We are currently offering a 7 Weekend Intensive in Producing and Directing for Motion Pictures, Festival-Level Shorts, Music Videos and Commercials.
We are the Number One rated Film School in Northern California:
Our Berkeley Film School was recently rated by The Wrap magazine, in Hollywood, as the 20th Best Film School in the United States, based upon input from 500 film industry professionals in Los Angeles. Looking at those Top 20 Film Schools the Berkeley Digital Film Institute was the only narrative fiction feature film school in Northern California to make the Top 20, which made it:
The #1 narrative fiction film school in all of Northern California. https://www.thewrap.com/top-50-film-schools-ranked/
Students who have taken this course have been admitted to the Master's Degree Programs at The American Film Institute, USC, UCLA, NYU, and The School of Visual Arts in New York, and are currently working in hundreds of film industry- and TV industry-related jobs in the US.
Syllabus for The Seven-Weekends Intensive in Producing/Directing for Film and Television:
This 7 Weekends Intensive is designed to help bring you immediately up to speed about the current state of the art in Producing and Directing for Low Budget Features, "High Television" (HBO/Showtime/Netflix), Festival Shorts, Music Videos and Commercials.
We call it "The First 100 Things you Need to Know to Produce and Direct your film; the first 100 Authentic Priorities."
It works in 4 main modules to enable you to Produce and Direct your own work, and therefore, have more control your own destiny in the business.
The 4 modules are: The Nuts and Bolts of Producing and Directing,
Cinematography for Directors and Producers,
Screenwriting at the Los Angeles level, and the
Preproduction; Production; and Editing Process.
The classes will cover everything you need to know to prepare and to complete one small film, including all of these elements:
The conceptual-, visionary-, and intellectual property development of the script;
The nuts-and-bolts of line producing and directing on set;
The art of acquiring locations;
Auditioning for, casting; and rehearsing actors;
The role of the Director and Producer in the cinematography of the film;
Controlling the edit during post production;
Finding the target investor/film festival for the asset; and
How to use YouTube and social media tools in the promotion of the asset.
This class is also designed to accomodate people who have had no prior formal film education; it assumes and requires no prior knowledge and begins from square one.
Classes will be conducted from 10 am to 5 pm, on Saturdays, for the 7 weekends, and will emulate a total immersion in the "Los Angeles" style of feature film and "high television" content creation.
The price of this 7 weekends intensive is $ 999.
Our students have had their first films accepted in over 100 film festivals, and have won 11 of those. We are very proud of them.
Producing and Directing 1 Vision 1.0
This class will look inside the mind of producers and directors, and explore the process of the creation of a major motion picture from the first thousandth of a second of inspiration and insight, through the creation of:
"The Vision Thing: The Inception and Development" of the original Idea;
the key concept: "Trusting Your Intuition and Your Worldview" in the pre production and script development phases;
the concept of "Surrounding Yourself with Your Influences" during the early on development phase;
the concept of "Surrounding Yourself with Your Loved Ones" during all of the phases of production and how to bring out the best in your team;
pre production and production processes of " Finding Locations, Selecting a Team and a Cast, how to to Control a Crew and a Cast"; and
"How to Call the Shots in the Post Production phase".
Essentially, the class will attempt to provide insight into when to retain complete control on a production, and when to surrender to the larger production process and the team around you.
Your Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, you will be able to do basic pre-production, production, and post-production of a single 3 minute narrative asset, and able to Audition, Cast, Rehearse and Direct actors in a narrative fiction setting.
And be able to shoot "coverage" in the traditional Hollywood style, matching the film industry’s expectations for traditional long form and short form narrative camera coverage.
A Typical Class is composed of the following elements:
One to two hours of Directing and/or Producing: New Material.
One to two hours of Critique of ongoing projects.
1.1 The First Class: Orientation to Producing and Directing 1
1.2 The Vision Thing:
Role of the Director on a Feature: What does a director actually do?
The Vision Thing: The Inception of the Idea
Trusting Your Intuition and Your Worldview
Surrounding Yourself with Your Influences
Surrounding Yourself with Your Loved Ones
How Does a Director Develop a Script, Find Locations,
Select a Team and Control a Crew and a Cast? And
How Does a Director call the shots in Post Production?
1.3 Story Structure
What makes a great film? Why do people go to films? Which films get discovered? Why are the major studios always wrong on audience?
A Show of Student Work created by former students of this program.
Pitch Session 1: 2 hours
Students pitch 3 ideas for a 3 to 5 page narrative..
One is selected to move forward for development as Project One.
1.4 Securing a Location / Locations Protocols
How to find locations and how to secure them.
Permits/Our Insurance Policy.
Pitch Session 2: Ideas Selected for First Draft Finalized.
1.5 Casting Level 1
Casting Call Protocols at CYL Films.
Where to find actors in the Bay Area, and how to treat them.
Analysis of “organic blocking”: Rehearsing in the Location Space.
Blocking in rehearsal, and blocking on location.
1.6 Coverage 1: The Frame: Shot size and Framing
Coverage of two people seated:
Framing one shot
Positive and Negative Space
Composition: From Left to Right
Shot Size and Meaning
Headroom and Margin
The Concept of Dynamic Headroom
Producing and Directing your Crew 1
Directing: Discuss Crew positions and responsibilities 1.0
Producing: The Pre-Production Meeting Environment
1.7 Coverage 2: Matching: Script Analysis for “Pairs of Shots”
Dialogue scenes in Features are shot in “Pairs of Shots”
Coverage of “The 180 Degree Rule”
The “Axis of Intimacy” and “The Eye Plane”
The “First shot” choice: The Beauty Shot
Choosing a side to begin on: Awareness of your Background
Matching Eye Levels
Lens choice: “The Sweet Spot”
Camera Distance to subject
Depth of Field as an artistic choice
Foreground, Midground, and Background planes
Continue discussion and viewing of examples from Lecture 1.2
The Reaction Shot 1.0: The Eyes are the Window to The Soul
All shot choices are driven by script intensity and physicality
Matching hands, props and action
The Art Direction of your Background
Matching Background/Atmosphere for continuity
Foreground, Midground, and Background:
Crossing Action: Thickening the shot
Producing and Directing your Crew 2
Directing: Discuss Crew positions and responsibilities 2.0
Producing: The Production Meeting Environment
The Work of Current Directors
These are some of the films and television clips which will be shown as examples:
Glengarry Glen Ross
Kill Bill 1 and 2
Lord of the Rings 1, 2, and 3
My So Called Life
Shakespeare in Love
Up in the Air