Video Production Certificate Program


All students who finish this program will receive a signed certificate of completion verifying their participation in the program.

In this certificate program you will learn how to produce professional quality video using state-of-the-art equipment including cameras, audio and lighting gear.

Program Description

This one-week certificate program is designed to get you up to speed with using modern digital video cameras and lighting, and enabling your creative vision. The class will take you through the ins and outs of shooting with today's digital video cameras, both tape and tapeless. You'll learn the essentials like shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and composition, then go much further to good professional audio using a variety of microphones and setting up and creating professional video lighting.

You'll learn recommended workflows for tape and tapeless acquisition to be ready for real-world, professional editing. This course emphasizes shooting for the edit, essential to telling a good story.

Read more about what makes our certificate programs unique.


You are strongly encouraged to bring your own video camera if you have one; however BDA will provide several industry-standard professional video and DSLR video cameras for you to use. In addition you'll have plenty of hands-on learning time with the entire range of professional video production equipment including camera support, lighting and grip gear, audio and monitoring.

After You Register

BDA is committed to making learning process as enjoyable as possible and making sure that you can focus on your learning. After you register you will be contacted by our staff who answer questions you might have and assist you with any logistical and travel concerns.



9am - 10:30am: Video Camera Basics, Part 1

We'll start by exploring the strengths and weaknesses of different cameras for different jobs. You’ll learn about lenses and the four factors that determine depth of field and getting the "look" you desire. We’ll discuss camera sensors and the pros and cons of various sizes. After a very brief history of video, we’ll go over the most common formats in use today and help you understand tech terms you need to know without going into geek overload.

10:45am - 12pm: Video Camera Basics, Part 2

We'll take you through a camera's menu and go over basic functions such as white and black balance, explain color temperature, auto vs. manual mode, iris, exposure tools such as zebra and the waveform monitor, focus assist, shutter speed, gain, gamma, knee and much more.  You’ll then have time to practice getting a good white balance on your own camera and going through its menu. 

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 3pm: Introduction to Lighting, Part 1

Since lighting and interviews are vital to most documentary and corporate productions, the instructor will set up and demonstrate basic interview lighting using classic 3- and 4-point lighting. We’ll discuss the different types of professional lighting instruments (tungsten, fluorescent, LEDs and HMI’s) and when to use each.

We’ll create various looks by moving and diffusing the key light and show you different ways to create fill light. You’ll learn how to deal with glares caused by glasses and bald heads. We’ll also work on controlling and shaping light with flags and C-stands, as well as using a monitor.

3:15pm - 5pm: Introduction to Lighting, Part 2

After the demonstration, it’s your turn to practice lighting for an interview and framing up the camera. We’ll be working on composition and framing wide, medium and tight shots. Then the instructor will demonstrate how to light a greenscreen background.


9am - 10:30am: Getting Great Interviews

Interviews are the foundation for many video productions so we will discuss successful techniques and then practice interviewing each other. We’ll explore clothing, what to avoid and why, along with the importance of make-up and other tips to help interviewees look and sound their best.

10:45am - 12pm: Audio for Interviews

You’ll learn about the tools needed for location audio recording, including wireless lavs, shotgun mics, hand mics, mixers and cables. You’ll get practice attaching a lav properly and using a shotgun mic on a boom. You’ll also get some hands-on with a mixer and headphones in preparation for the afternoon sessions.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 3pm: Shooting an Outdoor Interview

Since a videographer is often required to shoot an interview outside, the instructor will demonstrate techniques to help you control the sun and shadows to get good-looking results. You'll get experience using a silk, bounce cards, reflectors and daylight-balanced lights.

Then it's your turn to put the mic placement techniques you've learned into action.

3:15pm - 5pm: Using Daylight Indoors

Next, we’ll go back inside to the lobby and learn how to manage daylight for interior shots. You’ll get more hands-on experience as you set up for an interview and the instructor demonstrates three ways to make daylight work for you instead of against you.


9am - 10:30am: The Video Production Workflow

You’ll learn the six “Ps” and the essentials of professional video production. We’ll start with Pre-Production: the script, shot list, call sheet, location scouting, budget, timeline, delivery formats, managing the client and prepping for the shoot. Then we’ll go into Production: the actual shoot. We’ll go over crew protocol, from Director to PA. Next, we’ll touch on Post-Production workflow: transferring, digitizing, organizing the footage, transcribing, the rough cut, the final cut and (at last) delivery! Finally, you’ll get to conduct a site survey.

10:45am - 12pm: Shooting Workflow

We’ll discuss your site surveys, then watch a short video and analyze the various shots it uses to tell the story. You'll learn how to “shoot for the edit” and build a sequence when shooting b-roll. You’ll then get practice designing the key elements of a promo video for a theoretical company.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 3pm: Camera Support & Movement, Part 1

In this session, you’ll get to set up and practice dolly shots, jib shots and slider shots, as well as on-tripod tilts and pans. We’ll discuss how movement can enhance and add value to a production, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. We’ll also talk about other movement options such as Steadicam and helicopters.

