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Cinema Language

No Budget Film School's "The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking" 8/4/12

No Budget Film School

Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM - Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 7:00 PM (PDT)

No Budget Film School's "The Art & Science of...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Both Days - Pre-Paid   more info Ended $275.00 $16.12
Both Days - Student   more info Ended $200.00 $11.99
Single Day - Pre-Paid   more info Ended $150.00 $9.24
Single Day - Student   more info Ended $100.00 $6.49
All Four Days - Pre-Paid (Both Classes: "Art & Science" & "Cinema Lang.")   more info Ended $500.00 $24.95

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Event Details

No Budget Film School Presents "The Art & Science Of No-Budget Filmmaking"

Saturday & Sunday, August 4 & 5, 2012 • 9:30am - 6:00pm

Raleigh Studios • Chaplin Theater

5300 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Join the No Budget Film School Facebook Page and get up-to-the-minute tips and information on no-budget filmmaking.


"The absolute best class you can take on how to make your own low/no budget film. Seriously." - Signe Olynyk, Founder, Great American Pitchfest; Writer/Producer, "Below Zero"

"The No Budget Film School is designed for the moviemaker who possesses nothing but a dream and a drive. If you take the course and can't make some kind of film at the end of it, you'll have no one to blame but yourself. " - Peter MacNicol (Emmy Award Winning Actor: Allie McBeal, Numb3rs, Sophie's Choice)

"Your workshop was fantastic--well worth the money in my no budget filmmaking world. I'm a graduate of UCLA film school and two of my screenplays were considered by the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab. You and your guest speakers inspired my husband and I to move forward, honor our uniqueness, and trust our intuition instead of playing the approval game. You've liberated us! Thanks a million for sharing your experiences." - Chien-ei Yu

"I cannot say enough about the two-day class we just completed today...the course was fantastic!! I feel like I have learned in two days, what would've taken me several years of experience and experimentation to learn. Thanks for sharing your wealth of experience and knowledge with us." - Monica Vazquez

"The best filmmaking training money I ever spent." - Amir Masud, Writer/Director, Affliction

Read more Testimonials...


No Budget Film School presents it's famed "The Art & Science Of No-Budget Filmmaking" two-day seminar.  No-budget first features launched the careers of filmmakers like Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, Narc), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler), Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland), David Gordon Green (Your Highness, Pineapple Express), Justin Lin (Fast Five, Fast & Furious), and Craig Brewer (Footloose, Hustle & Flow).  These first films all went through the offices of Next Wave Films, the former low-budget financing arm of IFC.  Now producer Mark Stolaroff--a principal of Next Wave--is sharing what he's learned from years in the trenches of no-budget independent filmmaking in this in-depth, one-of-a-kind class

Micro-budget (under $200,000) filmmaking is unique.  The methods, models, and priorities are radically different from those of studio or even "low" budget $1 million films. In this class, students will learn the rules of micro-budget production critical to making this type of film successfully, whether the budget is $200,000 or $200. Attendees will walk away with powerful ideas that they can use immediately, saving them time and money, and preventing fatal mistakes that could doom otherwise worthy projects.  Guest speakers provide an up-to-the-minute perspective on what works and what doesn't in the current no-budget landscape.  These cutting-edge techniques can NOT be found in a book, at film school, or in other film classes.  For filmmakers who are preparing to make their micro-budget features, this class is indispensable.  The approaches taught will enable filmmakers to maximize very limited resources and minimize critical errors that can doom otherwise worth projects.

LEARN cutting edge techniques and how to choose the latest digital cameras and software

HEAR no-budget professionals offer first-hand knowledge of production, post production, marketing, and distribution

EXAMINE a budget line-by-line and discover where and how to spend money (and, more importantly, not spend money)--whether your budget is $200,000 or $200

SEE clips from micro-budget films illustrating the tricks-of-the-trade used by resourceful filmmakers

MEET other like-minded filmmakers and find teammates who will help you make your no-budget project a reality

If you're through talking about being a filmmaker and ready to become one, this will be the most practical filmmaking class you will ever take.

