Announcing 20 All New Lessons

We are excited to announce a suite of 20 all new lessons -our best yet!! Each lesson is jam-packed with on-set video tutorials, written companion guides, downloadable files and quick-reference guides, and much more.

You can access these new lessons in a number of ways:

 

Now, on to the new lessons!

Focusing Techniques

From traditional focusing techniques of setting marks and measuring distances, to using digital focus assist tools, students learn how to set focus, overcome focus challenges, and proper on-set procedures.

Lens Focal Length

Students learn the power of the lens, how focal length affects the field of view and depth, changes in the illusion of time, plus how to work with zoom vs prime lenses, and compensate for crop factor.

f-Stops and T-Stops

This lesson covers how f-stops and T-stops are used to determine exposure, how to work with fast and slow lenses, and how f-stops are used to determine camera exposure and lighting ratios on set.

Intro to Light and Exposure

Students are introduced to the nature of light, how it’s measured, and the foundations of exposure. Complex techniques of the inverse square law, dynamic range, latitude, and contrast ratios are made simple.

Taking Care of Lenses

Students learn how to properly change lenses, remove dust and debris, protect lenses both in transit and on set, prevent condensation, and how to properly clean the imaging sensor.

The Camera Shutter

Students learn how electronic shutters function, how to choose the shutter angle, global vs rolling shutters, motion blur, managing screen flicker, and how to compensate exposure.

Frame Rates

This lesson provides a comprehensive look at frame rates, interlaced vs progressive, time code, drop frame, 3:2 pull down, slow motion and time lapse, and how to calculate exposure with different frame rates.

How to Prep a Camera

Students learn how to prep the camera, matte box, follow focus, monitor, cables, batteries, media, and how to conduct lens calibration tests to ensure the camera works properly on set.

Imaging Sensor and ISO

Students learn how the imaging sensor, CCD and CMOS chips, and photosites function, plus Bayer pattern and debayering, CODECs and RAW formats, bit depths, ISO, image quality, and gain.

Three Point Lighting

Students learn a range of key light techniques for beauty and drama, how to work with ambient fill light, rim lights, kickers, and how to use contrast to separate the subject from the background.

How to Expose a Shot

Students learn exposure techniques including zebra stripes, false color, waveform monitors, histograms, and light meters, plus how to expose skin tones, and work within the camera’s latitude and contrast ratio.

Depth of Field Study

In this lesson, students learn how to control the depth of field and its technical and creative effects. This lesson includes three scenes of differing depths of field to illustrate the change in emotional impact. Coming Soon!

How to Direct a Scene

Students experience how a scene is blocked, rehearsed, lit, and shot. This lesson includes a downloadable script, final cut, and rough footage of the sample scene.

How to Shoot a Spec Commercial

This case study explores how a spec commercial is produced from concept to completion, and how spec projects can be used to help students find production work.

How to Set Up Your Camera

This lesson covers how to set up the recording resolution, aspect ratio, CODECs, ISO, picture profiles, plus basic lens techniques.

Basic Shooting Techniques

The lesson shows students the basics of focus, exposure, frame rate, and shutter speed in simple, non-technical language.

Basic Production Techniques

Students learn basic pre-production techniques, how to scout a location, prep equipment, mark shots, manage media, and wrap out a location.

Basic Framing Techniques

Students learn shot types, camera moves, compositional guidelines, how to frame people, and a basic workflow for shooting each shot.

Basic Audio Techniques

Students learn how to choose a microphone, reduce ambient noise, configure audio settings, set levels, plus audio recording techniques.

Basic Directing Techniques

Students learn how to block actors, basic scene coverage, plan proper coverage, shoot sequences, and how to work with actors. Coming Soon!

How I Went from Film School Dropout to a Hollywood Director with a $10,000 Day Rate

Welcome!

Jason Tomaric, Emmy-winning director/cinematographer and founder of FilmSkills

Hello, I’m Jason Tomaric, and welcome to FilmSkills. I’m a working director and cinematographer in Los Angeles, California and the founder of FilmSkills.

