ABOUT US

All you ambitious storytellers out there… We started Lights Film School for you.

Because you have more to give to the world. Because you’re obsessed with the beauty and power of cinema. And because you believe films can do more than entertain.

So do we! In the right hands – your hands – they can also provoke, inspire, and make a difference.

You just need to learn the art and craft of filmmaking first.

You don’t need a degree.

Let me guess:

You’ve devoured filmmaking tutorials, consumed a library’s worth of books, maybe even sampled an online course or two. They’ve taken a lot of time and energy. Whet your appetite.

Now you’re hungry for the main course.

For the level of detail and direction you tend to associate with traditional film school.

Let’s be honest, though, friend:

Deep down, you know you don’t need a degree to learn how to make movies. That annoying voice in the back of your head isn’t so sure, though, because it feels how badly you want this. So still, it wonders:

What if film school actually IS the answer, here?

What if it’s the ticket you need to step into your true role as a storyteller for the screen?

Film school can be awesome. The cost isn’t.

As graduates of institutions including New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, many of us here at Lights Film School are all too familiar with the cost. 4+ years and $150K+ later, we’re still paying down school loans. Yeah, we’ve eaten our fair share of rice and beans from the bodega around the corner. 😬

Depending on where folks are at in their lives, not everyone’s able or wants to be a starving artist to invest so much in education. It’s just a ton of time and money. You’ve got a full-time job, a family to take care of, your existing university studies, whatever. Y’know, the whole adulting thing to do!

But you’re hungry, right? And we mean for the good stuff – for the meat of a full-on Filmmaking Program! Because you feel like you’re getting nowhere fast, yet you’re absolutely full of magic and ideas. You have a passion and a restlessness to make movies, and you can’t deny it any longer.

Film school online, for people with something to say.

Here’s the thing:

We believe the world would be a better place if more people took a shot at their dreams. If they had more help unlocking their fullest potentials – kind of like we had, through our formal film school experiences! – regardless of circumstances. So that they could give their fullest selves to the world.

Which is why we believe you shouldn’t have to blow up your life, or go into debt, just to learn filmmaking.

What you have to say is too important to keep in the dark, friend.

So how about we feed your fire by walking a different path together:

One that connects the dots to provide a clear way into the filmmaking process. One that cuts through the noise to tune out the overwhelm, uncertainty, and stress. And one that builds your knowledge and confidence 100% on your schedule, maximizing the resources you have available, in true indie film spirit!

This is our vision:

Lights Film School is film school online at a fraction of the cost, for people with something to say. Our indie Filmmaking Program for ambitious storytellers provides the depth, flexibility, and motivation you need to be brave in your craft and make the movie you see in your head.

The comprehensive core curriculum, adaptable framework, and tailored-to-you guidance help you discover and develop your unique creative voice. All while connecting you to like-minded indie filmmakers around the world. As our thousands of students from nearly ninety countries will tell you, you’re not in this alone!

The cavalry isn’t coming.

Zooming out, we’re in the business of helping you make things, so that you can shine a light on what matters most to you – not tomorrow, TODAY.

Because in the words of indie film legend Mark Duplass: “The cavalry isn’t coming”. So it’s on you to get started. And it’s on us to be there with you, for you, and alongside you as you create films you’re proud of, one step at a time.

Wherever you live, whatever your circumstances are, please know this:

We’re here to help you transform your passion for cinema into practice, champion your message, and become the filmmaker only you can be.

You have something to say, friend. Let’s get it said together!
 

 Michael, with

 

MEET YOUR TEACHERS.

Together, we bring more than 10+ years of professional filmmaking and teaching experience to the table. Some of us are friends from film school in New York City! Others joined later, and they since have introduced their unique perspectives to the team.

We lead unconventional lives on the road and around the world.

And we’re all of us united by our love for cinema and filmmaking… By our belief that the world would be a better place if more people could go after their dreams… And by our mission to tell – and help passionate people tell – stories as only they can, to entertain, provoke, inspire, and make a difference.

We may not be superheroes, but we do our best to come close!

