WE IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR WORK… A LOT.
We’re glad you found us! Here at Lights Online Film School, we’re building a tight-knit creative community around our custom online courses. Study filmmaking, produce projects, and meet talented friends and collaborators from around the world, all from the comfort of your home. Whether you’re interested in narrative films, documentary films, or music videos, you can expect to benefit from a hands-on curriculum that introduces the craft and guides you through the production of whatever projects you have in mind. It’s a flexible, outcome-based approach that empowers you to work at your own pace.
FREE SAMPLE VIDEO TUTORIAL
Our goal is to teach our students how to achieve professional studio production standards while retaining the creative freedom and artistic bravery that comes with being an indie filmmaker. “Indie” is not an excuse for laziness or poor quality content, and our filmmaking course fights against both, helping to hold the world of independent cinema to a higher standard.
Watch this seven minute sample tutorial to get a sense of what we mean, and what you can expect, from Lights Online Film School.
GETTING STARTED WITH OUR ONLINE FILMMAKING COURSE
You don’t need any prior knowledge. You don’t need any top-of-the-line filmmaking equipment, and you certainly don’t need to live in Hollywood! All you need is an internet connection, a camera with video capabilities, a computer with video editing software, and a passion to learn. We’ll provide the rest, including access to the following six modules:
Discover the Lights Online Film School community and your new online learning environment. We lay out our expectations and explain how everything works to ensure you start off on the right foot. As a part of your orientation, we also frame subsequent modules with a discussion of filmmaking basics, beginning with an examination of two classic films.
A screenplay is 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 about western dramatic structure, “the hero’s journey” and character archetypes, how to construct and pace tension, how to balance action and dialogue, and much more.
We equip 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, performances, mood, and more. As the director, you are the leader, and you must know how to think creatively and communicate clearly. We’ll teach you how to navigate these waters.
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.
Learn the art and science of post-production. You’ll cover the paper edit, NLE software, file ingest, rough cuts, titling, color correction, and a vast range of editing theories and techniques, including project file organization and non-destructive editing. This module prepares you to “shoot for the edit” as you begin to brainstorm the production of your own short film.
The aural experience is 50% of a film, influencing an audience’s perception of its production value, and by extension, its quality. We discuss topics including microphone choice, sample rates, and space acoustics. We also explore editing and mixing questions of audio synchronization and processing effects like compression, equalization, noise reduction, and more.
Track your progress as you work through our online course at your own pace. Students have one year from the date of enrollment to complete the course, but most finish in 3- 6 months.
Progress tracking lets you see where you are in your learning, making it easy to pick up where you left off next time you login. When you complete the course, we’ll mail you a personalized 8x10 course completion certificate!
You can enroll in our course from anywhere in the world! The Student HUB is the heart of our community, a place for us to connect regardless of geographic location. Here, you’ll be able to personalize your account – add a profile picture, your location, links to your websites, your film-related interests, and more.
As you progress through the course, you’ll make friends with students and teachers from all over the map. Post updates about your film projects, comment on friends’ posts, and send private messages. You’ll also be able to search for members by their geographic location. You might even be able to collaborate with a Lights Film School student living in your area!
LAB CHATS & ONLINE THEATRE
Tune into our Lab Chats, live two-to-three hour lectures led by our teachers. They’re a great way to meet your fellow classmates and dive deeper into the subjects covered in the modules. In total, we offer 20 hours of Lab Chats scheduled at different times each month, so you’ll be able to attend regardless of what timezone you live in.
Our Online Theatre is a venue for screenings of independent films. We screen a film once a month as a group and break it down together, drawing on everything we’ve learned from the course materials so far.
ONE-ON-ONE GRADING CENTER
As you work through the course, you’ll complete a series of assignments, culminating in your very own short film. One of our teachers will review your work and provide critical, in-depth coverage to help you improve and grow your abilities as a filmmaker along the way.
You’ll also have access to other students’ assignments and reviews. Identify peers with whom you might like to work and learn from both their successes and mistakes. Ultimately, the Grading Center is an open forum for constructive feedback and collective learning.
As a Lights Film School student, you’ll have access to a script library, video tutorial library, stock music library, and sound effects library. The cost of these resources alone is more than the course’s enrollment fee. We include them as a part of our commitment to improving the production standards of your indie films.
Our innovative “Mirror Program” provides studio-grade audio and video files for you to download and work with as you practice the concepts covered in your lessons. For example, in the Sound Design module, you’ll use the audio files we provide to create and sweeten a soundscape according to our step-by-step instructions. By working virtually with us side-by-side, you’ll grow in confidence and ability.
Some lessons involve other types of “homework” – you might be asked to study a feature film we’ve handpicked, or break down a screenplay from our screenplay library.
WE LOVE OUR STUDENTS,
AND OUR STUDENTS LOVE US!
“It’s easy to recognize and respect the expertise of the instructors, who have been responsive to my questions as well as helpful and generous with their direction. The chatroom lecture format has been surprisingly easy to get used to. They’ve helped improve my work enormously.”Charlie McDougall
“The flexibility of the Lab Chats allowed me to work around my busy schedule. The live lectures are very thorough in covering the necessary elements relevant to developing my skills as a filmmaker. They also give me an opportunity to ask questions directly to industry professionals.”Sharvon Urbannavage
“Having a dream to create films, but not having any real formal training made me a prime candidate for Lights Film School… I revisited my final project, and it was broadcast on local PBS stations. Thanks for giving me a solid foundation and the confidence to follow my dreams!”Gregory Fish
“I am very pleased with how thoroughly the program is constructed with theoretical knowledge, concrete examples, videos and other material. My filmmaking skills have reached a completely different level after studying at Lights. Especially the feedback from the teachers has been priceless!”Jussi Pohjolainen
“I would like to thank Lights Film School and everyone who is a part of your program! Because of Lights Film School, I now work in video full time and have made some really awesome short independent films that have gotten attention from big name video game developers and publishers.”Jason Forge
“Lights Film School has been an amazing experience! By the time I graduated, I had secured two film jobs, developed my showreel, and achieved film schooling! Lights is the perfect school for anyone who wants to work towards a film certificate whilst having enough time for a full-time job.”Nick Kingan
“There are, undoubtedly, many free filmmaking resources on the internet, but these are scattered and disconnected… The Lights Film School course, conversely, guides its students through a highly structured curriculum with regular assignments and excellent feedback!”Julian Eyre
“Lights Film School is the ideal stepping stone; I love how it takes you through the entire filmmaking process. Learning the technical side was appealing & the course exceeded my expectations. The tutors are experienced & incredibly knowledgeable. Lights opened a whole new world for me.”Aaron Falvey
Lights Online Film School challenged my knowledge and improved my filmmaking one hundred fold. You will find instructors who absolutely encourage you to continue to improve day by day. Lights offered the best of all learning forums, enabling me to grow my production company.Katherine Dickson
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READY TO GET STARTED?
Enroll by Friday, October 28, 2016:
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If you have financial need and would like to apply for a $100 grant applicable to any of our enrollment levels, visit our grant application page. Regardless, we’re excited to welcome you into our online indie filmmaking community!