I love to teach because I love to learn.
What I learned from my students this semester is that you should always make the extra effort to make your work better.
Case in point: two students received A+ on their first projects but took my comments and revised. They knew they couldn’t get a better grade but they wanted to make better projects, and they did.
Now at the end of the semester, after I sat through endless pitches, radio cuts, rough cuts, fine cuts and revisions and graded all their final projects, I had a few ideas I wanted to share:
My thanks to you for all your hard work this semester. I’ve learned a lot from each of you and I’ve condensed a bit of what I’ve learned into the following 5 points which I intend to keep with me when I propose, shoot and edit my own stories:
Thanks to all of you for inspiring me! Enjoy the summer.
“Bob Sacha taught me to think about storytelling in a completely different, and much more effective, way than I ever had before.” … Chris Linder, photographer, scientist and multimedia producer
“Bob Sacha changed the way I work. His workshop helped me learn how to tap into the emotion of storytelling and the importance of good audio.”… Lauren Hermele, photographer, Fulbright Grantee and translator
Here are the workshops I’m teaching this summer. Click the name of the workshop for more info. Hope to see you this summer.
In this master class, students learn to use all the tools of multimedia more fully. Capturing video scenes and sequences are discussed, more advanced interview techniques, rack focusing, time-lapse and sequence photography is explored along with workflow and story structure. This medium to advanced level class is the next step, a practical guide to using these techniques in the field. Here are three great projects from a previous class.
Do opposites attract?
Shot, recorded and produced by Tucker Walsh in a week in August 2010 as part of Bob Sacha’s Multimedia Master Class at the Maine Media Workshops.
A birthday brings Teisha Jones face to face with an important date in her family’s past.
Camera, Sound and Editing by Hannele Lahti in a week inAugust 2010 as part of Bob Sacha’s Multimedia Master Class at the Maine Media Workshops.
Tariq Zehawi has going to the grocery store to pick up some toothpaste when he found his character. And what a wonderful chance encounter it turned out to be. Camera, Sound and Editing by Tariq Zehawi in one week at Bob Sacha’s Multimedia Masterclass at the Maine Media Workshops
My mantra is “A person is not a story” This week I was a multimedia coach at the Mountain Workshops, my mantra could have been:
“An assignment is not a story.”
Maya Sugarman proved my mantra by taking a slip of paper with a name and address, asking the right questions and producing a powerful and surprising story that no one expected.
Maya told me:
“The slip of paper read:
Charline is a nature photographer who has overcome a disability to achieve her dreams. She lives with her mother, Pam, and they are very close.
At the end of an interview with Pam, I asked her to think about anything she didn’t mention about her, her daughter, or their relationship while I recorded room tone. After 30 seconds, she told me there was something she hadn’t told me, at which point she said “my last drink was August 20,1980″ (the last actuality of the piece). Thus beginning a very long and intimate conversation.”
Maya spent four long days figuring out the narrative, shooting, interviewing and editing this story as a one-woman band. she showed it story last night.
When her story, In Their Blood faded from the big screen, my friend and fellow multimedia coach Eric Maierson turned to me and whispered “Talk about the elephant in the room.”
John Poole of NPR was Maya’s multimedia coach. Yup, a radio guy coaching (very well) at a photographic workshop. Awesome!
Just finished a three day artist-in-residence in the School of Design at Stevenson University, a small private university outside Baltimore. It was a lot of fun to be teaching students who were interested and motivated and willing to listen, pitch in with all their energy, and try new things.
The final stories are on the blog. I think they’re really good, especially for a group of undergrads who had never recorded any audio and never created a multimedia story before. Oh, and they produced them under deadline too.
Hats off to Stevenson University student Mike Jett for creating the awesome poster too!
The folks at the American Society of Picture Professionals asked me to come speak on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @6.30pm. I thought I’d be fun to follow the genesis of my first MediaStorm MultiMedia Piece: Bearing Witness. Details. Hope you can make it.
I had the pleasure of leading nine very eager photographers, young and old, through some “assignments” near Santa Fe, New Mexico as part of a National Geographic Expeditions Photography Workshop .
Enjoy this short excerpt from the final slide show with photographs the students made at Eve’s Movie Ranch. It’s the first student slide show I’ve assembled on deadline using Final Cut Pro.
