Film-Making Taught

If you think you have to go to film school to become a producer, think again. If you think a four year film degree will open the doors to the film industry, think again. Aspiring film-makers have a good teacher to help them along the way to celluloid fame. His name is Dov Simens.

On a rainy Saturday morning, I watched the self-proclaimed Greatest Film instructor in the world dazzle a packed meeting room full of want to-be film-makers with an almost endless stream of film tips and information. This guy rocks.

The class I took from him seemed more like a nonton film streaming Boot camp. He doesn’t take excuses and his no-nonsense approach is gruff, rough but with a sense of loving kindness. You want to be a screen-writer? Just write! he barks. “Nothing gets written, it gets rewritten,” he espouses.

The man is no slouch. He talks incessantly about film-making and he does it all with a few overhead slides and no PowerPoint presentation.

In his class, students learn about copywriting, camera work, film festivals and fundraising. A lot of information in two days but a lot of things were new to me, despite me reading dozens of film books.

One thing he clearly emphasized in his course is that making short films is a waste of time. Why start small and just aim high!

To have the privilege of hearing him talk takes no less than $400 US. But that doesn’t count the scores of books he pushes at a recent Sept 11-12 presentation in Vancouver. And for those too busy to attend his two lectures, all you had to do is purchase it from his website, or even buy his book on film-making which I walked away with for under $30 Cdn and another expensive CD. And attendees could even purchase his DVD classes for a much better price than on his web site.

Could I have better spent $400 US in Las Vegas or a quick weekend jaunt in New York? Maybe. But knowledge is valuable and there is a greater chance that I would have spent more money vacationing than learning for profit.

Making a movie is like climbing Mount Everest and there is no guarantee that one will ever get there. That was my initial assumption and many others probably think this way. But after taking Dov’s class, I believe I got my Mojo back. And if knowledge is power, then that’s how I feel -powerful and committed.

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