How does the filmmaking course actually work?

When you enroll, you gain access to the Lights Film School platform and community. All learning takes place here, online, so you can complete everything from wherever you have an internet connection. 

Essentially, you'll follow a logical learning progression through an introduction and five comprehensive modules - Screenwriting, Directing, Editing, Cinematography, and Sound Design - entirely at your own pace.

This means you'll read through in-depth lessons; watch video tutorials and movie clips; get hands-on, guided experience with our integrated Mirror Program; and complete a series of written and video assignments for teacher review, culminating in your very own short film. 

Of course, along the way, you’ll have access to The Cantina, a social network we’ve designed exclusively for filmmakers to share projects and resources, swap ideas, form interest groups, and more. Here, you can interact with your peers and teachers, both publicly and privately via direct messages. You can even search for people who live near you, opening the door to potential collaborations. 

For a look at how all of these pieces fit together, check out our main page.

Note that you'll upload your completed video assignments to a video hosting site like Vimeo or YouTube. Other assignments are written. For example, we ask that you create a short screenplay as your first assignment, and a later assignment involves the deconstruction and analysis of a feature-length indie film. These written assignments are uploaded directly to The Workshop. Generally, you’ll have a comprehensive, individualized review of your assignment, video or written, available within one week of posting, helping you become a better filmmaker as you work your way toward your final short film.

You also can tune into our Lab Chats, live two-to-three hour lectures led by our teachers, given at different times every other month to ensure that students have the opportunity to attend regardless of individual schedules and time zone differences. Sometimes there’ll be “homework” involved; you may need to read a script or watch a film as a part of the experience. Regardless, Lab Chats are a great way to interact with your teachers and meet fellow students. Topics include:

  • The Screenplay and Film Production
  • Character Development
  • Dialogue and Storytelling
  • Visual Storytelling
  • Defining the Director
  • The Science and Art of Sound in Cinema
  • Defining the Documentary
  • Building Cinematic Suspense

Ultimately, Lights Film School is a unique platform and community that builds from the ground up to take the guesswork out of your film education, helping you become a better filmmaker. Think of Lights Film School as your one-stop-shop: more guided than a blog, more interactive than a textbook, and more affordable and flexible than traditional film school.

Still need help? We'd love to hear from you! We'd love to hear from you!