LEARN HOW TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL, POWERFUL & VISUALLY IMPRESSIVE FILMS AND DOCUMENTARIES
Imagine a film school where the bravery and poetics of independent film collide with the high production standards of big budget productions. Imagine a film school where cinephiles relentlessly deconstruct films to discover what’s at the heart of quality cinema. Imagine a film school where students have control over their education…..Imagine Lights Online Film School!
We’re are an “outcomes based” film school dedicated to helping our students increase the quality and professionalism of their portfolios.
How Our Online Course Works
Our online course is composed of one main “core” filmmaking program and various course “add-ons” that you can use to increase your understanding of particular topics.
When you enroll in our online film school you’ll be required to work through lectures (both written and video tutorials), work on hands-on projects by downloading hours’ worth of files and work through the lectures using high quality, studio grade audio and video files.
You’ll also become part of our “Lights Film School Social” program, where you can set up your unique student profile and interact with other students and teachers from around the world.
As a student in our film course, you’ll also be given access to various media libraries including a script, stock music and sound FX library.
The Six Modules of Our “Core” Filmmaking Program
Our course is divided up into six modules that all of our students get access to.
Introduction to Filmmaking & Online Learning
Student introductions / Film basics / Introduction to your online learning environment.
This module was designed for those interested in both fiction film and documentary filmmaking. While it’s true that a strong clinical analysis of a script isn’t a definitive way to ensure the success of a story, it is true that understanding the mathematics of story design helps you improve your storytelling abilities. [/tab]
Directors need to know many things: How to run a set, how to harness their imagination as a storytelling tool, how to create strong moments, how to ensure their film or documentary communicates clearly, how to stitch the individual shots of a scene together seamlessly, how to work with actors, how to strategically use language as a tool when communicating their vision, how to conceptualize designs and how to communicate with the Director of Photography (DOP) to name only a few of the countless things a Director needs to consider when shooting a film. As the Director, you’re the captain of the ship and much of the responsibility for the film’s success falls on your shoulders.
A Director needs to have clarity on the overall vision for a film. Everything from performance, acting beats, color, blocking, lens choice, lighting, depth, set design, makeup, atmosphere, pacing and wardrobe need to be considered when a director is working towards seeing his or her overall vision for a story come to fruition.
This module is helpful to both fiction and documentary filmmakers looking to refine their own visualization, story analysis and directorial skills.
In this module you’ll learn about the 3 main components of cinematography: lighting, movement & composition. You will study shapes, lines, color theory, color psychology, framing heights, shot types, the line of action, continuity and shot flow, as well as exploring temporal & spatial connections.
In the editing module you’ll learn about editing software, optimizing your recoding settings, title sequences, typography, rough cuts, paper edits, tight vs. loose editing styles, in and out points, three point editing, splice edits, overlays, fades, dissolves and color correction.
6. Sound Design
Sound design is undoubtedly one of the biggest contributing factors to a high perceived production value. Understanding sound is imperative if you want to avoid the airy, light, “hissy” sound that is often associated with independent film productions.
In this lecture we’ll discuss synchronization, wavelength, bit depth, sample rates, stereo vs. mono, microphones types, microphone placement, room tone, recording space acoustics, sound editing, equalizers, filters, compression and noise reduction.
Collective Learning & Outcomes Based Teaching
At the end of each module, you will be asked to complete an assignment that allows you to practice experimenting with the ideas and theories discussed in each lesson.
When you submit your work for review you are effectively building on a collective learning experience. Not only will you have your own work reviewed and analyzed, but you’ll also be able to browse through the assignments of other students and read the instructors’ feedback.
This means you won’t simply be waiting for your turn – you’ll be able to go through other students’ work and identify problems within their assignments, read the instructors’ analysis of the work and ask yourself questions like “How often do I make that same mistake?”
