"Media production has made great leaps in technology since I was in college," he says. "It's unusual that, as an instructor, I am teaching classes that I never actually took in school because the technology simply did not exist. I have to keep my skills updated constantly, and I pass that along to my students. We spend very little time learning by textbook. Most of our efforts lie in actually tackling real projects for real clients."
One of his favorites is the instructional commercial video a group of his students produced that was actually about watching paint dry for a client who was marketing its paint laboratory services to Sherwin Williams. "Sounds boring, right? Wrong. My students made the process interesting and appealing. They had a ball and were impressed when the client made a nice donation to the class," Bernie says.
The junior year of the program introduces students to video production, and it culminates with them entering a short film into the International Youth Silent Film competition.
By senior year the students move more heavily into broadcasting and each one is given his or her own beat to cover. Students also produce segments on CVCC Connect, the school's news magazine show that airs on local cable access channels and on the school's website.
As part of the class, students have the chance to become Adobe Certified Professional in Digital Video using Premiere Pro, Visual Design using Photoshop as well as Motion Graphics and Animation using After Effects, which looks terrific on a resume. They will also have created a demo reel, which can be used for college admissions or the working world.
Above and beyond media arts skills, with every project Bernie reinforces teamwork, interpersonal communication skills, charting, achieving specific goals, and, most importantly, time management skills - all of which would be integral to any career choice.
"I also like to bring in guest speakers who inspire the students, highlighting the potential for media arts in today's market," he says. Headlining that list are successful local filmmakers Johnny Wu and Bill Johns, Ivan Schwarz from The Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Channel 3 meteorologist Betsy Kling, and even Hollywood legend Tom Hanks.
For this energetic instructor, who earned top honors as CVCC Staff Member of the Year, a favorite part of the job is seeing "the difference in students from when they walk in here to when they leave. Many students have not been this excited about school since kindergarten, and they email me over the summer saying they cannot wait to get back to our program."
Check out the CVCC Media Arts YouTube
channel.By Patricia Nugent, Writer for Mimi Vanderhaven
Article posted on mimivanderhaven.com