Tag Archives: film student

What To Look For In Film Training

Digital Film Academy students shooting a short film with the school's equipment. The best film training in NYC and Atlanta.

So, you are looking for a training in Film and don’t know where to start? Many programs offer different training and considerations when it comes to film school. It’s important to do your research and consider your options before making a decision. 

Digital Film Academy has three tips to get you started…

Research Alumni 

Initially, you can learn a lot about a program based on the success of their alumni. From graduates who starred in blockbuster Marvel films, such as Chadwick Boseman, to several graduates who worked on films commissioned by Netflix, Digital Film Academy has numerous success stories.
You can read more about our alumni here: https://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/students-alumni/

Curriculum

As you research, make sure you are familiar with the specific courses that a program offers. Digital Film Academy offers courses in Screenwriting, Directing, Cinematography, Video Editing, Career and Portfolio Development, Producing, and more.

In these courses, what software will you be using? Digital Film Academy introduces you to Avid Media Composer, Pro Tools, Davinci Resolve, Maya 3D Animation and more.

Our goal is to give you a well-rounded film education so that you can become an expert in your field while some other programs only allow you to take classes that relate to one of these specialties.

Affordability

So, you’ve spent the money for your schooling, now what? One of the unique advantages of going to Digital Film Academy is that you get a head start on your career after graduation, with less tuition fees and free lifetime access of our state-of-the-art video equipment and facilities. Our Associates Degree also offers a personal equipment kit that is yours to keep, valued at around $10,000. Our Associate of Science in Digital Media costs $29,950 (and includes equipment ownership) and our 12 month long Advanced Certificate Program costs $17,560 (and includes equipment access).

Compare our prices with other film school fees here: http://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/about-dfa/why-dfa/

If you would like to know more about Digital Film Academy please join us on Tuesday June 21st at 1pm EST for our virtual Open House. You can add your name to the guest list and see other Open House Dates here: https://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/open-house/

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

Five Tips for Crowdfunding your Film

In today’s world, independent filmmakers often look towards fundraising to produce their films. With these five tips for crowdfunding your film you will have a better shot at getting your project out there.

What exactly is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is essentially fundraising for your project. There are many ways to do this but nowadays almost all crowdfunding happens online.

Something to take into account is that the payments made from patrons crowdfunding are usually small but many. So think a grassroots campaign to get an indie film produced. 

Here are five tips to crowdfunding your independent film successfully.

Research Platforms 

There are multiple different platforms to choose from to fund your film. A few of the best include: seed&spark, kickstarter, indiegogo, and patreon.

However, each of these platforms offer different benefits but ultimately serve the same purpose. Extra tip: take a look at the fees and caveats of each platform and determine for yourself which would be the best fit for your project.

Set Realistic Goals 

What do you hope to achieve with this platform? What is a realistic monetary goal? These are questions that you need to ask yourself going forward. It can be a slow process so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. 

Share your Progress 

As you make developments on the film (casting, shooting, etc.) make sure to share them with your donors! People like to see what they’ve donated to and it may even influence them to send in a second donation. 

Avoid Over-contacting your Donors

No one likes being pestered for money. Try to limit your email blasts and contacts to only important updates on your film or other relevant information. Showing progress is more exciting than begging. 

Promotion

You want to confirm that your campaigns are reaching the right people. Utilize all of your connections and send information out to anyone and everyone who might be interested. Social media is a great way to promote your film and crowdfunding efforts. 

We know crowdfunding for a film isn’t easy, but it helps to have professionals in your corner. That’s where Digital Film Academy comes in! We offer lifetime access to our equipment, facilities, and an exclusive Jobs Board where you can network and get paid work.

If you are interested in learning more about Digital Film Academy, join our next Open House

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

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

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

Every Ending is a New Beginning

“Every story has an end. But in life, every ending is just a new beginning.”
Dakota Fanning as Ray From the movie: Uptown Girls

As we begin a new year, we reflect on the past. This past year was challenging and full of ups and downs. For some, the end of 2021 may have felt like a huge relief. For others, this ending may have felt bittersweet. 

