TNMC Film School
Now that you've had a few weeks to absorb my last lesson plan (by which I mean, watch someone else's videos), it's time to give you a second taste of the TNMC Film School. I'm going to stick with new media and point out the staggeringly awesome Creative Screenwriting Podcast.
Okay folks, here's the first entry in an idea I've been kicking around my head for a long time but have never managed to actually get around to doing anything about. As regular readers (both of you) know, I want to make movies. My main interest is in screenwriting but I'm ambitious enough to want to take the reins of an entire film. I've spent some time editing, trying to make music, learning special effects and operating a camera. Every one of those disciplines I leaped into after encountering something that inspired me to try it for myself. That includes countless books, DVDs with great extras, podcasts, websites and even TV shows. I'm going to start going through my personal library to highlight the really useful stuff. Hopefully the other wannabe filmmakers out there will find it useful. And maybe I'll turn a few folks on to the idea of making their own movies.
Now, I'm not going to be doing these in any particular order. So don't think I'm ranking things by what I go with first, last or somewhere in the middle. All I'm saying is that is that I found it useful, helpful or inspirational. You can supply your own rankings if you think that's important. With that said, let's get to it.
The first item in this newly launched faux film school is the internet TV series Film Riot. I've seen lots of videos that tell you how to make movies. Film Riot is different because they don't just show you how to do it. They integrate the techniques into the very fabric of their shows, which provides both context and great entertainment. The very first episode described how to generate the lightsaber effect and phaser blasts. And if you've spent any time on the internet, you have to know that this is not revolutionary information. But Film Riot goes the extra step by making a short film that gives them a funny excuse to use those effects and then backs up to show you how to do it.
It's a well written show with slick production values, two elements that greatly elevate over similar informational material you might find elsewhere. To date they've covered various effects related to guns, teleporting, cloning, car crashes, forced perspective, getting hit with a car, blood, numerous ways to maim or kill someone, lighting, audio, DIY equipment and more. And it's funny as hell.
The show is hosted by Ryan Connolly and features his brother and numerous friends as actors. They make for one fine crew. I've shown their videos to a number of people, who universally come away impressed. Even if you don't have any interest in filmmaking, this could be worth a watch. To be fair though, I've watched a few people's eyes glaze over during the more technical parts of the videos. That's not a criticism, just an indication that it's not for everyone.
That's it for the first class of my new film school. Go study. And by study, I mean watch all the Film Riot episodes. I'll be back soon with another lesson.