PLEASE READ EVERYTHING BELOW BEFORE PURCHASING
Filmmaking from the First Directors teaches the basics of filmmaking and early film history. It takes students through a unique journey starting in the late 19th century when film was invented, then guides them through the steps first directors took in creating the modern language of film. Each lesson includes watching a series of lectures on history and production basics then viewing original films. Assignments will include making a variety of short films which will be uploaded for class comments and review. The goal of the class is to teach students how to make films one step at a time.
This class is taught by Thomas Purifoy, Jr., producer, director and writer of Modern Parables, Seek Social Justice, and Economics for Everybody. He has produced a variety of dramatic and documentary shorts, and is a student of film history. He believes merging these two areas is the perfect way to learn how to make films.
A few things to note:
- This is a "Class in Progress" which means that only the early lessons are ready and additional lessons will be added every week during the fall. After the first lesson, assignments will get progressively more difficult and hence take more time to complete. As a result, students should not worry about getting too far ahead before later classes are complete. If this concerns you, however, then just wait until next semester to take the class when it is complete.
- This is a "Beta" class which means you'll be one of the first people to take it. Beta classes have glitches and bugs which will be fixed along the way. There shouldn't be many, but there will be some. On the bright side, you'll be able to make recommendations on a weekly basis that will be used to adjust the class to make it most effective for students. The special introductory pricing reflects this.
- Some of the later lessons could change in terms of order and content, although all the items listed here (and much more) will be covered.
- There are no grades in this class. It is simply pass/fail based on completing all the work. (It's more like real life where no one gives you a grade for the films you make.)
- This is a class for people wanting to learn how to make films. It is not a film appreciation class. It is about the practical basics of filmmaking.
- Thomas will not be reviewing every assignment in class, but will keep tabs on each student and review their major assignments. This class isn't about getting Thomas' opinions on a student's abilities, but about making sure students understand the technical and artistic basics of filmmaking.
Once You Purchase:
We will send you a special invitation to the online class portal. This could take 24 hours (or more if you purchase on a weekend). Don't be nervous if you don't get something automatically.
Students will have online access for one year to finish the class. They can progress through lessons at their own pace.
- First Light:Documenting Life - Lumiere Brothers/Edison - Light, Cameras, Action - Film a Single Action
- A Magical Story - George Melies - Narrative Story, Script - Write Basic Script
- Editing Two Actions - Edwin S. Porter - Continuity editing - Film/Edit Story with Continuity
- The Camera Speaks - D.W. Griffith - Interframe narrative - Film/Edit Action Scene
- Running Together - D.W. Griffith - Parallel Action - Film/Edit Simultaneous Action
- Internal Narrative - D.W. Griffith - Lighting & Camera Movement - Moving Camera Scene
- The Actors - D.W. Griffith - Acting - Film Actors
- Feature Films - D.W. Griffith - Structure of Feature Film - Write a feature film Treatment
- Laughing Out Loud - Charlie Chaplin - Nature of Comedy - Write a funny scene
- Building Humor - Charlie Chaplin - Structure of Comedy - Film a funny scene
- Big Sets - Buster Keaton - Sequence Shots and Setup - Film a funny stunt scene
- Depth of Meaning - The French Directors - Mise-en-scene composition - Film with depth of field
- Montage of Meaning - Sergei Eisenstein - Montage - Film/edit montage sequence
- Documenting Life - Robert Flaherty - Understanding Documentary - Shoot a short documentary
- The Nature of Genre - Various - Western, Crime, Drama, etc. - Choose a genre and shoot a short film
Format: The class is available via an online classroom and includes pre-recorded lectures, complete films online, and things to read. This class is not tied to a certain weekly day or time, but can be taken at the student's speed.
Equipment required: Digital Video Camera, Tripod, Computer with Editing Software, Internet Connection