DMA Central

THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

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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DMA Training Courses Changed My Life : 3d, Animation, Film, and Special Effects

Written by Albert Frates : DMA Teen Alumnus

Throughout my three summers spent at Digital Media Academy, I have met many new people, that share common goals, and interests.  I have grown more aware of the different aspects of digital media, and have been inspired by both instructors and other students.  However DMA has brought me more than inspiration, and new friends.  It’s brought me a solid footing for my future.

I began at DMA summer 2006 only fourteen years old at the time. I took Maya I with Adam Watkins, knowing very little about Maya, or what could be achieved.  In less than a week Adam had brought the  class out of the unknown, and into what I would call my first true steps of digital media at a professional level.  Opening many new doors I began to pursue other aspects of media, (Film, Animation, TV, Games, Web Design, etc…).  The following school year I worked on many media projects, for my school.  Live event recording such as Graduation, and sporting events was the beginning. Later entered into a student film festival. Using Adobe After effects, and Final Cut Pro for the first time I managed to craft what would be a festival winner.  Knowing this was something to potentially pursue I went back to DMA summer 2007.  Taking classes that both focused on After Effects (Motion Graphics, and Compositing) with Betsy Kopmar, and Hands on Digital Filmmaking with Travis Schlaffman.  (On a side note I recommend both courses).  Sure enough I was right that fall I was had met up with a producer on a school trip in Seattle who was working on live events for DECA (A High school organization for business and marketing students).  After talking to him briefly during a seminar he had invited me to come check out the production backstage.  Getting to sit in on, and at one point help out with the production I was offered an internship at the end of the show for the next conference in spring.  This is where I love to point out that this would not have been possible without Digital Media Academy playing a role in my past.  Because of the tools, and concepts learned at DMA I was fluent working in a professional environment at at the age of sixteen when the challenge of a live production was presented to me I was able to tackle it without any issues.  My point is it’s never to early to start achieving your goals, especially with DMA.

On a last note which is something I kinda blew off at the start of this post.  Friends and connections you make at Digital Media Academy, is possibly one of the best parts of DMA.  The more people anyone knows in life the better off they are, and once again most of the people at DMA will share goals, and interests that you do.
It’s never too early to start, achieving your goals.

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Make Your Brain Grow at Digital Media Academy!

Written by Seamus Harte from the John Lennon Bus

Visit http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org to find out how to grow your digital brain.

Visit http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org/give to sign up for your chance to win a trip to one of the many digital media camps happening this summer.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw7LF_RorSw

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Film Camp for Teens. Watch a Movie made this year at DMA's Summer Camp.

Teens get the full film camp experience at Digital Media Academy summer camps and week-long courses.

Watch a movie created by teens in the Filmmaking course at University of Pennsylvania DMA camp this past summer. All teen students in the class played a part in writing the movie script, storyboard the movie scenes, acting in various shots around campus, filming with high quality cameras, directing the scenes, editing music for the video, and editing the video in Final Cut Pro on their own Apple computer.

This video is just one example of the creative movies that are created by teens at Digital Media Academy’s summer film camps. Enjoy the suspense-filled movie a group of DMA film students made entitled… “Re-Encountered”

All summer camp courses for teens

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Film Camp. Watch a Stop Motion Movie made at DMA Summer Camp with Skittles!

See what teens made at Digital Media Academy film camp this summer in Chicago!

This video was made by shooting hundreds of individual JPEG photos and piecing/editing them together in Final Cut Pro. This was made during DMA Film Camp in Chicago this past summer in the Teen Film Editing and  Filmmaking Course. Learn how to make a movie like this at a DMA course this summer!

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIBGjBQZzeQ

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Extreme Sports Filmmaking Courses : Film Camps

There are a couple reasons why one of my first blogs is about DMA’s Action Sports & Media Combination Courses (Skate Boarding & Filmmaking / Surfing & Filmmaking). The first reason is that this is where I got my start with filmmaking. Upon Graduating from the UCSC film school, my first completed film was a 30 min snowboard and skateboarding film. I traveled to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado to premiere the film. It was such an incredible feeling to have my work up on the big screen and evaluated by my peers. The second reason why I write about these courses is because that is what I am working on right now. In fact I my house is covered with snow and I have been getting some amazing footage.

The idea came up for these courses when Dave Livingston – DMA’s Director of Instruction – asked me if there were any filmmaking courses that I wish I could have taken in college that weren’t available. Immediately, I thought it would be so cool to have taken a video production class with curriculum that taught actions sports cinematography and editing techniques. The classes were born and they have been a huge success. In these classes we teach students how to plan, shoot, edit, and produce their own action sports videos. At the end of each course the students even get the chance to premiere their film on the “big screen”, in front of classmates, family, and friends. It is really just awesome what they accomplish in 5 days while having so much fun!

Check out a couple of videos that one talented student Evan created while taking one of our DMA’s Action Sports & Media Combination Courses.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgJV5YPnVew
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMOaIKhz6lg
Until next time,

Travis Schlafmann

DMA Instructor/ Cinematographer & Editor

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Film Camp Experience for Teens : Summer Technology Camp!

Learn more about Digital Media Academy Film Camps for Teens in this video. See what teen students are saying about DMA summer technology camp programs. DMA summer camp students get the opportunity to act as a producer, screenwriter, actor / actress, director, scout, art director, digital video editor, and more! This is a truly amazing tech learning experience. 

Digital Media Academy also offers similar Film Camps for Kids and Filmmaking Courses for Pro Adults in addition to the Teen Film Camps.

Learn more at http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org

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Film Camp for Teens : Create, Write, Act, Produce, and Edit

Make a movie at Digital Media Academy Film Camp for Teens!

I have had the pleasure of being able to attend, direct, assist, and co-instruct all levels of DMA’s filmmaking programs, but I just wanted to talk about the youth film camp programs for a moment. We’ve seen a lot of girls very interested in the film industry and these film camps. Both guys and girls get the chance to work in a real world film set and get a taste of the movie making action.  Teen and youth students get the opportunity to create their own movie from scratch during the 5 day summer camp. The class starts with brainstorming creative story ideas and actually writing a movie script. Throughout the week-long bootcamp style filmmaking course students are able to write the script, act in the scenes, scout out shooting locations, shoot the film, edit the video with a pro level app like Apple’s Final Cut Pro, and produce their own DVD to take home. What a week! 

DMA students get to act as a producer, screenwriter, actor / actress, director, scout, art director, digital video editor, and more! This is a truly amazing experience. 

teen film camp - Making a Movie

I have a lot of great memories across many of our university campuses with a green screen, mic boom, or extra camera trying to get in one last video shoot for the film camp. These film courses are always fun and creative. The learning experience is hands-on and directly duplicates being on the set making, acting, and directing a Hollywood picture. The camera equipment, audio equipment, lighting kits, and computer & software technology is always the best available.

Digital Media Academy also offers similar Film Camps for Kids and Filmmaking Courses for Pro Adults in addition to the Teen Film Camps.

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