All of the feedback in our student HUB is constructive and meant to help make you a much better filmmaker. The student HUB is a non-judgemental community and a safe place to make mistakes. However, it’s important that our instructors are honest with their analysis of your work. The only way you will grow as a filmmaker is by practicing, working hard and by opening yourself up to constructive criticism. We would rather you make your technical mistakes in our online film course before publishing videos for the world to see, which may not live up to your (or your audience’s) expectations.
That is why we’ve designed a comprehensive 6 module film course for both documentary and fiction filmmakers that allows our students to systematically work through the different areas of the filmmaking process.
As a Lights Film School student, you’ll also get access to our stock music and sound effects library, where you can download thousands of dollars’ worth of stock audio for use in your student projects at no cost.
What do you Need to Enroll in Our Film Course?
All you need to enroll in the Lights Film School online program is a camera with video capabilities and a computer with an editing suite. Neither the camera and editing suite nor the computer needs to be the most advanced on the market.
As far as learning material goes, we provide everything. In order to keep the cost of our course low, we have fully digitized the learning material. All lessons can be accessed online in the student HUB. The student HUB is the community where you can download lecture notes, watch instructional videos and submit your assignments for analysis and review.
How do I Enroll & How Much is Enrollment?
Our “core” program which takes approximately 3-6 months to complete is $499. You can also enroll in any of our “add-on courses” below. Our add on courses give you access to much more advanced topics, additional assignments and more hands-on work projects. Each of our add-on courses cost $199.
You can upgrade your account at any time through our student HUB.
Lights Film School Social
Lights Film School Social is the heart of the Lights Film School Program. It’s here where you’ll be able to personalize your account (add a profile picture, location, links to your websites, interests within film and so on. As you progress through our course, you’ll make friends with teachers and students. The Lights Film School Social platform acts like a social network for filmmakers. You can post updates about your film projects on your wall, comment on your friends’ posts and share information through your Lights Film School email account.
You’ll also be able to search for other members by their geographic location. You might even be able to collaborate with a Lights Film School student living in your area!
The Lights Film School Social platform is a great way to interact with other teachers and students while still protecting your privacy.
Lights Film School Mirror Program
The Lights Film School Mirror Program is a unique program that allows you to follow in our footsteps as you work towards taking your idea from concept to final project. The Lights Film School Mirror Program is a program that we set up so you can see how we bring a film from an idea scratched onto a napkin to a professionally produced and beautifully shot short film.
We take you behind the scenes so you can examine our writing, casting, storyboarding, blocking, directorial concepts, cinematography, editing and sound design. Best of all, we give you all of our footage and audio files to work along with us.
The idea is to get you working on practical examples as you work through each module. For instance, in your sound design module, you’ll be asked to download the audio and video files from the Lights Film School Mirror Program associated with the audio design module. You’ll work alongside us using the audio files to create a professional soundscape. We’ll teach you how to sweeten audio tracks, create your own sound FX’s and bring out deep, rich textures in actors’ voices.
We also do you the favour of shooting a few of our scenes twice – once with the mistakes that are common to most first time filmmakers (poor audio, poor movement, poor lighting etc.) and then the same scene once again with the corrections. Our hope is that, by experimenting with good and bad footage and audio files side by side, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect from yourself when you’re working on your own projects.
Essentially, we try to make a few of the most common filmmaking mistakes for you to discourage you from incorporating those mistakes into your own projects. That is why you complete the “Mirror Project” before moving onto completing and submitting your lesson assignment.
As a Lights Film School student you get access to a script library, video tutorial library, stock music library and a sound effects library.
Lab Chats are a great way for you to meet your fellow classmates and dive deeper into the subjects contained within the modules. Lab Chats are held during predetermined times during the week and are two hours in length. Below you’ll find a sample list of the Lab Chats we have planned over the next couple of months.
