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Cinema Language

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

No Budget Film School

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 6:00 PM (PST)

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

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

Saturday & Sunday, February 28 & March 1, 2015 • 9:00am - 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"

"I did Mark's workshop and it was awesome. I couldn't recommend this more for anyone in the movie business. Do yourself a favor and check it out!" - Blake Robbins, Writer/Director/Producer/Actor, The Sublime And Beautiful, (2014 Slamdance - Narrative Competition)

"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)

"I've sat through similar film seminars and classes in the past and must say that your No Budget School was the most inspiring, yet pragmatic in approach and method. It should be called the No Excuse Film School. None of us have any excuse for not producing a feature after taking your class." - Jim Long, Director/Producer, The Phone In The Attic

"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 (Interstellar, The Dark Knight), Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, Narc), Darren Aronofsky (Noah, Black Swan), Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland), David Gordon Green (Your Highness, Pineapple Express), Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five), 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 successful 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 9:00am to 6pm, on February 28th & March 1st (though plan on staying until about 7pm on the 1st).  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, March 7th & 8th.  You can take each class separately, or together and save. 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. **Attendees to both weekends will get a free 30 minute consultation from either Mark Stolaroff or Tom Provost.


"Our ability to successfully produce a feature film can be traced directly back to what we learned at No Budget Film School and the follow-up Cinema Language weekend. They provided valuable insight into making a low-budget film, and, more importantly, inspired us to do it. Great investment of time and money!"Ron and Wayne Jackson, Producers of 5 Hour Friends



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 total value!). Attendees also receive big discounts 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


And Uneasy Lies The Mind PosterDirector/cinematographer Ricky Fosheim will discuss his new feature And Uneasy Lies The Mind, which he directed and shot entirely on an Apple iPhone, (the first narrative feature to do so). The film was made with a tiny crew on a budget of $10,000, which was raised on Kickstarter.  It premiered at the 2014 Cinequest Film Festival and was recently released by Gravitas Ventures.  Ricky has directed two other features and is also the producer of Thankskilling 3, the successful sequel to the no-budget cult hit Thankskilling.  A prolific DP, Ricky was a freelance cinematographer for Will Ferrell's Funny Or Die website for four years.

• 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.

Matt Radecki, co-director of TV Junkie (Sundance 2006) and producer of numerous award-winning features and documentaries, (including the feature documentary Marwencol, winner of over 15 awards), will discuss post production for no-budget features.  Matt is the co-founder of Different by Design, a production company and post production facility that caters to independent filmmakers.

(Guest speakers are subject to change based on schedule availability)


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


Sublime & Beautiful Poster•  Veteran actor Blake Robbins, perhaps best known as Dave Brass on HBO's Oz or as Tom Halbert on NBC's The Office, will share his experiences writing, producing and directing his first feature, The Sublime And Beautiful.  S&B premiered as one of only 10 features in Dramatic Competition at the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival.  Since then it has played in numerous film fests, winning 8 awards, and was distributed in the U.S. by Candy Factory Productions. Self financed via Kickstarter and shot for $30k, the film follows many of No Budget Film School's principals of successful no-budget filmmaking.  No surprise:  Blake attended No Budget Film School before embarking on the production, making him the first student to come back as a guest speaker--coming full circle in a kind-of Lion King sort of way. 

•  Writer/Director/Producer Matt Sobel will give us the inside scoop behind his hit feature film Take Me To The River, which just premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.  Starring Robin Weigert (Deadwood), Josh Hamilton (Dark Skies), and Richard Schiff (West Wing), the film is closing in on a disribution deal, to be announced soon. Matt will discuss how he quickly raised the money for the film, how he wrote the script around his resources, how he was able to attract name actors, and how he and his team tackled Sundance.  Matt is an IFP Narrative Lab and Binger FilmLab fellow and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New Faces of Independent Film" in 2014.

•  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 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 was released by Lionsgate. He is also a graduate screenwriting professor at Pepperdine.

(Guest speakers subject to change based on schedule availability)


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's recently completed micro-budget film Pig, the fourth feature from award-winning writer/director Henry Barrial (Some Body), was an official selection at over 35 film festivals worldwide, winning 10 awards, including 7 Best Feature awards. It was released by Kino Lorber in March 2014.  With Ron Judkins, Stolaroff produced Barrial's third feature, True Love, which was developed in the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and was a success on the festival circuit.  He is a producer on Barrial's new film The House That Jack Built, which premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival and has won 8 awards so far; and has consulted on numerous projects, including Farah Goes Bang, which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, winning the Nora Ephron Award.

Stolaroff was formerly a principal at 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 (Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Inception, 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 & Zooey 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 and film schools.  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.


Quick Film 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.



Early-bird discounts are available to attendees who pay before the end of day February 14th. 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 for the 2-day class are $300 (single day = $175). Tuition includes complimentary refreshments and class materials.


No Budget Film School has secured a discount at the Hollywood Historic Hotel, a beautiful and affordable hotel that is only 2 blocks from the Chaplin Theater. To book a room, call Betti Robles at (323) 426-5787 and tell her you're coming in town for No Budget Film School, to get the best rate.


You will be able to ask for a full refund up until 10 days before the first day of the class. No refunds will be given within 10 days of the class, but you will be able to apply the amount you paid toward a future class.


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

Matt Sobel
Matt Radecki
Different By Design
Blake Robbins
Ricky Fosheim
Detention Films
Peter Broderick
Paradigm Consulting
Distribution Expert
Have questions about No Budget Film School's "The Art & Science of No-Budget Filmmaking"? Contact No Budget Film School

When & Where

Raleigh Studios' Chaplin Theater
5300 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 6:00 PM (PST)

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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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