Talk about how fast technology moves these days is inescapable, but the changes and updates to post-production tools utilized by motion picture and television professionals on a daily basis feels especially quick. Skip or miss updates to Avid Media Composer or DaVinci Resolve and you might find yourself coming back to what can feel like a totally new tool and having to learn and re-learn numerous tasks and functions. If you’re a working professional in Los Angeles, where exactly can you go to quickly and easily get up to speed with these changes?
Providing a place to do just that is the reason the Moviola Education Center exists. It offers classes for a wide variety of people, from those who just want to get started with post–production to industry professionals who fly in from out of town to take our classes. It’s something we’ve been doing for a long time now, since we were established about 20 years ago as an Avid Learning Partner to help editors who were transitioning over to Avid Media Composer. Over the years we’ve grown and expanded, and we now offer training for other post-production software such as Premiere Pro, Pro Tools, DaVinci Resolve, After Effects, Photoshop and more.
Being able to continually expand that list of classes is a priority for us, but what has us really excited is the recent return of the State of California’s Employment Training Panel (ETP) program. It’s something that allows us to work with companies to provide training to employees as a way to keep their skills current with the ever-evolving technology in our world.
How it works is that an employer, from the major studios to small post houses, contract with us to send their eligible employees to the Moviola Education Center for training at no cost to the employer and no cost to the employee. As you can imagine, that’s a pretty appealing proposition to both parties, and it’s something we take seriously on multiple levels. Anyone who’s teaching at the Moviola Education Center is either a certified instructor or a working professional, or sometimes both. The whole idea is to get people in and out quickly, so that they have the knowledge they need to do their job.
There are certain eligibility requirements for students and for companies. The company has to be California based with 51% of their employees in California, and it has to be in the industry that we train for, which is the motion picture and television industry, and primarily post-production. Then the company has to have a turnover rate of no higher than 20%.
If that’s the case and the company is approved, the employees themselves need to be full-time, benefitted employees, to participate in the program. So it’s not a program for the unemployed or a program for people who are trying to work their way into the industry. It’s for people who are already working in the industry to upgrade their skillsets and keep ahead of the constant changes that are happening in the industry.
Being up-to-date on the newer software is really vital to not only keep your job but to also advance it, and it’s amazing to see the level of people that recognize and embrace this fact. We’ve had Oscar-nominated editors come here to take classes, and they come in for all different reasons. I’ve had some big editors come in and take something as simple as an Avid effects class.
I actually asked that editor why they were here, since this person could probably be teaching the class. What they told me was that they had assistants do a lot of the work in and with the system for the last decade, and they wanted to get back up to speed on it. They told me they learned a lot from the class, and it was going to improve their process going forward.
The reality is that there are film schools across the country and countless tutorials online that will teach you all kinds of technical things, but the Moviola Education Center goes beyond all of that. We certainly cover the nuts and bolts of the systems and updates, but the Center also highlights what it means to work with people and on teams, because this business is not just about what you know. You can have the best education in the world but not succeed in media & entertainment if you don’t know how to talk to and work with people.
You can easily see the list of upcoming classes that are available to take right now, but we’re constantly changing things. I don’t want to say our classes run 24-7, but there’s always something happening at the Center. We aren’t on any kind of semester system where you sign up in the fall or spring and take classes. Our classes run all the time, and some classes run frequently, like the Introduction to Avid Media Composer class, which we run 2-3 times a month. Other classes we run maybe once a quarter, but we’re constantly trying to update classes, either from the manufacturer or from the real-world experiences of our instructors.
Our contract with the California ETP is set to open up training for professionals across Los Angeles, and we want to ensure that anyone working in media & entertainment knows they can come to us to make sure they have the tools and skills they need to sustain and advance their careers. We make an active effort to change and update our classes, because we know this industry is constantly changing. It’s a reality that can create challenges, but also opens up opportunities in countless ways.