I can imagine we have a lot in common. I grew up in a small Ohio town and started a production company shooting local commercials for bike shops, restaurants, and attorneys.  While I dreamt of shooting bigger projects in LA, I had no idea where to start. My family was a typical middle-income family with absolutely no industry connections, and film school wasn’t for me. But as fate would have it, our neighbors in the house behind us had a daughter, Johanna Jenson, who worked in the film industry in LA.  Our neighbor would send Johanna newspaper clippings covering my film shoots, and after a while, Johanna and I became pen pals. I would ask her questions about her life working in Hollywood, then anxiously await her reply. She was a lifeline between me and my career dreams in LA.  Her advice and kindness were instrumental in helping me move my career to the next level.

Eventually I moved to LA, where I built a successful career directing and shooting feature films, television commercials, and documentaries. If it wasn’t for Johanna’s kindness in helping an ambitious kid in Ohio, I may have never taken the plunge, and for that I am forever grateful.

As I continued to grow professionally, I was disappointed at the opportunities to learn– film schools were outrageously priced and had inexperienced – often bitter – instructors, books seemed too academic, and self-proclaimed experts on youTube were sharing what limited knowledge they had… from their bedroom studios and a webcam.  I didn’t want any of that; I wanted to learn from the pros.  And with that thought, FilmSkills was born.

 

Say Hello to FilmSkills

Johanna had a huge impact on my life and career. Afterall, it’s not every day that you can connect with a working Hollywood filmmaker. There isn’t a career day where you can follow around a director, producer, cinematographer, or editor like you can a police officer, doctor, or architect. Hollywood seems like a good old boys club where you have to know someone to get in, and once you’re in, no one on the outside matters.  But I found the opposite to be true.

Hundreds of successful and talented filmmakers from all parts of the business partnered with me on FilmSkills to share their knowledge and experience with you. We take you step-by-step through the hard-learned lessons on how to build a career from scratch. FilmSkills is about real world knowledge from real world filmmakers.

 

“Film professors do not teach the real world. That’s why our instructors are working Hollywood filmmakers.”

 

Widely adopted

FilmSkills has quickly grown into the film industry’s largest film training site.  Tens of thousands of students have learned from over 150 leading filmmakers.  FilmSkills has also been widely adopted by over 70 film schools, including UCLA, Yale, NYU, Columbia College Chicago, and Full Sail.  Why?  Because at FilmSkills, you learn from the best people in the industry.

  • James Cameron’s Assistant director team teaches you how to schedule and budget a film shoot
  • Steven Spielberg’s producers teach you how to produce a film
  • The directors of Castle, Star Trek, The X-Files, and The Fugitive teach you how to direct actors and the director’s craft
  • Judd Apatow’s audio post-product team teaches you about ADR, sound effects editing, and Foley
  • Emmy-Award winning Executive Producer of Everybody Loves Raymond and Seinfeld teaches you how to write a script

…and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.  Our 150 instructors have won, or been nominated for, over 70 Emmy, Academy Awards, BAFTAs, and Golden Globes. I bet you can’t find a film school with that caliber of instructors, and at FilmSkills, they are all here for you.

 

Get the Jobs and Day Rate You Deserve

By the end of the day, you want one thing– to get the jobs you want and earn the paycheck you deserve.  That is the core goal of FilmSkills.  You will learn the process and techniques in the safety of your own home so when you get on set, you’ll have the edge.  We are here to dramatically shorten your learning curve so you can accelerate your career. You may be wondering who am I to teach this?

 

 I went from a film school drop out to earning $10,000/day as a director and cinematographer in Hollywood.

 

I went from directing local bike shop commercials in Ohio to an Emmy-winning career in LA earning a $10,000 day rate. I’ve shot documentaries that span 20 countries and TV commercial campaigns for major companies like Toyota, McDonald’s, and Microsoft.  While my passion has always been filmmaking, a close second is teaching. I’ve seen a handful of people succeed in this business and hundreds fail.  The ones who succeed all have some of the same traits– as do the people who fail.  FilmSkills is about guiding you through the career minefield so you can improve your chances of being one of the success stories.

At FilmSkills, we’re not here to teach you the art. That’s your talent and gift.  We are here to show you the tools, process, and industry techniques to harness and shape your creative vision into a career.

We’re so excited to have you with us and are ready to help you take your career to the next level.  Let’s get started!

Join FilmSkills