Movie Making School 101: 4 Steps To The Perfect Short Film

Posted on April 29th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

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Many famous directors started out making short films

What do Michel Gondry, Paul Thomas Anderson, Tim Burton, and George Lucas all have in common? Each of these famous directors all got their start in the industry by creating acclaimed short films.

While they don’t have the commercial potential of a full-length feature, a short film can be the most valuable piece of work an aspiring filmmaker produces.  Shorts can earn recognition through competitions and festivals, help you build an online following by posting on sites like YouTube, and used as a general calling card to give industry insiders a short introduction to your work.

But how can film production students make an impact in just a few minutes of screen time?  Read on to find out how to make short film that count.

1. Find the Right Idea for Your Short Film Production

Finding a good idea for a short film can be difficult. Not only do you need to create a compelling story, but you also need to be able to convey it in at very short space of time. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a story that you tell in three minutes or less, but which is still unique and exciting enough to grab an audience.

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Short filmmakers need make the most of limited time

2. Don’t Forget the Scriptwriting Basics You Learn at Film Production College

During their courses in film writing, students learn how put together a script using classic three-act story structure. Unfortunately, many neglect to apply these rules to their short film treatments, often mistakenly assuming that the shorter timeframe makes it impossible to use this method.

In truth, classic script structure can easily transfer into the short film medium. For instance, a ten minute film might have a two minute first act, a five minute middle act, and a three minute final act. Taking this approach will help give your story the clarity and incisiveness it needs to really connect with audiences.

3. Use Your Movie Making School Skills to Create Striking Visuals

The old adage that picture is worth a thousand words is never more true than in short films. Each frame needs to be carefully chosen and serve a purpose, grabbing the viewer’s attention and helping to move the story forward. It’s also important to create a striking and distinctive visual style, to help your work stand out from the crowd.

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Short filmmakers need to work hard to make their visuals stand out

4. Make the Most of Your Film Production College Editing Training

Editing is perhaps the most crucial part of the short film process. While feature length productions can take their time building the action, short films need to be tightly paced. The professional editing training you receive at film production college will teach you how to make your film as succinct as possible, while not sacrificing important parts of your story.

Remember that generally speaking, the shorter a short film is the better. Shorter pieces have a better chance of being selected for film festivals, and can also demonstrate your ability to work within tight timeframes, which can be valuable if you’re looking for opportunities in the advertising or television industries.

Interested in attending movie making school?

Contact Trebas for more information about our courses.

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Trebas Success Story: Sarit Vinar

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

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This week as part of our Proud of Our Graduates series, we’re introducing readers to Sarit Vinar. After excelling in Trebas’ Entertainment Management program, Sarit has earned herself a place in the star-studded field of music production and performance. Her passion for music and determination to succeed have helped Sarit every step along the way.

How it All Started

Sarit has always considered herself to be an “outgoing extrovert,” the kind of person who makes her mark on the world. And she’s seen a lot of it, having moved over 20 times in her life.

She prides herself on having always fostered an interest in the music industry, and taking any and every chance she’s been offered to take part in it. The chance to study music full time wasn’t lost on her! And Toronto was calling to Sarit, so Trebas seemed like a natural fit. In her own words:

“I was looking to move to Toronto to pursue a career in the music industry, but needed something to get me started. Trebas was the answer. “

Launching a Career with Trebas Audio + DJ Training

Sarit enjoyed her time in training at Trebas. She found our campus to be an accepting and supportive learning environment.

“Staff and students support each other,” Sarit recalls. “Classes are small, so you’re able to connect better with students and teachers.”

Along with a tight-knit atmosphere, Sarit says Trebas provided her with “key knowledge about the music industry and its different areas.” In entertainment management college, she and her peers were able to get opportunities for real-world experiences and hands-on technical training.

Sarit says a personal highlight of her time at Trebas was “bringing in a song/artist to share every Friday” in one of her music classes.

“We got to listen to a variety of music and get familiar with all genres,” she explains.

Life After Entertainment Management School Graduation

So how is Sarit applying her entertainment management training in her life today?

Since completing her program, Sarit has landed a job with The Phoenix Concert Theatre. The Phoenix has been an institution of the Toronto music scene for over 20 years, hosting hundreds of artists including The Rolling Stones, The Tragically Hip, Bob Dylan and internationally renowned contemporary artists like Death Cab for Cutie and USS. Putting music management skills to work in this atmosphere is a dream come true for Sarit.

“It’s awesome,” she explains when talking about her career, “but you’ll have to stay tuned for the more exciting stuff!”

