Behind the Scenes: Filming Training Videos at Lynda.com

Last week, I traveled to Carpinteria, California to film my latest customer service training videos with lynda.com.

Many friends and colleagues have asked me what it’s like to create a course with lynda.com. My friend, Trish, suggested I blog about it, so here goes.

Before diving in, here are a few things to know about lynda.com:

  • It’s a subscription-based library of video-based training courses
  • Subject areas include business, software, technology, and creative skills
  • You can access lynda.com training on your computer, tablet, or smart phone

Their huge collection of training videos are also ideal for accelerating training with a flipped learning approach.

 I'm looking pretty serious as I try to hold still while a few last-minute adjustments are made.

I'm looking pretty serious as I try to hold still while a few last-minute adjustments are made.

Development

The first step is developing the course concept. A lynda.com content manager guides me through this process. 

This is where a course description is created, learning topics are identified, and a rough outline is developed. 

 

Script Writing

The next step involves writing scripts for the course. 

The project is handed off to a producer for this phase. The producers I work with have a lot of experience with creating training videos, so they can offer some great guidance. 

Each course is typically broken down into a series of modules that are three to five minutes long. I write a script for each module while linking them together in a logical narrative.

This presents an interesting challenge because each script has to stand on its own while still being a part of the larger course. It’s similar to a television series, where some viewers may never miss an episode while other viewers may only watch a few.

 

Filming

All of my courses have been filmed at lynda.com’s studios in Carpinteria, California. Most of the filming is done in a green screen studio. My scripts are displayed on a teleprompter and I deliver them into the camera.

A small crew is on hand to make it all happen. Here’s a picture from my latest shoot.

 From left to right are Zach Bobbit (Production Support), me, Tony Cruz (Live Action Director), and Carlos Alfaro (Associate Content Producer)

From left to right are Zach Bobbit (Production Support), me, Tony Cruz (Live Action Director), and Carlos Alfaro (Associate Content Producer)

Some of my courses feature scenes with actors. 

Here’s a short video from my course on conducting a Training Needs Analysis. The video starts with me in studio explaining the importance of involving key stakeholders at the start of a project. Later in the video, you see me and an actress act out a scene where I meet with an executive to discuss a training project.

Post Production

A lot still needs to happen once a course is done filming.

Graphics are created to highlight key concepts. Editors put everything together to assemble the finished modules. Beta testers review the course to spot any errors and make sure the key learning concepts are communicated clearly.

The course is in the hands of lynda.com’s experts at this stage, and they do a tremendous job of making the finished product look great!

 

Release

The course is finally ready for release. You can see previews of a few of my courses below:

You’ll need a lynda.com subscription to view a course in its entirety, but you can get a free 10-day trial that let’s you check them out.

10-day free trial

You can also check out this short video that gives you a look at lynda.com’s course creation process from their perspective.