School of the World Learn GoPro

Interview with film industry pro Mark Hopkins about GoPro Course at School of the World in Costa Rica.

GoPro Course at School of the World in Costa Rica

GoPro Course at School of the World in Costa Rica from ZplusN on Vimeo.

“One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.”  Henry Miller


We have been very fortunate to have film industry professional Mark Hopkins helping with the development of the new GoPro program at School of the World in Costa Rica.  I have been working with Mark recently and he has showed me all kinds of cool things you can do with a GoPro and a little editing knowledge.

JA:  You worked on some really big film projects over the last decade.  What were some of the highlights?

MH:  I was always a big fan of the Harry Potter books so it was amazing to be able to work on those movies.  Going to New Zealand for Lord of the Rings was also a huge experience and more recently I had a lot of fun on the Johnny Depp films Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango.

JA:  How did you end up in Costa Rica, and more specifically School of the World?

MH:  I came down here for a week in April to surf and start learning Spanish.  It’s such a great place, I stayed!

JA:  You have been helping to develop the new GoPro program at School of the World.  What do you like about these powerful little cameras, and how they have affected the art of film/ video storytelling?

MH:  They are incredibly powerful devices.  You can shoot up to 4k cinema resolution footage, high-frame-rate to 240 frames per second for action, do time lapse, photo-burst and still photography, all on the one tiny camera.  Even going back five years, that kind of capability would cost you at least $20k.  These days you can have it for about $400, complete with impact and water-proof housing so you can take it out on a mountain bike or mount it to a surf board.  Putting this kind of power within reach of the average consumer is going to completely change the landscape of movie making.

JA:  How proficient can the average person be with capturing video with a GoPro and editing the raw footage after doing the program at the School of the World?

MH:  The course takes you through every aspect of the camera with example shoot days to get you comfortable with each of the modes and features.  The instructors also encourage students to experiment and develop their own story telling style.  Before long you’ll be selecting the right modes, frame rates and resolutions to tell the story you want to tell and you’ll also be learning how to cut it all together in the edit suite to make an awesome movie to share with your friends.

JA:  What do you like most about the School of the World?

MH:  That’s a hard one as there are just so many things to choose from.  The surf, the great instructors, the friends you make, the accommodation and the staff, the Spanish you hear everywhere, the local people, the yoga, the field trips, the photography.  It all adds up to a pretty amazing experience.  If you’re thinking about doing something a little out of the ordinary in a special part of the world, just book a plane ticket and come.


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