“Filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.”
– Steven Spielberg –
Over the years, Lights Film School has had the chance to work with students of diverse backgrounds from all around the world.
Here’s a glimpse into some of these students’ experiences with our courses and community:
Taking Lights Film School’s filmmaking course was a good experience and well worth the time and money. The modules were easy to follow, the instructors were very helpful and encouraging, and I really enjoyed working on the assignments. I especially enjoyed watching the clips from famous directors and cinematographers.
Overall, I learned a lot from Lights Film School, and I will use the techniques and principles to help me on my next project.
Knew from the get-go that I was in competent hands. A deeply-structured curriculum with regular assignments and excellent feedback from teachers who know very well Tarkovsky’s cinema! I would like to thank everyone in Lights Film School for this great knowledge and course.
Mohamed Ashraf Bayor
As a novice filmmaker, I was filled with that fear and lack of confidence while talking to people who could help in any ways to have a short film (especially documentary) made. But since I started taking Lights Film School’s courses, especially attending the Lab Chats, I started feeling very different.
According to me, apart from the constructive feedback provided for each one of the assignments, where we really learn a lot about filmmaking is with the Lab Chats. I really appreciated how in less than 2 hours the teachers manage to share a huge amount of information, and also sharing their own experiences and the ones of other filmmakers they met. And even when questions that students ask go further beyond the topic being discussed in the Chat, the teachers still take their time and are really patient to reply in a very nice and detailed way, and also share a lot of useful resources with the students.
Something else I would add is that, personally my main interest is into Documentary Filmmaking, but after attending some of the Lab Chats that focused on Fiction Filmmaking, I quickly started diving into that world as well. Now I’m enjoying being into both. 🙂 Lights Film School is definitely a learning place, novice filmmakers should consider.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lights Film School for giving me the knowledge I need to kickstart a new career.
Before signing up with Lights Film School, I researched many options, but Lights Film School was the only school that allowed complete flexibility.
The course is very much hands on, from “go” you are writing scripts and filming.
The tutors are fantastic – they take the time to carefully look over submitted assignments and always provide thorough and constructive criticism. The lab chats offered are a fantastic way to reinforce lessons, and they provide a personal dimension to the course. They offer a wealth of knowledge, and the level of feedback from tutors makes Lights Film School the best valued course by a long shot.
Lights Film School has given me the confidence to get out there and start making a career out of filmmaking. My course is not even completed, and I have already been awarded a commission to produce a documentary.
The information is top-notch… Far better than my night school courses at my local film school. I am so glad I found you… The person who wrote this course is definitely brilliant, and promotes film as a worthy art form. I am having a most enjoyable time reading the information and trying to apply it.
I am an indie filmmaker from Melbourne, Australia, and I enrolled in Lights Film School’s filmmaking course to increase my current knowledge in not only filmmaking but also directing and writing. I have had many ideas for short films, and my creative side was not happening until I enrolled in Lights Film School.
So far I have completed two modules in the course, which have been Screenwriting and Cinematography. I had no real concept of how to format a screenplay correctly and also had no clue why you do such formatting in the first place. Lights Film School answered all of these questions and certainly opened up doors to show me the way to help assist in the understanding of how important it is to format your screenplay correctly for when you decide to hand the script to a producer.
The Cinematography lectures were quite informative regarding the use of The Rule of Thirds, lines and patterns, the fourth wall, and much more. I have been very pleased with the content of the lectures that Lights Film School has available. There are many external videos of interviews with writers, examples of good framing to help assist in the understanding of the explanations of such topics as cinematography, lighting, and basic composition.
Let me talk a little about the connection of my short film to Lights Film School. The first assignment is to write a short screenplay which involves a catalyst of some form of action to keep the viewer interested. The story must also contain a clear “Beginning, Middle, and End”. All of this is explained in great detail in the Screenwriting Lectures. Then you move onto your Cinematography Assignment to produce a short film using the knowledge you have received from the lectures and edit it to the best of your ability.
I encourage all of you who have an interest in the course to jump on board as you will learn something. I already have! You also learn more and more each time you produce a new project. This is a great starting point with the staff at Lights Film School giving really informative feedback on your assignments to further you as a future filmmaker. I personally look forward to see what lies in store for the rest of the course.
Well done Lights Film School!
I just wanted to thank you for everything I’ve learned from you. Last year I enrolled in Lights Film School. I made a short video… as my final assignment. After that I finally made a feature long documentary… I’ve thought about for the last few years. I would like to stress that the knowledge I got at Lights Film School is priceless for me – us – to start and finish this documentary.
I am a motion graphics designer and animator based in Los Angeles. Two years ago, I got a 5D and started using it to shoot video. I’ve never taken a photography or cinematography class; your YouTube channel was my only source of education on how to light and compose a shot.
This is my latest short film that I co-wrote and shot. The motion graphics studio I work for were so excited about it that they asked me to put it up on their website. I’ve been getting an overwhelmingly positive response, and everyone mentions the cinematography in it, and I keep getting asked where I went to school to learn how to shoot, and I keep referring them to your site. So I thought I should write you and say: thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You’ve been an invaluable resource for me and my creative aspirations.
I will never be able to thank you enough. I hope to create many more stories and projects now and hope to share them with you as well.
