Alumni Stories

Michael McKinney

Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

Film Instructor at Yo Art Inc.
The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

Michael McKinney

I was well prepared once I started working because everything I was taught [in school] was taking place in my work environment. Michael McKinney , Film Instructor at Yo Art Inc. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production, 2015 , The Art Institute of Charleston, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta

Film Instructor at Yo Art Inc.

Michael McKinney is working as a film instructor at Yo Art Inc. He teaches kids within the Charleston and Berkeley County Public School systems the basics of filmmaking. The students are ages 9-14, and learn how to capture and edit footage that visually tells a complete story. “On a typical work day, I go over my lesson plans and do a final run though before going into the classroom. I then greet the kids I am instructing with a burst of enthusiasm to get them pumped up for the activities planned.” Once he provides instructions to the students, Michael walks around the classroom to individually assist them.

Prior to starting with Yo Art Inc., Michael was an audio engineer for Tout Model and Talent Agency at Charleston Fashion Week. “This was after being on the set of a low budget film called The Annual Vacay, which lead me to hold the position of production assistant on the set of a few commercials. All of these ventures helped me to build my career, due to the professional relationships I developed.”

Michael says that it’s important to keep goals in mind and to look toward the finish line—and beyond. Michael faced a professional challenge when he was asked to provide videography services for an engagement video—but the subjects ended up moving to a different state. Michael had a difficult time determining how to get the video to the client because the files were so large. Michael contacted the client and found that the client was willing to purchase a flash drive to send the files. “I learned that sometimes it’s ok to ask for help, even if you are being asked to do a service.”

He builds a creative work environment by encouraging others to express their thoughts and insights. “It gives a new prospective that will have a positive impact on the overall environment.” And he adds that hearing the gratitude from his students lets him know that he’s making a positive impact. “I love what I do and when I am able to use it to help others, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of accomplishment.”

Michael believes that continuous technical advancement means that he’s constantly stretched and challenged. “I keep up with the new ways to communicate through new mediums and I feel compelled to participate in social media as a way to keep up with the times. I soon discovered that social media is a wonderful way to connect with the world. And as it grows, so can I.”

Michael, who in 2015 earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking & Video Production from The Art Institute of Charleston, says that his education provided an in-depth look at how things work in the real world. He adds that the skills he learned in school were also used in the workplace—helping him to easily transition to his new position.

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