Our Program

When you decide to join the LookUp team, you’re committing to an hour or so each week for a total of 4 training sessions.  If you want to go faster than that, by all means, go right ahead!  If you have a busier schedule and only have a little time to spare every week, then we’ll use the full month.  We believe in using time effectively, and we hope you do to.

So with that, here’s an overview of each of our four core sessions.  Beyond this, all collaborators who have completed our program will be invited to join us for any advanced classes they like, and we will be hosting those periodically and posting them on our events calendar.

Session #01 :

The essence of storytelling has never changed.  Sure, the tools and technology look very different than they did fifty years ago, twenty years ago--even ten years ago.

But before any of the tools matter, before any of the technology gets a chance to play a role, your job is to find the story, and identify the resources you need to tell that story.  We call it Pre-Production.

Click to Expand Session #1 Details
This session opens with a few important concepts about storytelling itself, and the intangible ‘why’ behind everything we do at LookUp.  This instructional portion is about 30 minutes.

  • What Makes a Story? (and why do we humans like them so much?)
  • Leadership Through Stories
  • Knowing Your Audience
  • How to LIFT any Community (and yourself!) by Telling the Right Story

WE WANT YOU to be great storytellers, and the only way to do that is to start telling stories.  We will provide you any technology or training you want or need, you just provide the action.  You bring the ‘do’, and we’ll make sure you succeed.  So in work session one, here’s what you’ll be doing, using our secret-sauce recipe for great storytelling.  This process is so easy, it’s like paint by numbers- fill in the blanks and you’re good to go.

  • Choose the right story. Bring your own or pick one from our leads.
  • Build a prep packet, for yourself or the reporter assigned to the story.
  • Structure the shoot by preparing a shotlist and special instructions.
  • Book a time to shoot your story.

The work portion will use anywhere from 15-45 minutes, depending how fast you work and how much you want to get done.  You can even do the work during the instruction if you want.  But be prepared to give the full 90 minutes, because once you get started you probably won’t want to stop.

Session #02:
Production and Interviewing

If you want to produce shareable stories, you need to capture great interviews and beautiful b-roll.

It means knowing your tools and how to use them, but it also  means knowing how to get the best content in an interview by asking the right questions and presenting yourself the right way.

Click to Expand Session #2 Details
In production training, we’ll show you how to frame shots, which settings to use on your phone, big mistakes to avoid, and how to get great audio on your phone.  We will show you some examples of good b-roll and bad b-roll, and why you should keep your shooting lean and barebones rather than overshooting.  We’ll also discuss helping your interview subjects relax and look good on camera.  

In our introductory training, we’ll cover:

  • Shot Composition
  • Shooting b-roll:  the good, the bad, and the ugly
  • Shooting for Sound: working with environments
  • How to Direct an Interview:  The do’s, the do-nots, and the nevers!

After 15 minutes of training, we’re gonna launch you right into the process.  We have found that the best way to learn production is to get right in the middle of it, and then try, fail, and adjust.  On your first assignment, you’ll be working with a tool everyone has access to; a smart phone.

We will be there with you, but our role is mostly to answer any questions you have, and to make sure that even though you’re focused on the technical process, you keep your eye on the bigger picture; the story.  You’ll have completed the shoot when you have checked off your shot list, interview question list, and said goodbye to your contact on site. This whole process can take 30 minutes, or it can take 2 hours.  Hint;  If it takes 2 hours, you’re probably doing it wrong.

When you’re done shooting, the only remaining step is transferring the footage and any notes you might have to a ‘materials bin’ on a hard drive or USB thumb drive.  

Session #03:
Editing and Post-Production

Now that you have all the right ingredients;  a press packet, great b-roll shots, and a solid interview, you’re ready for post-production.  This is a place where a lot of people get lost, but it’s actually where some of the best stories are told.
Click to Expand Session #3 Details
Post production is where your story goes from a basketful of assorted shots, and becomes a completed video file. This process can be extremely time consuming if you’ve never done it before, but if you stick to the prep packet during your shoot, the whole process is really very simple.  It’s just assembling the interviews you have in your materials bin into a 60-90 second cut, then dropping B-roll on top of that…. Then music choices, licensing, sound mixing, titling….. Ok, well there are a lot of steps, but it definitely isn’t as bad as it sounds.

We will walk you through the edit process step by step, at your own pace, and I do mean every step.

  • Sorting your files in the edit station
  • Additive and subtractive editing models
  • Music selection and licensing
  • B-Roll Selection and Cleanup
  • Color Grading: Make your footage pop
  • Sound Mixing:  Make your audio snap and crackle

As well as a few technical things to keep the project clean and tidy when you finish.  So far, this is the part that tends to make people nervous, but students genuinely feel like the rest of the process (prep packets and interviews) makes so much more sense to them after they have gone through an edit.  The sense of satisfaction you get from seeing your finished work is… well, pretty darn good!

Session #04:
Distribution, Publication, and the Wild, Wild, Web

We’ve seen it a lot.  Someone puts hours- even hundreds of hours- into shooting and editing a video and getting everything just right.

Then they throw their video up on YouTube and hope for the best, only to be disappointed when it gets nowhere.  Just like writing, shooting, and editing, there are a handful of really important simple steps that can take your project from invisible, to inescapable.

Click to Expand Session #4 Details
This is a skillset that is incredibly helpful for small-businesses and self-employed freelancers alike.  The web is a crowded, busy space, and making sure your product or message stands out is where a lot of really talented people get stuck.

This is a very hands-on session, where we walk you through:

  • Writing for the web
  • SEO and why it matters
  • Writing compelling headlines
  • Social media strategy
  • Self-promotion and Page-promotion

This part sounds technical, but in actuality it’s the same as every other session;  It’s about making sure in every headline, every paragraph, every tag, and every release focuses on the story, and connects it to your audience.

Session #05:
Celebration and Glory

Just kidding. There is no session 05.

But once you’ve published your story, you have completed our program and we would love for you to come back for one final session to receive your press credentials, get a professional headshot for your press badge, and help us complete your profile on the team page.

If you’re looking to be a part of our project, go submit an application.  It costs nothing and a member of our team will reach out to you to answer any additional questions you might have, and we’ll schedule in for our session 01 class so you can get a better picture of what we’re doing with this project.  

So what are you waiting for?

Submit an Application