Thank you for the way you’ve run things over the past year. I’ve gone from never having picked up a camera before to being able to produce something that’s (at least semi-) professional, had such fun and so appreciated your insight, encouragement and feedback. You guys are awesome!
This was my first course which covered every topic of movie making: from the beginning to the end. I liked the idea of the Lab Chats. I always learned something new there and took part in some inspiring conversations. The teachers were really helpful and always answered every question.
The theoretical content was supported by different videos, which helped me learn the practical aspects of working on a film set. Another advantage and benefit for me was that I could also get tips on how to do a good independent movie. One of the nice aspect of Lights Film School is that one can get in touch with people who’d like to stay in the same business.
You guys are a Godsend. Once we as filmmakers realize that the only thing that is keeping us from making films is the notion that “we aren’t real filmmakers until someone buys one of our scripts” or “allows us to direct one of theirs”, we can then get on with the business of being filmmakers – by any means necessary. Thank you for helping me facilitate that process; it’s been a long time coming.
I’m a VFX and Design student and I’m from Italy and I’ve in enrolled Lights Film School to learn more about producing and directing a Music Video. That program is very helpful for understand how the production of a music video works. The best thing is that this is an online course and you can do it when you want and where you want and it’s the best thing for someone that has no time or not too much money for enrolling in another school.
The other good thing about this course is that you can feel free to ask things to the tutors and they will help you as much as they can and this is what I was searching for from an online course.
So I wanna say Thank You for all the helpful advice and I wanna say also thank you to all the staff of this school for what you do for making this thing accessible to everyone!
An integral component of Lights Film School is The Grading Center, where students submit assignments for in-depth, custom reviews of their work.
Here are some notes from students after receiving teacher feedback:
Thank you for the constructive feedback. It was very helpful and I’m glad you didn’t just say “its great, keep up the good work!”, like some teachers do. While that is very sweet, you don’t learn anything from it. These were very good points, all of which I see where I could have improved!
Thank you for the encouraging review. I’ve learned a great deal from it and will be sure to put those principles into practice. I’m very grateful for the time, careful consideration, and precise criticism you give to your students.
Thank you so much for your honest input concerning my script. Re-reading it I can see the flaws and will take on all the advice you’ve given. Very good advice.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review my short film. Your comments are a real eye opener, you have clearly given me direction on how to improve future projects. I particularly appreciated your comments on giving breathing space visually to my characters. I have reviewed footage that I have taken on other projects and it is definitely an area I need to work on.
Thank you so much for your kind feedback! I’m really glad and truly excited that you liked my script! 😀 You read the subtext in the play exactly the way I wanted it to be read. I am also happy that I was able to expose the characters effectively… From reading through the lectures, I saw that putting in too many descriptions of characters’ actions and emotions should be sparse, and I deliberately took away a bunch. But, I see so much more subtext that I can put in in terms of actions and body language. Should I leave it the way it is, take some away or add more???
I really appreciate your feedback.
Thank you so much for the detailed response to my film. This was a lot of fun – but very challenging – especially working with kids, older people, and a variety of locations.
I agree that the smallest details require attention. So much is picked up in post, and the more I watch the film, the more I see how it can be improved.
The film was filmed with very basic gear:
- Consumer camera (Panasonic HDC-SD5) – I found this camera very limiting, eg: no viewfinder (only an lcd screen), and all manual controls are within menus – making it very difficult to be creative. But having said that I really wanted to see what I could produce with basic gear.
- I used a wide lens adapter for the scene at 2:36 from an old camera I had lying around – the bayonet was not the right size so I had to make do by holding it in front of the camera.
- I only had one light (fluro) – more would have been better, but at least it helped with the natural light coming in from the windows.
- Editing was done in final cut studio. I did have to color correct it (as best I could – using Color) to try and get the look I desired.
- I see what you mean by the jarring jump cuts at :13 and 1:40 – the funny thing is I edited out a shot of Flynn moving into position at :13, and the boy moving over to Flynn (at 1:40) – obviously this ended up being the wrong decision. This is something I will be more mindful of in the future.
Sound is something I know I really need to get my head around. The camera I have does not have external mic capabilty – so I am quite limited at this stage. I also need to learn a LOT more about sound editing to make better post adjustments.
Depth of field – how I would have loved to be able to achieve a shallow depth of field. I even tried emulating this in FCP in one of the scenes (did you pick up on it?)
While I tried hard to ensure there were no eyeline errors or continuity errors, I can see them as plain as day now that you have pointed them out.
The scene at :27 and :29 was bugging me – now I know why – thanks.
4:28 – now that you mention it it I can see that the primary object should have been a touch higher.
This is one big learning curve I am enjoying.
Are you an existing or former Lights Film School student?
If so, we’d love to hear about your experience and perhaps even share it with others! Feel free to tell us about your studies by contacting us. But first, a few notes to ensure we’re on the same page:
By submitting a testimonial, you’re agreeing that we may choose to publish it, together with your name and any image that you upload using the form, on this website, on such page and in such position as we may determine in our sole discretion. You further agree that we may edit the testimonial and publish edited or partial versions of the testimonial – of course, we will never edit a testimonial in such a way as to create a misleading impression of your views!
Thanks for taking the time to help us paint a picture of Lights Film School for future students.
Looking forward to hearing from you, and happy filmmaking! 🙂
“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 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
“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
“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 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
“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
“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
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We’ll be with you every step of the way, with guidance, community, and resources from beginning to end!