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Filmmaking I


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Filmmaking I


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Film and other visual storytelling have become the literature of our age, and it’s important for young people to be fluent in this exciting and influential craft. This introductory course builds a solid foundation in visual media and includes basic concepts and techniques that can be translated into different visual media including film, television, web video, and mobile video. The class will be highly interactive with assignments posted by students and the independent production of short video projects by students.

In this course the students will learn (1) foundational principles of visual storytelling; (2) story structure for film and other linear media; (3) lighting techniques and equipment; (4) camera techniques and equipment; (5) audio production techniques and equipment; (6) editing techniques and tools; (7) uses of visual media for world evangelization.

Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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Textbook: The Filmmaker’s Handbook, 5th edition by  Steven Asher & Edward Pincus. ISBN# 9780452297289 (paperback available for approx. $25 online)

“Flipped” Classroom Model: In order to cover more material in an on-line setting, students will watch pre-recorded lecture material before some weeks’ classes. This will be posted and explained. Working in this way helps to maximize live class interaction and learning.

Equipment & Software: Students need to have access to a basic video recording device with a microphone input. This could be something like a camcorder, a late-model iPhone/smartphone, or Digital SLR (DSLR) camera with video capability. They also need access to a computer with digital video editing software for home assignments. Examples of software include Apple iMovie, Pinnacle Studio, PowerDirector, Lightworks, Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, HitFilm, and Sony Vegas. A high-level program is not needed as we are focusing on storytelling, not fancy effects. However, use of some of the basic programs (especially Windows Movie Maker) can be an extra challenge and are strongly discouraged. A small investment in a better program can save many headaches.

This also applies to filmmaking equipment like audio gear, lights, and camera support. Students who are serious about learning need to be prepared to make some investment in the tools of their craft, just as any artist or musician needs to invest in their tools and instruments. It need not be a huge burden, but it’s important. I also will post documents listing (with links) basic equipment that will make filmmaking much more pleasurable and effective. Please check with the teacher if you have a question about a camera or editing software.

Tom Khazoyan began his career on the production side of the film and television business. He’s been fortunate to have worked on award-winning projects as a writer, producer, director, cameraman, and editor. He has produced projects ranging from television commercials to documentaries to dramatic films in over 30 countries.

Since 1998 Tom has served as a missionary filmmaker with Pioneers, and has created hundreds of projects, including the feature-length motion picture, “The Enemy God”.

In his ministry life, Tom works collaboratively with missionaries and filmmakers in other countries to produce visual stories and to empower emerging filmmakers in other cultures with the goal to make Jesus Christ and his kingdom known in places that are yet unreached. This work takes the form of media strategies, film training courses, partnership in producing films, and individual mentoring.

Tom has been teaching online film and screenwriting classes and in-person workshops since 2010. In 2015 he finished graduate school with an MFA in Professional Screenwriting. He also teaches communications at Colorado Christian University.

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1 review for Filmmaking I (5/5 stars)

  1. Jenifer

    Filmmaking 1 with Mr. Khazoyan is an excellent class. The class is thoroughly organized and professional. Mr. K takes extra time to work with me as the parent and accommodate the learning disabilities my son has to give him access to his passion of filmmaking. His comments and interactions to students are thoughtful and help them grow as filmmakers and communicators. Additionally, the Christian element at Excelsior is genuine and appreciated. What a gem to find this class and instructor for my student! My son is taking two more classes in Film from Mr. Khazoyan this semester.

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