Discover the Best Film Classes in NYC
Film is a visual storytelling medium that combines moving images, sound, and various artistic techniques to create a narrative or convey a message. It involves the process of capturing and recording sequential images on a strip of celluloid or digital media, which is then projected onto a screen. Filmmaking encompasses the entire production cycle, from pre-production (scriptwriting, casting, and planning) to production (shooting scenes with cameras and capturing audio) to post-production (editing, visual effects, and sound design) to create a finished film. Cinematography refers specifically to the art and technique of capturing and composing the visual elements of a film—including lighting, camera angles, framing, and movement—to enhance storytelling and evoke emotions.
Why You Should Learn Film in NYC
Learning film in NYC offers numerous advantages and benefits. For one thing, it provides a deep understanding of visual storytelling and the techniques used in filmmaking. This knowledge can be applied to all kinds of creative endeavors, such as videos, commercials, documentaries, or even personal projects, enabling you to effectively communicate your ideas through visuals.
Also, learning film allows you to develop a critical eye for analyzing and appreciating the technical and artistic aspects of cinema. It enhances your ability to deconstruct films and understand their underlying messages. It helps you appreciate the thought and effort put into their creation. Additionally, studying film nurtures creativity, encouraging you to think visually and experiment with different storytelling techniques, camera angles, lighting setups, and editing styles. This creativity can extend beyond film itself, influencing other artistic disciplines and enhancing problem-solving skills.
Finally, learning film can lead to a range of career opportunities within the film industry, including directing, cinematography, editing, screenwriting, and production, allowing you to pursue your passion and contribute to the world of cinema.
In-Person Film Classes & Schools in NYC
Film classes are offered in a variety of different venues, including educational institutions such as universities, colleges, and community colleges, where film studies programs are commonly found. Specialized film schools and academies are dedicated institutions that focus on providing film education and offer a wide range of film classes. Many art schools and conservatories also offer film classes as part of their degree programs. In addition, community centers, cultural organizations, and nonprofit institutions may organize film classes and workshops to promote film education and appreciation within the community. In some cases, independent filmmakers and production companies offer film classes and workshops to share their knowledge and expertise.
Founded in 1986, The Barrow Group Acting School (TBG) is a highly regarded non-profit organization located in the heart of NYC. TBG encompasses an off-Broadway theater company, an acting studio/school, and an arts center. The institution offers a diverse range of programming, including acting, directing, and film-related classes. These encompass scene study intensives, monologue workshops, solo-show performance workshops, script analysis, the Alexander technique, theatrical clown training, voice training, Shakespearean acting, beginner-level classes, and specialized classes for teens, tweens, and kids. TBG also provides a comprehensive two-year acting program and a six-week summer acting program. It has gained recognition as one of the leading training schools for the performing arts in New York.
Film/TV Acting II: On-Going at The Barrow Group is an intermediate-level class for adult students. In this six-week film and television acting class, you’ll get prepared for the particular demands and challenges of acting on camera. You’ll be introduced to, and build on, the Barrow Group tools. Additional focus will be paid to continuity and coverage (medium shots and close-ups, for instance), and how to work on a set. Beginners Acting III: Film/TV is a class for students who have completed Beginner I and II at the Barrow Group and want to apply what they’ve learned to on-camera work. You will use The Barrow Group tools on monologues and scenes in front of the camera and watch playback each session.
The Teen Film/TV Acting Intensive (Ages 14-18) offered at The Barrow Group provides an introductory-level film and TV class specifically designed for high-school students. This class aims to familiarize young actors with TBG’s unique approach to storytelling while equipping them with the same tools used by professional adult actors. During the teen classes, students are encouraged to observe their peers and give objective feedback, a crucial aspect of the learning process and understanding TBG's methodology. This intensive program, spanning one week, explores ensemble building, script analysis, film/filmmaking terminology, and the application of TBG's acting techniques through monologues, scene work, cold reads, and audition preparation. There are no prerequisites or auditions required to participate.
