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Cinema Language

No Budget Film School Presents "Cinema Language" 8-29-10

No Budget Film School

Sunday, August 29, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (PDT)

No Budget Film School Presents "Cinema Language"...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Student tickets are available to prior No Budget Film School students, or any student with a valid Student I.D., only.
Ended $125.00 $7.87
Pre-Paid Ended $175.00 $10.62

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Event Details

No Budget Film School Presents "Cinema Language"

Sunday, August 29, 2010 • 9:00am - 6:00pm

Raleigh Studios • Chaplin Theater

5300 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Join the Cinema Language Facebook Fan Page and get a taste of what the class is all about.


"You gave me a whole new appreciation for visual storytelling. Your presentations will forever have an impact on my own writing and storytelling." - Joe Coddington

"You have unique insight on form and character that I will incorporate into my own directing. And the class was extremely entertaining." - Julie Cohen

No Budget Film School presents "Cinema Language," two all-new courses in one day:  "Course 103: Mastering Film Grammar" and "Course 204:  From Script to Screen." These two new classes, which explore the written and unwritten language of cinema, will be taught by filmmaker and instructor Tom Provost on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at Raleigh Studio's Chaplin Theater, from 9am to 6pm. Tuition includes a complimentary lunch and class materials.

Morning Session:  "Course 103: Mastering Film Grammar"

A departure from previous No Budget Film School courses that have concentrated solely on no-budget production, "Mastering Film Grammar" is an intensive and highly entertaining exploration of screen art form.  The kind of instruction usually found only in expensive film schools, these tenets of film language are some of the most cost-effective ways to improve the quality of a production no matter what the budget.  Whether you're spending $100 million or $100, you're going to be pointing your camera at something.  This course teaches you how to get the most out of what you shoot, independent of budget.  Students will be assigned two classic films to watch prior to class, Bob Fosse's All That Jazz and Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious, both of which will be explored in depth.

"Mastering Film Grammar" covers the specific strengths of the motion picture medium. What are the artistic elements that make up a film, and how do they work together to create a singular, multi-sensory experience?  Instructor Provost will explore the colors, shots, shapes, symbols, lines, shadows, and sounds that prompt specific emotions and make up the extremely visual and aural art that is the motion picture.  Framing, moving, editing and lighting the image, depth of field, POV, score and source music, sound effects:  these are the elements of the language of cinema, and we as filmmakers make creative decisions based on these elements no matter the budget of our projects. The course dives into classical film grammar, examining how to use it properly and then how it can be twisted to great effect.  The course also covers specific examples of how to use Frame, Light, Shadow, Color, Sound, and Editing, with over 100 clips and screen shots from various movies to illustrate and illuminate.  Whether you are a writer, director, producer, or just a film buff, this extremely entertaining class will expand your knowledge of the craft of filmmaking as well as help inspire and prepare you for your next feature project.  

Suggested Homework Assignment

Watch  All That Jazz  (1979 dir. Bob Fosse);  Notorious  (1946  dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Afternoon Session:  "Course 204:  From Script to Screen"

Writer/Director Provost discusses the process of traveling from script to final edited product of his new feature The Presence, which stars Oscar Winner Mira Sorvino, Golden Globe Nominee Justin Kirk and Shane West. This will be a candid, insightful dissection of the filmmaking process, examining a just-completed feature that will not be released until 2011. Students will read the first act of the screenplay as homework before attending the class, and then watch the complete film in the afternoon. 

Following the screening, Provost will cover extensively how he and his creative team worked to bring what was on paper to life, given the typical compromises and considerations of budget, time, personnel issues, weather, and planning.  Particular focus will be placed on what "went wrong" as well as what changed from the script and why.  The discussion will also include the "writing" that went on in the editing room as the film took shape and became something apart from the shooting script.  Specific clips and production stills will be used to illustrate the various decisions made on the set and after.  "From Script To Screen" is an extremely frank and revealing discussion about the realities every filmmaker faces whatever the budget, offering filmmakers a rare insider's look at just how a movie comes to fruition. Students will have the opportunity to see the film months before it opens to the general public and have an open forum with the filmmaker regarding their thoughts on the movie.

Suggested Homework Assignment

Read the first 30 pages of The Presence



8:15am - 9:00am    Registration

9:00am - Noon       "Mastering Film Grammar"

Noon - 1:00pm        Complimentary Networking Lunch

1:00pm - 2:30pm     Screening Of The Presence

2:45pm - 6:00pm     "From Script To Screen"



Instructor Tom ProvostTom Provost has enjoyed a varied and successful career in the entertainment industry as an author, screenwriter, editor, director, producer, actor, and instructor.  Before graduating from The University of Texas in Austin's prestigious Plan II honors program with an emphasis in film, he wrote and directed several shorts and authored a published thesis on director Alfred Hitchcock.  He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.  After landing several parts in film and TV, including a recurring role on Steven Spielberg's SeaQuest DSV, Provost took up editing, learning the Avid system just as non-linear editing was beginning to make its way on the scene.  After editing short films and a couple of features, he worked for several years cutting  and producing award winning promos for the WB and Bravo Television Networks.  

During this time he was hired to adapt a script for Morgan Freeman's production company, Revelations, a screenplay eventually made into the film Under Suspicion starring Freeman and Gene Hackman, directed by Stephen Hopkins. The screenplay was nominated for an Edgar Award.  This lead to work as a script doctor, where his ability to shape story has been highly prized. Long in development, Provost's feature directorial debut The Presence, (www.thepresencemovie.com), which he also wrote, was recently completed and is set for release in early 2011.  The inventive ghost story/modern-day gothic romance stars Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), Shane West (ER), Golden Globe Nominee Justin Kirk (Weeds), and Tony Curan (Pearl Harbor, Gladiator).  In addition to directing commercials and editing reality TV (The Bachelor, The Apprentice [Emmy nominated], and several others), Provost has been a popular film instructor at a variety of venues all over the country for many years. 


"Your class on form and construction of image is of the utmost importance and, as a director, to say it affected my own work in a profound way would be an understatement." - Bill Garrett

"Every producer should take your classes before taking on a film. These classes are beneficial not just for writers or directors but for anyone who works with or has a love for movies." - Andy Henderson

"The information you presented was just incredible. It will have a profound effect on how I approach my own stories." - Alice Garcia



Discounts are available to attendees who pay before the start of the class.  Further discounts are available to students, (both former No Budget Film School students and all other students with a valid Student I.D.).  All tickets at the door will be $200. Only cash and checks will be accepted at the door.  To pre-pay with a check, please email us for instructions at nobudgetfilmschool@earthlink.net . Tuition includes a complimentary lunch, refreshments, and class materials. 


Can't make the class? For more information on future classes and to sign up for the No-Budget Newsletter, please visit:


Have questions about No Budget Film School Presents "Cinema Language" 8-29-10? Contact No Budget Film School

When & Where

5300 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, 90038

Sunday, August 29, 2010 from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM (PDT)

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No Budget Film School

NO BUDGET FILM SCHOOL is a unique series of classes specifically designed to help the NO-BUDGET filmmaker, whether he or she is working with a budget of $200,000 or $2,000.  The lessons, tools, and techniques gained from these courses are intended to maximize very limited resources and minimize critical errors that can doom otherwise worthy projects. 

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No Budget Film School Presents "Cinema Language" 8-29-10
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