Tag Archives: filmmaking

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/

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Five Movies to Watch in May

I learned cinema in the cinema watching films, so you always have a curiosity. I say, ‘Well, what if I make a film in this genre? What if I make this film like this?’
Wong Kar-wai

As a filmmaker, it’s important to stay up to date on new films hitting the movie screens because we learn by observing others and their work. We can gain new perspectives and techniques by spending time enjoying a film. You never know when a film will inspire you to begin your new project. 

So, if you are looking for something to watch this month, check out these five movies to watch in May!

Everything Everywhere All At Once 

  • Out in Theatres Now. 
  • This is a must watch. It’s entertaining, funny, well executed, well played. Go. Watch. It.

Hatching

  • Out in Theatres Now. 
  • For those who enjoy films that are deep in meaning and that will definitely disturb you, “Hatching” debuted at Sundance and is a great suggestion for horror fans. Exploring themes such as social media, family, power, and mysterious finds…

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

  • Available on Amazon Prime.
  • An aspiring singer living with his grandmother in the capital of Bhutan dreams of getting a visa to move to Australia. This film was filmed on location in the world’s most remote school and it was nominated for an Oscar. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 

  • Out in Theatres Now. 
  • This new Marvel flic is a great option if you are looking to learn more about visual effects. This film continues to explore the depths of the multiverse. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and a new ally battle a new common enemy. 

The Worst Person in The World

  • Out in Theaters Now. 
  • Described as one of the best Romantic Films out there now, “The Worst Person in The World” chronicles four years in the life of Julie (Reinsve), a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is.


After you enjoyed some popcorn and got inspired with any of the movies indicated above, check out the film and media training that Digital Film Academy has to offer including Directing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, Editing, Sound Recording, Producing and VFX. 

We teach you how to work in every area of the film/television industry, while allowing you to specialize in your preferred path. Join our last Open House of the season on May 12th at 1pm EST. 

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One Month Later: The Oscars

It has been a month since the 94th Academy Awards aired on live television.

Reflecting back a month after the Oscars, what have we learned? What was the impact?

In case you missed it, Acting awards included; Troy Kotsur in Coda, Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Ariana Debose in West Side Story. Best directing went to The Power of the Dog by Jane Campion and Best Picture went to Coda.

Montage. In order: Behind the scenes of Dune, Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Spiderman: No Way Home, Will Smith, Behind the Scenes of West Side Story, The Power of The Dog and Coda.



Ideally, you watched the Oscars and came away with a new film or two on your watch list.
If not, add Dune, Coda and Spiderman: No Way Home to your list.
Undoubtedly, the Oscars also have an impact on society. We can take the Will Smith controversy as a prime example of this.

There is also a positive impact of modeling patience, forgiveness, and understanding at the Oscars. For example, many winners use their speeches as an opportunity to speak on social issues that are important to them.

But the real impact of the Oscars is seen after the fact.

For example, the results of the Oscars often help to shape the future of what the film industry looks like in the following years. The winners set the tone for what is successful in the eyes of the Academy and (some) viewers.
Unsurprisingly, we have seen an increase in viewership in the Oscar nominated films since the ceremony.

Here at Digital Film Academy, we know how important it is to stay updated on new trends. We offer the newest and most innovative equipment in order for you to produce work that aligns with the industry. 
With our equipment kit, included if you join our Associate of Science Degree in Digital Media, you will have everything you need to experiment with new trends.

Come check out our Open House to see what we have to offer and get started on your film training today.

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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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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.

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3 Ways to be Professional

Profile view at young African-American sound mixer wearing headphones while editing at home recording studio.

Let’s talk about professionalism. We often hear that we need to “be professional” on set but what does that really mean? We’ve broken it down into 3 ways to be professional: be kind, listen, and focus.  

Be Kind.

For the first example, we have Martin Scorsese whose birthday was earlier last week and his words give us a sense of the type of people he wants to be around on set as a film professional.

“And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more of a tendency to look for people who live by kindness, tolerance, compassion, a gentler way of looking at things.” –  Martin Scorsese

No one likes to work with someone who is angry or intolerant all the time because it can create a negative work environment. For this reason, having a positive attitude and displaying kindness conveys something to those around you and sets up a more positive environment to film.

Listen.

So, why is listening important? Martin Scorsese has another quote for this:

“Now more than ever we need to talk to each other, to listen to each other and understand how we see the world, and cinema is the best medium for doing this.” ― Martin Scorsese

Professionalism doesn’t always mean being the loudest voice in the room. Sometimes, you need to step back and really listen to what others on set are saying. Practicing active listening and responding to ideas is a great way to convey professionalism on set.

Focus.

Lastly, focusing on your goals will help everyone to stay on the same page. This includes time management and communication. Eliminate outside distractions and focus on the task at hand. Sometimes, the simple solution is actually the most concise and important one. 

And we’ll leave you with a final quote about simplicity: 

“There’s no such thing as simple. Simple is hard.” — Martin Scorsese

Digital Film Academy is here to help you become a more well-rounded and marketable film professional through our Associates Program and our Advanced Certificate Program.

We have Pre-Production classes with leading professionals in the industry who will help you to excel with practical experience. Our Post-Production classes includes learning from the top editing softwares like Davinci Resolve, Avid, Pro-Tools, and After Effects; giving you professional experience from your own computer. 

Join us for our next Open House Tuesday November 23rd at 6pm EST. You can sign up here: 

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Call Your Own Shots

A black man operating a Red camera, calling his own shots. Two other man setting up a different camera in the background.

Have you found it difficult to find work during the pandemic? Are you scrolling through work pages waiting for the next opportunity to come along? Do you miss having the power to call your own shots?

Let’s talk about creating your own work. 

Instead of waiting for opportunities to pass you by, why not pick up a camera and shoot something of your own? Get together with some friends and write a short film or a web series and get it on camera.

Creating your own work comes with many benefits… it gets your name out there, stretches your creative muscles, and gives you hands-on experience with equipment and working with other like-minded people in the field. 

Maybe it’s time to step in front of the camera and try your hand at acting. If you have stage fright and want to stay behind the camera, try having a brainstorming session about new and creative ways to tell a story. There are plenty of ways to get involved in building your own creative career. 

How can DFA help?

At Digital Film Academy, you are set up for success with everything you need to become your own production company.

We have an Associates Program that gives you equipment to own (yours forever, no joke), included in the tuition and that’s in addition to our lifetime access to equipment that you will gain through the school.

This allows you to create your own work, anytime, anywhere. We have multiple classes such as Directing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, Video Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Design, Producing, etc. Having a diverse curriculum gives you the opportunity to learn all facets of filmmaking making you more marketable and experienced. 

Come learn more about how we can help you jumpstart your career, by joining our Online Open House.

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Leadership is hard

A camera operator and two other people from the camera crew are adjusting the camera for the next shot.

I’m not going to speak directly about the tragedy that happened during the filming of Rust because it’s too soon for us to know the exact truth of what happened. But I will say that regardless of the details, Halyna Hutchin’s death was entirely preventable, and it was a failure of leadership. 

And I’m not blaming Alec Baldwin, because again, it’s too soon to say, and I’m not even looking for one person to blame. Because the truth is, the failure in leadership happened among many people. The leader is the person in charge, but everyone can embody the concept of leadership, all the way down to the bottom of the food chain. A good PA has leadership skills. A good actor can be a good leader. The camera crew who walked from the set that morning had leadership in them.

Leadership is the ability to stand up for what is right when the people around you aren’t. It can mean being “the bad guy” and making the people under you follow safety requirements they don’t want to. And it can mean standing up to the people above you who want you to do something unsafe. Leadership works in all directions, not just top down. 

And it’s not going to make you a popular person. Very few people are going to appreciate you, though many will benefit from you. 

There are a lot of pressures in the film world, and people are going to ask you to do things quickly and cheaply, but please, if it’s unsafe, say no. Value your life and the lives of others above ANY project. Enough people have died.

So how do you know what’s the right thing to do? 

If you choose to come to DFA you will have production management classes. Besides learning how to make schedules and budgets for your films, you’ll learn the appropriate person that should be present for stunts, weapons, crowd control, car setups, etc. So even if you don’t go into the production-side of things, you’ll be able to recognize when things are being handled appropriately and when corners are being cut. Safety on set is always a priority and DFA values that above all things.

If you’re interested in learning more about our school, join us for our next Online Open House.

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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.

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Don’t Trade Your Future for those Film Schools

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled “Financially Hobbled for Life” in which they talk about film school graduates who leave their programs $100K – $300k in debt. Now these were master’s degrees, but this problem impacts graduates at all levels. 

It’s. Not. Worth. It.

No one in the film and media industry cares about a fancy degree. They want people who know how to function on set. You can get that experience without going into massive debt. So don’t trade your future for those Film Schools.

DFA programs are designed to give you exactly what you need to be able to make money. We teach you the essential skills, we give you lifetime access to our equipment and facilities, and we do this for a fraction of the cost of other schools. 

Film and Media affordable programs

We succeed when you succeed. It’s been our driving force for the 20 years we’ve been educating students.

Whether you’re interested in Directing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, Editing, Sound Recording, Producing or VFX. We teach you how to work in every area of the film/television industry, while allowing you to specialize in your preferred path.

If you would like to know more about our school and programs, come check us out in one of our Open Houses

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