“Film school for those born without an attention span” – that’s the summary description provided by the moviola.com team for their new Coffee Break Film School. CBFS (the abbreviated title) is a comprehensive filmmaking course delivered in video lessons of around 15 minutes each.
The focus of the training course–and indeed the entire moviola.com site–is to get people creating cinematic video at a professional level as quickly as possible.
Each unit of the school (roughly equivalent to school terms) comprises several sections:
The Core: These are the primary lessons, with each unit covering an aspect of script writing, lighting, cinematography, editing and color, visual effects, production essentials, and sound.
Signature interview: moviola.com has leveraged its ties to the film industry to create interviews with a diverse range of top-tier artists in the Hollywood production and postproduction scenes. Each unit highlights an interview expanding on concepts taught in the core lessons.
Going deeper: This section draws from moviola.com’s library of video lectures, expanding on the core topic information and covering some of the commercial aspects of the process (selling your film, marketing, distribution, budgeting).
Around the web: A “best of the rest,” this provides background educational filmmaking material from other providers, incorporated here as supplemental content for the core lessons.
Visual Glossary of Terms
Coffee Break Film School is just part of moviola.com’s stated goal of getting filmmakers up to speed as quickly as possible. The CBFS is backed up by the Visual Glossary of Terms: a video-based lexicon of industry jargon, with each explanation lasting less than a minute (many just a few seconds).
Then there are the survival guides. Have you ever gone to learn a new application like Photoshop, only to discover that the online training company is offering “over 8 hours of training”? That’s great if you’re a student with infinite time; not so good if you’re already working 50 hours a week just to pay the rent.
The survival guides take a different approach. They compress the essentials of the app to under 30 minutes . The idea is to give you a working knowledge of the software with enough understanding to learn more advanced techniques as needed via the app’s user guide or the web.
Compendium of Indispensable Techniques
Another unique feature of the site is the “Compendium”–a collection of filmmaking technique videos from around the web. Rather than re-create training that’s already out there, the moviola.com team decided to augment “home-grown” training by curating the best content developed by Youtubers and the like.
The web contains a wealth of information on filmmaking technique, but much of it is apocryphal; most of us have had the experience of losing minutes, if not hours searching through the content made by inexperienced 14 year-olds until we stumble upon the one video that’s actually helpful. moviola.com’s Compendium aims to streamline that experience by putting links to only the “good stuff” in one convenient location.
The compendium is broken down into functional categories and within each category are useful sub-headers to help you browse. It will continue to grow as the team vets additional material.
And all the rest
All the previous content from moviola.com is still available too: industry interviews, topical webinars and longer form classes (for when you do have 8 hours to spend training). There are many more survival guides and CBFS units planned, new terms continually added to the glossary, and the compendium is constantly growing with new techniques.
The most affordable film school just about anywhere
Some of the most welcome news about the new site is the price: just $35 for the entire first year of subscription, or $5 a month. And there’s a free 14 day trial (no credit card required) so you can see if you’d rather spend that $35 on a moviola.com subscription or a shaving kit from harrys.com (hint: all the hip filmmakers have beards).