8-Week Online Filmmaking Workshop

Learn How to Create Short Films

NYFA’s 8-Week Online Filmmaking workshop is designed to teach the process of creating short films. In this dynamic workshop, aspiring visual storytellers or experienced filmmakers who wish to brush up on their skills can learn how to produce their own original content. Students attend class remotely in an interactive and immersive environment, where they will learn from our seasoned faculty of accomplished filmmakers and directors.

Workshop Description Workshop Name: 8-Week Online Filmmaking

The 8-Week Online Filmmaking Workshop challenges students to produce five films over a period of two months and offers the best of all worlds: focused learning with working industry experts and the opportunity to make a fully-realized final film.

The program is divided between online classes, consultations, and the production by each student of a series of short films of increasing difficulty. Following the production and post-production of each film, students screen their work for their classmates and instructors, engaging in critique and discussion.

The first month of the program is dedicated to laying the foundational skills necessary for effective and compelling filmmaking. It is during this intensive period the first four film exercises are completed.

During the second month of the program, each student writes, directs, and edits a final film of up to ten minutes. Students have a pre-production period to cast, scout locations, plan their final films, and meet with instructors for a one-on-one consultation.

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

NYFA also offers the possibility to learn filmmaking from anywhere through a variety of online filmmaking workshops.

To learn more, request more information.

Class Details

Director’s Craft:
The core of this Filmmaking Program, Director’s Craft, introduces students to the fundamentals of directing a film. 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. They will also be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the components of designing a shot and creating and directing the dramatic beats in a script.

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.

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 and screenplay format, creating believable characters with complete narrative arcs, and writing effective dialogue.

Sound Design:
This film course introduces the student to the world of sound design and sound recording, detailing the process of sound design by providing concepts, technical information, and equipment demonstration.

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Times and Breakdown by Week

This workshop consists of two 2-hour classes per day Monday-Friday, for the first four weeks (80 total hours). In the remaining four weeks, there is one 2-hour class per day (40 total hours). Some days during the second month will be dedicated to self-guided preparation, shooting, and editing with no scheduled classes.

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

Total Course Hours = 120

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

Weeks 4: Understanding Dialogue & Directing the Performance

  • Practicum: Subtext Exercise

Weeks 5-8: Preproduction, Production, and Post Production Final Film

  • Practicum: Final Film
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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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