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 in-person certificate program you will learn both the theory and the hands-on techniques required to light and shoot professional quality video.

Program Description

This comprehensive, one-week certificate program held in-person in Boulder is designed to teach you practical skills, and get you up-to-speed using 4K and HD digital video cameras, DSLRs, lighting equipment and audio gear, enabling your creative vision. You'll learn essentials like composition, depth of field, exposure tools, white balance, understanding color temperature, and camera menus, as well as professional lighting techniques, camera movement tools, and how to record clean audio.

Other topics covered are production workflow, the business side of video, shooting B-roll with the edit in mind, lighting, conducting great interviews, how to do a site survey, and so much more!


Hopefully, there won't be any restrictions or guidelines we have to follow! However, if there are when the class is offered, we follow all City of Boulder and State of Colorado rules. Additionally, since we're working closely in a studio, if there is an outbreak we would probably ask that all participants be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while inside the studio and when working closely outdoors.


Please bring along your own video camera and tripod if you have them so you can get really comfortable using your own gear. The instructor will be using and demonstrating on his professional equipment with which you'll get plenty of hands-on time, including using his camera, lighting and grip equipment, audio gear, as well as camera movement tools. However, since when the class ends you'll be using your own camera primarily, this will give you the opportunity to really get to know your camera throughout the week, as well as having the instructor be able to point specific things out on your own camera.

After You Register

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


This week-long program is held at Alive Studios in north Boulder. The space is large enough to accomodate plenty of room for social distancing, as well as many separate areas to practice a wide assortment of filming situations and lighting environments.



9am - 10:30am: Video Camera Basics, Part 1
We'll start by getting to know each other a bit then explore the strengths and weaknesses of different cameras for different jobs. After a very brief history of video, we'll discuss lenses and learn about camera sensors-the pros and cons of various sizes. You'll then learn about the four factors that determine depth of field and getting the "look" you desire.

10:45am - 12pm: Video Camera Basics, Part 2
After the break we'll take you through the six steps in setting up a camera so you're ready for a shoot. Using your camera's menu, you'll learn about setting the recording format and frame rate, the shutter speed, ISO, aperture and neutral density filter. We'll explain the exposure triangle and the exposure rectangle. You'll then have time to work on getting a proper white balance. We'll get you up to speed on the basics without going into geek overload.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 2:30pm: Introduction to Lighting, Part 1
Since lighting for interviews and b-roll is vital for most non-fiction video productions, we'll start the afternoon with a presentation on the " Art and Science of Lighting." The instructor will explain color temperature and discuss the most common types of professional lighting instruments being used today (LED's, tungsten, fluorescent and HMI's) and when to use them. We'll talk about putting a basic lighting package together for different prices ranges and look at some cheaper hardware store lights too.

2:45pm - 5pm: Introduction to Lighting, Part 2
In the second half the instructor will demonstrate classic 3- and 4-point lighting techniques for an interview situation using both tungsten and daylight-balanced lights. He will show how to create different looks and moods by repositioning the key light and adjusting the fill and back light. He'll also demonstrate how to use diffusion, C-stands, flags, gels and bounce cards to modify the light. You'll then learn how to use a monitor with waveform and zebras, set up a background kit for interviews and how to properly light a green screen.


9am - 10:30am: Getting Great Interviews
Since interviews are the foundation for so many video projects we'll discuss various techniques for getting quality results and then practice interviewing each other. We'll talk about on-camera clothing, what to avoid and why, along with the importance of a powder kit and other practical 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, boom poles, hand mics, external recorders, mixers and cables. We'll go over when to use mic or line levels and the different methods of recording audio on a DSLR. You'll get practice attaching a lav properly and using a shotgun mic on a boom pole.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 2:30pm: 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. The instructor will mic the interviewee, demonstrating proper mic placement techniques using a wireless lav and a boom mic. We'll also discuss going directly into your camera vs. through a mixer.

2:45pm - 5pm: Team Interview Lighting & Audio
Now it's your turn to light and set up audio for an interview! We'll break into teams where everyone will get a chance to be the "DP" and design the lighting set-up. You'll rotate through the crew positions on your team to get experience doing the different jobs. If you have them, throughout this last session you will be using your own camera and tripod to build up hands-on time with your gear.


9am - 10:30am: The Video Production Workflow
You'll learn the six "Ps" of professional video production workflow. We'll walk through a sample project starting with the Proposal, then Pre-Production, Production, Post- Production and Payment. There will be an emphasis on Pre-Production since it involves so many things: the script, shot list, location scouting, scheduling, detailed budgeting and prepping for the shoot. The class exercise will be to conduct a site survey.

