Raffle (Drawing #1) Winner Announced!

Announcing the first DMA Camp Fair Free Tuition winner!

Congratulations to Tiffany Miller for winning the raffle for free tuition to the Digital Media Academy from our first round of camp fairs! Tiffany can choose from our many great courses.

DMA attends many camp fairs across the country. Attendees are able to enter their name for a chance to win a free summer camp course by Digital Media Academy.

summer camp fair


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