Run and Gun Videography Boot Camp

Chalabre, France from the Chapel on the Hill


Some of you will have gleaned from some of my posts that I am an American living in England with another house in Southern France that we’re renovating.

It now looks like I’ll be spending more time in France than England, mainly because we own the French house lock, stock and barrel. It’s a matter of economy.

Anyway, it got me thinking.

You see, the house is pretty big. When we’re done with the major renovations next summer, we’ll be able to sleep 20 people. Two kitchens, 5 bathrooms across two connected houses (one 17th century, one 14th century) with a private terrace (which is actually within the ruin of a 3rd connected house) on the market square in a historic French town about 1000 years old with a castle on the hill in the foothills of the Pyrenees, steeped in history and in one of France’s best wine regions.

My wife, a sculptor, wants to start some sculpture master classes here, so I wondered if there would be any interest in my starting up a Run and Gun Videography boot camp. It would be based on the book Run and Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide, and the idea is that you’d come here for 10 days and we’d do some basic courses and then go off on forays to anyone of a number of fascinating places around here to shoot a video and edit it on FCPX. We can even do multiple video edits as there are always interesting events happening around here throughout the summer (concerts, street parties, etc.) regardless of the various historic or geological destinations that abound. If you use some other NLE, I guess you’d have to bring along a laptop.

You’d have a room and you’d be wined and dined with great food, including the best vegetables you’ve ever had (no Monsano here) and there’d be time for social activities and other fun as well.

I realise that many of you might think that is all wonderful, but sadly out-of-budget, but I also know there are those of you who have either had successful careers or have taken up video as a hobby or second career and the idea of travelling to France for some training and fun is not out-of-the-question.

But if you do come, I promise it will not only be the trip of a lifetime but also extremely valuable in terms of what you will learn and be able to do from here on out as a professional videographer.

I look forward to some comments/feedback on the idea.

Cheers, Joe

The Video Whisperer


10 responses

  1. Hi Joe, I would be interested dependant upon dates, I think it sounds like a good opportunity to not only gain knowledge but to meet and work with like minded people,


    • Hi Ken, As you can see from the comments there seems to be enough interest. Another, by separate email, would like it to be a small group. Obviously over the next several months before next summer this will develop, but I can tell you right now that the 3rd week of August next summer will be the time I’d like to schedule a small group. Why? There’s going to be a huge town-wide event called “A Night of Serenades”–which will be the second annual event produced by Vinx ( If you saw my recent blog and video (The Accidental Wedding Video), you’ll know that it was a combination of Vinx’s wedding and his organized ‘Night of Serenades’ which happened that evening. I sort of combined the two, but the concert, with over 20 serenades, was such a such a success that it will be an annual event–the next one being much bigger, covering more local venues and other art and sculpture activities under the same theme throughout the town. I’m pretty sure that in a few short years, this event will be such that people come the world over to serenade and even get married here. In other words, it will be historical besides being a lot of fun. So, it would be a great time to have a small group because we can all work to cover the event. That’s not to say that other interesting things could be done as well (as covered in that blog). So, to answer your question (dates), that is certainly one. In time, on this blog–and probably eventually a separate website, I will give out all the date options as relate to the various things happening in Chalabre over the months of summer and fall next year. (grape harvest, wine tours, river rafting…it’s a long list of possibilities) and I will start putting it to paper with dates and options. It could even go into Winter with skiing options and so forth. So….stay tuned. If that 3rd week of August is of interest and workable, let me know, because the other guy who is definitely coming is looking for a date that involves a small group. (And 2 is the minimum for a ‘group’! Cheers, Joe


  2. Thank you all for your replies. It seems like it should be tailored to the individual. Some may want to go through with editing, some not. In any case, it would be essentially a short vacation in southern France with lots of things to learn and do (your choice), or perhaps dictated by current events at the tiime in addition to other adventures. As to price, I’m looking at about €750 for the week, room and board and airport pickup included. If we eat out or engage in other activities including small expense, you’d pay for that. Everything at the house is included in the price. As I develop this I’ll include a lot more information and videos so that it very clear what you can experience while here with the idea that you are free to tailor it to the way you would like it. As to spouses, that can also be arranged–either as a vacation (at a nominal extra cost to cover room and board, or with additional activities available such as sculpture or art classes).


  3. Yeah, good idea. I’m sure that you’ll have a lot of interest. As a previous comment mentions it’s about offering the right courses – a mix of editing tuition would be good to include – no point shooting if you can’t edit! Never been to that particular part but I’m sure it’s wonderful. So yeah with the right course I’d seriously think about it. You’ll probably end up with a waiting list!


  4. It sounds like a very enticing idea. Perhaps a tailor made timetable for small groups, you could ask what they would like to learn. Maybe try 5 days or 10 day courses. I worked in TV ENG & some people would appreciate learning how to make a 3 minute news item. Good luck.


  5. I would love to come! My wife went to Paris with a friend without me, but I’d like to bring her along for a splurge after 35 years of marriage. Maybe we could line up some worthy organizations to shoot some promotions for or a production by a local theatre troupe. As Steve suggested, maybe we could do the editing later and share what we come up with.


  6. I think that sounds like a grand idea! Can you please just give a ballpark figure as to what it might cost? Also, would beginners be welcome? Thanks!


  7. Great idea,Joe! I`d certainly be interested if my budget and free time allowed.Trying to learn as much as possible from the internet, videos,and books can be a little dry sometimes and you don`t always get the chance to ask questions.If my budget doesn`t stretch that far I`ll just have to be content with your book which was very helpful.


  8. Honestly, if I visit that area I’d rather it be all about the sight seeing, wining dining and fun to be had, and take pictures and video like a tourist. Then maybe thrown just enough “professional development” to make it tax deductible! So if anything I’d put the emphasis on shooting rather than editing.


  9. Great idea Joe – I love your work, your attitude and the whole idea. Two thoughts – 10 days is a bit long and I could not do a trip like that without my wife being able to attend! Maybe your wife could do “Sculpting 101” for the spouses while you teach us how to shoot and edit and then we all have fun over dinner. Do you have a cost in mind yet?


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