3:15pm - 5pm: Camera Support & Movement, Part 2

Now we’ll put your practice to the test. We will design a short scene that will utilize a dolly shot, a jib shot and a slider shot. We’ll rotate positions so everyone will get experience using the support equipment. The instructor will then demonstrate how to showcase a product using camera movement.


9am - 10:30am: The Business Side of Video

Whether you’re going to work freelance, as part of a production company, or in a department within a larger corporation, you need to know about marketing your services, putting together job estimates, keeping track of your expenses, buying insurance, drawing up contracts, paying taxes and getting paid, along with many other details. Keeping up with the business side will enable you to make a living doing what you love to do.

10:45am - 12pm: Shooting With a DSLR

The DSLR has been called a “disruptive” technology because it came out of nowhere to rock the video production industry. In this session we’ll explore the most popular DSLRs in use today and go through the basic menus. We’ll talk about lenses, rigs, cages and audio recording options then give you hands-on time with several different cameras.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 3 pm: Audio for 1-Camera Interviews

In this session we’ll practice location audio recording for video by setting up an interior interview scenario, using the lighting style we learned on Monday. Then we’ll mic the interviewee, demonstrating proper mic placement techniques with a wireless lav, boom mic, and mixer.

3:15pm - 5pm: Audio for 2-Camera Interviews

Now we’ll adjust the lighting to create a 2-camera interview scenario. Again we will demonstrate proper mic placement and different ways to mic two people. Students will rotate positions to get hands-on lighting set-up and audio recording experience.


9am - 10am: Q & A/Review

In the morning session you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions about anything covered so far. We’ll then look at some videos and analyze them for shot usage and style.

10:15am - 12pm: Designing a Marketing/Promo Video

Now we’ll begin planning for the afternoon exercise: shooting elements for a marketing or promo video! You’ll help make a shot list for B-roll footage and plan out a sequence to showcase a local entrepreneur. We’ll discuss a site survey of the location and work out the production schedule.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 3pm: Shooting a Promo Video

Now we’ll set-up at our location and go to work. You will participate in all phases of the production: lighting, camera placement and movement, audio recording and operating the camera.  We’ll work on shooting for the edit by creating sequences that will be easy to cut.

You'll get to put all the techniques you've learned during the week into action!

3:15pm - 5pm: Wrap-Up

After we get all the shots we need to tell the story, it's wrap time! Congratulations! You made it! 


Lowel PierceWith 35 years in the film and video production world, Lowel Pierce has done a little of everything and enjoyed the variety. A Colorado native and graduate of CSU in Technical Journalism, Lowel has worked as a TV news photographer, a cinematographer in Saudi Arabia, a partner in a video production company. As both one-man-band and freelance Director of Photography for 22 years, Lowel has worked on indie features, shorts, documentaries, TV commercials, and high-end corporate productions earning a CINE Golden Eagle, Heartland Emmies, and Videographer Awards of Distinction.


This certificate program will be held both at the BDA Boulder location, and also at the Boulder Digital Arts Production Studio.

BDA Members


BDA Members: $1,249.00

Non-Members: $1,299.00

Available Dates

May 11 - 15, 2015

Weekday Format Schedule

Complete Schedule:
Monday, May 11, 2015
9am - 5pm
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
9am - 5pm
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
9am - 5pm
Thursday, May 14, 2015
9am - 5pm
Friday, May 15, 2015
9am - 5pm

Location: Boulder (Details)

1600 Range Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO  80301

This is BDA's headquarters located at Arapahoe Avenue and Range Street in Boulder (approximately 52nd and Arapahoe) on the northeast corner of Range and Arapahoe. The building is .6 miles east of Foothills Parkway, and .25 miles west of 55th Street. Range is the street that is between the stoplights at Conestoga and Commerce. Parking is available all around the building.

September 21 - 25, 2015

Weekday Format Schedule

Complete Schedule:
Monday, September 21, 2015
9am - 5pm
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
9am - 5pm
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
9am - 5pm
Thursday, September 24, 2015
9am - 5pm
Friday, September 25, 2015
9am - 5pm

Location: Boulder (Details)

1600 Range Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO  80301

This is BDA's headquarters located at Arapahoe Avenue and Range Street in Boulder (approximately 52nd and Arapahoe) on the northeast corner of Range and Arapahoe. The building is .6 miles east of Foothills Parkway, and .25 miles west of 55th Street. Range is the street that is between the stoplights at Conestoga and Commerce. Parking is available all around the building.

March 7 - 11, 2016

Weekday Format Schedule

Complete Schedule:
Monday, March 7, 2016
9am - 5pm
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
9am - 5pm
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
9am - 5pm
Thursday, March 10, 2016
9am - 5pm
Friday, March 11, 2016
9am - 5pm

Location: Boulder (Details)

1600 Range Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO  80301

This is BDA's headquarters located at Arapahoe Avenue and Range Street in Boulder (approximately 52nd and Arapahoe) on the northeast corner of Range and Arapahoe. The building is .6 miles east of Foothills Parkway, and .25 miles west of 55th Street. Range is the street that is between the stoplights at Conestoga and Commerce. Parking is available all around the building.

Customer Comments

I had some basic knowledge in video production prior to taking this class, but it really covered all the bases and reinforced what I already knew, but also added a lot of new information. Overall, the class was really good.Conor
Read All Comments

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Comments For: Video Production Certificate Program

I had some basic knowledge in video production prior to taking this class, but it really covered all the bases and reinforced what I already knew, but also added a lot of new information. Overall, the class was really good.Conor on 5/23/2014
I feel confident I can use the skills I learned in this class in my real life work. The instructor is knowledgable and has all the greatest toys. Very patient and also very open to new ideas. He loves what he does and it really shows!Kathy on 5/23/2014
This class was fantastic! Thank you so much!ben on 5/23/2014
In one word: FANTASTIC! Having been in the industry for 19 years, this class is invaluable for what I learned for the cost. Thorough, enjoyable, hands-on. The instructor was amazing at what he does as both a teacher and a guide. I learned more in this 5 day course then I did my first year of film school production courses. I cannot recommend this class or BDA enough!Dixon on 5/23/2014
This class took me from knowing nothing about video to feeling like I could handle a simple shoot on my own! Amazing! The instructor had excellent equipment but also great real world experience to share as well.Adrian on 5/19/2014
The Video Production Transitions Certificate Program was well planned and taught. Lowell's extensive experience in the field was evident as he expertly taught the class. My class was made up of 6 students - each with their own level of video experience, from novice to experienced. Lowell was able to teach so that each one learned exactly what they needed to. The hands-on aspect of the class was excellent and I learned much more than I expected to. Overall, the class was fun, interesting, a great learning experience and well worth the cost. I highly recommend it!Christine on 2/17/2014
This is a really great course for anyone looking to dive deeper into video production. The hands-on model is a great way to learn and having an experienced instructor to patiently guide you through the techniques is a real benefit! Thank you to BDA for putting on courses like this.Lathan on 10/18/2013
Full of information and it was a great learning experience! Lowell was a wonderful teacher, patient and full of information I would take another course taught by Lowell.Delphine S. on 8/2/2013
Gave me a balance of what I needed to know, to get started.Urvi Kirit on 8/2/2013
Exactly what I needed. Loved Lowel, great guy. Very patient with adult learners and extremely knowledgeable in the industry.Steve on 5/10/2013
Learned about a lot of tech aspects.Andres on 5/10/2013
Feel more prepared for freelance videography.Michelle on 2/1/2013
Every question the class asked was answered thoroughly, honestly and practically. A+!James on 9/2/2011
As a novice, I feel I was exposed to a wealth of information and hands-on opportunities. The course covered a very wide range of applications. The instructor shared tremendous experience with us in a form that was very understandable.William J. on 9/2/2011
Excellent hands-on exercises.Danielle M. on 9/2/2011
Very comprehensive - loved the "hands-on".Suzanne on 9/2/2011
Very thorough on workflow.Matthew J. on 9/2/2011
Excellent overview of video tech and shooting methods. Instructor was very personable and accessible.John L. on 6/24/2011
Definitely worth the time and money. Great Instructor.Jeni on 6/24/2011
The workshop covered a lot of material & was a good overview for a beginner level person like myself.Paulette on 6/24/2011
It was great to get hands-on experience. The instructor was very articulate and good at explaining things.Andra on 6/24/2011
The Transitions Video Production Class was very informative especially because of the instructor who has incredible credentials. I have been doing video for a number of years, but never felt I was doing things correctly - especially because I am a perfectionist. The class taught me many things and now I finally feel like I have some confidence in what I am doing. I have already been able to put into practice some of the things I learned and am glad I invested the money. I highly recommend this class.Don on 9/21/2010

Optional Payment Plan for Certificate Programs:

We want to make our training as accessible as possible so we offer a simple payment plan for our Certificate Programs. Each of the 4 payments is 25% of the total registration fee with no finance charges or other costs. The first payment will be taken when you register and the remaining 3 payments are paid every month for the following 3 months (detailed payment information in the table below). It's easy to take advantage of this option and we encourage you to sign up early since these programs often fill up fast! If you're interested, don't register online. Instead, please contact BDA staff at 303-800-4647 or email us with the name and start date of the class you wish to attend ( and we'll get you setup, take your first payment, and confirm your registration.


Payment Program Details

  BDA Member Non-Member
Payment 1
Paid at time of registration.
$312.25 $324.75
Payment 2
Due one month after registration.
$312.25 $324.75
Payment 3
Due two months after registration.
$312.25 $324.75
Payment 4
Due three months after registration.
$312.25 $324.75
Note: registrants using the payment plan are not eligible for the early registration discount and always pay the standard registration fee ($1,249.00 for BDA members and $1,299.00 for non-members).