This class provides students with a hands-on introduction to digital film production and the basic tools: camera, composition, scripting, lighting editing, crew roles and how to work as a team. Although the scope is introductory and basic, the approach is professional and the goal is to learn filmmaking the way it is done in the industry.
This is a project-driven class: we learn so that we can “do”. Each student will have the opportunity to shoot and edit a simple solo project (1-2 min), and work on a larger group project (3-4 minutes). Film is a visual medium and students will develop skill as visual storytellers by approaching these films without dialogue or synced sound. Music and sound effects are added in editing.
The class uses a 50-50 split between gaining technical skills and artistic experience. On the technical side, students learn to work the buttons and knobs on the camera; on the creative side, they learn how the camera “sees” and how to compose the frame to communicate the story and point-of-view. In class, and through readings, homework assignments, and the film projects, students learn the basic steps of the entire production process: generating creative ideas, treatments, the pitch, scripts, storyboards, crewing, casting, “the shoot,” and finally--cutting it together. They screen roughcuts and learn how to give useful and supportive feedback.
Fundamentals of Filmmaking is appropriate for people interested in all types of filmmaking including narrative, documentary, music videos, corporate videos, personal/experimental work, and projects for the web. Storytelling is the common thread in all. Typically, the class spans both beginners who have never touched a camera to those proficient with their own DSLR’s, alongside some folks working in the industry who want to fill in gaps in their knowledge or recharge their creative juices. The class can serve as a stand-alone introduction to the basics, or as a springboard for other production classes at the Seattle Film Institute. Tuition includes the textbook, and use of cameras, lights, and editing equipment. A refundable equipment deposit for checking out equipment is the responsibility of the student.