4-Week Online Filmmaking Workshop

Learn to Make Short Films from Anywhere

In NYFA’s 4-Week Online Filmmaking workshop, students gain a thorough introduction to the foundations of film craft. Throughout this immersive online workshop, students attend class remotely in an interactive environment, where they will learn from our seasoned faculty of accomplished filmmakers and directors. Many students find the one-month length fits conveniently into their yearly schedules. The workshop is a full-time program with four hours of instruction five days a week and shooting on the weekends.

Workshop Description Workshop Name: 4-Week Online Filmmaking

The 4-Week Online Filmmaking program focuses on how a filmmaker writes, preps for, and directs a short film. Through a series of online lectures and guided exercises, this workshop will cover the tools available to help implement the Director’s vision in the unique narrative structure of the short film they write. Examined in depth, this course covers but is not limited to the necessary elements that make a good scene/story, how a director breaks down the written word into visual shots and creates a point of view, getting good performances from the actors, and designing a visual strategy for their story.

Students participate in a series of lectures, discussions, and in-class screenings to further hone their understanding of the art and craft of directing. This class has a special focus on pre-production and the elements of visual storytelling. A coherent visual approach to each proposed film should be arrived at by course end.

Prerequisites – Because all short-term filmmaking workshops start at the introductory level, no prerequisites are required, nor is any prior experience expected.

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Class Details

Director’s Craft:
The core of the Four-Week Program, Director’s Craft, introduces students to the fundamentals of directing short films. As directors, students will focus on the essentials of visual storytelling. They will learn concepts to help achieve maximum psychological impact by studying the director’s decisions in camera placement, blocking, staging, and visual image design.  

Upon successful completion of this portion of the course, students will be able to create a floor plan, shot list, and shooting schedule.  Demonstrate a basic understanding of the components of designing a shot and creating and directing the dramatic beats in a script.   

Director’s Craft is broken down into subclasses: Directors Craft, Screen & Critique, Directing Actors, Preproduction Meetings, Producing for Directors, and Production Design.


This course is designed to introduce students to the art of cinematography, enabling film directors to make informed choices.  In addition to introducing the students to the principles of photography as applied to the moving image, it will also cover fundamental lighting techniques. Students learn how to support the story with appropriate lighting choices. This includes the use of practical lighting sources such as lamps, flashlights, and china balls in a safe and creative manner.


This area of study presents students with multiple aesthetic approaches to editing moving images. Students will learn how to apply concepts such as temporal continuity and spatial and emotional continuity.  Not purely technical, this course will also discuss the psychological and emotional effects of editing on the overall story. 

Additionally, students will learn to operate DaVinci Resolve editing software that they will use to edit their own exercises. 

Open Edit is a time set aside for the students to edit their own footage under the virtual guidance of their Editing instructor. 

Editing is broken down into 3 subclasses: Theory of Editing, Working with DaVinci Resolve, Sound Design in DaVinci, and Intro to Color Correction.


The Screenwriting portion of the course adheres to the philosophy that good directing cannot occur without a well-written script. The course is designed to lay the foundational understanding of dramatic structure, which is essential to writing an engaging script. 

Also included in the course is writing a treatment and logline, developing plot lines, screenplay format, and creating believable characters with complete narrative arcs.


Sound Design:
This film course introduces the student to the world of sound design, detailing the process of sound design by providing concepts, technical information, and examples of how sound is used in cinema.

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Times and Breakdown by WeekSessions: Two 2-hour classes each day.

This workshop consists of two 2-hour classes per day Monday-Friday, for the entire four weeks (80 total hours).

All classes are scheduled for 12pm-2pm and 3pm-5pm EST.

Total Course Hours = 80

Weekly Breakdown:

  • Week 1: Intro to the Language of Cinema
    • Practicum: Mis-en-scene
  • Week 2: Continuity and Shot Design
    • Practicum: Continuity Exercise
  • Week 3: Elements of Story, Pacing & Rhythm
    • Practicum: Music & Montage Exercise
  • Week 4: Putting it all together
    • Practicum: Polished cut of Music & Montage Exercise OR Continuity

Program and Software Requirements

This course requires the following software and equipment:

  • DaVinci Resolve (free download)
  • Laptop or desktop computer with minimum specs for editing with DaVinci Resolve 16
  • Smartphone with a camera
  • FiLMiC Pro App for mobile cinematography (approximately $14.99)

Suggested Resources
As students in the filmmaking classes work with large files and software that may require minimum technical specifications, we ask that all incoming students review our recommended resources:

  • External hard drive (optional, costs $30-$200)


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