Does your child love playing around with cameras and creating movies and videos? Are you a family who loves watching movies and shows together? Well, let me introduce you to the course “Intro to Filmmaking” from Film School 4 Teens that can turn these interests into critical life skills!
Intro to Filmmaking by Film School 4 Teens
It can be hard to find resources created especially for students who want to learn more about filmmaking and who might be interested in pursuing filmmaking or something similar as a career or a hobby. That’s why we’re truly happy to introduce you to Film School 4 Teens! They provide online courses to teach film and video to teens, and they’re great at it! Not only do they provide courses, but the courses are fun. They are classes your teens will actually want to do.
What Will Your Students Learn?
- A love of and appreciation for film. The creators and teachers of this course want to foster a love of and appreciation for film. They do this by helping students learn and enjoy topics such as filmmaking, history, and analysis.
- Technical processes and cultural impact. Yes, it’s important (and fun!) to learn about the technical processes involved in filmmaking, but it’s also important to understand the cultural impact that films have.
- How to study films in a safe and controlled way. The best part of this course is that it teaches students practical steps to study films in a controlled and safe way. Parents need not worry that their students will be exposed to inappropriate information.
- How to create and submit their own short film for review. As part of this course, students will learn the process of filmmaking and will put what they learn into practice by creating and submitting their own short film for review!
How Will They Learn?
- streamed videos/lessons
- assignments the student completes independently (both photo and video assignments)
- workbook notes/assignments/assessments
- movies (Look for more info below in section 2 of Liberty’s review.)
Will They Need Special Equipment?
- This is up to you (the parent) and the student. If you have a student who is seriously considering a career in filmmaking, it would certainly make sense to invest in special equipment for this class since it will certainly be needed for college or jobs in the future.
- If you have a student who is taking this course for fun or for a hobby, it’s not necessary to have special equipment, though. Those students can successfully complete the course using a smartphone, iPad, or laptop computer.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
- While this course can be completed by a teen in his or her own homeschool, there are some assignments that require actors for the teen/director to film. These actors could be parents or siblings, or they could be friends or whoever else is willing to participate.
- This would be a really fun class to do with a co-op or group of friends! (Each student will need to sign up for the class separately.)
- This would make a great high school elective! There are many high school classes and electives that are necessary or tolerable but not really enjoyable. This course is a welcome change even for students who don’t plan to pursue filmmaking but who would enjoy an elective that is different and entertaining.
Watch this super short video to get a general overview of the course. Then keep reading to see a review written by a teen who took the course.
Now that you’ve watched the overview, how do you know if you should consider this course for your own teens?
- Do you have a middle schooler/teen who is interested in filmmaking as a career or hobby?
- Or maybe your child is interested in editing or digital content creation.
- Or you may have a student who is simply interested in how things work or who is considering learning a new skill or a new hobby.
- Would you like for your teens to develop (as mentioned above) the art of visual storytelling through film?
- Would you like for your teens (and even yourself if you follow along in the course with your teens) to develop a love of and an appreciation for film covering the technical process but also examining its cultural impact?
The folks at Film School 4 Teens gave their Intro to Filmmaking course to a teen, Liberty, whose mom is part of the Hip Homeschool Moms Community. Liberty got to take the class in exchange for her honest review. How did she like it? In short, she loved it! We asked her to tell you some of the experiences she had and some of her favorite things about the course so we could share her information with you.
Liberty’s Review of Intro to Filmmaking
Some of My Favorite Things About Intro to Filmmaking
1. It’s Self-Paced
One of the things I loved about this course was that it was simple and easy to follow since it’s a go-at-your-own-pace course. I’m finishing my senior year of high school, so I’m taking several advanced classes. Because of that, I was especially happy that this course was self-paced. If my schedule got out of control one day, I could simply wait until the next day to do the next lesson. If I had extra time one day, I could do an extra lesson if I wanted to. I love flexibility!
2. I Enjoyed the Movies
The selection of movies used in the class was wonderful! And they were all easily accessible. Most of them are found on streaming services for free or a small fee. They may even be available at your local library.