What goals did we have for ourselves that we didn’t quite meet? Is there something missing in our personal or professional lives that we want to incorporate into this new year? 

As we reflect on our goals for 2022, the question of training and honing in on our talents might arise. 

Digital Film Academy is here to help you meet your professional filmmaking goals and fine-tune your talents to become a better filmmaker. 

For instance, if you are interested in pre-production, we offer lifetime access to our equipment, saving you time and money when producing your own projects. 

We also have an equipment kit included in our Associates Degree program featuring a Blackmagic 6k Camera, Tungsten and LED Lights, and more, yours to keep. 

For post-production, we have cutting edge technology available to you such as Davinci Resolve, Avid, Pro-Tools, After Effects, and many other softwares. 

DFA’s training is geared towards giving you all of the tools and resources you need to succeed in the film and media industry. 

While new beginnings aren’t always easy, taking this step for your career could be very rewarding. Many students have taken this leap with our programs to become a more well-rounded film professional.

You can take a look at what some of our students and alumni have said about our school here: DFA Students and Alumni.

If you are ready for a new beginning, consider attending our Open House on Thursday January 6th at 1pm EST. You can add your name to the guest list here: https://www.digitalfilmacademy.edu/open-house/

We look forward to starting this new year with you. 

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

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.

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

10 Reasons to Make the Move to Atlanta

Many production companies are making the move to Atlanta. Some examples of recent movies shot in Atlanta include: Hawkeye, Spider-man: No Way Home, Red Notice, and Jungle Cruise. Atlanta is also a hotspot for television series including: Stranger Things, Ozark, and The Walking Dead. So, should you make the move? We’ve made a list of ten reasons to make the move and kickstart your career in Atlanta. 

Montage of film productions shot in Atlanta. In order: Hawkeye, Spider-man: No Way Home, Red Notice, and Jungle Cruise, Stranger Things, Ozark, and The Walking Dead.

Tax Incentive

The state of Georgia offers a 20% tax incentive to production companies who complete production and post-production in their state. This is advantageous for creatives looking to budget their work effectively.

Multiple Established Production Companies

Secondly, Atlanta is already home to many production companies including LionStar Films, CNN, and Carbon Film making it a well-established film and media city. Having these well established companies makes breaking into the industry easier.

Employment Opportunities

Because Atlanta is currently hosting production companies and film projects, there are jobs to be filled every day with the job market increasing every year. You might find that Atlanta has more opportunity than NYC or LA where the competition is massive.

Casting

Atlanta is home to a diverse population of people and that is reflected in the casting coming out of the city. You will have talented actors from many different backgrounds auditioning for your projects. Perhaps you’d like to step in front of the camera, too? Atlanta is a great starter city for an actor to build their career.

Tourism

Atlanta tourism brings in more attention and money to the city every year. There is plenty to do from watching theatre productions to eating at award winning restaurants.

Landscape

Aside from the entertainment, the land itself brings exciting views and great shots for a filmmaker. Georgia has it all from suburban neighborhoods, city buildings, farm land, and space to build. (Everything but an ocean…)

Creative Communities

Atlanta is full of artists from different fields such as theatre, fine arts, filmmaking, and dance. Having artistic communities right next door allows you to build connections with like minded creatives. Who knows, maybe you could find a group to make a short film or series?

Low Living Expenses

Compared to Los Angeles, Atlanta’s cost of living is affordable. Georgia’s rent prices run lower than the rest of the country making rent manageable. Find a roommate or two and you are saving A LOT of money!

Location

This southern city is still centrally located and a major US city. You have access to all major flights through Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport and driving is a breeze compared to LA.

Education with Digital Film Academy

At Digital Film Academy, we see the value of having an educational institution in the fastest growing film production area in the country. We want you to succeed and we do that by giving you the tools you need to thrive in the digital media industry. All DFA students and graduates have lifetime access to our equipment, facilities, and exclusive Jobs Board. If you’d like to hear more, join us for an Open House.

