How Do I Become a Video Specialist?

Maggie Worth

A video specialist is a professional skilled at recording video footage, editing it, or both. To become a video specialist, you can opt for either formal education or training programs and will need to gain experience as a videographer or video editor, or both. You will also need to build a portfolio of your work as well as a resume and list of references. If you are interested in a specific specialty, such as court room videography, you may also need to obtain related education and certifications.

Understanding how to use a video camera is important for people who want to become a video specialist.
Understanding how to use a video camera is important for people who want to become a video specialist.

If you are planning to become a video specialist, you will probably want to look into available education and training programs. Many colleges and technical schools offer certificate, diploma or degree programs. Coursework in these programs can include aspects of shooting video, such as lighting techniques, sound capture techniques, understanding the various types of equipment, capturing live events and shooting with a green screen. Program courses may also include learning how to use standard editing software, how to add visual effects to existing footage and how to edit video to create an effective finished product. Training facilities and the continuing education departments of some colleges often offer classes in one or more of these areas as well.

Live experience is important for anyone who wants to become a video specialist. If you attend school for videography, some of this experience can be gained through class projects and internships. If you are unable to find paid work without experience, consider volunteering to film events such as graduations, presentations or parties for private individuals while you are in school or once you have graduated. You can also volunteer to film and edit short promotional videos for small businesses or local charities. If you are looking to switch careers, you can do this on the side or as a hobby until you build up a portfolio.

As with any design or creative position, your portfolio is of paramount importance, and you will likely find it impossible to become a video specialist without one. For videographers, this portfolio will be electronic and can be housed either on the Internet or burned to a CD. Your portfolio is a compilation of your best work and should clearly demonstrate all of your capabilities. It can include student projects, volunteer work and paid projects that you have permission to use. It is generally accompanied by a professional resume and a list of references.

Videography has a number of existing and emerging specialty fields. One such niche is legal videography, in which the specialist films expert testimony, evidence collection or courtroom proceedings. In order to become a video specialist in this or a similar industry, you may need to obtain a license or certification to prove that you understand the laws and requirements surrounding such work.

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