Private, Individual or Group Avid Training
Thank you for stopping by.
Below, I've attempted to answer many of the questions you may have about beginning or furthering your Avid Media Composer education through private training with me. I think you may find the FAQ section particularly helpful.
I have been teaching Avid Media Composer since 1995 and have continually maintained my Avid Certified Instructor status since becoming certified. I specialize in assisting new and intermediate users. For new users, I can provide a solid foundation of understanding as to the logic of the system along with its core tools and capabilities in a fashion that's both easy to understand as well as easy to retain. For intermediate users I can reveal many of the system's shortcuts, features and capabilities that are not always the most obvious or intuitive.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
Photo: Benjamin on location with Carl Reiner during the production of "The Bronx Boys – Hosted by Carl Reiner." For Shapiro/West, Benjamin served as Director and Editor on the documentary.
Benjamin Hershleder, based in Los Angeles, California, is Certified by Avid Technology to teach Introductory through Advanced editing and effects courses. He provides training anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. Please contact Benjamin to discuss your needs & goals, training fees, and scheduling. For more information on Benjamin's experience as an Avid Certified Instructor and Adjunct Professor, please visit his Instructor Resume.
Benjamin is an Avid Certified Instructor (ACI) who has been teaching film production and flatbed film editing since 1992 and teaching the Avid Media Composer software since 1995. Benjamin is knowledgeable of Avid Media Composer versions released from 1994 through the latest versions running today on Adrenaline and DX hardware.
While Benjamin frequently teaches courses at Avid Authorized Education Centers and at The American Film Institute, he is also available for personal instruction in the Los Angeles area as well as anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. Benjamin's past clients include Disney Feature Film Animation, Disney Latin America, NBC, Granada Television, America On Line and The Spark Factory. Additional information is available on Benjamin's Instructor Resume »
Tailored Avid Training for Individuals or Groups
Tailored instruction is personalized to include information that is most useful for your needs. Benjamin is happy to discuss the areas in which you want to increase your knowledge as well as the time and budget you have to accomplish your goals. Additional information is available in the FAQ and Policies section below.
Do you have a question not answered below?
Would you like additional information?
Feel free to contact me »
What are the benefits of private training?
- Private training allows the training to come to you, rather than you to the training. Benjamin provides training at homes, offices and post production facilities in the Los Angeles area as well as anywhere in the U.S. or abroad. Why have yourself or your staff learn with a different system or facility set-up than which you/they will be using?
- Benjamin is an instructor with understanding of, or background in, all phases of production and post production who can help to tie concepts and techniques together within a particular editing situation or across an entire production. This is a major component missing from canned training available online, on DVD or in a school setting with a set curriculum.
- Whether it's during the workday, after working hours or on weekends, private training can take place on your schedule, rather than a school's.
- Private training allows for customization of topics based on your specific needs and goals, rather than having to attend a course that may contain topics of which you are already familiar or are of no immediate use.
- Individuals will receive 100% attention as opposed to being one of many students in a classroom.
- Many students taking classes at schools (which are 8 hours long for several days), frequently describe it as trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose. Private training allows you to learn at whatever pace suits you best.
- Ask questions whenever you want to. Further, you will be able to ask questions related to your unique situation or workflow. DVDs and online training can repeat the demonstration of a tool or technique, but they are unable to provide additional context for different editing situations or clarification of use through analogies and alternate demonstration methods.
- Learn with the most current release of the software. As you compare your training options, be sure to inquire what version they have installed and what hardware you'll be using.
- Private training is available for individuals or groups.
What is the cost for private training?
- In the Los Angeles area, other training companies' rates range from $125 per hour and up, per student. However, my rates for private, on-site training are highly competitive in comparison, and savings greatly increase when two or more students share a session.
- The minimum training session is four (4) hours for one flat fee. The fee for each session is based on how many students are being trained and if extensive set-up is required prior to the training session(s).
- Additional time, beyond the initial four hours of each session, is billed in half-hour increments.
- As rates are dependent on a variety of factors, please contact me with details of your needs and goals and I'll be happy to provide you with a quote.
- Payment is due upon completion of each session in cash, check, or money order.
Do I have to commit to taking several sessions in advance?
No. Book one session, get a sense of the pace that works best for you and then go from there. I'm sensitive to people's budgets, and I'm happy to provide you with some strategies for making your training budget go further as well.
Are you an Avid Certified Instructor?
Yes. I've been teaching Avid since 1995 and have been an Avid Certified Instructor since 1997. If you'd like more information about my experience as a private instructor for companies such as NBC, PBS, Disney Feature Animation, Granada Television, etc., or as an Adjunct Professor at institutions such as The American Film Institute, UCLA Extension, University of Central Florida Film Division and others, please review my teaching resume. My background also includes experience as an award-winning Editor and Director.
What areas of Avid operation do you teach?
I teach introductory through advanced Avid editing as well as introductory and intermediate Avid effects. I feel some of my stengths are getting new users up and running quickly with Avid Media Composer while providing them with a solid understanding as to the logic of the system, in addition to helping intermediate users grow by revealing many of the system's shortcuts, features and capabilities.
Do you teach any other applications?
Yes. While I am not an Adobe certified instructor, I do teach introductory courses in Photoshop and After Effects at the American Film Institute, and have provided introductory training to individuals as well.
Can I get hands-on practice while you are present?
It's always up to you. I encourage my clients to let me know what pace works best for them, to ask as many questions as they need and to request hands-on practice any time, and for as much time, as they need or want. Practicing with me present affects the amount of topics covered within a session. I'm conscious that the client is paying for every minute and I always want to make sure they get the most out of each session that's reasonably possible.
How does private training typically work?
Training can be customized to suit your needs, though here are some common scenarios:
- An individual books the minimum four hour long session to concentrate on the priorities from their prepared list of topics. If after four hours they feel like they would like some additional time within that session, it is billed in 1/2 hour increments. Future sessions can be arranged at any time.
- An individual forsees requiring several sessions so as to be able to cover a larger range of topics at a comfortable pace. They book one session and get the feel of things before deciding if they would like to book additional sessions.
- A corporate client books one or more four hour sessions of customized training for their editorial team.
- A corporate client books one or more full days of customized training for their editorial team. Generally, concurrent days are scheduled.
What software & equipment will I train on?
- I can train you using your Avid system(s), running any release of the software. I am familiar with Avid software and hardware dating back as far as 1994. Additional fees may apply depending on the extent of pre-session set-up at your facility.
- If being trained with my system, you will learn on the most current release of Avid software. As you compare your training options, be sure to inquire what version they have installed and what hardware you'll be using.
- I can provide training utilizing my portable system, which consists of the following:
- 17", 2.5 GHz Intel Quad Core i7 MacBook Pro
- 8 GB RAM
- The latest version of Avid Media Composer
- Anti-glare screen
- Peripheral mouse
- An Avid Media Composer keyboard cover ensures that you become familiar with the default keyboard layout.
• The minimum training session is four (4) hours for one flat fee. The fee for each session is based on how many students are being trained, if extensive set-up is required prior to the training session(s), travel costs and travel time (outside the L.A. area only). Aditional time within a session is billed in 1/2 hour increments.
• A non-refundable deposit of $50 per student is required to officially book each session. A session is not considered booked unless a deposit has been received. The deposit is applied to the total fee of each session.
• Cancellations must occur at least 72 hours in advance in order to have the deposit applied to a rescheduled session.
• Training can take place at your home, office, facility or location of your choosing. I do not provide training out of my home or office.
• Training does not include any materials such as books or completion certificates.
• Payment is due at the completion of each session in cash, check or money order.
© 1997 Benjamin Hershleder
- One of the Avid Authorized Training Partner institutions where I teach (the largest in the western U.S.) asks students to submit an anonymous survey at the completion of each class. One of the areas surveyed is the instructor. Below are some of those responses from classes such as "Introduction to Avid Media Composer Editing," "Introduction to Avid Media Composer Effects," and "Advanced Avid Media Composer Editing."
- Additional written (Xeroxed) evaluations available upon request.
- Eachrepresents a different student's comment.
Here are several books I recommend:
Avid Media Composer Cookbook (435 pages) by Benjamin Hershleder
I wrote this book as an additional resource for Avid Media Composer users ranging from those just beginning through those with intermediate experience. Its 435 pages are packed with Avid Media Composer editing essentials and far beyond, including tips, tricks, and explanations not found in other publications. Its "cookbook" (step-by-step), task-based approach (plus its three appendices) will help users at all experience levels gain a deeper, more thorough understanding of the software so they can spend less time dealing with technical and operational issues and instead focus on being creative. Much more information about the book is available at this link.
Nonlinear 4 by Michael Rubin
I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in editing. The 3rd edition was already a highly useful and informative resource. This 4th edition expands on this tradition, adding even more helpful topics and illustrations. Rubin's clear explanations and straightforward analogies make complex technical concepts easy to understand. This book is a must for those entering the world of editing, and a great resource for veterans looking to fill in the gaps.
I feel the name is a bit misleading since it covers a great deal of other useful information, like easy to understand explanations of Drop Frame and Non Drop Frame Time Code (including the the how's and whys); 3:2 Pulldown, Sample Rate, Bit Depth, and how to read an Edit Decision List among many other topics.
Nonlinear 4's newly added information includes:
DTV, video on the Web, bandwidth, an overview of broadcasting & the economics of distribution, color sampling, square & nonsquare pixels, light, color space, OMF, DVD authoring, scene/take nomenclature, post-production workflows, balanced/unbalanced audio, aspect ratios, ergonomics, RT-11, electronic cinema, and a section on various "real world" editing topics.
Rubin's extremely helpful use of various analogies to help illustrate otherwise arcane topics now include stuff like "the kitchen sink" (to illustrate color space), a water cooler (to illustrate DVD bit budgeting), and "the one about the two guys in the bar" (to illustrate codecs), and more. This makes an otherwise dry read pretty enjoyable.
Visit the "Contents" page at www.nonlinear.info for a complete list of all this wonderful book contains, as well as several Adobe Acrobat pages that illustrate the depth of the book.
Here's info on the book from other sources:
Booknews.com says: (about the previous edition, Nonlinear3)
Written in non-technical language, this edition covers topics including SMPTE timecode, Election and 3:2 pulldown, digital storage, component and composite video, film edge numbers and electronic film editing, the post-production process, online and offline editing, Quicktime, and nonlinear editing.
This book covers virtually everything any normal individual would want to know about the new world of electronic post-production, without much of the geeky mumbo jumbo that characterizes most professional texts. The book has been so revolutionary, and so enjoyable, that it has not only fully penetrated the professional industry, but has expanded into consumer and prosumer markets. It is used in hundreds of colleges and universities, and thousands of professional organizations. More than 15,000 copies have been sold since its debut, making it the single best seller in the industry. It is designed not to go out of date every time a new software release comes out or a new product is introduced. It is about essentials. Fundamentals. Concepts. And language. It is an enjoyable romp through the often-dull business and technology of digital film and video making.
The Avid Handbook by Steve Bayes & Greg Staten
Even though this book was released in 2008, and is in need of an update, it remains full of useful information for those who have been using the Media Composer for some time and want to get better acquainted with the complexities of the software.
The Publisher says:
Written for the reader who already has a basic knowledge of the editing systems, this book moves beyond an introduction to the Media Composer and Avid Xpress and focuses on strategies, techniques, and troubleshooting. The Avid Handbook covers the basics of working with effects, rendering, and graphics and discusses the more abstract issues of workflow and organization of different types of editing projects. The book also discusses frequently made mistakes, common technical problems and how they can be avoided. This edition also discusses Symphony (1.0), Mac and NT collaboration and Meridian video board features.
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