I made my first feature on barely a 5-figure budget, and now the tools to make it happen are even better. (Have you seen the image quality that a Canon 5D or 7D can produce?) There's no excuse to not get your movie made, and it's always wise to arm yourself with the proper knowledge.
If you're in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend attending this series of classes this upcoming Sunday. Brought to you by two excellent filmmakers and instructors, Mark Stolaroff and Tom Provost, you really can't go wrong. Mark runs the acclaimed No Budget Film School; and Tom wrote and directed an exciting new indie film called The Presence, starring Mira Sorvino, Justin Kirk, and Shane West.
Here's what Mark has to say about the event:
I'm going to be presenting an all-new class I'm calling "Cinema Language." A departure from my traditional class, which focuses on how to make a film for no-money, Cinema Language is a class I've always wanted to teach. Too many times students take my classes with no real knowledge of the art of the motion picture. Yes, I offer tips on how to make their films better, (and I believe that the creative process is furthered by embracing the limitations that filmmakers naturally face when they make a film for little or no money), but I don't teach how to use the creative tools of cinema to tell your story--how all the facets of the medium can be used to articulate what you want to "say" as a filmmaker. I learned a bit of this in film school and a little went a long way, but we were so caught up in the technical aspects that we didn't get to concentrate on these very important tenets of filmmaking. The beauty of these powerful ideas is that they can be applied to any film at any budget. Even if you're only spending $1000 on your film, you're going to be pointing your camera at something. Wouldn't you want to know how and when and where and why you're doing it? If your understanding of cinema language before this class is the equivalent of "See Spot run," then your grasp of the language afterwards will be, "To be or not to be."
I don't have the expertise to really teach this kind of class effectively, so I've found someone who does. My good friend Tom Provost is a popular instructor and an accomplished editor, writer, and director. He's been teaching similar courses on film language for years all across the country, and he's come up with new material for the morning session that I'm calling Course 103: "Mastering Film Grammar." In it he will explore the colors, shots, shapes, symbols, lines, shadows, and sounds that prompt specific emotions and make up the extremely visual and aural art that is the motion picture. Over 100 clips and screen shots from various movies will be used to illustrate and illuminate. And just like in school, there'll be homework, but the good kind. Attendees will be asked to watch Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious and Bob Fosse's All That Jazz before coming to class so those films can be explored in more depth.
In the afternoon, Tom will be teaching Course 204: "From Script To Screen." Here students will have the rare opportunity to see just how a film goes from the words on a page to the final motion picture on the screen. For homework students will read the first act of Tom's new feature The Presence, (starring Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino), then we'll watch the film in class, (which is an extra bonus, since the film won't be out until early next year). A detailed and candid discussion will follow as Tom breaks down the process of getting from the written word to what audiences finally see. This insider's look at the filmmaking process includes "what went wrong" and the typical compromises that every filmmaker has to face when making their film.
Just visit the event page and use the discount code HUFF to receive a discount off the regular prices:
I hope to see many of you there!
If you're in LA this Sunday, check out Cinema Language. Mark and Tom are good dudes, and you'll be glad you did.
Follow Abe Schwartz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AbeSchwartz