The classes will be held at Raleigh Studios' Chaplin Theater, from 9:30am to 6pm, on August 4th & 5th (though plan on staying until about 7pm on the 5th).  Single day tickets are also available for each day. Tuition includes class materials, plus several special offers and giveaways! 



"The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking" is being held alongside Tom Provost's essential "Cinema Language: The Art of Storytelling" class, which takes place the following weekend, August 11th & 12th.  You can take each class separately, or together and save. A special "Gift Basket" of goodies will be provided to students who take all four days.  For more information on "The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking," see below.  For more information on "Cinema Language," visit the Cinema Language Eventbrite page.  The two-weekend, four-day package can be purchased on this page or on the Cinema Language page.



No Budget Film School has partnered with Write Brothers to bring you an incredible offer:  all registered attendees will receive Movie Magic Screenwriter software absolutely FREE!  (a $250 value!).  Attendees also receive big discounts on Budgeting and Scheduling software from Showbiz Software, on Quick Film Budget's innovative budget-making tool, and on Lightspeed's new cloud-based production management system.  And we'll be raffling off some goodies, too. (see below for details)

"The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking"


Course 101: "The Art of No-Budget Filmmaking"

"Tremendous stuff, all weekend long, and so professionally put together. The 'write to your definition of no-budget/write to your resources' philosophy at the center of your teaching really came through and rang true -- absolutely vital, and really sums it up." - Chris Soth, Screenwriting Instructor

This course gives filmmakers the tools and the confidence to make a feature right now, with the resources available to them, however limited those resources might be.  The class offers a unique overview of Production, Post Production and Distribution from a no-budget perspective, encouraging filmmakers to throw out old templates of moviemaking.  The approach guides filmmakers to examine their own specific circumstances--their limitations and their resources--and reinvent the moviemaking process to suit their unique situation.  Learn:

  • How to design a great script that will cost little or no money to produce
  • How to devise a production that conforms to your particular circumstances
  • How to prioritize limited resources
  • How to tackle post production, festival strategy and distribution on a shoestring
  • Much, much more


•  Peter Broderick, considered the leading authority on alternative distribution strategy, will give an empowering presentation on maximizing distribution with new, innovative techniques; and will also discuss Crowdfunding, with platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Broderick has been one of low-budget filmmaking's leading experts since the early 90's. He wrote a series of articles for Filmmaker Magazine back then that helped drive the micro-budget filmmaking movement.  In 1997 he founded Next Wave Films, which helped launch the careers of filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Joe Carnahan, Amir Bar-Lev and many others.  Now, as the President of Paradigm Consulting, he is a sought-after consultant, speaker, and producers rep.

• Writer/Director Michael Mohan will discuss his no-budget feature One Too Many Mornings, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The success of this film allowed him to make the higher budget feature Save The Date, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently picked up for distribution by IFC Films.  Mike has the unusual distinction of attending three Sundances in a row, (he had a short in the 2011 fest). Mike will also talk about the differences between making a no-budget film with available resources and a more conventionally produced low-budget film.

 Jacob Rosenbeg, the Chief Technology Officer of Bandito Brothers, a media company best known for producing the recent studio film Act Of Valor, will discuss post production on a micro-budget.  An author, filmmaker, and digital technology expert, Jacob was a senior consultant for Adobe Systems before his groundbreaking work as an online editor and digital intermediate supervisor on the award-winning documentary, Dust To Glory, which mixed nine different video formats seamlessly.  He was also a technical advisor on Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, Martin Scorsese's Shine The Light, and James Cameron's Avatar.


