In the ArtCenter Extension (ACX) course Introduction to Filmmaking, taught by alumnus Devin Hawker (BFA 84 Film), students learn the fundamental concepts and practices involved in filmmaking while making three short films.
“Filmmaking has become an increasingly vital form of communication for more and more artists and professionals of all kinds,” says Hawker. “From the beginner to the working professional to the person who wants to explore a new path in their career, the diversity of students in the class is what makes it such a great learning experience.”
In the course, directing and cinematography are closely linked, as students explore methods that make a film play. The course highlights effective communication, storytelling and creative editing techniques to enhance a story.
One assignment, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a mood and imagery project that students can complete alone, without actors, to kickstart the course.
“Talking through the challenges of COVID has made the class more personal,” says Hawker. “Navigating the unexpected—while ensuring safety—has always been a part of filmmaking, and it’s a subject we talk about in an organic way.”
Students have used films they’ve created in the course to apply to and be accepted into ArtCenter’s Film degree program, says Hawker. Students in the course learn how to successfully collaborate.
“Filmmaking is a very social art, and we often need others to help us tell our stories,” says Hawker. “We make short films, share our work, give our feedback and learn from each other.”