Video Blogs Project
What is a Video Blog?
The Video Blog on the Internet web (usually YouTube) - is a stage for self expression; a personal diary; a political soapbox; an arena for collaboration between people and ideas; a personal news channel; and a source of knowledge and vibrating human spirit. Since their creation in the late 90's, blogs have reshaped the face of the web, impacted the world politically and artistically, and enabled millions of people to be heard, to reach and influence others.
What were our project's goals?
Our project's goals were to enable our students to develop an original format and lunch their own personal Video Blog on a dual weekly basis. This goal has been established after examining the various (and endless) types of Video Blogs available today, their contents and their visual language. We believe that letting Israeli students express themselves online in English will open a deeper understanding of us as multifaceted people – exactly the content that is missing in the world today.
About the project's leader
Yaniv Shmeltzer is a film director and a musician. Since receiving a BA in Film and TV from Tel-Aviv University, he has been working in the Israeli Prime time TV industry, directing and developing content, while performing original music with his band and on Solo concerts. ART and People are his two greatest passions. And he sees the rise of the INTERNET age as a remarkable and rare opportunity for an evolution jump in the human spirit and knowledge.
What did the students go through and learn?
The students went through a preparation period of examining and learning the different aspects of various video blogs, pragmatic discussion of contents, visual language, and self expression – using real examples from the web and from the students' personal lives. They also performed acting and self expression exercises, through which they conceived and developed their own video blog format.
Than each student came up with his own V.B Format. Every two weeks the students needed to write a script, shoot and edit it (Naturally star in it), and upload it to a YouTube Channel that they have created.
Throughout the process the main things the students learned are:
Personal development - Self expression, building “On Stage” confidence, working under deadlines pressure. Creating a “public Persona” in the New-Media World, and speaking out their mind.
Professional development – Script writing and developing a story, Cinematic Language, Shooting and Editing.
In what ways was the project successful?
For this part, we believe it is best to read what the Students wrote, describing their experience in the course:
"I don't feel that one paragraph can contain all of the things that I have gained from my experience in the video blog course taught by Yaniv Shmeltzer in 2010. After the first class I didn't feel that I wanted to continue. After all, having your own blog on YouTube is quite 'gutsy' - especially for all of your peers, family and friends to see. However, I decided to go for the ride and see where it would take me. I chose the idea for 'Hire Me, BBC!' because I thought it could have practical implications for a career in journalism - which is something that I really do want. And boy, did it pay off. The BBC in Jerusalem saw the 'show' and loved it. I also was accepted to two Master's programs in London for international journalism and I believe my video blog helped me get in.
Now onto what I really learned: The course taught me to not care what others think about me. Putting yourself out there on the Internet is so intimidating and Yaniv talked me through all of my concerns. He always encouraged us to be great and that reflects through our work. His commitment to my blog, his inspiring ideas and wise advice shaped my project into the success that it is. I firmly believe that Yaniv was the core of the course's success because he converted two anti-bloggers to become free, fearless, inspired video bloggers. I learned a lot more than just choosing content and how to reach your viewers. He also taught me a lot about myself. Throughout my years at the IDC I always felt that there was something inside me that I wanted to share with everybody else. I knew I had talents and capabilities but they remained underneath the surface. This course allowed me to share those qualities with, well, the world in a way.
Marley has become a sort of celebrity on campus and has gained so much hype in different areas of the world. She represents all of those things that I had been keeping inside. This class has given me a portfolio, and most importantly, the fulfillment of seeing my hard work receive credit and reward beyond my imagination."
Dana Sade Lavan
"In the beginning I was quite skeptical as to whether I would fit such a curriculum of being exposed to the camera and putting myself out there. However, slowly I realized that the idea behind the course was more about the learning process and developing as a person and as a group and about learning the Youtube phenomenon and how powerful a tool it is and how powerful I could be using it.
The advantage is in the personal and intimate atmosphere and the personal attention that I have received each session. There was more room to focus not only on our projects, but on how we feel in the process. There were definitely some emotional moments that I felt not only helped me with my next project, but also helped me personally when I left the class with some insights...
... I did feel like I coped with the situation from one week to another which taught me a lot about myself as a person and as a professional, or semi-professional as to when I know that I want something to be done, I will do whatever it takes to do so even on the expense that it won’t be as “perfect” as I imagined.
On the professional side, I learned different editing tips, different camera movements and shots, and framing a story for the blog. Even though it did come down to my execution of things... This course was definitely a practical one which taught me more than I have in all of my practical courses regarding television.
Most importantly, as mentioned before, it was a learning process and developing process as a person. The transformation from not being sure about the project- to seeing something I created with my own mind and hands come alive, was very exciting and forever memorable ... the growing process that I went through (building self confidence, dealing with criticism from other people and improving on technical aspects) is unquestionable and could only be understood by the little “blog family” we have create."