What movies were included, you ask? Some were classics and others were newer movies that I hadn’t seen. This class included movies such as The Wizard of Oz, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Outsiders, and many more. I enjoyed all of them! It made it more fun that the movies were varied. I was also glad they weren’t all movies I would have normally chosen to watch. All of them were family-friendly, though, which my parents appreciated.
The movie-related assignments taught me to critique films by giving me questions to ask about them. Here are some examples of assignments having to do with the movies I watched:
- The Wizard of Oz taught about symbolism in film. I was asked to think about things such as what the tornado stood for. It also included information about using black and white and color to symbolize different views and experiences.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark challenged me to think about the main character. He was brave, strong, and stubborn, but he eventually changed his feelings about his mission.
- The Outsiders presented me with a view of good versus evil. It made me think about characters who never appear in the film and how they affect the storyline. It was interesting to learn how characters who don’t even appear in the film can very much affect your film!
3. I Liked the Workbook
The workbook and student discussion made me feel like I was in a classroom environment (in a good way)! Having a workbook helped me stay engaged in the video and learn about the subject. The table of contents helped me know what was coming next and how much work I had left to do for each class. I also like that the workbook was eye-catching and that it had enough space for what I needed to do, but it wasn’t overwhelming.
It can be easy to get distracted if I don’t have something physical to keep me on track, so it was definitely helpful for that purpose too.
4. Fun Film Facts Were Included
The Fun Film Facts were a nice and much-needed addition to this course. Why were they much-needed? Because I’m interested in going to college to study film-making, and they gave me tidbits about films and the industry that I wouldn’t have otherwise know. I enjoyed learning about different film techniques and recognizing them in the films I watched. I learned how and why different techniques are used and how to spot them in films. More importantly, I learned how to use them to get my story across to the audience.
5. The Thing I Liked the Most
My favorite thing from this class was learning about films and production. I want to make films in my future as a part of my career, and this class gave me more confidence in pursuing that. I didn’t know a thing about films before this class, and I didn’t know where to start learning. This course definitely helped me in growing my knowledge about the industry.
6. The Very Basics About How the Course Works
Things to keep in mind:
- The Intro to Filmmaking course includes 75 videos and a 100-page color workbook to use with the assignments and lessons.
- There are both secular/charter and Christian versions of this course. You can choose which one is right for your family. (Both versions watch the same movies. The Christian version, though, includes information about themes that can be highlighted with a Christian worldview.)
First, I watched a video/class about a film-related topic. As I watched the class, I filled out some information in the workbook. This worked well for me since, as I already mentioned, it helped me stay on track. I think it’s also a great way to help remember new information by hearing it, writing it, and seeing it. (I’ll mention more about the notebook in a minute.)
The next assignment was one I completed by myself. Assignments included practicing shooting videos or photos using certain camera angles, generating ideas for a movie, choosing a camera, lighting, editing, and steps to produce my own movie.
After that, I watched a film, answered some questions about it in the workbook–which is a step-by-step process to learn how to create a film from start to finish–and watched some classroom discussions about it.
Last came the Fun Film Fact. I watched a short video and then completed a page about it.
There were assessments at the end of each section.
7. Who Should Take This Course?
I recommend this course to anyone who wants to get started in film or wants to further their knowledge.
More Film School 4 Teens Courses!
YouTube 4 Teens
I have a fun fact for you! Film School 4 Teens also offers a course for teens who want to learn more about creating a YouTube channel or business! This video (below) gives a super-short overview. After watching the video, CLICK THIS LINK to read the review of the YouTube for Teens Course on Hip Homeschool Moms!
Photography 4 Teens
Do you have a teen who loves photography and is interested in learning more about it? In just a few weeks, a brand new Photography 4 Teens course will be available! (It’s available to pre-order as of April 19, 2021, and the course will be available to begin on June 1, 2021!) To learn more about the Photography 4 Teens course, click this link.
About the Reviewer
Liberty graduates from her homeschool this year, the class of 2021. She will be studying film and photography in college this fall on a Presidential Scholarship.