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Video Symphony

Your Review: 
Speaking as a parent of a creative young man; Video Symphony turned out to be the perfect school for my son! Ben is very creative, loves the entertainment world, yet is very computer savvy. He had first tried some schools designed for video games. These did not work out. After careful deliberation, Ben decided that becoming an editor would be the best fit for his creative and techinal skills. Video Symphony's editing program was challenging, full of hands-on experience and fostered a closeness with the classmates. The instructors really seemed to know their stuff! Immediately after compeleting the editing program, VS helped Ben to get a job-and they really helped! They coached him through his resume process, interview process and quickly helped him to get his first editing job! They are staying involved with Ben still, offering advice and opportunites for editing indie and student films. This whole experience has been fantastic for my son. I highly recommend Video Symphony to anyone seeking to become an editor!!
Rating: 
10

Comments

I am a current student at VS and the staff is pretty solid...but the school sucks in major ways. To begin with, they aren't teaching you anything you can't learn by buying the AVID books and reading them. But most notably...MOST (if not all) of the teachers are former VS students; which tells you what the job market is really like!!! Worse..the owner only cares about the $30thousand you're paying to attend classes and use his equipment! Many classes are so RUSHED you won't get anything. Be prepared to take the class repeatedly in hopes of figuring out what they're talking about. It's not so bad if you have a working knowledge of AVID. And to be fair, VS lets you take the classes as often as you want at no extra charge.
In an effort to show they care, VS gives us surveys and they do encourage us to write your complaints... Don't bother. NOBODY reads them - - no matter what they tell you!! There are postives also. The school is widely connected. Students do work on shows and movies, but usually only a few days to a few weeks at a time, at the lowest price they can get you for. VS also hosts frequent social gatherings for editors to network, and they are always having some type of editing contest. Both of which are great for helping launch your career. The set-up is nice, but you can find yourself at the mercy of your instructors physical needs. One instructor is so heavy he keeps the a/c on FREEZING. He says its because the equipment will overheat, but he's the only teacher who keeps the temp below 65 and he's still sweating!
And of course there are several bright spots among the staff worth noting. Drake is an incredible editor and a great teacher. His wife works inner office and they're adorable! There is also a tiny Asian woman named Sue, who has a bad rep when you listen to inner school gossip, but she is the greatest teacher I've ever come across! Don't miss her class if you sign up. Okay...that's the good and the bad as I know it. Ponder carefully both the positives and a negatives about VS before you spend all that money. I also suggest weekday classes over the weekend ones. Weekend students are cheated out of days of information in VS's efforts to condense the schedule. Good luck either way.

Though much of this review (7/15/2010) is perfectly fine and fair, there are a few incorrect claims:

1. "they aren't teaching you anything you can't learn by buying the AVID books and reading them".
Few of the classes have books you can just buy and read. Many classes use Avid-certified courseware which is not available other than from an Avid-certified education center like Video Symphony. Many of the classes use books and materials developed specially by Video Symphony for those classes. Finally, very few of the classes that *do* use off-the-shelf books go linearly through them. The teachers extensively supplement what is in the book.

2. "MOST (if not all) of the teachers are former VS students."
Very few are former students. . Of the 3-4 dozen teachers at VS, fewer than 10 are former students. And some that are alums were students many years prior to teaching at VS. And if they weren't good they wouldn't be teaching. So this critique misses the mark, because it has nothing to do with the state of the job market.

3. "Many classes are so RUSHED you won't get anything. "
Video Symphony believes in providing a lot of value and putting a lot of substance into each class. Much better to do that than to drag out a class longer than needed because the content is so thin. How rushed the classes seem is largely a function of the students' abilities and preparation. Those that diligently do their lab time have fewer problems keeping up.

4. "NOBODY reads them [surveys] - - no matter what they tell you!!"
Several staff read each class evaluation. And make changes in classes, instructors, and equipment if warranted by survey results.

5. "Weekend students are cheated out of days of information in VS's efforts to condense the schedule.' Weekend and weekday students all receive the *exact* same days of instruction.

A Few months back I wrote a scathing review of Video Symphony, and made a number of extremely harsh and unfair comments about the school and some of the people in it. There you have it. I need to say that immediately. It was completely wrong for me to do this. I am definitely eating some humble pie here. I came to Burbank last year from the East Coast. I had been through a number of bad experiences before arriving here that included having another school pull the rug out from underneath me, and take me for over $10,000. Unfortunately, this happened right before I came west. I held Video Symphony up to unfair scrutiny based upon bad experiences I had been through somewhere else. I have faced a certain amount of unwarranted headaches while attending the school. However, I have realized that most of this was really beyond anyone's control. My initial posting was written in a spirit of extreme frustration during an enormous misunderstanding between myself and the school. I wrote some extremely unkind things about specific people, and I am truly sorry. I have to admit that some of this was a knee jerk reaction, and some of it was due perceiving things to be far from what they were. Despite any difficulties I have had while attending VS, I have always had access to a great facility with plenty of room. I think it's the access to the equipment and the software that is so great about VS. I used to have to drive an hour and twenty minutes to get on an Avid system for 2 hours back in Connecticut. But I also have to say that I've been really pleasantly shocked with my interaction with the owner and head of the school, Mike Flanagan. There was a level of fairness and understanding, in regards to what I had been through, on the part of Mr. Flanagan that really surprised me. I am happy to say that I am soon to complete the program, that school as a whole as been extremely gracious, and we have worked out our differences. I sincerely apologize to anyone I offended. Thank you, and humbly yours... B. Mochan

Going to Video Symphony was the best investment I made. I had just graduated from a 4 yr film school but still a little undecisive about what path to take. I realized that I love to edit and after looking through all the schools around LA I found that VS was the only school that focused strictly in all aspects of post. The school gives you access to plenty of lab time so you can practice and I took full advantage of that. Right before I graduated I was offered an internship at a major studio and after that my career sky rocketed. The staff is always helpful and very enthuistiastic about the students taking that step into the field. If you are serious about getting into the industry I recommend investing your time at VS.

Going to Video Symphony was the best investment I made. I had just graduated from a 4 yr film school but still a little indecisive about what path to take. I realized that I love to edit and after looking through all the schools around LA I found that VS was the only school that focused strictly in all aspects of post. The school gives you access to plenty of lab time so you can practice and I took full advantage of that. Right before I graduated I was offered an internship at a major studio and after that my career sky rocketed. The staff is always helpful and very enthusiastic about the students taking that step into the field. If you are serious about getting into the industry I recommend investing your time at VS.

Someone said that you have to pay back 500 dollars a month for the school loans. Unless the financial guy is a liar and retarded he told me 165 a month LOL someone in here is smoking drugs.