1. Lighting & Design for Independent Films & Documentaries
2. Sound Design for Independent Films and Documentaries
3. Writing for Small Budget Productions
4. Creating the World of Your Script
5. Choosing Themes & Creating Compelling Scenes
6. Defining the Director
7. Writing Dialogue
8. Discussion and Examples of the Hero’s Journey
9. Directing a Documentary
Course Length & Flexibility
Our students are given the privilege of working through our film course at their own pace. Most of our students have full or part time jobs, daytime classes or children to care for. Our course is “outcomes based” not “time based”, meaning you can take as much time as you need to work through our course material. However, most of our students complete our online film course within 3-6 months.
After you’ve completed our 6 course modules, as well as completed your corresponding assignments, you’ll be awarded with a personalized 8×10 course completion certificate.
Our Film Students
Our students come from around the world. From Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Tokyo, Cape Town, Bangalore, Athens & London to name only a few cities, Our online learning platform means you can enroll from anywhere in the world.
This is the “core” course that you get when you enroll in our filmmaking program. This course takes approximately 3-6 months to complete.
1.1. Introduction to learning online
2.2. Structuring your story
2.3. The writing process
2.4. Documentary writing
3.1. Script analysis
3.2. Mise en scene
3.3. Directing actors
3.5. Directing a documentary
3.6. Director Interviews
4.1. Composition and framing
4.4. Tonal range
4.5. Continuity and shot flow
5.3. Color correction
5.4. Typography and credits
5.5. HD publishing settings
INTRODUCTION TO SOUND DESIGN
6.1. Introduction to sound design
Our advanced sound design course takes you into the exciting world of sound design for film. This is a very hands-on course that has you designing soundscapes right out of the gates!
1.1. Introduction to learning online
2.1. Introduction to sound design. Jumping in: Your first project (we provide the footage. You mix the sounds)
2.2. Characteristics of sound: Understanding dynamic range, frequencies, sample rates, bit depth & more
2.3. Creating a sound map
3.2. Acoustics and recording space
3.3. Capturing professional field recordings (background, Foley etc)
3.4. Capturing dialogue (clean, consistent and intelligible)
SETTING UP YOUR AUDIO WORKSTATION
4.1. Setting up for indie film sound studio
4.2. Room acoustics
4.3. Hardware needed (optional) – control boards, i/o etc.
SOFTWARE & SOUND MANIPULATION
5.1. Software program basics
5.2. Organizing your workflow & synchronization
5.3. An introduction to equalizers & plugins
5.4. Audio compression
5.5. Audio transitions
6.1. Sound continuity
6.2. Dialogue: Working with dialogue (POST)
6.3. Background / Ambient
6.4. Room tone & Walla
6.6. Creating sound FX from the ground up
6.7. The role of music
MIXING, MASTERING & PUBLISHING
7.1. Fixing audio mistakes & reducing noise (in post)
8.1. Sound libraries
8.2. Hands on work assignments
Our music video course is for anyone with a desire to focus on music video production. This course uses the filmmaking “core” program as a backbone but it takes that knowledge and it applies it specifically to the world of music videos. By the end of the course you’ll be required to shoot a music video.
1.1. Introduction to learning online
2.1. History of record labels
3.1. Getting in touch with collaborators and musicians
A MUSIC VIDEO MIND
4.1. Using your imagination to come up with ideas
5.1. Hook conceptualization
6.1. Music video templates and structures
7.1. Planning your music video shoot
8.1. Shooting your music video
EDITING & WORKFLOW
9.1. Editing your music video
9.2. Music video color correction
9.3. Music video titles and typography
10.1. High definition render settings
By clicking on “Enroll” you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions -
Our enrollment fee is in US dollars.
30 day 100% money back guarantee.
If you have financial need and would like to apply for a $100 grant, to be used for any of our membership levels, you can do so on our grant application page.
If you decide to enroll in 1 or 2 of our addon courses you can do so below (by enrolling in our “academic” or “scholar” programs). You’ll be redirected to a passback page where you can decide which addon courses you want added to your student profile.
1 year access
1 year access
1 year access
We look forward to helping you become a better filmmaker!