Josiah has been making crazy videos for years. Of course, most of those videos are of nostril shots and jiggly frames of action figures. As he’s gotten older he’s taken a more measured approach and I see great videos (sans nostril shots) ahead. Recently, I was thrilled when we were given the chance to review the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy from Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc.
The Online Christian Filmmakers Academy is an instructional course intended to help the user create quality videos without leaving the comfort of his or her home and house slippers. It is taught by Ken and Zack Lawrence (father and son) who have years of film making experience. We got access to the lessons for 12 months. The course is intended to take a year so I plan on taking full advantage of all of it.
The course is made up of five learning models:
Module 1: The Camera – Students are introduced to the DSLR camera, a variety of lenses, shutter speed and more. There are even instructions for a PVC shoulder rig camera support. How fun!
Module 2: Cinematography - Discusses types of lighting, using the lighting equipment and framing.
Module 3: Sound – Introduces sound equipment such as external microphones and much more. There is also a lesson on what to do when things go wrong or you can’t capture good sound.
Module 4: Pre Production – There is a lot in this module! Screenwriting, assembling the right team…even creating a budget.
Module 5: Production – Here you learn how to put it all together. It also teaches proper etiquette on the set.
The modules are broken down into video lessons. The lessons are a variety in length. I saw lessons that lasted just a few minutes. Then there were those that lasted just over 20 minutes. The lessons are also checked off as they are viewed. I worried that we wouldn't be able to go back and review anything we've missed, but never fear! It is super easy to go back and view any lessons you wish to review again. Or you can go forward to any lesson that strikes your fancy. I did that while looking through the lessons for the purpose of this review.
There are quizzes to take after the lessons. This is to see how much you’ve learned and how much you might need to back and review before going on to the next module.
How We Used It
This is the deal. We don’t own a DSLR camera or any kind of camcorder, but it is my intention to purchase one soon. This review couldn’t come at a better time. There is so much information on how to make great videos using a DSLR. We have made plenty of little videos on our little point and shoot camera. I’m excited to see what more Josiah can do with a bigger dog in the game.
I used some screenshot magic to show you just a little bit of what you will find in the course. I do need to tell you that they are great at keeping all the information in the course up to date. In the introduction of the course, Zack is rocking a beard. Ken is great to explain to us that we might see them looking different through the course.
Here you see Zack (without the beard) showing us all kinds of lightening equipment. He is very thorough with his explanations and even shares a war story (a few "not what to do's")
Another great aspect of this course is that they really provide you with excellent resource ideas. Below you can see the lesson for writing a screenplay. Who knew there was a specific format to follow?
I am very interested in making videos at church and Josiah and I have decided that this will be a good project to undertake. We've talked about filming testimonies and praise reports. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Here is a special deal just for you from the Lawrence family. I am sharing it with you word for word.
We are also giving you a $100 off coupon you can share with your readers. This coupon code will give $100 off the regular price of $299. Please note that the coupon code is only valid through November 30th, 2016. The code is: FALLCREW16.
This really is a great course. I am really excited to go through it myself! And I know Josiah is excited, as well. Hopefully, we'll see fewer nostril shots! I am looking to see how to make this a High School credit for Josiah. I need to do some more research (if anybody has any thoughts let me know!).
The beauty of the course is that you don't have to be a student, a teenager, or a homeschooler to use it. Anybody...including 40-something homeschool moms....can use it!
Check it out!
You can connect them on Facebook. www.facebook.com/ChristianFilmmakersAcademy
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