There is no better place to learn film production than the Southland, and by far the best schools in the world are in our backyard. Filmmaking is a complicated and intricate process. Talented acting and a fat budget is not enough. Pulling it all together takes a collage of practical and creative skills. To make a marketable film, or movie, is no easy task and producers are hungry for people who have what it takes. Whether one wishes for just an introduction or is ready for a degree, these five choices offer the best filmmaking classes anywhere.
Echo Park Film Center
1200 N. Alvarado St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
The Echo Park Film Center is an excellent starting point for potential filmmakers with class fees under $100, in most cases. The center was established in 2002 and has become a meeting place for filmmakers of all ages and experience. Love of film is the only requirement. Making your own movie on any budget is made possible with the affordable adult workshops. For seniors and youth, there are many offerings available at no cost. The best takeaway from the center is gaining a good idea about whether a filmmaking career is for you. If not, the learning experience will be valuable for a lifetime. If so, you will have a strong sense of direction as you move forward.
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The Los Angeles Film School
6363 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Located in the heart of the filmmaking capitol of the world, the Los Angeles Film School is unparalleled in its scope. Experienced and accomplished instructors impart their practical experience and knowledge in a dynamic learning environment. Students learn ‘industry-standard techniques’ with industry-standard professional equipment. The iconic building, once the home of RCA Records, is a Southland landmark. Its associate of science degree programs are more than a first step to a career in the still growing and evolving entertainment film industry. From cinematography to directing and from film theory to screenwriting, credit classes apply directly to real world employment.
New York Film Academy – LA
Hands-on Intensive Evening Producing Workshop
4444 Lakeside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
With locations worldwide, the New York Film Academy’s workshops focus on real-world application using hands-on learning. The academy balances film as art with practical film production. An introductory class, Producer’s Craft, covers film and television production. Understanding all of the stakeholders is essential for individual success. Unions, guilds, producers, actors, talent agencies and many more all play a role in any film’s success. Other classes, as the curriculum continues, offer learning in every possible aspect of filmmaking and in any artistic form. ‘Lights, camera, action…’ echoes from the past, and this film school drives forward with emerging technology and a strong awareness of industry trends.
AFI Directing Workshop for Women
American Film Institute
2021 N. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Female film directors have an earned proven track record, and with the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women program, the future is opening wide with opportunity. At the heart of the program is mentoring in order to advance ‘women working professionally’ in film. After a rigorous selection process, students are required to produce a short film, need to have three years of experience in ‘the arts’ and will raise funds for their project. There is no tuition for the program. Established in 1974, over 250 women have participated with approximately 25 percent becoming professional directors of film and other media. Classes cover all elements needed to successfully create a marketable film.
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UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
225 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
UCLA’s UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television brings academics to the art of film to ‘enlighten, engage and inspire’ our world. Steeped in creativity, students learn the practical aspects of the performing arts, but the program goes far beyond that in order to produce film industry leaders. The short list of alumni honors and awards includes Golden Globes, Tonys, Oscars and Emmys. Successful students can expect the best possible entry-level opportunities. The university’s recognition from around the world is a direct result of its quality graduates.
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