Course 201:  "The Science of No-Budget Filmmaking"

"I can't tell you enough how helpful I found your No Budget Budgeting lecture. So many things you spoke about that day have come up for me. I'm very glad I took your class." - Pamela Pedder 

A detailed line-by-line analysis of the production budget from a no-budget perspective.  Topics include: Cast & Casting, Crew, Equipment, Insurance, Locations, Permits, Props/Set Dressing, Vehicles, Makeup/Wardrobe, Camera/Format, Sound, Legal, and Miscellaneous Budget Items.  The class will dissect the production of the $50,000 feature True Love (a Sundance Screenwriters Lab Project)demonstrating the low-budget tricks used--and the mistakes made--showing clips from the film and valuable behind-the-scenes footage, in this comprehensive examination of a no-budget film.  Learn:

  • How to find great cast & crew with little or nothing to pay
  • How to shoot in LA without filming permits
  • How to get free locations, free props, and free equipment
  • What formats, cameras, and editing systems to use
  • Much, Much more


•  Writer/director Drake Doremus will reveal the no-budget tricks behind his two very successful no-budget features, Douchebag, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and Like Crazy, which was the hit of the 2011 Sundance and ultimately won the Grand Jury Prize there.  Both films were made with inexpensive cameras, tiny crews and improvised scripts, and both were picked up for distribution, with Like Crazy going out through Paramount and grossing several million dollars. Drake is currently in post on his newest film, which stars Guy Pierce.

• Louise Runge and Samantha Housman, producing partners at OneZero Films, will talk about producing their no-budget hit film 28 Hotel Rooms, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for theatrical distribution by Oscilloscope Pictures. The film stars Chris Messina and Marin Ireland, and was written and directed by Matt Ross, who is perhaps best known for playing the role of Alby Grant on HBO's Big Love.

•  FSI:  Film Scene Investigation - analyze scenes from an award-winning no-budget movie, from script to screen.  Hear the scenes read, get the opportunity to identify and solve production problems, learn how those problems were solved in the movie, see behind-the-scenes footage of the scenes' set-up, then see the filmed scenes in their finished form.

•  Filmmaker Tom Provost will give a preview of his Cinema Language class, taking place the following weekend, and will be on-hand throughout the two days as a resource.  Writer/director/producer Provost's independently financed and produced new feature The Presence, starring Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino, Golden Globe nominee Justin Kirk, and Shane West, has won numerous awards at festivals throughout the past year and is being released by Lionsgate in October.



Mark Stolaroff, InstructorMark Stolaroff is an independent producer and a founding partner of Antic Pictures, an LA-based production company producing a slate of low budget, high quality digital features.  Stolaroff recently completed his newest micro-budget film Pig, the fourth feature from award-winning writer/director Henry Barrial (Some Body). Pig has been an official selection at over 30 film festivals worldwide, and won nine awards, including 6 Best Feature awards.  With Ron Judkins, Stolaroff produced Barrial's third feature, True Love, which was developed in the 2003 Sundance Screenwriters Lab and was a success on the festival circuit. He was also the co-producer of the feature documentary Paper Chasers, which was released in 2005, and was the Associate Producer of The Trouble With Men And Women, which opened theatrically in 2006. 

Stolaroff was formerly a principal of Next Wave Films, a company of The Independent Film Channel that provided finishing funds to exceptional, low budget films; and through its production arm Agenda 2000, financed and executive produced digital features.  Included in Next Wave's 13 films are Christopher Nolan's (Inception, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Memento) first feature, Following; Joe Carnahan's (The A-Team, Narc) first feature, Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane; Amir Bar Lev's (The Tillman Story, My Kid Could Paint That) first feature Fighter; the Academy Award-nominated documentary Sound And Fury; and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning documentary Southern Comfort.  He was the Associate Producer on a number of Next Wave projects, including Some Body and Manic (starring Don Cheadle, Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Zoey Deschanel), two digital features at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, and the award-winning theatrical documentary Keep The River On Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale. In all Next Wave took seven films to Sundance and five to Toronto; nine were released theatrically in the U.S. and two premiered on HBO; nine were shot digitally and six of those were transferred to film.


