Review: Online Christian Filmmakers Academy

In my early post-college days, some of my friends started a production company and began making movies.  They had talent and creativity, screened several of their films at festivals, and won some awards.   My Husky/German shepherd dog and I got to be an extra in a couple of films, and my interest was piqued about the process.   Fifteen+ years later, I find myself shooting videos once or twice a week, for business purposes.  When the opportunity arose to review the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy, by Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc., I jumped at it!   I was given twelve months of access to the program.


Learning to make movies is not an easy process, and is often accomplished by going to school somewhere, or meeting someone who will take you under their wing and train you.   The founders of the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy decided to make it more accessible, and put together a series of videos designed to take you step by step through the production process.   I worked through this program as an adult, but it would be suitable for a teenager as well.  It would also be a super fun family project!!

This course currently contains 5 different modules.  Module 1 covers the camera and includes such topics as DSLR and Lenses, Frame Rate, ISO and Shutter Speed, and Tripods and Camera Support.  Each video is an average of 6 minutes long.  I like that the information is presented in nice, bite-sized pieces.  That allows for you to watch a video when you have a few minutes, instead of having to set aside hours of time.   The organization of the topics also allows you to drill down into a certain topic, if you have a particular question or interest.

Module 2 explores cinematography, also known as the art of lighting.  I was particularly interested in this section, because lighting for videos and photographs has been a struggle for me.   Topics include color temp & white balance, hard vs soft light, types of lights, lighting accessories, using lights, 3 & 4 point lighting, painting with light, framing, and outdoor lighting.  There is a lot of info packed into this module!   Each video in this module is an average of 9 minutes long.

Module 3 is all about sound and covers topics like Sound Equipment, the microphone, field recorders, location recording, and ADR and Foley (recording sound later).   These videos are an average of 6 minutes each.

Pre-Production is the topic of Module 4, aka Planning ahead!!   Topics include crafting the story, writing the screenplay, paperwork, and assembling the team.  You’ll see an average of 8 minutes per video here.

Lastly, Module 5 is all about production.  It’s finally time to shoot!   This module covers the crew, set hierarchy, etiquette, directing, the slate, and filming step by step.  These videos, averaging 8 minutes each, round out the course.

The modules will each conclude with a quiz, allowing you to “grade” your students, if you so desire!

I love how thorough the videos are; they truly walk you through step by step.  I am surprised that editing and post-production wasn’t covered.  Perhaps those videos are coming!  I would love to see them, because editing is another area where I need help!

You can get started with the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy by following that link!   Through Nov 30 2016, you can save $100 on the course by using the code FALLCREW16.  That will bring the cost of the course down to $199.

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Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}