There are literally hundreds of filmmaking resources available online these days. We’ve broken them down in alignment with your specific career and training goals.
First Feature Film Training Resources
Believe it or not, there are only two resources in the entire world that provide specific training to help a beginning filmmaker go from zero experience to Directing their First Feature. No film school (you can research this) addresses feature filmmaking, finance, marketing or distribution as part of their curriculum.
These resource are
- Film School Solution
- Dov Siemen’s 2 Day Film School
Film School Solution Coaching Course for Directors
Our new course provides unprecedented training in launching a Directing Career. Film School Solution is a 3 month interactive online coaching course, providing students with one on one training in the artistic, technical, and managerial aspects of feature filmmaking.
It starts with filmmaking basics such as scripting, shooting, and editing, then builds into helping students engage an audience, build compelling characters, and advanced dialog. Month 2 provides training in camerawork, lighting, and sound. In Month 3, students write their own feature screenplay and learn how to produce and promote it locally, then sell it directly to their own fan base.
Essentially, how to make movies people want to see, and get people to pay to see them.
This is an extremely Comprehensive, Practical, and Hands On, with a Business Approach not found in any other program. Students receive individual coaching and attention tailored to their specific film making goals. Every student is supported to make his or her First Feature, and coaching support continues after the course is complete.
However, the course requires a high degree of commitment and focus; it is not for everyone.
Summary: Film School Solution is the comprehensive, supportive alternative to a conventional film school for people serious about Directing Features.
Dov Siemen’s 2 Day Film School
Dov Siemen’s is a trailblazer in the world of feature film training. In just 2 days, he lays out the fundamentals of the film business; writing a feature script, getting it shot, and distributed. His course is available In Person and through a DVD Set.
Dov is credited with launching the careers of Quentin Tarantino & Guy Ritchie, to name a few.
Dov provides practical, no BS training that isn’t available almost anywhere else about feature filmmaking. As Dov says on his website “fewer than 1% of film students make a feature”; out of his participants, he estimates 3 or 4 out of 100 or 3.5% make a feature, which is 3 time better than average.
However, the course is only 2 days or on DVD; there is no mentoring or follow up support available. The course doesn’t address technical training or provide exercises to help you improve your directing or writing craft. Finally, the unit on Distribution is a bit dated and doesn’t go in depth on digital distribution or promotion.
Summary: Dov Siemens’ 2 Day Film School is a Wise Investment for Filmmakers who want a Crash Course in Making a Feature Film.
Technical Training Resources
Editing, Visual Effects, and Camera Resources abound on the Internet. Here are some real winning alternatives to film school.
I am not sure why it’s called Lynda.Com, but this website provides hundreds of in depth technical training videos with tutorials for an insanely low price. That’s right, you can learn about After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut, not to mention 3D Animation Programs like Maya and 3D Studio Max.
Lynda also has tutorials on Business, Photography, and Design. Membership is $25-$37.50 a month for unlimited access to all their courses. An incredible resouce.
The Black and Blue
Want to work in the Camera Department? Experienced AC Evan Luzi provides detailed, no nonsense, practical advice on building your resume and becoming an Assistant Cameraman. He even provides a free ebook and camera guides.
Andrew Kramer is a wunderkind of Visual Effects. His website VideoCopilot provides tons of free tutorials on specific special effects through After Effects. This is high tech VFX training from young folks, not old film school profs. He also offers his own products such as “Action Essentials”, which features explosions, blood, and bullets. Very fun stuff.
Software and Gear
To play with the Technical Training resources, you may need to grab some software or gear. Fortunately, shooting, editing, and doing VFX has never been more affordable.
Adobe Creative Cloud
You can now get access to Adobe’s Professional Editing and VFX software for just $49.99 a month. A subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud includes unlimited use of:
- Adobe After Effects VFX Software. Whether you want to add lightning bolts flying out of your character’s head, duplicate yourself, or simply use a green screen to remove the background, After Effects is the standard for making cool visuals in your movies.
- Adobe Premiere Pro Editing Software. Right up there with Final Cut and AVID, Premiere Pro provides seamless nonlinear editing at a much lower price. It also integrates seamlessly with After Effects and Adobe Encore (which is used to burn Professional DVDs).
The Cloud also comes with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and their entire Master Creative Suite (which costs thousands of dollars to buy outright). Best of all you can get a Free Trial for 30 days.
Click here to check out Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
Recommended DSLR Camera
Every filmmaker should have their own DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) Camera, so you can start shooting your own movies right now. There’s a lot of argument within the film community about “which camera to buy”; some people even save up thousands of dollars for the “perfect camera”.
The truth is that the $650 Canon t4i is a fantastic entry level model. It’s Digic 5 process is superior to the 7D’s Digic 4. Most filmmakers don’t realize that the audience doesn’t care how much your camera cost, they care more about your story. Below is a sample shot from my t2i (the predecessor to the t4i). Watch it in HD and ask yourself if you need more than this small camera to get great images?
Best Green Screens
10′ X12′ Studio Kit
If you plan on doing any VFX with a Green Screen, there are a lot of cheap models to choose from. You can definitely DIY, but we’ve found a company called Linco that provides extremely sturdy stands and crossbar and a durable Muslin Backdrop. Better than most of the setups from Cowboy Studio or what you’d find on Amazon. This is the 10X12 model we recommend; just make sure your room is big enough and you buy a steamer to iron out the wrinkles.
To check it out, click the image or here.
Portable 5′ X 7′ Reversible Screen
If you don’t want the hassle of a full 120 square foot screen in your workspace, consider this smaller alternative. The Reversible Green Screen is portable and collapses just like a Reflector. It’s ideal for travel, but the other plus is that since it’s supported with a snap out frame, you don’t have to iron the thing. However it is smaller, so you can really only use it for medium close up and close up shots.
Check it out by clicking the image or here.
More Resources coming soon. Got a Question? Email: [email protected]