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October 1, 2009updated Feb 08, 2013

Crystal Cruises Partners With Travel Channel Academy

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

In yet another industry first, Crystal Cruises is partnering with the Travel Channel Academy to teach its guests how to produce, direct and edit professional travel films.

Taught by Travel Channel producers and directors, the comprehensive curriculum mirrors the Academy’s respected land-based program, embellished with camera equipment and editing software available exclusively to Crystal guests. The Academy is the only travel-focused digital filmmaking workshop on the planet. As the only cruise line to offer a version of the program at sea, Crystal is encouraging travelers to combine their passion for travel and film to become video travel journalists. Crystal’s onboard Creative Learning Institute is introducing the workshops on the February 9, 21-day Cape Town-to-Mumbai “Safaris and Saris” segment of the ultra-luxury line’s World Cruise.

“Storytelling is one of the great joys of travel,” says Thomas Mazloum, Crystal’s senior vice president of hotel operations. “This Crystal Cruises filmmaking experience is the kind of sophisticated enrichment our guests appreciate, enabling them to professionally document, relive and share the intangible adventures that inspire them to travel.”

Via personalized and group instruction from nine Travel Channel professionals, guests will learn both the basic processes and finer nuances of developing travel documentaries, using their own adventures and stories as subject matter, during two distinct, comprehensive classes in travel filmmaking. The “Master Class” is a three-week intensive session during which participants will shoot, edit and produce two individual one-minute films, plus a three-minute group effort. The weeklong option, “How to Make Great Travel Videos,” teaches the same skills in producing professional short travel videos, and help guests develop their own one-minute project.

Each person will have the opportunity to play the role of director, cameraperson, writer and editor, with the best videos selected at an awards ceremony during the cruise and shown on the Travel Channel Academy in-stateroom TV network. Guests can also submit their completed works to the Travel Channel and possibly showcase them on one of the network’s many outlets. Master Class students will also learn how to market their documentaries.

“Research shows that consumer interest in and usage of travel video continues to rise, and since launching the Travel Channel Academy in 2007, we have now trained over 1000 people in the art of digital filmmaking and editing,” said Adam Sutherland, vice president of business development, Travel Channel. “Since The Academy’s inception, it was always our goal to identify partners who could help us grow the business and continue to build a base of skilled travel video journalists with the potential to take on projects for the network. Partnering with Crystal Cruises is a great way for us to build Travel Channel Academy awareness and reach, while providing Crystal’s customers with useful skills they can apply while enjoying the splendors of cruising. It’s a great fit for both parties, and one we feel will really resonate with Crystal’s passengers.”

No experience or technical knowledge is necessary to enroll in the program. Included in the $1,995 cost for the three-week course is hands-on training with Travel Channel Academy experts; and all equipment, including cameras, Apple computers, and Final Cut Pro video editing software, all of which runs several hundred dollars extra for the land-based course. Guests can opt for the shorter class for $495. Pre-registration is encouraged, as space is extremely limited.

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