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Learn Digital Filmmaking

Here’s the Course Syllabus from a class I taught at U.C.L.A. in about 2000, The Art of Digital Filmmaking. Just think of all the stuff you could have learned if you took this course. Happy
 
As I am continually asked questions about all kinds of things in the realm of indie filmmaking and though I don't usually hock my stuff but if you want to read a good book about the reality and the how-to of Independent Filmmaking you should check out my book, Independent Filmmaking Secrets of the Craft.


Course Syllabus X 479.94

The Art of Digital Filmmaking
Instructor: Dr. Scott Shaw
 
1. Class Topic: Defining Digital Filmmaking. Discussion on the evolution of video and video filmmaking. Discussion of and defining Digital Video Equipment.
Assignment: Each participant will obtain some information about DV (Digital Video) to be presented to the class in the next session.
 
2. Class Topic: Digital Film Financing. The cost of creating the DV feature. Where to obtaining financing. The structure of the DV budget.
Assignment: Create a DV filming budget and proposal to send to investor.
 
3. Class Topic: Public Relations. How to market the DV feature before, during, and after production.
Assignment: Design a PR and marketing plan for a DV feature.
 
4. Class Topic: Distributing the DV feature. What avenues of distribution are available for the DV feature: distributors, magazines, the Internet. What type of financial compensation can be expected.
 
Assignment: Write a letter to a distributor detailing the reasons why they should acquire your DV feature.
 
5. Class Topic: Screenplay Creation. The dynamics of screenwriting for the DV feature -- what unique elements to take into consideration.
Assignment: Write a short screenplay, applicable to a DV short.
 
6. Class Topic: Casting. How to cast a DV feature. The viability of using union or nonunion talent. What to expect from the Dramalogue/Backstage West talent pool.
Assignment: Create a casting notice.
 
7. Class Topic: Staging the DV shoot. An analysis of locating a DV shoot -- where to film and why. Is there a necessity for shooting permits.
Assignment: Define three locations which are ideal to shoot the DV feature at and why.
 
8. Class Topic: Lighting and Sound for the DV feature. A detailed analysis of how to light, why to light, and how to create the right sound environment for the DV feature.
Assignment: Design a Story Board for a DV shoot.
 
9. Class Topic: Post Production. An analysis of editing equipment available to the DV filmmaker. The positive and negative traits of each method of editing. Methods and logic for adding sound track and foley.
Assignment: Find out about which DV editing method is most appropriate and useful to you and your project. Present your reasoning to the class.
 
10. Class Topic: DV Shoot. The last preparation before the students go out and make their DV shorts.

Shooting Weekend: Go out and create a DV Short. Cameras provided by the department.
 
11. Class Topic: The DV Edit. Edit and Sound Track the DV Short.
Assignment: Define an edit technique and why it works with the type of feature you have created.
 
12. Class Topic: Viewing the DV shorts.
 
Grading: Grading is based on class attendance, which is essential, and on the completion of short assignments given at the end of each class. All Grades are Final.