Tag Archives: film industry

AI Love You: Former DFA Student, Stephan Zlotescu

Former Digital Film Academy student, Stephan Zlotescu, releases AI Love You on Netflix.

Congratulations to former DFA student, Stephan Zlotescu, writer and creator of the new Netflix film AI Love You.

The movie is directed by Thai-French actor and filmmaker David Asavanond (Tom Yum Goong) in his directorial debut. The cast includes Pimchanok Leuwisetpaiboon and Mario Maurer.

Stephan Zlotescu is a former student of Digital Film Academy’s Advanced Certificate program in New York City. We are very proud of his new accomplishment as well as his other work including True Skin, Future Sex, and Pastel.

About AI Love You: This new sci-fi romantic comedy written by Stephan Zlotescu explores themes of love and advancing technology. After a software glitch causes an advanced AI program to fall in love with a young woman, it escapes into the body of a man and tries to win her heart. The film is available to stream on Netflix now.

View the AI Love You Trailer here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVlPF24TXsM

You can view other work on former DFA student, Stephan Zlotescu, here:

True Skin

Future Sex

Pastel

Digital Film Academy offers a variety of professional media training including Cinematography, Sound Recording, Directing, Video Editing, Screenwriting and VFX.

Contact our admissions department for more information about our programs: admissions@digitalfilmacademy.edu

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Do It Yourself

Woman sitting in front of a computer screen while wearing headphones, learning online.

Nowadays, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips. Websites like YouTube provide resources on topics we never thought possible! You may find yourself asking, why do I need a film school when everything I need to learn is online? Doing it yourself can be helpful in many ways, but you’ll need a little more to be a successful professional in the film industry. We give you (at least) three reasons:

Connections 

Attending Digital Film Academy will expose you to professionals in the industry. Our instructors are working film professionals with firsthand experience in the field. There are people to support you before, during and after completing the program. 

Hands On Experience 

YouTube is great for visual learning but sometimes you need hands-on experience. At Digital Film Academy, we put equipment in your hands and teach you how to use it correctly. Our online classes are engaging and interactive, no more boring zoom classes… 

Equipment 

Digital Film Academy offers FREE lifetime access to our production equipment and facilities including our RED Cinema cameras. This means no more paying for rental equipment, ever. In the classroom, Digital Film Academy uses state-of-the-art industry equipment to make sure you receive the best training possible, including DSLR’s, RED Cinema cameras, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere and Protools just to name a few.

Doing your own research and learning online can be fun and valuable but it cannot replace a quality education from Digital Film Academy. Our goal is to give you all the tools and resources you need to succeed in this industry. If you are ready to take the next step, join us at our Open House on Tuesday December 21st at 6pm EST.

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5 Keys to a High Concept in Film

If you work in film, you’ve most likely heard the phrase “high concept.” This is Hollywood’s ultimate buzz phrase, the Holy Grail for producers. It’s so important, 99% of producers will make a deal with a writer who has a genuine high concept, even if their writing is terrible.

Why? Because it’s easy to sell a high concept, and unless a producer can sell a film, it’s useless. Writing can always be improved, fresh drafts written… but if a high concept isn’t there to begin with, the script probably isn’t marketable.

not marketable

So now that you know how important a high concept is, how do you get one?

Below are 5 keys for creating your own high concept:

I-m-not-weird-I-m-unique

  1. It has to be unique (without being weird).

There’s a fine line between unique and weird. A true high concept needs to be something never seen before. However, it can’t be a case of “We’ve never seen chimps roller skating in space, so that’s a high concept.” It has to be a unique idea that’s both interesting and conventional enough to achieve #2 on this list, which is:

big audience

  1. It has to appeal to a wide audience.

Again, a high concept has to be marketable. To be marketable, it needs a clear and wide audience. Could you have a unique concept about an 80-year-old woman in a rest home? Yes, but it probably wouldn’t appeal to many people. That’s not to say you couldn’t make a great niche film – but, by definition, it wouldn’t be a high concept.

When it comes to audience, clearly aim for ONE of the 4 quadrants: men over 25, men under 25, women over 25, women under 25.

get it

  1. You must be able to say the idea in one line and have the listener “get it.”

Again, it’s about marketability. To pitch a film, you need a logline: one sentence that sums up your story. If you have a true high concept, that one sentence gives the listener a very clear idea of the movie, from start to finish. If someone in the industry asks what your film is about, and you need a full minute to explain, it’s not a high concept. If you can say it in one sentence and see their eyes light up, it is.

high vs. low

  1. Use a genre other than drama.

High concepts are almost never dramas. That’s because dramas are more about execution than they are about concept. In essence, they are the epitome of a “low concept:” a story more concerned with subtlety and character development.

Try to think of a successful drama in the past ten years that was a hit. Most at least partially fall under another genre, like comedy. If you think of a recent hit that was pure drama, chances are, its logline doesn’t sound very unique, even though its execution was great. Dramas are generally serious and/or depressing. That doesn’t make for an exciting-sounding idea that has producers come running.

hook

  1. You need a story – not just a hook!

If you come up with an amazing ‘hook’ – a cool idea that’s not yet a story – people will be interested. But a hook by itself isn’t enough to be a high concept. It’s only the beginning of one.

To really flesh it out into a high concept, it needs some kind of story. For instance, the movie Saw was a huge hit and a high concept. But the logline couldn’t say: “A serial killer makes victims torture themselves to survive.” Ok, it’s interesting, it’s a great hook… but it’s also vague. Where does it go from there?

Look what happens when it changes to: “After two men wake to find themselves chained in a filthy basement, they realize they’ve been kidnapped by a gruesome serial killer and will have to torture themselves if they want to live.” Now it’s a high concept! We can see the whole story: beginning (waking up), middle (figuring out they were kidnapped by a serial killer and what he wants them to do), and end (deciding whether or not they’ll torture themselves). The genre is a clear horror/thriller, and it’s also clear that this will work for a wide audience. A producer can sell this.

money

Now that you know how to create a real high concept, start brainstorming ideas! A concept that fits all of the above criteria isn’t easy to come by, but if you do – it’s money in the bank.

What movies did you think were genuine high concepts? Let us know in the comments!

Blog by: Sara McDermott Jain


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