DCTV, established in 1972, is a nonprofit media arts center in NYC that supports independent filmmakers. Located in a historic firehouse in Chinatown/Tribeca, DCTV fosters an inclusive and diverse community. It offers affordable workshops, equipment rentals, production space, post-production facilities, a renowned documentary production house, and youth media programs. With over 150 hands-on classes and workshops annually in digital filmmaking and media arts, DCTV gives you a unique training experience. Differentiating itself from other centers, DCTV has small class sizes, comprehensive resources, and competitive prices, enabling you to gain valuable skills without disrupting your schedule.
DCTV's Mobile Filmmaking class, designed for beginners, is where you'll learn how to create movies using your smartphone camera. Whether it's video diaries or feature films, this class showcases the creative potential of lightweight yet powerful smartphones for filmmaking. Explore various techniques, strategies, and tools, including additional accessories and apps that enhance creativity while keeping production costs low. The workshop also includes independent exercises between sessions for practical application of the learned concepts.
Digital Cinematography: Camera at DCTV is an intermediate-level production workshop where you’ll see the big picture of camera work and what you can do as a director of photography to best achieve the aesthetic goals of your project. Using the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro, you’ll experiment with framing and composition, lenses and depth of field, and advanced manual image control techniques. You’ll also learn what works best with the conditions and style you want to shoot in.
Conveniently situated on the west side of Manhattan, Acting School for Film and Television offers comprehensive training in practical acting skills. Students learn important techniques such as auditioning, monologues, scene study, cold reading, improvisation, and commercial acting. To ensure a professional and intimate learning experience, their classes are kept small, allowing students to focus on honing their craft. Mark Stolzenberg, the head of the school, leads the classes. He’s also an instructor at The New School in NYC.
Essentials of Film Acting 110 at the Acting School for Film and Television is intended for new students, regardless of experience level. This is an on-camera class that stresses the craft of acting for film and TV. All sessions are filmed, and you’ll review your work at the end of each session on a monitor. The class is limited in size to ensure that everyone gets private camera time. If there’s anything in particular that you need to improve, personal attention will be given. In this class, you’ll work on eye line (where to look), how to project your voice, how to convey emotions, and your physicality. The instructor stresses believability and vulnerability in acting and will share many tricks of the trade. You’ll spend time working on close-ups, performing monologues, doing improvisations, making commercials, and doing some scene work. Most of the material used is from movies.
Virtual Film Classes & Schools
Online film classes differ from in-person film classes in several ways. First, the mode of delivery is distinct, with online classes conducted virtually through video conferencing platforms or pre-recorded video lessons. This allows you to access the materials and instruction from anywhere with an internet connection, offering flexibility and convenience in scheduling and location. By contrast, in-person film classes require physical attendance at a specific venue and adhere to a predetermined schedule.
Second, the interactive nature of online film classes can vary compared to in-person classes. While online classes tend to incorporate discussion forums, chat features, and live video interactions, the immediacy and spontaneity of in-person collaboration and hands-on activities can be challenging to replicate online. In-person classes give you direct interaction with instructors and fellow students, facilitating real-time feedback, group projects, and practical exercises on set or in a dedicated film studio.
Another distinction is that the technical aspects of film production may differ between online and in-person classes. In-person classes often grant access to professional-grade equipment, editing facilities, and physical film sets for practical training. On the other hand, online classes may focus more on theoretical concepts, script analysis, and post-production techniques that can be learned and practiced using personal or readily available equipment.
It's worth noting that online film classes give you the advantage of broader accessibility, as they eliminate geographical limitations and allow you to learn from industry professionals and renowned institutions without the need for travel. However, in-person classes provide you with a more immersive and hands-on experience with face-to-face interactions. This type of learning fosters the development of practical filmmaking skills in a collaborative environment. Ultimately, the choice between online and in-person film classes depends on your own preferences, learning styles, and educational goals.
Actors Connection of New York has been giving actors access to New York's premier agents, casting directors, personal managers, and print agents for over 30 years. With an extensive monthly schedule featuring over 150 classes, seminars, and special events related to TV and film, they provide exceptional opportunities for working actors. Whether you're seeking representation, exploring new aspects of the industry, aiming to enhance your auditioning skills, or simply looking to network, Actors Connection equips you with the necessary tools for success in today's competitive acting market.
