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Advanced Cinema Production: Video Journalism

Starts May 2

In-person. 4 sessions: Thursdays, May 2-23, 6:30-9:30 pm

Are you looking to break into video journalism or documentary filmmaking? Do you have basic video shooting and editing knowledge and want to take it to the next level and start to shoot and produce stories? Looking to learn or improve your interviewing skills and how to compile footage into a compelling, comprehensive story?

This hands-on course is designed to teach students how to dig deeper and become better storytellers with their cameras. Students will learn how compose, shoot, and interview a subject and combine their footage with B-roll to edit a complete short-form video (2-5 minutes long). Each student will shoot, produce, edit, and present a story by the end of the class.

Session 1

  • The power of storytelling and how great stories are based on transformation.
  • Gear overview and audio basics, brainstorming, and how to choose a subject.
  • Video interviewing: composition, lighting, and how to ask the right questions; what makes a good interview; finding the why behind the why and how to bring out emotion in your subject.
  • Assignment: come up with three story ideas for next session.

Session 2

  • Story ideas are reviewed and students will pick one story to pursue.
  • Presentation on how to shoot, focus, and capture action.
  • Sequencing and building structure for a story as you document your subject.
  • Group practice of gathering B-roll and shooting sequences.

Session 3

  • The power of audio and how to use music to enhance the impact of your story.
  • Advanced audio gear explored and discussed.
  • Royalty-free music resources discussed, along with ethics in video journalism.

Session 4

  • Presentation of students’ final videos. Feedback and critique given.
  • Celebrate our accomplishments!

Course Requirements

  • DSLR, mirrorless, or dedicated video camera and knowledge of how to use it.
  • Basic editing ability and access to editing software as this class will not be teaching editing.
  • Tripod (preferably fluid head) and shotgun mic.

Note: Students may check out audio and video gear from FilmNorth (included in tuition, subject to availability). Students are welcome to use Adobe Premiere Pro (for Mac) in FilmNorth’s edit lab by appointment during business hours (also included in tuition).

This in-person course is held at FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, Saint Paul, MN 55114. FilmNorth is following CDC’s current COVID-19 variant guidance for Ramsey County:

  • People may choose to mask at any time. Masks are recommended for those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or at high-risk for complications associated with COVID-19 variants.
  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should stay home.

Tuition: $245 regular | $195 member | $155 low-income

Tom Baker is a freelance photographer based in Minneapolis. He has a degree in photojournalism from the University of Montana School of Journalism and has been freelancing since 2007. He has worked at the Havre Daily News in Havre, MT, The Dalles Chronicle in The Dalles, OR, and the Portland Tribune in Portland, OR. His work has been published in the Star Tribune, MPR News, Associated Press, POLITICO, Agence-France Presse, Montana Standard, Draft Magazine, Rochester Magazine, and others.

Aside from photography, he’s a huge rock nerd and loves agate hunting, mountain biking, and spending time with his wife and dog.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy
  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those needing to cancel a registration at least 7 days prior to the first class session, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to the first class session, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
  • By registering for this FilmNorth class you are agreeing to our Community Values Statement.




May 2 @ 6:30 pm
May 23 @ 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


Tom Baker
Registration Deadline
April 27
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
4 sessions: Thursdays, May 2-23, 6:30-9:30 pm