Do you want to learn how to make movies? Are you looking for a free film school? Ever wanted to learn how to shoot videos?
Look no further.
Parents, please read the content warning for this course.
The Production-Now.com Filmmaking 101 course is a free 36-week online film program that will introduce you to everything from writing to editing, sound effects to special effects, documentaries, dramas, animation and more. Check out the Filmmaking 101: Scope & Sequence to see all the video projects and assignments you'll be doing for this free film program.
Ready to get started on your movie making journey?
Is this course right for you or your children?
Like all of Production-Now.com, this Filmmaking 101 course is designed for young and/or poor filmmakers. This class is great for families with young children who want to shoot videos together, teens who are interested in beginning their movie making experience, or anyone who's not sure where to get started with film practice.
I accomplish this by sticking to the following values:
- You only need cheap/free tools.
- Your lessons are based on practice, not accomplishment.
- You produce many small projects that build on each other.
Each lesson encourages your student to be involved in the process of creating a video. Your child will encounter all three stages of production over and over again: pre-production, production, and post-production. With each project, your student will have an opportunity to apply the skills they've already practiced to their next assignment.
I've noticed that classroom/lecture based education focuses on accomplishment. Teachers provide feedback based on how the student is doing right now. Grades mirror the student's ability to meet specific criteria on a pre-defined timetable. That doesn't impress me. In contrast, this beginning film making curriculum gives your student something to try, and then rewards them for their effort. Because so much of movie production is learned through doing, the key to this program is that your student is practicing. How well their videos turn out isn't really the point. They'll have plenty of time to create even better films in the near future.
I'm convinced that, especially if you're still getting started, you do not need fancy equipment to make movies. In fact, as you'll see in some of the Filmmaking 101 lessons, I encourage you not to use certain tools even if you have access to them. Trying to do too much right at the start can be overwhelming and disappointing if you haven't mastered the basics or the knowledge required to properly benefit from your resources. So, you only need three things for this course. Keep reading, or click here for a list of the tools you'll need.
Is this course right for you? If you are a:
- Parent of younger students
- Adult who can carve some time from your schedule
- Or anyone interested in filmmaking
Keep in mind, if your child is under 13 years of age, you will need to create a family YouTube channel to comply with their terms. Also, please take a minute to read the content warning for this course. This course is great for pre-teen students, but you--as a parent--will need to be more involved in the curriculum.
Meet your mentor:
My name is Luke Holzmann.
I studied Motion Picture Production at a private university and graduated with the "Best Independent Filmmaker" award. Over the years I have
- founded my own film company
- produced almost a dozen educational DVDs
- assisted aspiring filmmakers through film school
- moderated an online forum for students who want to learn about media production
- provided individualized training to beginning editors
- and launched Production-Now.com
Film school cost me $100,000... and while I think that is an excellent path to take if given the opportunity, you may not be at a place where you want to fork over that kind of cash. It's also possible that you're a little young for college right now.
I've taken 36 of the most important introduction to movie making assignments I've done, and am now offering them to you for free. You will watch a brief "lecture"--more like a pep talk with a little bit of instruction thrown in--and then go off to work on your project. The course it set up to be completed a week at a time, but if you get ahead--or you have to go on a family vacation for a couple weeks in the middle--you can go at our own pace. I won't mind.
Get started with your first free film school lesson now:
Sounds too good to be true
Most things that sound too good to be true, probably are. So, let me break this down for you:
- This is a Filmmaking 101 course. You will not likely become the next big Hollywood director by taking this one program. This is an introduction to movie making that will help you learn the basics of video production, but you will not receive super specialized instruction. Instead, you will be exposed to the wonderful and varied world of movie making. I hope this class will inspire you to practice and learn more about video production.
- This is an online class. You will have very little--if any--direct contact from me or other students. This is a self-driven course, and you will get out of it only as much as you put in. I have carefully selected the projects for you to work on, but if you slack off, I'm not going to dock you any points. This is both a blessing and a curse: You can go at your own pace, if you choose.
- Making movies is hard work. Some people claim that it's quick and easy to shoot videos. And while it's true that technology has made it incredibly easy to start your filmmaking journey, producing great videos takes time and effort. This Filmmaking 101 program will get your started making movies by giving you a bunch of projects to work on over the next 36 weeks.
Think you're up for it?
What you will need for this online class:
I've seen fantastic free tutorials that teach some really cool aspects of video production, but they all require highly specialized equipment and software that costs more money than I have laying around. I've created this class with young and poor filmmakers in mind. I know what it's like to have almost no film equipment. This is a free movie making program, but you will need:
- A computer with an internet connection. The faster your internet connection, the better. You will be watching the lessons online and even doing some video work over the internet.