10:45am - 12pm: 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 on your talent to achieve good-looking results. You'll get experience using a large silk, bounce cards, reflectors and daylight-balanced lights. Outdoor audio recording will also be discussed. Then it's your turn to set up your camera (or the instructors, if you don't have your own) and properly expose for an outdoor interview situation. 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 various ways to make daylight work for you instead of against you.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 2:30 pm: Shooting a Sequence
We'll 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. We will then discuss your afternoon assignment and strategies for creating a b-roll sequence or story on your own.

2:45pm - 5pm: Assignment: Shoot a Sequence Outside
Your assignment will be to use what you have learned so far to create a visual sequence or sequences at a nearby outdoor mall or park. You will get to use your own camera gear if you have it in a real-world situation. When you have completed the assignment, we will regroup to discuss your experience and look at some of the footage.


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 the business side of video. 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. Learning about the business side of video production will help 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 discuss the pros and cons of using this type of camera. We'll talk about lenses, rigs, cages and audio recording options then give you hands-on time with several different cameras and rigs.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break 1pm - 2:30 pm: Camera Movement Tools, Part I
In this session, the instructor will give a presentation about different camera movement tools that are used to create motion and enhance video footage, adding interest and production value. You'll get hands-on practice with dolly and slider shots, as well as practice time with handheld gimbals.

2:45pm - 5pm: Camera Movement Tools, Part 2
Now we'll put your practice to the test. We'll design a short action scene that will utilize a dolly shot, a gimbal shot, tripod and slider shots. We'll create a multi-cam scenario and rotate positions so everyone will get experience using the different camera movement equipment as well as being the director and slate op.


9am - 10am: Q & A/Review
In the morning session you'll have a chance to ask questions about anything covered so far. We'll then have an opportunity for "show and tell" from fellow classmates, looking at videos and analyzing them for shot usage and style.

10:15am - 12pm: Designing a Marketing/Promo Video
Now we'll begin planning for the afternoon exercise: shooting a formal interview with a guest client- something they could use for a marketing or promo video. We'll research our guest client online and put together a list of suitable questions for the interview. You'll help plan a shot list for possible b-roll footage if it was a full video production. We'll then pick our interview location and begin the set-up.

12pm - 1pm: Lunch Break

1pm - 3pm: Shooting a Promo Video
We'll complete our set-up for the interview and get ready. You will participate in all phases of the production: lighting, camera placement and movement, audio recording and operating the camera. We'll create multiple camera shots so you can practice using your own cameras in a multi-cam situation. You'll get to put all the techniques you've learned during the week into action!

3:15pm - 5pm: Certificates & Wrap-Up
The client interview is in the can and now it's wrap time! You will then be awarded your Certificate and enjoy a well-deserved break to reminisce about the week. 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, and as 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.

BDA Members


BDA Members: $1,549.00

Non-Members: $1,599.00

Available Dates

Sorry, we don't have this event scheduled right now but we'll probably be adding it again soon! If you're interested in this event, we recommend using our follow feature to be notified the next time we add it to our schedule. You can also email us to request that we add it soon.

Customer Comments

Definitely worth the time and money. Great Instructor.Jeni
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Comments For: Video Production Certificate Program

I really enjoyed this class. The skills that I needed were well covered by Lowel. He clearly knew his subject and was well organized in his classroom lectures. Again, another really well delivered course! Thank you BDA.Kirk on 7/29/2018
This class was outstanding! I had high expectations coming into the class and Lowell far exceeded those expectations. I came away with more knowledge than I could have imagined. Lowell is extremely knowledgeable and a natural teacher. He was great about answering each and every one of our questions and provided invaluable equipment recommendations. Thanks for an excellent week!Mark on 9/28/2016
Lowell is a great instructor. Knows his stuff and explains it well. The class contained practical knowledge, advice, methods, and procedures that I can immediately put to use. I'm leaving here with tools that I'll be able to use on my job next week.Larry on 9/25/2015
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 Video Production Certificate 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. For classes that are $400 - $998, each of the two payments is simply 50% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. For classes that are $999+, each of the four payments is simply 25% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. BDA membership is required to obtain a payment plan. Click here to learn about membership. The first payment will be taken at the time of registration and the remaining payments are paid once a month for the following three months. Details the payment amounts for this particular program are listed 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 720-282-1435 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

  Payment Amount
Payment 1
Paid at time of registration.
Payment 2
Due one month after registration.
Payment 3
Due two months after registration.
Payment 4
Due three months after registration.
Note: you must be a BDA member to take advantage of our payment plans. Registrants using the payment plan are not eligible for any early registration discounts and always pay the standard registration fee ($1,549.00).


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