Michael Koehler

Michael Koehler

CEO, Lead Instructor, Editorial Director, Nomad

Michael grew up making home movies in East Africa. Film school at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts prepared him for relief and documentary work abroad, followed by several years in New York City as an editor. His screenwriting has been recognized in a variety of capacities, including The Black List’s Staffing Book, Vimeo Staff Picks, and film festivals worldwide. In keeping with his passion for social justice, one project Michael wrote was screened for local communities in Central Africa before winning the Prix D’Or at The Lower East Side Film Festival.

When he’s not writing his next feature film or developing Lights Film School, you can find Michael rock climbing, accidentally ordering too many dishes in the local language, or catching a sunset with friends after a day of travel and adventuring.

Noah Wagner

Noah Wagner

Directing Instructor

Noah is an award-winning director, writer, editor and producer, and a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has worked in varying capacities for The Daily Show, NBC Sports, BBC London, Pepsi, Expedia, Blue Man Group, and HBO, where he spent close to a decade creating promotional video, VR, and digital content across many platforms for documentaries, sports, and series such as Westworld, Silicon Valley, Ballers, and Game of Thrones.

His work has appeared on HBO, NBC, BBC, Vimeo Staff Picks and The New Yorker, where it was named one of their best of 2016. His films have screened at film festivals worldwide, and he is currently in post-production on his latest directorial effort.

JENN DURRETT

JENN DURRETT

Adjunct Instructor, Administrative & Enrollments Ninja

Jenn is a filmmaker and academic exploring ways to use film and filmmaking in positive, socially proactive ways. After attending film school at New York University, she received a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin and is currently working toward a PhD in Media Studies at SOAS, University of London. Professionally, Jenn has worked as a Script Supervisor, production coordinator, and co-producer. Indie features she’s crewed on have played at Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival, among others.

Outside of Lights Film School and her production gigs, Jenn can be found goofing around in circus class, enjoying London’s indie music scene, or in the library working on her research. (Actually, that’s where you’re most likely to find her… for the next year or so…)

LAUREN MCGRAIL

LAUREN MCGRAIL

Lead Content Contributor, Adjunct Instructor

Lauren is a graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Purchase College, where she earned her BFA in Screenwriting. Professionally, Lauren has worked in various facets of the entertainment industry, including reality television, network television, public broadcasting, and ultimately talent management, where she acted as executive assistant to the president of Authentic Talent & Literary Management for several years.

Currently, Lauren lives in Vermont and is focusing on her own writing. Outside of Lights Film School and her creative projects, Lauren loves to spend time with her family exploring New England’s beaches, hiking trails, farmer’s markets, and other culture.

JEFFREY BAYS

JEFFREY BAYS

Adjunct Instructor

Jeffrey is a director and film scholar, known by many as “the Hitchcock Whisperer”. He earned a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies at La Trobe University and is a frequent contributor to MovieMaker Magazine, No Film School, and other publications. Upon the release of his books Suspense With a Camera and Between the Scenes, Jeffrey began teaching at film festivals and screenwriting conferences around the country. Before getting into film, Jeffrey wrote and produced the feature-length radio play “Not From Space”, recently listed by Time Out Magazine as among the “top five most essential radio plays of all time.” He is now producing a film adaptation.

Otherwise, Jeffrey loves feeding his passion for science. You can find him binging episodes of Cosmos or plotting ways to undermine Einstein’s theories.

COURTNEY HOPE THÉROND

COURTNEY HOPE THÉROND

Content Contributor

Courtney is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where her short film Sex & German Grammar won awards for screenwriting and cinematography. After graduating, she completed a Cinereach Film Fellowship focusing on social justice filmmaking. She has screened short films at ​several film festivals including ​Palm Springs International Shortfest, Indie Memphis, Sidewalk, ​Tallgrass and Citizen Jane. The screenplay for her digital series Between Us Girls was a finalist in the 2016 Screencraft pilot launch competition, the 2016 Austin Film Festival, and winner of Cinestory 2017.​ Courtney currently works as a director and assistant director in LA. 

In her free time, she can be found working to master food photography, studying short films, or scheming future travel plans and new projects.

BECOME THE FILMMAKER ONLY YOU CAN BE:

It is your destiny! Learn the art and craft of filmmaking, develop your individual creative voice, and shine a light on what matters most to you.

Pin It on Pinterest