“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats –

Lights Film School is an online film education provider.

Since 2007, we’ve been teaching students of our online film school the fundamentals of filmmaking, guiding them every step of the way.

Our Story

The idea for Lights Film School sprung from a shared frustration. As trained filmmakers ourselves, many on our team have benefited from years of formal education at institutions including New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. But what about people who either don’t want or aren’t able to study at such schools?

Shouldn’t everyone who wants to learn how to make movies have the chance to do so?

Well, thanks to the internet, they do. There are some fantastic filmmaking resources out there – many of which are free! – but we wanted to create a centralized learning experience that was much more guided, intuitive, and hands-on.

In a sense, we wanted to capture the magic of traditional film school online, creating a film school experience for everyone, everywhere.

To do this, we realized that we needed to accomplish three things. We needed to design a comprehensive curriculum that taught students the fundamentals of filmmaking from the ground up, at each student’s own pace. We needed to provide a method and means for students to apply what they were learning and receive individualized feedback, similar to the workshop classes we’d attended in traditional film school. And finally, we needed to foster a welcoming community environment conducive to conversation, collaboration, and constructive criticism.

In addition – in order to realize our goal of democratizing film education – all of this needed to be radically accessible. It needed to be a realistic option for people all around the world.

So we got to work.

Lights Film School team members Michael, Noah, Jenn, Lauren, Jeffrey, & Courtney.

Fast-forward ten years, and Lights Film School is what it is today, a premiere online film school that equips students with everything they need to develop their technical skills, realize their creative potentials, and pursue career opportunities around them knowledgeably and confidently. In other words, we jumpstart your journey toward becoming a unique, masterful, and employable filmmaker.

Think of Lights as your one-stop-shop for a formal filmmaking education that respects your wallet and your time. We’ve spent the better part of a decade building a learning experience that’s more affordable and adaptable than traditional film school; more curated and custom-made than free resources around the internet.

Meaning, an education that:

Takes the guesswork out of the learning process. You’ll master the fundamentals of filmmaking through our curriculum’s logical progression. Rest easy! You won’t have to wonder if you’ve missed something or spend hours Googling concepts to supplement your learning. Everything is taken care of naturally in-house, removing the friction between you and what you need to know to become a professional filmmaker.

Prioritizes your schedule and preferences. No two students are the same. This is why every element of Lights Film School has been designed with flexibility in mind. You can move through the filmmaking course at your own pace and in whatever order you choose, which is great for when you want to review previous concepts. We’ve built a linear yet open learning experience that can be adapted entirely to your unique circumstances.

Connects you to other filmmakers. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with your teachers and peers as you progress in your studies. Share experiences, ask and answer questions, hold each other accountable, review each other’s work, make friends, find collaborators… You don’t have to be alone in your filmmaking journey.

Provides resources for use in your student productions. Choose from dozens of stock sound effects and music tracks to bring your movies to life. We’ve also partnered with world-class stock libraries to offer our students exclusive access to and discounts on additional premium assets.

Workshops your projects. You’ll get individualized teacher feedback to your work, fine-tuned to help keep you on track and, ultimately, become a professional filmmaker. Expect constructive criticism that will push you to the next level in both your style and technical skills.

Builds your filmmaking portfolio. To complete the course, you’ll have to write, shoot, and edit your very own short film. This will be an education in and of itself, as well as a vital addition to your roster of work. In other words, by the time you graduate, you’ll have something to show for your efforts! In fact, you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the film industry, if you so choose. Whether you enter the market as employees (directors, production designers, sound or camera personnel), or choose to start your own independent production studio, you’ll have the tools necessary to excel in your career. This is because you’ll have a solid foundation and theoretical understanding of how films are made, and enough practical experience to feel confident about doing their jobs properly.

Still Curious?

Great! Get a more comprehensive overview of our online film school.

While you’re here, feel free to review our mission and valuesget to know our team, check out some student testimonials, watch a few films made by members of the Lights community, examine our FAQs, and browse our free blog – we work hard to bring the indie filmmaking world useful, in-depth content on a regular basis.

Of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re more than happy to help!


“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

“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

“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

With limited time and experience, I enrolled in Lights Film School. I’m so glad that I did. It was challenging while still being supportive and accessible. Instructors were very attentive and the online school community was always open to sharing ideas and experience. The online platform itself was quick to learn and easy to follow. I’ve come away with technical skill, a honed lens for what makes a good film, and the confidence to pursue this career!

Kelly Legge

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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


Start learning how to create professional narrative and documentary films, using the gear you already have, wherever you live.

We’ll be with you every step of the way, with guidance, community, and resources from beginning to end!

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