- A video camera that connects to the computer. It doesn't matter if it's a cell phone or the newest HD camera on the market... you just need to be able to get the footage off the camera and onto your computer so you can edit it.
- A YouTube Account. This is free. I would appreciate it if you would upload your completed assignments to YouTube so you can share them with others who take this course. I'll make sure you know how to post your projects as "Video Responses" so everyone can see your work.
Optional (but recommended):
Ready to get started? Register for the class below.
Parents, please read the content warning for this course.
Still not sure if you want to register?
I understand. It can be scary signing up for something and giving away your email.
Rest assured, I don't want to spam you. I created this free video making class to help you. Sending you junk email or selling your information doesn't appeal to me at all.
For now, I recommend you browse through all the things you're going to learn in the Filmmaking 101: Scope & Sequence. Check out a few of the videos and see if it's something you want to commit to. If not, don't sign up.
It's that simple.
Don't want to sign up, but still want to learn how to make movies? You are more than welcome to "audit" the Production-Now.com Filmmaking 101 class. Just hop over to the blog and start working!
Filmmaking 101 Note to Parents
The Production-Now.com Filmmaking 101 course contains content that requires maturity to handle. The worst--to lay it all out there--is the Wired article "Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem." Also note that throughout the course I reference R-rated movies. While I never show R-rated scenes, some of the sequences I link to in the “What to Watch” section at the end of each lesson contain mild profanity and other content you may find objectionable.
The easiest solution is, of course, to make the "What to Watch" portion of this course off limits to your student. That’s not going to hurt my feelings. (You may also want to steer clear of the user submitted video samples.)
If your student is older--around high school age--I highly recommend you work through this content with them. As aspiring filmmakers, they will almost assuredly encounter far worse in their studies and development of their skills. The Christian filmmaking bubble is expanding, but it is still small and largely insignificant. And I pray, if film making is his or her path, that your student will become a major contributor to the media world, sharing Christ’s love and redemption through the work he or she is blessed to create.
But it's more than just a lack of a big enough Christian bubble. I believe your student will eventually need to learn to approach such content with wisdom and discernment. I believe holiness is something we become as we draw closer to Christ, not as we shrink further and further from the world around us. As Christians, I believe our goal should be to become the kind of people who can walk into ever darker situations to shine the love and light of Christ.
Christ was mocked by the religious of His day as a friend of sinners. May the same be said of your children.
Media and the arts consistently push the envelope and offer an alluring cocktail of sin and vice and power. Best they learn how to stay near Christ now with your leadership and modeling.
There's another side to the maturity your students will need: The maturity to stick with their projects. Filmmaking is demanding, time-consuming work. This course requires your students to do a lot and push themselves to produce quality work. It is easy to slack off, but doing so will not warrant good results. If your student is not driven to go above and beyond the bare minimum, this may not be the film program for them.
Again, I ask that you at least preview the content for your student. Better yet, be involved in the content with them. If you take the time to participate with them, you will have the opportunity to be there to nudge them closer to Christ while they gain skills and insights into a powerful medium for sharing His love.
-- Back Up to Register --
Assignment 1: One Take Wonder-- back to top --
Assignment 2: The Bits of Difference
Assignment 3: Shadows Prove the Light
Assignment 4: The Fat Lady Sings
Assignment 5: Tell Me a Story
Assignment 6: It's All in the Cards
Assignment 7: Scripts, Props, and Cast
Assignment 8: Pencil and Paper
Assignment 9: Run and Gun
Assignment 10: The Assembly Line
Assignment 11: Slasher
Assignment 12: Face the Music
Assignment 13: Shooting Spree
Assignment 14: Relive the Moment
Assignment 15: Breathe Life onto Paper
Assignment 16: Trashing to the Trailer
Assignment 17: Talk to the Camera
Assignment 18: Keep In Interesting
Assignment 19: For Posterity
Assignment 20: The Sound of Silence
Assignment 21: Make Yourself Useful
Assignment 22: Pass the Time
Assignment 23: Real Time
Assignment 24: The “Good Parts”
Assignment 25: Set the Mood
Assignment 26: Cut to the Chase
Assignment 27: Movies and Machines
Assignment 28: The Cell in the Shell
Assignment 29: Selling Out
Assignment 30: Faking Life and Death
Assignment 31: Modern Ancient Stories
Assignment 32: Finding the Time
Assignment 33: Principal Photography
Assignment 34: Deadline Deadlock
Assignment 35: Encore
Assignment 36: Fin