We at Trebas have no doubt that Sarit’s passion and motivation will carry her far!

If you’re considering pursuing this career path, here is Sarit’s advice for you:

“Make yourself present in the scene you want to work in. This is the number one reason I’ve managed to find success. Go to shows, network, and volunteer for EVERYTHING! You never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities may arise!”

Inspired by Sarit’s story?

Contact us for more information about Trebas’ entertainment business management courses, or apply online to start your own music industry career today!

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How to Market Your Skills After Music Producing College

Posted on April 15th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Guitarist on stage for background, soft and blur concept

Enrolling at an audio production college gives hopeful producers, recording artists, and DJs a chance to really fine-tune their skills. Not only does it further ignite their passion for music, it also provides an environment full of high-end recording equipment, the latest software, and like-minded students. This combination allows students to produce quality tracks that rival what comes out of some of today’s top record label studios.

Once you’ve graduated and have mastered the techniques you’ll need to produce great tracks, the next step is to get your music out into the world. If you’re looking to pursue a career in the recording industry, here are a few tips from the experts on how to market your skills once you’ve graduated.

Build a Fan Base After Music Producing College by Connecting with Local Artists and Businesses

Whether you plan to record your own music or produce high-quality tracks for up-and-coming artists, it often takes a fan base to create a successful music career. To start building up your fan base, you could try contacting many different branches in the industry, like radio stations, event organizers, established recording studios, or other artists with a big audience. This will help you get more exposure for the music you’re recording after music producing college. Social media can also be a great place to reach out and take the first step towards building these relationships.

Update Your Website With Engaging Content After Music Producing College

In today’s rapidly evolving technological world, having a web presence is key, and keeping your website fresh and engaging is important. Students in recording arts schools know that a professional website where you can regularly post content doesn’t have to be expensive. You can even learn how to build one completely on your own for little to no cost.

There are plenty of music lovers out there looking to catch up on the latest up-and-coming artists

There are plenty of music lovers out there looking to catch up on the latest up-and-coming artists

In order to attract new fans and keep existing ones happy, it’s important to consistently upload videos, tracks, blog posts, and other content to your website. A website full of updated content also gives you the ability to connect with other artists, producers, and industry pros who are looking for talent—making it a sound investment in your future career.

Use Digital Distribution After Music Producing College

It’s pretty easy these days to distribute your finished tracks online with the help of major retailers and free platforms. For quick exposure, try posting tracks on sites like SoundCloud. You’ll then be able to easily link your track to your website, social media, or wherever else you would like to post it.

There are also plenty of companies who will send your tracks to major online retailers like iTunes for a small price.  This will get your music right next to some of the world’s biggest artists and major labels. Although you may not gain fame and fortune overnight, being on the same platform with big names can be a great way to market your producing skills and get your tracks heard.

Are you looking for schools with recognized music production programs?

Visit Trebas for more information, or to speak with an advisor. 

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Proud of Our Graduates: Maahin Heman

Posted on April 8th, 2016 - Written by: Matt Hantin

Maahin (right) with Kalman Szegvary, director of Trebas’ Film & TV Production Program

This week as part of our Proud of Our Graduates series, we’d like to highlight the achievements of Maahin Heman, a graduate of our Film & Television Production/Post Production program. Maahin now works with the CBC and independent filmmakers, using his training and passion to help bring their stories to life.

Destined for Film & TV School? How it all Began

Maahin has aspired to work in film and television from a young age. Since childhood, he’s had a passion for all things film, TV, and theatre. This passion led him to study media and communications at the University of Windsor after graduating high school.

“My major was Communications Studies,” says Maahin, “and I took a lot of media, art history, political science, film history, video production and cinematography courses as part of my curriculum.”

Maahin graduated with Honours in 2008, but decided that his educational journey wasn’t quite finished. He wanted the kind of hands-on production training you can only get from a film production college.

“Trebas popped up on Google,” he explains, “and I liked the fact that it was a well-known academic institution with a vigorously established film & TV department.”

Launching his Career with Trebas Film Production College

Maahin knew instantly that the Trebas community would be a good fit for him.

“I called the Toronto Campus, and after a very exciting and insightful conversation with a quite knowledgeable admissions advisor, I decided to enroll into their 1-year diploma program for Film and TV Production and Post-Production.”

In the film courses at Trebas, Maahin built confidence in his ability to succeed as a filmmaking professional. He got firsthand technical experience with state-of-the-art equipment and developed the right career skillset for the film and TV industry. And importantly, he had fun.

