Can I enroll in one of the filmmaking course modules by itself?
The filmmaking course comprises five in-depth modules plus an introduction. Specifically:
- Introduction to Filmmaking and Online Learning: In this orientation section, you’re introduced to the Lights Film School community and online learning environment. We frame subsequent modules with a discussion of filmmaking basics.
- Screenwriting: Our first module teaches you how to write a compelling screenplay, the foundation of most successful films. We demystify story structure and explain how it’s relevant to both narrative and documentary projects. Expect to learn industry standard formatting, western dramatic structure, Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey” and character archetypes, how to construct tension, how to balance action and dialogue, how to write for small budget productions, and more.
- Directing: Our second module equips filmmakers to direct their projects with proficiency, confidence, and tact. The director is the captain of the ship; it’s your vision that steers the film’s cinematography, art direction, performances, pacing, mood, and more. As the director, you are the leader, and you must know how to think creatively and communicate clearly.
- Cinematography: Like screenwriting, cinematography requires an acute awareness of language. In our cinematography module, you’ll study the works of the masters while developing a visual vocabulary all your own. Explore the three main components of cinematography - lighting, movement, and composition - and dive deep into shot types, shot continuity, color theory, and more.
- Editing: Learn the science and art of post-production! You’ll cover NLE software, file ingest, rough cuts, titling, color correction, and various editing techniques. This module prepares you to “shoot for the edit” as you transition into the production of your own short film.
- Sound Design: Our final module introduces you to the importance and implementation of sound design. The aural experience is 50% of a film, influencing an audience’s perception of its production value, and by extension, its quality. We discuss recording topics including microphone choice, sample rates and bit depths, and space acoustics. We also explore post-production questions of audio synchronization, sound editing, and processing effects like compression, equalization, noise reduction, and more.
The filmmaking program includes access to all five modules and the introduction. As you probably can tell from reading the above, the modules are interconnected; for this reason, they cannot be isolated.
Film is a multidisciplinary and collaborative art form. For example, to be a great director, you have to have a deep understanding of what makes a compelling story; consequently, you have to know about screenwriting. Similarly, directors will be respected by their technical staff if they understand the intricacies of lighting, editing, and sound design. Currently, our goal is to train up filmmakers who understand all of the elements of their craft.
Many times, our students are shocked by their newfound appreciation for filmmaking’s multitude of elements. They grow to love topics they thought would be overly technical or intolerably dry. Take, for instance, sound design - it’s one of the most important elements of filmmaking, yet it’s one of the most overlooked. Our course sets out to change this, and we're happy to report that our students “hear” the world around them differently after they finish the Sound Design module!
We do understand that many of our students have a focus in their careers - screenwriting, directing, producing, etc. - that they’re trying to develop. Our comprehensive approach will help them to deepen this specialization while opening their eyes to the interconnected nature of the craft.