I was recently invited to film an introductory course on InVision at Lynda. Since this was a brand new experience for me, I figured I'd snap some photos and document my journey. I hope this serves as a handy guide to anyone who wants to (or is prepping to) film a course with Lynda.
From the very beginning, it was clear that Lynda's filmed one or two courses before. Immediately after sending over the topic for my course and an audition recording, and being accepted as an Author, I was partnered with a producer who would help me pull my course together.
My producer's name was Todd Lagerberg. Todd immediately sent me a number of resources to get started, and also served as a guide and contact as I worked through my course outline and script. We bounced around ideas for a while, and when we got close, we locked in a date for filming. All in all, this process took about three months.
Lynda booked the trip and covered the entire cost. They flew me directly to L.A., set me up with a rental to drive from L.A. to their HQ in Carpinteria (about 1.5 hours away), and put me up in a really nice Holiday Inn Express for the week. They covered my food and provided me with some really great resources of things to do in the area.
If you have a family, there is no objection to having them join you, but keep in mind that you'll have to cover their expenses and child care is not provided. Since I was traveling for work and my daughter was only 15 months at the time, my family stayed home, although I really wish they could have joined me. It would have been a great experience for all of us.
Since we would be filming on a Monday, I decided to arrive mid-morning on Sunday. I took the scenic drive up to Carpinteria from L.A. and checked into the hotel. I spent the rest of day prepping for day one of filming, addressing any missed work emails, and strolling around the town, enjoying the view and adjusting to the time change.
Carpinteria is about 1.5 hours away from L.A. and a short 20-minute drive away from Santa Barbara, where the closest In & Out Burger is. The beach town is small and quaint. The main drive is called Linden, which is where all the local shops and restaurants are. That's also the road that will take you to the beach.
I really enjoyed this town. If you're looking for a ton of things to do, you will probably be disappointed, but it does have some nice shops and a couple of places with really tasty food The Spot, Crushcakes & Cafe, and Nutbelly are all local favs. If you like breweries, Island Brewing Company is also right off the main drag. All these places were an easy walk from the hotel and had great food & drinks.
When they told me Lynda was a quick five-minute drive from where I was staying, they were not lying. I was pleasantly surprised at how close it really was. It just sits nestled up in the hill side. You don't even know it exists. You can’t see it until you drive right up to it.
The campus is very tranquil and walkable. There's a main building called HQ that houses the dining hall, rec. room, and more. Outside of HQ, the other one-story buildings that are spread out across the campus house recording booths, production studios, and other departments — all provided to make building a Lynda course a breeze. They even have a workshop where they build physical sets if needed.
I think one of the best things about the campus was just how walkable and tranquil it was. It was super laid back. As a bonus, if you want to get around quickly, they provide cool little beach bikes to move from one building to the next. Alongside these bikes and buildings were the wonderful flower beds that were bright and smelled glorious on my morning walk to my booth.
I spent my week-long stay recording our course in building 3. Off the back of that building, overlooking the hills of California, was a patio where I could re-write scripts while enjoying the California breeze and an endless supply of snacks, fruits, and drinks that are available for the Lynda team and the authors.
As expected, the recording of my course was what I was most nervous about. I've had some experience recording courses with Skillshare, but Lynda was different. Lynda's been producing educational software courses like this for years, and the quality of their courses is very high, so I was pretty intimidated about what to expect and how this course was going to be created.
Again, I was proven wrong. My producer Todd was laid back, friendly, and confident in his ability to help me turn this course from just an outline into something much more useful for Lynda's students. He both pushed and guided me as we went through various takes to ensure we got the exact clips the editors needed.
The production of the course was the easiest part for me. After we were done filming, the Lynda team and Todd worked on editing the course and putting it together. I was then sent the first draft about three to four weeks after filming, so I could watch it through and ensure it was exactly what we needed.
During that time I had to do a few retakes, but they just sent me a home-studio kit to re-record the content for them. Again, they had thought of everything. Once we had finalized the actual course based on a few edits, they launched it live, promoted it, and notified me of its launch.
Overall, I could not be happier with my experience of working with Lynda. I cannot wait to get back and do another course, or make the course we launched even better. This experience was one I'll never forget, and I now have an even greater appreciation for the process of building these courses.
It sure takes a ton of time and resources, but more importantly it takes a great team that ensures authors are comfortable and relaxed through each step of the process – which I can honestly say I was. So if you ever have an idea for a course or if you have been thinking of building a Lynda course, I highly encourage you to do so. I think you too will find it enjoyable, and I know they'd welcome your submission, as they are always looking for great education content for their students!
Now that you know more about the process of building this Lynda course and have seen some behind-the-scenes images, I recommend you check out what we made here!
Do you have any questions about my experience at Lynda or about that specific course? Don't hesitate to ask.