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Lights Film School Testimonials:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lights Film School for giving me the knowledge to kick start a new career.
Before signing up to Lights Film School I researched many options, but Lights Film School was the only school that allowed complete flexibility.
The course is very much hands on, from the word go you are writing scripts and filming.
The tutors are fantastic – they take the time to carefully look over submitted assignments and always provide thorough and constructive criticism. The lab chats offered are a fantastic way to reinforce lessons, and they provide a personal dimension to the course. They offer a wealth of knowledge and the level of feedback from tutors makes Lights Film School the best valued course by a long shot.
Lights Film School has given me the confidence to get out their and start making a career out of film making. My course is not even completed and I have already been awarded a commission to produce a documentary.
I am an Indie Film Maker from Melbourne, Australia and I enrolled in the course at Lights Film School to increase my current knowledge in not only film making, but directing and writing also. I have had many ideas for short films and my creative side was not happening until I enrolled into Lights Film School.
So far I have completed two Modules in the course which has been Screenwriting and Cinematography. I had no real concept of how to format a screenplay correctly but also had no clue why you do such formatting in the first place. Lights Film School answered all of these questions and certainly opened up doors to show me the way to help assist in the understanding of how important it is to format your screenplay correctly for when you decide to hand the script to a Producer.
The Cinematography lectures were quite informative regarding the use of The Rule of Thirds, Lines, 4 walls and much more. I have been very pleased with the content of the Lectures that Lights Film School has available. There are many external videos of interviews with writers, examples of good framing to help assist in the understanding of the explanations of such topics as cinematography, lighting and basic composition.
Let me talk a little about the connection of my short film to Lights Film School. Your first assignment is to write a short screenplay which involves a catalyst of some form of action to keep the viewer interested. The story must also contain a clear ‘Beginning, Middle and End’. All of this is explained in great detail in the Screenwriting Lectures. Then you move onto your Cinematography Assignment to produce a short film using the knowledge you have received from the lectures and edit it to the best of your ability. My short film for Lights Film School (watch here) is my assignment for the screenwriting and cinematography lessons. I completed all of this after only my second set of lectures and assignments and there are 10 lessons altogether.
I encourage all of you who have an interest in the course to jump on board as you will learn something. I already have but you also learn more and more each time you produce a new project. This is a great starting point with the staff at Lights Film School giving really informative feedback on your assignments to further you as a future Film Maker. I personally look forward to see what lies in store for the rest of the course.
Well done Lights Film School.
“Be your own film maker”
OUR STUDENTS RESPOND TO OUR COMMENTS ON THEIR PROJECTS
Thank you so much for your honest input concerning my script, re-reading I can see the flaws and will take on all the advice you’ve given. Very good advice.
thanks for your great assessment. I didn’t know about celtx, thanks so much, and free too! I tried using final draft and was fighting against it too much to finish my script. Thanks for telling me about the parenthetical too, its things like this that make the school an invaluable tool when pitted against just reading a book.
I am glad for your insights on dogmatic scripts, I used god as a quick road to a suspended disbelief of a world where language would be mixed up. I feel the end of the script was kind of slapped together and seems religiously pretentious; the point of the script was to create a simple short film to produce that offers as much creative content for as little dollar as possible. In my final version which I will upload I will add some dimension to the characters and plot and change the ending, something more of a twist hopefully.
Student # 100508
Thank you so much for your kind feedback! I’m really glad and truly excited that you liked my script!
You read the subtext in the play exactly the way I wanted it to be read. I am also happy that I was able to expose the characters effectively.
Thank you again for your kind words. Now if I wanted to either have this published or produced is there anything I should touch up on or try to improve???
From reading through the lectures, I saw that putting in too much descriptions of characters actions and emotions should be sparse and I deliberately took away a bunch. But, I see so much more subtext that I can put in in terms of actions and body language. Should I leave it the way it is, take some away or add more???
I really appreciate your feedback.
Thank you very much, these assignments are important to me, so to receive positive; honest feedback on what I’ve written is spectacular.
Student # 100578
Thank-you so much for the detailed response to my film.
This was a lot of fun – but very challenging – especially working with kids, older people, and a variety of locations.
I agree that the smallest details require attention. So much is picked up in post, and the more I watch the film the more I see how it can be improved.
The film was filmed with very basic gear:
* consumer camera (Panasonic HDC-SD5) – I found this camera very limiting, eg: no view finder (only an lcd screen), and all manual controls are within menus – making it very difficult to be creative. But having said that I really wanted to see what I could produce with basic gear.
* I used a wide lens adapter for the scene at 2:36 from an old camera I had lying around – the bayonet was not the right size so I had to make do by holding it in front of the camera.
* I only had one light (fluro) – more would have been better, but at least it helped with the natural light coming in from the windows.
* editing was done in final cut studio. I did have to color correct it (as best i could – using Color) to try and get the look I desired.
I see what you mean by the jarring jump cuts at :13: and 1:40 – the funny thing is edited out a shot of Flynn moving into position at :13 , and the boy moving over to Flynn (at 1:40) – obviously this ended up being the wrong decision. This is something I will be more mindful of in the future.
Sound is something I know I really need to get my head around. The camera I have does not have external mic capabilty – so I am quite limited at this stage. I also need to learn a LOT more about sound editing to make better post adjustments.
Depth of field – how I would have loved to be able to achieve a shallow depth of field. I even tried emulating this in FCP in one of the scenes (did you pick it ?)
While I tried hard to ensure there were no eyeline errors or continuity errors, I can see them as plain as day now that you have pointed them out.
The scene at :27 and :29 was bugging me – now I know why – thanks.
4:28 – now that you mention it it I can see that the primary object should have been a touch higher.
This is one big learning curve I am enjoying.
Thank-you so much for taking the time to review my short film.
Your comments are a real eye opener, you have clearly given me direction on how to improve future projects. I particularly appreciated your comments on giving breathing space visually to my characters. I have reviewed footage that I have taken on other projects and it is definitely an area I need to work on.
Thank you for the encouraging review. I’ve learnt a great deal from it and will be sure to put those principles into practise. I’m very grateful for the time, careful consideration & precise critics you give to your students.
All the best,
Thank you very much for the insightful review, and for taking the time to provide us with an in depth analysis of the assignment. We’re glad you enjoyed the read.
Student # 10780
Thank you for the constructive feedback. It was very helpful and I’m glad you didn’t just say “its great, keep up the good work!” like some teachers do. While that is very sweet you don’t learn anything from it. These were very good points, all of which I see where I could have improved!