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Motion Picture Film Training Options For Working Pros?


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#1 Dave Perry

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 05:43 PM

Hey everyone,

 

I’m a working adult, full time, self-taught professional looking for training in cinema and film. I’m not sure what I can afford in time or financially at this point but In particular I’m looking for anything that would offer training/work in 35mm or 16mm film production. At this point I’m well versed in digital cinema. I’ve searched the web for seminars, workshops, Summer intensives, continuing edu, etc. I reached out to the folks at the Virginia Production Alliance, of which I’m a member, to see if they had any resources in that area. They had little other than suggesting I contact the heads of the cinema studies programs at UVa and VCU, which I've done and have not heard back from them yet.

 

I feel fortunate to have been making a living doing this full time since 2003, but I started in video, not film, and want to get some film experience. I starting shooting 35mm stills as a teenager in the 70's and 80's (so you can figure out I'm no Spring chicken) and I'm currently shooting Super 8 movies for fun, but also trying to see if I can fit it into some of the corporate work I do as a creative option.

 

Any suggestions, pointers, or info on how to get some "hands on" with motion picture film (short of enrolling in full time film school that still uses film) would be greatly appreciated.


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 07:26 PM

Welcome to the forum Dave!

I offer hands-on courses with motion picture film in here in Los Angeles. My weekend course is free, just need to pay for film, processing and print.

We project on 16 and 35mm as well, so students can do the entire workflow if they wish.

We can use either Aaton cameras or Arri, 3 perf (scan only) or 4 perf (print). It's all up to what you're looking to accomplish.

Generally I put my "students" on to short films I'm making on motion picture film. We have one of those shoots coming up May 27th and 28th.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:08 PM

If you're making a living shooting digitally, then there doesn't seem to be much a film course could teach you that you couldn't learn from shooting still film. Most of the technical skills of loading and threading film are handled by assistants, or if not, are very easily learned (as least as far as 16mm goes), and it sounds like you already know how to expose film.

 

There are probably many 'film schools' out there that offer the chance to shoot film, but many of them are only offering the opportunity to work on someone else's film (and help pay for it in the process). I don't know if there are accredited schools offering weekend or similar short courses, but if so, they would seem the safest bet.


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#4 Dave Perry

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:50 PM

Welcome to the forum Dave!

I offer hands-on courses with motion picture film in here in Los Angeles. My weekend course is free, just need to pay for film, processing and print.

We project on 16 and 35mm as well, so students can do the entire workflow if they wish.

We can use either Aaton cameras or Arri, 3 perf (scan only) or 4 perf (print). It's all up to what you're looking to accomplish.

Generally I put my "students" on to short films I'm making on motion picture film. We have one of those shoots coming up May 27th and 28th.

 

Hi Tyler, thanks.

 

That sounds great! Just the kind of thing I'm looking for. I'm on the East coast though. However, I will be in LA in October for a short film of mine that will be screening there the week of October 20-26, 2017. Maybe we can connect when I'm out there. 


Edited by Dave Perry, 11 May 2017 - 08:51 PM.

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#5 Dave Perry

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:05 PM

If you're making a living shooting digitally, then there doesn't seem to be much a film course could teach you that you couldn't learn from shooting still film. Most of the technical skills of loading and threading film are handled by assistants, or if not, are very easily learned (as least as far as 16mm goes), and it sounds like you already know how to expose film.

 

There are probably many 'film schools' out there that offer the chance to shoot film, but many of them are only offering the opportunity to work on someone else's film (and help pay for it in the process). I don't know if there are accredited schools offering weekend or similar short courses, but if so, they would seem the safest bet.

Hi Stuart. It's true that there are "film schools" out there that will train in whatever areas one wants to learn. In my search it seems like they are scams though, mainly supplying crew for indie film or commercial/corporate jobs through a "mentor" working in your area geographically. The one I checked out has continued to follow up with me and they are always asking about the down payment. I asked them who the mentor they were going to pair me with was because I know a vast majority of the productions folks in this region. They said they'd get back to me. I finally told them I didn't think what they offer is what I'm looking for. Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU, in Richmond Virginia is an outstanding art school, always has been and is highly regarded. I've checked out their Cinema Studies program and they seem to have a fine one. They are one of a handful of programs in the world that offer 35mm motion picture training to under grads. Oh to be young again :)

 

I don't have any film SLRs any more but I'm brushing up on exposing film through Super 8 these days. My search continues.


Edited by Dave Perry, 11 May 2017 - 09:06 PM.

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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:21 PM

Are there any rental houses in your area that might still have film cameras available to rent? That would be the first place to look.

If not, then I think a trip up to NYC for a few days of hands-on training at ARRI CSC or a smaller rental house with film cameras might be worth it for you. Once you're comfortable with the basic operations of an Arri SR3 or Aaton XTR Prod, you could get together with a few film-curious colleagues, rent a small package for the weekend, and go shoot something.

Lastly, you might see if you can find other film shooters in your area and meet up. Learning film on your own can be tricky once you get beyond simple cameras like the Bolex H16 and Canon Scoopic. There are film magazines and film stock to keep track of, filter exposure compensation to calculate, and the like. So if you have a friend or two helping you out, you can remind each other to check this or that and it makes the whole process much easier.
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#7 Dave Perry

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:59 PM

Thanks Satsuki. There are no rental houses in the area. There are a couple of independent production guys like myself that rent their own stuff out but no film. Closest would be the D.C. area. Your idea of heading to NYC sounds like a reasonable option though, maybe Atlanta as well.
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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:40 AM

Hi Tyler, thanks.
 
That sounds great! Just the kind of thing I'm looking for. I'm on the East coast though. However, I will be in LA in October for a short film of mine that will be screening there the week of October 20-26, 2017. Maybe we can connect when I'm out there. 


Cool, I will be here for sure! :)

You may have to travel up to new york in order to find the right thing on the east coast. I know there are a lot of revival/film guys in NYC who will probably be glad to help you out.
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#9 Chris Burke

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:00 AM

check these folks out. they do offer workshops on basic filmmaking. 

 

http://mononoawarefilm.com/


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#10 Dave Perry

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:09 AM

check these folks out. they do offer workshops on basic filmmaking. 

 

http://mononoawarefilm.com/

 

Looks like a good program. Thanks for the info.


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:36 AM

Monoaware is kind of an art house, they don't really work with modern professional equipment. It's more of a place for people who are beginner filmmakers. They do have a 35mm course in July, but 1 roll of film and $900 bux? EEEK!
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#12 George Ebersole

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 03:02 PM

Welcome to the forum Dave!

I offer hands-on courses with motion picture film in here in Los Angeles. My weekend course is free, just need to pay for film, processing and print.

We project on 16 and 35mm as well, so students can do the entire workflow if they wish.

We can use either Aaton cameras or Arri, 3 perf (scan only) or 4 perf (print). It's all up to what you're looking to accomplish.

Generally I put my "students" on to short films I'm making on motion picture film. We have one of those shoots coming up May 27th and 28th.

 

Can you PM the details?   I've done AC work, setup dollies, and everything else, but I've never loaded a magazine nor attach a lens, just sat behind the eyepiece and told what to do.  Rigged lights, ran power, lad down track, picked up gear, done everything but be an actual certified DP.


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#13 Dave Perry

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 03:03 PM

Monoaware is kind of an art house, they don't really work with modern professional equipment. It's more of a place for people who are beginner filmmakers. They do have a 35mm course in July, but 1 roll of film and $900 bux? EEEK!

 

Yeah, I visited their web site and although it looks interesting, I'm looking for something aimed at professionals. The search continues.


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