How to make a movie

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Some lessons are still under construction.
Courses in Filmmaking →
Course #1:
Basic filmmaking (pre-production)
Course #2:
Practical narrative film editing
Course #3:
Film scoring for dramatic scenes
Script writing for high school dramas
Poser / DAZ Studio animation

Wikiversity Film School
The Courses in
Narrative Film Production

Anyone can learn to be a filmmaker

Filmmaking is easy
Filmmaking is not rocket science. Everything about filmmaking is extremely easy to learn. Anyone can do it if they wish.
The challenge of learning filmmaking
The challenge is filmmaking requires learning a huge number of skills. If you want to be an independent filmmaker or film editor, you must learn the equivalent of 20 different careers.
The complete picture
That is why it takes a huge amount of knowledge to understand everything you need to know to create a motion picture.

Preparatory school

Wikiversity Film School is a preparatory school for budding filmmakers who plan to go to film school.

We teach the things that film schools expect you to know before you get to film school.

Each year, USC receives 800 applicants to fill just 50 undergraduate positions. So prepare now.

Courses in Narrative Film Production


Course #01 - A beginning course in pre-production.

. Start Here: . Course: Basic filmmaking


Film Scoring

Course #02 - Film scoring for filmmakers (non-musicians)
  • Film scoring introduction for filmmakers - Lessons for filmmakers who are not musicians yet want to learn to make music for motion pictures. This class shows you that music is used to create the proper mood in a motion pictures. Therefore, simple musical sound effects is often all you need. And with programs like GarageBand with Jam Pack:Symphony Orchestra, this is easy. Your instructor is Robert Elliott.


Script Writing

Course #03 - Filmmaking for high school drama departments


Film Editing - Motion picture style

Course #04 - Hands-on editing of feature films and television dramas


The Storyboard Artwork Project

The Storyboard Artwork Project creates artwork for storyboarding
  • The Storyboard Artwork Project creates artwork for Tux Paint so that kids can quickly and easily create storyboards. If you use Poser or DAZ Studio, you can help. We also need artists who like to draw human figures. The co-ordinator for this project is Robert Elliott.

. Start Here: . Project: Storyboard artwork


Narrative filmmaking
Introduction: Pre-production
Filmmaking Lesson: Formatting the Script
Basic Filmmaking Pop Quiz #1: Pop Quiz - What is the first shot?
Basic Filmmaking Lesson: Creating the thumbnail storyboards
Filmmaking Lesson: Creating the 3D storyboards
Filmmaking Lesson: Record the dialog for the animatic
Filmmaking Lesson: Draw the movie poster for "Star Wars"
Filmmaking Lesson: Create a matte painting
Filmmaking Pop Quiz #2: Pop Quiz - What is the first mood?
Filmmaking Lesson: Create the animatic
Film scoring for filmmakers
Introduction: Film Scoring Introduction
Scoring Lesson: Basic theory of film scoring
Scoring Lesson: Sound of Fear - Individual notes
Scoring Lesson: Sound of Joy - Rhythm
Scoring Lesson: Sound of Drama - Melody
Scoring Lesson: Film scoring workshop - for TV
Introduction to film editing
Introduction: Film Editing Introduction
Editing Lesson: Overview of editing a conversation
Editing Lesson: Analyze film dailies - 24 unedited scenes
Editing Lesson: How and why of L-Cuts
Editing Lesson: Editing for film scoring
Editing Lesson: Creating your own editing workshops

Free Filmmaking Software

  • Bryce 5.5
Bryce 5.5 costs $70 if you buy the boxed set but it is now free if you can download it. Over 130 Megs. Your Instructor:Robert Elliott

A fun paint program for kids. It has the added advantage of using rubber stamps and creating matte paintings easily. Has the unique feature of doing rough storyboards with special storyboard artwork. Also useful for learning about matte painting at Wikiversity Film School.

A simple and fun artistic painting program. Feels very natural. Extremely useful. If you need any kind of digital painting with traditional artist materials, this is your first choice. This is the free version which is fully working but more limited than the full version which is also very inexpensive.

This is the most educational program for filmmakers. A simulation of a movie camera and a movie set with digital actors. Teaches you all about lenses and image composition for motion pictures. The demo version is almost fully working for 20 uses. Highly recommended. (So far, no one has downloaded this. Is there a problem?) 20 uses.

An interesting program because if the extremely high quality orchestra sounds it produces. Requires you to know notation. No manual! (I ran out of time before I had completed the review of this program.)

For posing and rendering Poser figures. At times, the human interface is stupidly awkward. More like a beta version. But a good way to learn about digital puppets. This program (or Poser 7 which is not free) will be required for the 3D animation course to be offered next winter. Also an useful alternative for doing 3D storyboards using Poser figures.

A paint program comparible to Adobe Photoshop. Surprisingly mature program but not to the level of Photoshop. Requires X-11. If you do not have Adobe Photoshop 4 or later, this program is absolutely necessary for some of the classes at Wikiversity Film School.

A illustration program. Surprisingly mature program. Requires X-11. If you do not have Illustrator or Freehand, this program is useful. Only the text features are weak.

Useful utility for working with audio and converting audio to OGG files.

Very interesing. Very challenging. For anyone who wants to sketch in 3D. To be revieweg. This is the free version of the new Pro version of Google SketchUp.

This is a paint program which works with motion pictures. Used in film studios but still too awkward for use at Wikiversity Film School. Look at GIMP instead.

So far, I have not find a use for this program.

Commercial Filmmaking Software

Replaces the old Macintosh. A ten fold improvement.

GarageBand is free with all new Macintosh computers. Otherwise, it is sold in the bundle called iLife. Very basic, mostly simple, extremely useful for filmmakers who need to create film scores. Needs orchestra sounds (such as Jam Pack:Symphony Orchestra.)

While GarageBand is free, you still need this to get orchestra sounds for film scoring.

An alternative to Jam Pack: Symphony Orchestra. To be reviewed shortly someday.

To be reviewed shortly someday. Boxed version not available yet.

This is a replacement for PageMaker and Freehand. Surprisingly useful. Some limitations. Free 30 test.

Digitized Film Dailies ready for editing

Required for the first editing lesson at Wikiversity Film School. This is not free but you can pay for this with the points you earn at Wikiversity Film School.

Required for the second editing lesson at Wikiversity Film School. This is not free but you can pay for this with the points you earn at Wikiversity Film School.

Required for the third editing lesson at Wikiversity Film School. These disks are not free but you can pay for them with the points you earn at Wikiversity Film School. To be reviewed shortly. Note: Currently, these disks are the only digitized unedited scenes ready for practicing dialog editing.

Software review blank page

Contact your instructor

Your instructor for this filmmaking class is Robert Elliott. You can email me by clicking here.