“Trebas connected me with likeminded students and mentors,” says Maahin. For example, he recalls having “a ton of fun” working as the cinematographer and camera operator for his friend and classmate Colin’s film, Emily’s Sketchbook. This experience helped him gain an internship in cinematography and producing with the Toronto-based Octopus Media Group.

On Paper, On Screen, and Behind-the-Scenes: Maahin Going Forward

Now with a Trebas diploma under his belt, Maahin has found himself working in a wide range of media industry positions. From background acting work on TV (Saving Hope, Beauty and the Beast, Nikita) to independent film production and beyond, Maahin’s contributions to the Canadian film and TV industry continue to impress.

“I’ve hosted movie-nights at the Revue Cinema, assistant-directed on various TV shows and feature films with the Directors Guild of Canada, and currently work in Audience Relations for CBC’s ‘Cross Country Checkup,’” he explains.

Maahin’s official title is Author and Radio Programmer/Audience Relations with the CBC. He says he plans on returning to the Director’s Guild for work in the near future, along with finishing his first novel—“a children’s Sci-Fi/Fantasy”—using his skills in pre-production and storytelling.

His advice for those interested in following his career path:

“If you want to realize your dreams, be bold…plan your career, take initiative, and network with like-minded and rightminded professionals!”

We’re proud of all Maahin Heman has accomplished, and look forward to seeing what more the industry has in store for him.

Inspired by Maahin’s success?
Visit Trebas to learn how our film and TV school can help you kick-start a career of your own.

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3 Scene Blocking Tips You’ll Learn in Movie Production Courses

Posted on April 1st, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

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Professionals in the film and TV industry spend every workday bringing creative visions to life. These visions rarely include visible boom mics, lighting cables, or missed pieces of dialogue. That’s because every scene you’ve ever seen has been carefully orchestrated long beforehand to ensure that mistakes are minimized, important story points are filmed clearly, and precious little footage is wasted. In the business, planning out the details of these scenes to optimize them for filming is a process called ‘blocking.’

“Think of blocking as the choreography of a dance or a ballet,” says noted director Peter D. Marshall. “All the elements on the set – actors, extras, vehicles, crew, equipment – should move in perfect harmony with each other.”

Coordinating all the various elements of a scene is a tricky task, made easier with the right film school education. If you think a career in film production might be for you, read on for our beginner’s guide to blocking scenes.

1. Block Scenes with a Shot List

In film school, you will learn the ins and outs of the film production business. You’ll get hands-on practice with screenwriting, post-production techniques, and everything in between. Blocking begins about half-way into this production process, after the script is written, cast is cast, and locations are chosen.

To start blocking a script, you will need to write up a shot list. This is essentially a director’s log of all the shots he or she hopes to include in a particular scene.

“The shot list is like a map,” explains Marshall, “it gives you a path to your destination but you don’t always have to follow it.”

Which characters need to be in-shot when? Are there plot-advancing items that need to be shown at particular times? Laying these out in a checklist-type form will help you give structure and direction to your filming plans.

2. Pay Special Attention to Strategic Lighting & Camera Choices

To block the scenes you’ve planned out in a shot list, you must work out the details of where actors, props, and equipment will be in relation to the camera. Choosing where these elements will go is like fitting puzzle pieces together—it may take some trial and error! Remember to be patient and focus on two important priorities: your lights and your camera.

Block your scenes while paying special care to where the camera will be, and where lighting equipment will need to be. As any good actor knows, playing to the light, instead of with one’s back to it, makes for the cleanest and clearest shots.

You may be working with a cinematographer, or you may have assumed this role along with your own directorial duties. Graduates of top Canadian film schools can choose to pursue directing, producing, or directing photography—a film-set role commonly known as director of photography (DOP). When making tricky blocking decisions, directors often collaborate with DOPs who know how to make the most technically and artistically viable images.

3. Rehearsing and Fine-Tuning

In your movie production courses, you’ll get plenty of practice experiencing the business of filmmaking from multiple points of view. As a screenwriter, you’ll put your heart into scripts. As a director, you’ll see that sometimes what’s written on the page doesn’t come to life word for word. That’s what the rehearsal period is for.

In the final stages of blocking your scenes, you’ll get to fit your actors and crew members into the plans you’ve made. Fitting your camera placement to your actors’ movements may present unforeseen obstacles. That will be the time to make strategic tweaks to the script, set, or your blocking plans. When you find the happy medium, you’ll be ready to roll!

Are you interested in pursuing film school in Toronto?

Visit Trebas to learn more about our training programs or to speak with an advisor.

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