The Film Intensive with Donna McKenna, hosted by Actors Connection of New York, is a film and television acting class suitable for all experience levels. Donna McKenna, an internationally acclaimed casting director and producer, will lead the class. The session begins with an informative online Q&A, followed by each student presenting a scene, pre-assigned by the instructor, with a reader in a group setting. You should be prepared to receive feedback and make adjustments. All students will be given a cold scene. Be sure that your headshot and resume are up to date.
Actors Connection of New York hosts an advanced-level class, Online Feature Film/TV Intensive with Erika. The instructor, Erika Foss Demeza, brings a wealth of professional experience in film and television, having worked with esteemed platforms such as Netflix, A24, Apple TV, Hulu, and Focus Features. The virtual intensive starts with a Q&A session, providing an opportunity to interact with Erika. Following that, she will guide you and the other participants (alongside a reader) in on-camera exercises within a group setting. Expect to receive feedback and make real-time adjustments throughout the session.
For the past 18 years, Randi Feldman has been sharing her expertise in film workshops and lectures at prestigious institutions such as UCLA, NYFA (New York Film Academy in L.A.), AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, Santa Fe Community College, "F.I.T" Film Industry Training Program presented by S3 Entertainment Group in Detroit, Michigan, and Columbia College in Hollywood. She also serves as the director of Cinema Workshops, located in Santa Monica, California. At Cinema Workshops, she offers a range of classes focused on "The Craft of the Script Supervisor" for aspiring directors, producers, and script supervisors in the film/TV/commercials industry. Classes are available in private or semi-private workshop formats.
Cinema Workshops hosts Beginning Script Supervising Part A and Beginning Script Supervising Part B, which are designed for individuals without prior experience in the field. These entry-level classes cover all the essential principles and practices that every script supervisor should be familiar with. You will gain a solid foundation in the necessary skills to effectively supervise scripts for both feature films and TV productions. It’s recommended to take Part A and Part B in sequence to fully benefit from the instruction.
Situated in downtown Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles City College is dedicated to empowering students from diverse communities. The institution's mission revolves around assisting students in attaining their educational and career goals by offering learner-centered pathways to success through transfer programs, career and technical education, and foundational skills programs. They teach a comprehensive range of classes, both in-person and online, including those related to TV and film.
At Los Angeles City College, Acting for Film & TV is an introductory-level class that lets you delve into the fundamentals of acting within a safe, positive, and supportive environment. The class focuses on various aspects of the field, such as script analysis and audition preparation. Through the effective use of your imagination, you’ll learn to develop authentic and believable characters. The class emphasizes breathing life into every scene and evoking emotional responses from the audience. Working with scene partners, you’ll engage in practical exercises using film and TV scripts in an audition-style format. Be aware that the class incorporates an on-camera component.
Private Group Film Classes in NYC
If you're interested in reserving a private group film class online, CourseHorse offers customized live online classes tailored to your organization or business, providing an ideal opportunity for team-building that encourages engagement and creativity. To reserve a private group film class, complete the contact form to connect with CourseHorse and explore the available options.
Booking a group event through CourseHorse offers a number of advantages. Firstly, it grants you the flexibility to adjust the group size as needed, and you can expect to receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, all without incurring any additional booking fees. And CourseHorse supports a variety of virtual platforms, which simplifies the hosting of your group's online gathering.
A film class can prove highly effective as a team-building activity, fostering collaboration, creativity, and effective communication. Participating in the process of creating a film requires teamwork. Individuals with diverse skills and roles need to come together to bring a project to fruition. Film class students often work in groups or production teams, relying on each other's expertise and collaborating toward a shared objective. This collaborative environment nurtures trust, respect, and proficient communication skills as participants navigate the intricacies of planning, shooting, and editing a film.
What’s more, film classes provide a platform for people to express their creativity and explore their strengths in a supportive setting. Engaging in hands-on activities and creative exercises allows team members to unleash their imaginations and problem-solving abilities. They will discover innovative approaches to overcome challenges. This shared experience of learning and creating together brings about a sense of camaraderie and belonging within the group. By witnessing the collective effort needed to produce a film, participants develop a deeper appreciation for each other's contributions and gain a greater understanding of the value of teamwork.