Just finished a week at the SantaFe Workshops with 11 students in Visual Storytelling with Audio . It was exhausting and exhilarating, in part because everyone worked so hard and made some really interesting (short) stories. This was pretty much the first time for these students to record a story, edit the audio, shoot, edit and tone the images and create a (short) multimedia piece. And they each did three pieces in the week.
The fun part was the reaction of other students after the final show. Several people came up to me with the same question: “Where did they find those people?” Secret is that the joy was not in finding the people but being able to get the people you meet everyday to relate their stories on tape and in photos.
All of the stories produced in class were wonderful but bandwidth allows me to share just two (short) stories. Neither story is quite what it seems. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Josh Schachter’s Josie-Pie-O-Neer about SantaFe institution Josie Gallegos
and Lauren Hemerle’s tale about her Mom’s gardener, Jose Amormino.
A super shout out to Joe Weiss and SoundSlides, who helped by allowing us to use his program. I very much wanted this class to be about storytelling and not software and the ease of Soundslides made that possible. Thanks Joe!
We do a lot of very serious stories at work so it was fun to find something lighter during the first MediaStorm workshop in NYC. Fellow MediaStorm producers Eric Maierson, Chad Stevens and I wore many hats, mostly teaching and producing but also helping out recording, shooting and editing. Check out the results.
This is the project I produced in the workshop.
And if you still have the stomach for it, you can peek backstage at the Workshop in this piece by boy wonder and MediaStorm’s first intern Tim McLaughlin.
I spent two weeks in November 2007 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico teaching a pair of workshops for National Geographic Expeditions. I was blessed with two amazing groups of students, as well as two great co-teachers: Raul Touzon and Sarah Meghan Lee. The first week I filled in for National Geographic staff photographer Nick Nichols and the second week, I taught my scheduled and advertised workshop.
Both groups of students worked extremely hard and we were all thrilled with the work produced both weeks. Here’s the final slide show from the second week, the one where I was the advertised “prize-pig”, err, I mean the “lead teacher”. I recorded the ambient sounds and mixed the soundtrack.
I’ve had a great summer in 2007 travelling and teaching. I wanted to share a bit of what the workshop experience is like for me. This workshop, The Spirit of People, was held at the Tuscany Photo Workshops in August 2007. To me, this is what it feels like to be in a weklong photo workshop.
I spent a week at the SantaFe (New Mexico) Photo Workshops, teaching a new class: Visual Storytelling with Audio.
The nine students ranged from professional photographers to fine artists to teachers to advanced amateurs. It was a great group and they worked long hours using the Zoom H4 recorder and AudioTechnica mics, Audacity, IView Media Pro and Soundslides Plus in addition to their digital still cameras.
In a single day, each student recorded, photographed, edited, mixed and output a multimedia show. On the second day they found a new story and recorded, photographed, edited, mixed and output a new multimedia show. Then on the third day created another new multimedia piece from scratch. Their heads must have been spinning but each piece got better and better.
While you can see the entire show below –and everyone did extremely well– here these are two of my favorite Visual Storytelling with Audio pieces:
This is the final show with everyone’s work from the class, including Julie and Rick’s piece. It’s 14.53 long.
Please remember that before this class, no one had ever recorded much audio or produced a multimedia show by themselves. I think they did a fantastic job.
(Thanks to Joe Weiss for letting us use SoundSlides Plus, his new supercharged –and very cool– version of the classic media production tool that makes slide shows simple and now creates work that looks more and more like you’ve slaved away in Final Cut Pro )
Spent the last two weeks in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico teaching a pair of workshops for National Geographic Expeditions. I was blessed with two amazing groups of students, as well as two great co-teachers: Raul Touzon and Sarah Meghan Lee. The first week I filled in for National Geographic staff photographer Nick Nichols and the second week, I taught my scheduled and advertised workshop.
Both groups of students worked extremely hard and we were all thrilled with the work produced both weeks. Here’s the final slide show from the second week, the one where I was the advertised “prize-pig”, err, I mean the “lead teacher”. I also recorded the ambient sounds at the beginning and end of the show and mixed the soundtrack.