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

“Call it”

It’s your first day as AD (Assistant Director) and everyone is ready to shoot. The director just looks at you and tells you to “call the shot”. What do you do?

“Picture’s Up!” or “Quiet on Set!”

This is your first step. Loudly, without screaming, let everyone know they’re about to go into an actual take. Anytime you hear this on set, stop what you’re doing and get comfortable because you shouldn’t move or make a sound until you hear “cut” and sometimes that can take a while.

“Roll Sound!”

First thing you want to do is get the sound recorder to start recording (On your very own Zoom f6, if you’re in our Associates Program with equipment included*). Why start there? Sound is cheap. It runs on cheaper cards, taking up less space on the drives. Don’t get me wrong – it is not the sound mixer or boom mixer that are cheap, they’re looking at up to $800 a day for their expertise.

Your Sound Mixer will start recording audio and they will let you know by saying: 

“Sound Speeds” or “Sound Rolling”

You will then say:

“Roll Camera!”

Now your Operator will start the camera recording (with your 6k Blackmagic*) and they will let you know by saying: 

“Camera Rolling” or “Camera Speeds”

You’re now getting audio and video recordings so it’s time to capture the slate “clapping” this is used (when you don’t have timecode) to synchronize (sync) the audio and video clips. (Slates are also included in the Associate equipment package*) You will now tell the 2nd AC to:

“Mark it!” 

The 2nd AC will read the pertinent information from the slate so the editor can identify which take it is by listening to the audio.

“Scene 1 Charley, Take 4”

The 2nd AC will clap the slate and clear frame. At this point, on most sets, your job is done. When they are ready the director will finally call: 

“Action!”

This is the basis for every take, but things change on the fly and there’s lots of special circumstances and some different ways to call the shot.

If you’re interested in learning some of these industry specifics and so many other important elements of the filmmaking and media business, consider coming to one of our Open Houses. You will be able to get a feeling for our school, programs, and more!

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

We’re changing, are you?

Students working as a film crew, directing, operating the camera and recording sound at Central Park in New York.

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”

– Rita Mae Brown (not Einstein, I checked)


Everything around us is constantly changing, and that’s never been more true. I’ll throw another quote at you:

“For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled”

– Bob Dylan


The best way to succeed is to be on the forefront of change. And that’s what we’re doing. Digital Film Academy is always on the lookout for how we can change to better serve our students. We’ve pivoted to a hybrid learning environment that allows our busy students to do most of their classes remotely. We bring our seasoned professors to you, wherever you are. 

We’ve designed an entirely new Associates Program that gives you equipment to own (yours forever, no joke), included in the tuition. That means that as you’re building your portfolio, working on school projects, or working with clients, you’ve got everything you need. You become your own production company. When you’re learning the equipment you have it there, in your hands. We did this because it’s the best way for you to learn and that’s our top priority. 

We’ve adapted our hands-on classes so that we can still deliver the essentials, while keeping our students safe. We just finished our intensive 3 week summer classes that had students performing in real life scenarios. From shooting walk-and-talks in Central Park to dramatic dollys in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. 

Our mission is and always has been to prepare you to make money and we’re always looking for new ways to do that better. 

Maybe it’s time you think about making a change? 

Come to one of our Open Houses and see if we can’t help you take a step in a new direction.

Instagram            Twitter            Facebook            YouTube            DFA Blog

Short Film: CHECKMATE

This short film is written and directed by Digital Film Academy graduate Mr. Gleb Osatinski. Gleb studied at Digital Film Academy back in 2011 and has gone on to direct and produce a series of highly well-received short films. The film was nominated in February 2020 and just won on REEL13 by PBS.

Other Work:

Trailer – Pisces of an Unconscious Mind by Gleb Osatinski

® GI Bill® Is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill