The Shoot Off Video Workshop in Washington D.C. teaches and mentors military video journalists with an emphasis on storytelling fundamentals. Participants are given the tools and advanced techniques needed to become better, faster and more creative.

The 4 day workshop includes training modules, guest speakers and critiques. It is also an opportunity to network with peers and leaders in the industry. Participants are split into teams and assigned mentors. Teams shoot, edit and produce a short-form documentary or news feature. The work produced is critiqued and immediate feedback given.

A sibling to the DC Shoot Off Photography Workshop, the video workshop is operated by current and former military video journalists. In addition, mentors and Senior Staff Advisers bring their diverse backgrounds from the military and the civilian professional industry.


Participants will spend day one on registration, orientation, vendor presentations, guest speakers and finally a mixer. The students are grouped into teams and assigned mentors early on to facilitate team building.

Day two will consist of training modules, presentations and guest speakers. At the end of the training day, the teams and given the chosen “theme” of the Shoot Off and released to begin pre-production.

On day three, each team will produce a short-form documentary or news feature. They will be responsible for writing, shooting and editing a final product. Mentors and senior staff advisors will be on standby throughout the day to help guide and assist the teams.

On the fourth and final day, teams will turn in their projects for critique. There will be a public viewing of each product and the team will get feedback from competition judges and mentors. Finally, there will be an awards presentation and a feedback session to close out the workshop.


Johnny Bivera

Executive Director and Founder

Johnny Bivera is executive director and producer of Visual Media One and the founder of Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops. He is a freelance photojournalist with over 20 years experience in visual communication and has captured images worldwide from everyday life to the hostilities of war. He was an official videographer to the President of the United States Bill Clinton and executive photographer to Chairman of the Joint Chief's of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. He's covered combat and humanitarian missions to maritime operations like the Bosnia/Herzegovina conflict, the Israeli-Jordan Peace Treaty, Turkey's tragic earthquake and the war in Afghanistan.

He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2006 and has since traveled extensively around the globe to places like Antarctica, Galapagos and Papua New Guinea. He currently documents news and media events for a variety of clients where his work has appeared in major newspapers, magazines and video documentaries. He has been personally profiled on PBS's Jim Lehrer NewsHour, C-SPAN's American Journal and NFL Films 'American Postcards'.

Juan Femath

Workshop Producer

Juan continually demonstrates a passion for storytelling, striving to create compelling content that is both entertaining and informative. He has over 16 years of experience in documentary production, graphic design and multimedia.

In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom he produced multiple award-winning documentaries, including “The Trial of Saddam Hussein” and “Inside Abu Ghraib”. Juan also edited the documentary “Journey of Courage: Women In The New Iraqi Army” for the State Department. For his work in Iraq, he was named the 2004 NPPA & DoD Military Videographer of The Year. His work has been seen on FOX, CNN, MSNBC, BBC News, and featured at the New York International Film Festival.

Juan currently works for the Air Force as a civilian Multimedia Producer in The Pentagon. He’s also a producer and co-owner of Femath Media, a production company that specializes in post-production and multimedia design. In recent years, Juan has volunteered his services as a judge for the Department of Defense Visual Information Production Awards, the Air Force Media Contest and the Telly Awards.

Maureen Stewart

Workshop Producer

Maureen Stewart has over 13 years of experience as a videographer, and graphic designer. She joined the Air Force in 1999, and served for 10 years. While in the Air Force she served with the 1st Combat Camera Squadron as an Aerial Videographer, documenting contingency operations around the world. She also has more than 6 years of experience as an instructor and was certified in and taught 3 courses at the Defense Information School. While serving she earned her BFA in Digital Design.

Currently she is the Chief of Publishing and Design for AIRMAN magazine, the official magazine of the United States Air Force. She also runs her own freelance graphic design business, Design Stew, where she regularly volunteers her talents to non-profit agencies in need of design work.

Blake Stilwell

Program Director

Blake Stilwell is a world traveler, adventurer, and aspiring Caribbean homeowner with more than a decade of experience in studying and working in communications, journalism and entertainment. Trained in the US Air Force as a television/video producer, he is a 2005 graduate of the Military Motion Media Studies Program at Syracuse University and won DOD Documentary of the Year in 2005 for his work on the military response to Hurricane Katrina. Blake is also a graphic designer, blogger, writer, public relations professional and multimedia technician, with experience in marketing, development and branded entertainment. He holds degrees in Audio-Visual Production and Graphic Design, as well as Master’s degrees in Television, Radio, Film, Public Relations and International Relations also from Syracuse University.

His résumé includes the Exchange Journal of Public Diplomacy, the Aboriginal People’s Network of Canada, ABC News, NBC’s “Beijing 2008: Games of the XXIX Olympiad, HBO Sports’ “24/7”, and The White House Communications Agency.

Nathan Jones

Social Media Manager

Nathan Jones has been all over the world telling the Army story. But really, he’s just some dude who enjoys good food, great beer and occasionally messing around with cameras and audio gear. He now serves at the Defense Information School. He went to Syracuse University for a year. He studied Military Motion Media, Photography and also did a tour in Iraq.

Anna Femath

Web Developer & Workshop Coordinator

Anna Femath has nine years of experience in video production and documentary. After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force she completed training at the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Anna was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. In 2004, she became lowest ranking person ever accepted to the Military Motion Media Studies Program at Syracuse University. The program at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication is a ten month program with an accelerated curriculum in motion media production and documentary.

After graduation she joined the 1st Combat Camera Squadron at Charleston, SC. As a combat videographer, Anna was deployed to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to document military operations and humanitarian aid. For her efforts she was named the 2005 DOD Military Videographer of The Year. In 2006 she was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and her work was broadcast worldwide on the Pentagon Channel and various news outlets.

Jason David

Master of Ceremonies & Advisor

Master Sergeant Jason David is the Operations Manager for the American Forces Network. He's received first place honors in the Telly's, the Communicator, and the DoD Thomas Jefferson awards. He's also a recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds received while shooting news stories during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jason enjoys long walks on the beach and funny cat videos.

Dan Wiltshire

Mentor Coordinator

Dan Wiltshire Is an Army veteran and is currently a Video Producer with Homeland Security.

Ray Flores

Judging Coordinator

Ray Flores has made it his life's work to make sure his government videos don't suck. Whether the project has a budget of fifty-thousand dollars or two nickels his goal is to create something that an audience can react to, remember and share online. Sometimes he achieves his goals. Sometimes he doesn't. Along the way he's learned many lessons on producing video and is willing to share them all.

Over the years, he's picked up a regional Emmy as an active-duty Soldier then again as a video journalist with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He's received a RNTDF fellowship and in 2007 was named the Army's broadcast journalist of the year. He received a Bronze Star for service in Iraq. He's also told stories all over the country as a Soldier and now as a federal employee with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Wil Santiago


A native of Ponce, Puerto Rico, Wil L. Santiago is a veteran who served as a Combat Videographer in the Marine Corps. He was also assigned as a Video Production and Documentation Course instructor at DINFOS. Wil was honorably discharged in March of 2010 and continued to work as a civilian instructor at DINFOS teaching the Navy’s Mass Communication Specialist Course. Will currently works for the Commander, Naval Installations Command at the Washington Navy Yard.

This video workshop is part of the National Association of Naval Photography and their “Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops”, a not-for-profit program for military civil service photographers.