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Ideas for Your First Film

Lesson 27 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

Ideas for Your First Film

Lesson 27 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

27. Ideas for Your First Film


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Spark That Inspired Me


What Are Family Films?


Gear for Family Films


Camera Settings for Video


Frame Rates & Slow Motion


Picture Profiles & Color Grading


Settings for Audio Capture


Lesson Info

Ideas for Your First Film

We are gonna go into a little bit about creating your first film, so ideas for your first film. And what that starts with is things that you wanna remember. The reason I say this is that it is, it can be overwhelming if you haven't started working in Premier Pro before and my advice from experience is to pick something you love, pick something that motivates you, that inspires you and you'll be more likely to stick it out and to follow it through, okay. (chuckling) If you're just shooting footage even if, you know, it's stuff for clients, it's gonna feel stressful, it's not gonna be as fulfilling for you and I wanna say whether you have kids or not it doesn't matter, shoot what you love, shoot things that are meaningful for you, that are important to you, that you wanna remember in years to come and think about that. So we have a worksheet that is part of the class purchase so it's in the bonus materials and there's some questions that I ask. We don't have time to cover them all today ...

but if you've purchased the class then those questions are in there and it's really just geared at getting you to think about the things that are happening in your life right now that are gonna be different in a year or two or three. Thinking about, similar to the client questionnaire, the physical features of your loved one that you love, and, you know, shooting those and thinking about the memories, like for me, my memory that I wanted to remember was Lydia and the kitchen sink. So, thinking about that. We lived in this place that we were renting for a period of time between moving houses and there was this place, this spot nearby and I was feeling really burnt out 'cause I'd had a lot of client work and I personally when I get bogged down with client work and I'm not shooting anything personal or for myself, I start to feel really frustrated creatively. I feel like I can't explore, I can't try new things and so I really think that doing personal projects for yourself makes you a better photographer for your clients. And so I decided on this day that I was going to document a memory of my children that was incorporating two things, it was the location of where we were, there was all these puddles, it was a big deal 'cause my son's kinda terrified of spiders and he's not a big like nature person and so, you know, that's part of me like trying to encourage him to get of his comfort zone and I loved that he was doing that and that he would do that in this place where he felt safe. And the other part was just that I love Australia and I love the landscape there and I love the trees and the eucalyptus and all of that and I wanted to document that. And I wanted to document their relationship and how that was at that time, not that it's really significantly changed, but just purely because when they're in their teens I just want them to have this (laughing) 'cause they might not feel the same about each other then. And so, it fulfilled a lot of things for me and I was feeling really burnt out and I just felt like being creative. I did this all with a Lensbaby Edge 50 Composer Pros II, Edge 50, so you'll see a lot of slice of focus changes. I found the most beautiful song that I could which is like my mantra and it's kind of also when I pick the music it's like my love letter to them with the lyrics and the way they are. ("Love Is Big Enough" by Holley Maher) ♪ Don't hold back love, I'll reach out to you ♪ ♪ Don't be scared love, I will fight for you ♪ ♪ We are small ♪ ♪ We are small but love is big enough ♪ ♪ Ooh, ooh, (echoing) ♪ ♪ (music playing) ♪ ♪ Ooh, ooh, (echoing) ♪ ♪ (music playing) ♪ ♪ (music playing) ♪ ♪ Don't hold back love I'll reach out to you. ♪ So you know how I said that I wanted to make films that would show them how much I love them. Alright, so we'll go back to the keynote that is, Love Is Big Enough, by Holly Maher licensed through Musicbed. She's like my favorite artist, I love her.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Shot List Worksheet Template
Shot List Worksheet Example
Ideas for Your First Film
Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews

Adam Nicholls

Worth a watch! Courtney provides a clear and organised class, she is also very passionate about what she does which is always nice to see. She has a great back story which is fantastic. This course is good for beginners who have some knowledge in photography and want to learn more about video. I would recommend that people do not refer this class to the bible of filmmaking as I feel you can expand further on what Courtney teaches. Some useful tips for beginners but some methods I personally feel can be taught differently. I feel a gimbal is a useful bit of kit if used correctly. You can still use a gimbal when in manual mode providing you follow the basics rules! Obviously if Courtney prefers not to use a gimbal then that's also fine but I wouldn't discourage students from exploring useful filmmaking tools. Slow motion can be achieved with 50/60fps however I feel other frame rates should have been discussed like 120fps. I liked that Courtney engaged with the students as it gets them involved and will help them remember what they have learned during the class. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge

a Creativelive Student

Courtney's work is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I feel lucky that she has chosen to share her process and that this class is available! After watching all the videos and trying my hand at this video thing, I am feeling really encouraged and inspired to do more- both personally and professionally. I appreciate the way that she breaks things down in the video and that she shares her thought process. A really great course!


Courtney’s course completes me! I have storytelling “holes” in my film previously, but this course helped fill those holes to create a flow and a film with emotion. Not only is the course wonderful (and well worth every penny) but Courtney is wonderful as well! I had such an amazing experience at Creative Live!!!!

Student Work