YouTube is really serious about improving the overall quality of the video content on their site. Like... really, really serious. In addition to providing a free service for content creators to upload and share video, and sharing ad revenue with the partner channels, they've also made cash donations to partners on one or two occasions to help them produce better quality videos. Just this week they announced the acquisition of NextNewNetworks and the simultaneous creation of YouTube Next--a new program to help educate, guide, and mentor aspiring filmmakers.
You might think, after all those moves, YouTube might just go for a quick coffee break or something. But you'd be wrong. Their dedication to improving user content is tireless, apparently. Today they announced a partnership with Columbia College Chicago and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts that aims to help student-age aspiring filmmakers get the kind of training and insight that might help propel them to video greatness.
It's essentially YouTube 101--an honest-to-goodness college course that the schools will host both on-campus and online to help users "hone their digital media skills and accelerate their YouTube careers."
They already have a special website setup over at YouTube.com/CreatorInstitute:
If you're interested--and you probably should be--you need to act fast. From the website:
"The YouTube Creator Institute is a summer crash course in camerawork, storytelling, promotion, and new media skills, taught at the world's top schools by industry leaders. From filmmakers to talk show hosts, music video artists to wildlife exhibitionists, the YouTube Creator Institute can help advance creators' video careers. Open to all content creators, including YouTube partners. ENTER BY MARCH 25."
Why should you be interested in YouTube's Creator Institute? They offer several reasons:
- Earn a paid YouTube Creator Institute experience at a leading institution.
- Learn broad new media skills and use unique creator tools.
- Get promotional opportunities and build global audiences.
- Engage with world-class faculty, industry leaders, and top YouTube stars.
Each course will be unique--the USC and Columbia versions will have different instructors, different locations (obviously), and different course length and materials. It's also important to note that these aren't degree programs. Just courses you can take at a university, taught by university instructors... but you won't walk out with a BA in YouTubing... at least not literally.
It sounds like YouTube's in this thing for the long haul, and Creator Institute will eventually be a paid experience--tuition, lodging, food costs, etc. But the innaugural class gets in for free--hence the application and deadline process. There are a lot of details about applying and rules and such (including a submission video as well as some short-answer questions), so you'll want to be sure to check out the FAQ--click on "learn more" on the Creator Institute home page, and then click the "paid" hyperlink in the text to make the FAQ appear.
Here's a video they created to help promote and explain the Creator Institute: