BECOME THE FILMMAKER ONLY YOU CAN BE.

SHINE YOUR LIGHT.

You’ve got something to say, friend! The inkling of a mind-blowing idea. A cause you believe in. A story you want to transform into a movie and share with the world.

But learning filmmaking can feel overwhelming, especially when you’ve got a lot on your plate already. There’s just an insane amount of knowledge out there to digest.

Where do you even start?

Connecting the dots by yourself takes time and energy you feel like you don’t really have. Of course, there’s film school… But even if you could carve out the space in your schedule, the whole thing would cost an arm and a leg. Also a kidney. And possibly your firstborn.

You shouldn’t need an eternity or a fortune to learn how to make movies that matter.

 Michael, with

 

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.

You CAN go to film school! Online.

Get from point A to point B in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost. We’ve spent 4+ years & $150K+ on education… So you don’t have to.

Film school’s a huge investment. Not everyone can make it. Yet, you know in your heart you’d make more of an impact if you could step into your true rule as a storyteller for the screen! Which is why we believe you shouldn’t have to blow up your life, or go into debt, just to learn filmmaking. 

“I didn’t have the $60,000 it necessitated for me to go to film school; I couldn’t afford to do it. So Lights Film School offered me an opportunity to expand my knowledge, but it also fit my budget. Signing up for Lights was the best thing I found myself doing. Their program is bar none… The community at Lights is really for me one of the most exceptional things… Being able to talk to other budding filmmakers across the world. The staff… All amazing people. Having people that you know have your back, that’s definitely what you get being a student at Lights Film School… It’s been a fantastic journey, and I absolutely look forward to being a part of the alumni.”

Travis Hadley

MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME & ENERGY.

How do the different pieces of the filmmaking puzzle fit together? What should you focus on? Oh, and what’s the best video camera for indie filmmakers on a budget? Down the rabbit hole you go.

As a one stop shop for your filmmaking education, Lights Film School makes sure you don’t get lost. Which means no more doubt, no more confusion, no more frustration.

Say goodbye to the guesswork. We cut through the noise to teach you what you need to know, when you need to know it. So that you can pour into what really matters, like actually doing the work to make movies! Your capacity is a precious resource. Let’s make sure you’re using it wisely.

LEARN AT YOUR OWN PACE. On your own schedule.

Our core curriculum is where the magic happens! 🧙‍♂️ Imagine Gandalf a mentor walking you step-by-step through the whole filmmaking process.

If you’re really intense about it, you could finish everything and make your movie in as little as 3 months. But Lights Film School’s flexible framework means you can take your time. As long as you need. 

In fact, you have lifetime access to the core curriculum. Because we believe strongly in the principle of an “outcomes-based education”… The proof is in the pudding, friend! Whenever you have space for your filmmaking education, just give us 100%. That’s all we ask.

INTRODUCTION MODULE lessons include:

Welcome! | How LFS Works | Premium Membership | The Workshop (Premium) | The Community (Premium) | Extras for Everyone! | Completing the Course | Your First Exercise

SCREENWRITING MODULE lessons include:

OVERVIEW: The Script, the Script, & the Script | PRE-WRITING: Introduction | Story Development | Character Development | Supporting Materials | Recap & Exercise| STRUCTURING YOUR STORY: Introduction | Beginnings & Endings | The First Act & Plot Points | The Second Act | The Third Act | The Western Dramatic Structure Chart | The Plant & Payoff| Recap & Exercise | THE WRITING PROCESS: Introduction | Action & Dialogue | Understanding the Screenplay Format | Production Considerations | Recap & Exercise | DOCUMENTARY WRITING: Introduction | The Five Steps | How to Create Your Documentary Scripts | Recap & Exercise | ASSIGNMENT I: Choose Your Track & Do the Work!

DIRECTING MODULE lessons include:

OVERVIEW: Your Gift, Your Curse | SCRIPT ANALYSIS: Introduction | Creating “Moments” | Finding the Subtext | MISE EN SCÈNE: Introduction | How Space Manifests Story | Costume Design, Color Palette, & Exercise | DIRECTING ACTORS: Introduction | Action Verbs |Problematic Performances | Method Acting | Production Environment | Casting | Case Study | BLOCKING: Introduction | Coverage | Shot Sequencing | DIRECTING A DOC: Introduction | The Interview & Narration | Ethics | DIRECTOR INTERVIEWS: Introduction | Nuri Bilge Ceylan | Jane Campion | Mike Leigh | Ridley Scott | The Coen Brothers | Roundtable, 2011 | Roundtable, 2016 | ASSIGNMENT II: A Technical Exercise

CINEMATOGRAPHY MODULE lessons include:

INTRODUCTION: 88 Years in 7 Minutes | COMPOSITION & FRAMING: Introduction | Visual Elements | Technical Applications | LIGHTING: Introduction | Natural Lighting | Directionality & Intensity | Artificial Light | MOVEMENT: Introduction | Movement Types | Movement Examples | TONAL RANGE: Attuning Your Eyes | CONTINUITY & SHOT FLOW: Introduction | The Line of Action | The 30 Degree Rule | Continuity Coverage | Shot Connections | Cutting in Camera | Shot Flow & 6 Considerations | ASSIGNMENT III: Cinematography Portfolio

EDITING MODULE lessons include:

OVERVIEW: Editing Starts in Pre-Production | Editing Software | Dailies | KEY CONCEPTS: Mirror Program Exercise Files | Transcoding | Beginning the Edit | Understanding Bins | Selects & the Rough Cut | Names & Keywords | Subframe Editing & Sync | Coverage & Multiple Takes | When to Cut | Technical Basics | Visual Punctuation | Dialogue | Rhythm | EDITING TOGETHER: Introduction | Steps I – VI | THE FILM LOOK: Understanding Production Value | COLOR GRADING: Introduction | Exposure & Contrast | Saturation | Color | Cropping | The Final Image | TITLES: Introduction | Choosing a Font | Animations | Credits & Title Cards | Finalizing Your Mirror Program Cut | ASSIGNMENT IV: Film Analysis

SOUND DESIGN MODULE lessons include:

INTRODUCTION: Filmmaking’s Ugly Duckling | SOUND CONCEPTS: What is Sound? | Equalizers | Filters | Scrubbing | Compression | Sample Rate | Bit Depth | Mono & Stereo | Sound Characteristics | SOUND CAPTURE: Introduction | Microphones | Continuity | Averages & Peaks | Automatic Gain Control | Room Tone | Foley & Wild Sounds | Sound on Tape | SOUND EDITING & MIXING: Introduction | Creating a Sonic Map | Preliminary Considerations | SOUND DESIGNING TOGETHER: Getting Started | Steps I – XVI | SOME FINAL POINTS: Sourcing Music | “Fixing” Audio | ASSIGNMENT V: The Culmination of Everything You’ve Learned

✓ BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE.

You’ll expand your knowledge as you progress through all 6 modules of the core curriculum. Experience true depth so you can master the fundamentals, develop your individual creative voice, and get a fresh perspective on the filmmaking process. 

Polished lecture notes form the foundation of your studies. They’re interwoven with images and more than 150 audio & visual examples (like this video tutorial we cooked up)! The multimedia format makes it easier for our small team to roll out curriculum updates, so you’re not stuck with outdated content. 

✓ USE THE GEAR YOU HAVE.

Professional cinema camera or little phone camera… Fancy editing software or pre-installed program… It doesn’t matter what tools you use, friend. You’ll learn how to get the most out of the resources you have available, so that you can make a good movie on any budget. We’re all about embracing that scrappy indie film spirit! Gear is no reason to put off your dreams.

✓ GET AUTHENTIC ANSWERS.

Our team brings 10+ years of professional filmmaking and teaching experience to the table. We want to share it with you, so that you’re never left in the dark. If you’ve got a question, ask it! You’ll get a friendly, informative response. We’re all passionate indie filmmakers ourselves, so we totally understand the value of a transparent support network.

“Because of my schedule, I couldn’t attend film school, which is also quite a big investment. I got to know Lights Film School and understand a very different value proposition… And for me it made complete sense. It makes you start getting your hands dirty within the filmmaking process, even if you have never done it. It’s a safe space, and you learn so much.”

Julia Johansson

“I had just started to take an interest in the film industry. And since film schools are very expensive, I thought Lights Film School would be a good alternative. The program helped me improve in all aspects of filmmaking… I got to take my time, making sure that I really mastered the different teachings. It allowed me to put my absolute best into my final project!”

Raphaël Kadishi

NOT YOUR TYPICAL “ONLINE COURSE”.

Experience a comprehensive Filmmaking Program rooted in community… So that you actually get your ass out there and make at least one movie!

We said this was film school, friend. We weren’t kidding!

NEVER LOSE YOUR PLACE.

Like a trusty bookmark, our framework always remembers where you are in the core curriculum. So it’s quick and easy to pick up right where you left off, every time you login.

LEARN BY DOING.

Put what you’re learning into practice. You’ll download media files we’ve created, import them into your editing software, and follow our action steps. As you work with us virtually side-by-side, you’ll get comfortable with your tools. These hands-on exercises make filmmaking theory practical, so that you can start to build up real-world experience.

GET REAL FEEDBACK.*

You’ll complete a series of 5 assignments, culminating in your very own short film. Our teachers review every assignment. We make sure you understand and apply the fundamentals of filmmaking, so that your work becomes the best possible version of itself. We’ll guide you to your unique style, so that you can make the movie you see in your head.

DIVE DEEPER INTO YOUR INTERESTS.

Go beyond the basics and peel back even more layers of the filmmaking process. We get ultra-specific in our downloadable workbooks, so you can expand your knowledge of the subjects you’re most passionate about – from directing to documentary, character development to dialogue, suspense to sound design.

STAY MOTIVATED!*

Surround yourself with like-minded peers from around the world. Find your people, and hold each other accountable to your ambitions and goals. You’re not in this alone! Learn from fellow students’ assignments and teacher feedback. Opt into virtual networking opportunities. And unlock an exclusive alumni network so you can keep up the momentum after you graduate.

CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENT.*

When you finish the Filmmaking Program, you’ll get a digital completion certificate with its own serial number, plus a hand-signed copy in the mail on request. Be proud, and show your family and friends you went to film school!  

EXTRAS TO KICKSTART YOUR PROJECTS.

Need a quick refresher before the shoot? Fire up a video tutorial and review a key concept on-demand! Need audio in a pinch? Choose from dozens of downloadable music and sound effects tracks! And when you need a boost of inspiration, cozy up with your pick from our curated screenplay library, and marvel at the art & craft of the pros.

*These features are exclusive to Lights Film School Premium Membership (sold separately and available after you enroll). The nominal membership fee helps defray the teaching, managerial, and administrative costs associated with running an active community for our students.

 *The 5-assignment teacher feedback bundle is included and valid for 1 year from the date of your enrollment.

SOME ❤ FROM OUR COMMUNITY.

We feel so lucky to mentor such an inspired group of ambitious storytellers, day in and day out!

“Thanks to Lights Film School, I have a strong understanding of how to make a great film in my voice! LFS challenged my knowledge and improved my filmmaking skills 100 fold... This is a program for serious filmmaking students who want to learn. It’s not a chop shop where you pay a fee and expect a certification shortly thereafter. All the while, LFS encourages you to use your voice in your film to tell your story. Best of luck to all the students at Lights Film School. Stay the course. You’re in great hands!”

Katherine Dickson

“I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for a few pages of information that could have been obtained for free from other sites on the internet. I was also looking for a place to study that offered feedback, and a student community that I could exchange ideas with, but I don’t have the time or thousands of dollars to attend a brick and mortar college that is specific to the industry. Now that I am here, I can see I made the right decision. LFS is exactly what I’ve been looking for.”

Robert Stanton

“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 and the tutors are experienced and incredibly knowledgeable. Lights opened a whole new world for me.”

Aaron Falvey

“I was skeptical because I was convinced I couldn’t get a quality film education from anything other than a 4-year university. I’ve bought books and purchased video series, but nothing gave me that in-depth experience I wanted. What I was looking for was something cost-effective, project-based, and community-centered. I’m glad to say LFS fits the bill on all levels. The knowledge I’m gaining is just what I needed, and I feel confident that this school is preparing me for the creative expression I always wanted.”

Shomari Sawyer

“I’m really enjoying everything so far – Lights Film School is a wonderful learning environment! I feel I’ve improved a lot because of the powerful combination of well-explained theory and insightful, practical feedback! I had the chance to learn all the basics, but those ‘basics’ are more relevant than some of the stuff they teach here in universities. I’ve produced my best work so far thanks to the guidance of this amazing team, and for that I thank you all a lot.”

Joao Caseiro

“Lights Film School has been a blessing to me. The journey was a highly emotional one and I never thought I’d make it through, but I made it through as LFS has such a detailed course structure that guides you to glory. The folks at LFS are passionate at what they do and the passion is contagious. I can safely say I truly am a better filmmaker.”

Alroy Ndhlovu

“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I enrolled in Lights Film School after researching different options, but rapidly discovered that this hands-on filmmaking program far surpassed any previous expectations… The flexibility was ideal, allowing me to study in a complementary manner with prior commitments. I cannot thank enough the teachers at LFS for kickstarting my career and highly recommend the filmmaking program. What you would get at your local film school would not even compare.”

Marcelle Abela

“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

“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

JOIN 1000s of STUDENTS FROM 87+ COUNTRIES.

…And counting, ever since Lights Film School sparked to life all the way back in 2007.

We believe the world would be a better place if everyone had a shot at their dreams… An opportunity to unlock their fullest potentials and give their fullest selves to the world, regardless of circumstances.

Which is why we work hard to break down the barriers to film education. So wherever you are, whatever gear you have, you are more than welcome to join us. As an international community of independent filmmakers, we celebrate diversity and welcome your unique perspective!

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