Stolaroff has lectured on low budget and digital filmmaking throughout the world and at many of the major film festivals.  He has taught film classes at UCLA Extension, the Maine Film Workshop, and The Learning Annex and has written for Scientific AmericanFilmmakerSight & SoundFilm Festival Reporter, and Film Arts Magazine. He has been on countless filmmaking panels over the last two decades and has sat on the juries of many film festivals.  He was on the Advisory Board of HBO's US Comedy Arts Film Festival and he currently serves on the advisory board of Filmmakers Alliance. 


Stolaroff has extensive production experience on several low budget features and shorts, including production managing the Academy Award winning short film My Mother Dreams The Satan's Disciples in New York. His background also includes two years in Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, and five years as the Managing Director of Curtains Theater, an innovative legitimate theater he founded in Houston.  A native Texan, Stolaroff received his BBA from the prestigious Business Honors Program at the University of Texas in Austin and minored in Film Production, directing several 16mm shorts.



Movie Magic ScreenwriterMove Magic Screenwriter is the best screenplay formatting software, an industry standard, and the choice of Hollywood professionals. Screenwriter formats while you write so you can focus on what you're writing, not where it goes on the page. It also formats for television, stage, novels and comic book scripts so you've got it all in one package for any story you want to write. With a massive set of features designed to make the rewriting process fast and simple you can get from FADE IN: to FADE OUT effortlessly. Developed by writers for writers, Write Brothers is the first and ony creative team ever to receive a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for screenwriting software.  All No Budget Film School attendees get this terrific product FREE just for registering.



Showbiz SoftwareShowbiz Software's Budgeting allows production accountants, production managers and independent producers to create all types of budgets for film, TV, commercials, music videos, web series and corporate videos. The program also actualizes, so you can see what you've spent and how it affects your overall budget. Showbiz Scheduling has become the go-to software for producers and production managers who want the most control  over their shooting schedule, combined with the flexibility to change elements on the fly. The program comes with fully customizable reports, including call sheets, production reports, shooting schedules, Exhibit G's, and more.  All No Budget Film School attendees will receive a generous discount on these two products:  save $220 on Budgeting (that's 55% off the list price); save $150 on Scheduling (that's a 50% savings); and save $425 on the bundle, (60% off the list price!). And we will be giving away another Showbiz product, Showbiz Producer, in a raffle, (worth $90). 



Quick Film BudgetQuckFilmBudget.com is a revolutionary budgeting tool that helps independent filmmakers move toward production by automating the budget-making process and delivering a professional customized budget in minutes.  Quick Film Budget can create budgets for Short Films, Micro-Budget Features, and Studio Films. You can select to have your budget delivered in a modifiable file format such as Showbiz Software (above), EP's Movie Magic, Excel, or Numbers.  Everyone who attends No Budget Film School will receive a 20% discount on Quick Film Budget! QFB co-founder Nolan Lebovitz will give a brief introduction of the product on Sunday.



Lightspeed LogoLightSPEED eps is a a web-based entertainment production management system designed specifically for the film and television industry. It centralizes your production information and provides secure access from your computer, cell phone, or wireless device. LightSPEED combines and integrates several production management functions, like scheduling, call sheet creation, contact list creation, and makes them available in the cloud for your whole production, safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively.  All attendees receive a discount on the LightSPEED product.



Prepaid discounts are available to attendees who pay before they get to the door. Further discounts are available to students, (both former No Budget Film School students and all other students with a valid Student I.D.). To prepay with a check, please email us at nobudgetfilmschool@earthlink.net for instructions.  Tuition includes complimentary 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's "The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking" 8/4/12? Contact No Budget Film School

When & Where

5300 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, 90038

Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 9:30 AM - Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 7:00 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's "The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking" 8/4/12
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