Filmmakers Academy places filmmaking education directly at your fingertips. You can use our platform to unlock a whole new realm of creative possibilities from refreshing your general knowledge on specific gear and techniques to swift support for challenges that arise while in the throes of production. We’re perfect for both in-the-moment questions and as a comprehensive learning experience drawing from the knowledge that has been tried and tested in Hollywood productions by industry professionals. In Filmmakers Academy: A Complete Guide, we will explore our mentors, courseware, FAQs, and other key features of the platform.
In 2021, Filmmakers Academy expanded from Hurlbut Academy, a primarily cinematography-based educational platform that centered on veteran cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC. However, with its transformation into Filmmakers Academy, courses and mentors have multiplied, adding on directing, color design, and VFX, in addition to cinematography.
Plus, more subjects and courses will be coming soon. Shane will be joined by some of his closest colleagues that have had a tremendous impact on him as both a cinematographer and pioneer of his craft. Keep scrolling to discover more!
- What is Filmmakers Academy?
- Meet the Filmmakers Academy Mentors
- Filmmakers Academy Courses
- User Experience
- Popular FAQs
- Sign Up Filmmakers Academy
- Follow Filmmakers Academy
What is Filmmakers Academy?
Filmmakers Academy is changing filmmaking education by bringing industry professionals directly to filmmakers of all levels, whether or not you have a background in the subject matter or are an elite filmmaker wishing to sharpen your skill set.
We understand that the way to advance and progress in your field is with a dedicated mentor at your side. That’s why our lessons and courses are devised by industry experts who are at the top of their field. Filmmakers Academy also provides 1-on-1 access to mentors in the form of video calls where you can have your questions answered directly to best facilitate your personal growth.
What is Filmmakers Academy All Access Membership?
Filmmakers Academy is a subscription-based membership that includes 800+ hours of video content and 59 courses that span cinematography, directing, lighting, camera and lenses, color grading, and more. In addition, more content will be added throughout the year.
With a membership to Filmmakers Academy All Access for $396/yr. (the equivalent of $33/mo.), you can access any course in our vast library at any given time. Plus, your membership allows you to access detailed written breakdowns, PDF assets, gain entrance into our private Facebook Group, and receive new content regularly.
Is Filmmakers Academy Free?
Technically no, Filmmakers Academy is a premium educational tool and resource designed specifically for professional filmmakers. That said, Filmmakers Academy does offer 9 free introductory lessons, plus an insightful newsletter and stalwart blog that shares news on industry developments, tips of the trade, exclusive BTS, special deals on filmmaking gear and equipment, and everything in between!
Meet the Filmmakers Academy Mentors
Above all, mentorship is an essential part of growing in your trade. Therefore, Filmmakers Academy is composed of seasoned industry professionals who share a passion for what they do and pass that knowledge along to filmmakers who yearn to master their craft.
So, take a look at our world-class mentors below!
Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC works at the forefront of cinema as a storyteller, innovator, and discerning collaborator, who brings more than three decades of experience to his art. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild/Local 600, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Some of his film credits include We Are Marshall, Terminator: Salvation, Need for Speed, Act of Valor, Semi-Pro, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Into the Blue, Mr. 3000.
David Cole began his career in 1996 in Melbourne, Australia in the telecine department of AAV Digital Pictures. In 2001, he moved to Wellington, New Zealand, as a lead digital colorist on Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Over the next several years he helped pioneer DI in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2004, Cole joined Weta Digital as Supervising and Lead Digital Colourist, setting up and leading the DI division for Peter Jackson’s King Kong, for which he earned a nomination for Outstanding Colour Grading – Feature film, from the Hollywood Post Alliance Awards in its inaugural year. In 2006 he moved to Los Angeles, working first at LaserPacific then Modern VideoFilm, and in 2016 joined FotoKem. Since arriving in Hollywood he has graded such films as Dune, The Tomorrow War, Minari (HPA nominated), TRON: Legacy (HPA nominated), Pride and Glory (HPA nominated), The Book of Life, Kong: Skull Island, and multi-Academy Award-winning Life of Pi (HPA win – Outstanding Colour Grading – Feature Film).
Likewise, he is an Associate Member of the American Society of Cinematographers, a Member at Large of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Visual Effects Society.
Sherri Kauk received her Bachelor of Science in Film & Photography from Ithaca College, Ithaca NY in 2005 and her MFA from the American Film Institute in 2007. Her work has taken her on-location to India, Egypt, Mozambique, Mexico, and across the United States. Kauk won an Emmy for Outstanding Lighting Direction in 2019.
“I am drawn to everyday characters challenged to deeply understand themselves through confrontation with self and society. This character journey becomes my cinematography.”
Jordan Brady directed four narrative feature films, three full documentaries, and over 1,200 national & regional commercials, as well as Maria Bamford’s acclaimed Netflix Comedy Special.
Working with advertising campaigns for brands and agencies all over the world, Brady directed industry giants from comedy stars Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Keegan-Michael Key, and Rory Scovel to pop icons Arnold Schwarzenegger and country music legend Brad Paisley; plus, he has directed campaigns starring actresses Kathryn Hahn for Chrysler and Lamorne Morris for Buick.
Key 1st Assistant Camera & Operator
Derek Edwards is Shane Hurlbut’s trusted 1st AC of over 20 years working on Hollywood productions. He continuously expands his vast knowledge of camera systems and methodology to remain at the forefront of the latest technology and complement the pioneering spirit worthy of an ASC cinematographer. Derek is a member of the Guild/Local 600.
Gimbal Tech & Camera Operator
Chris Herr is a Local 600 Camera Operator and Gimbal Operator that has worked on over 15 feature films. Herr cemented his place in the industry as part of the very beginnings of gimbal applications.
His credits include Straight Outta Compton, A Star Is Born, Venom, and Birds of Prey, and collaborated with cinematographers such as Shane Hurlbut, ASC, Matthew Libatique, ASC, Paul Cameron, ASC, Barry Ackroyd, ASC BSC, and Jeff Cronenweth, ASC.
Junior Colorist & DIT
Derek Johnson is a Digital Loader/DIT and member of the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600 in 2013. Since 2014, Johnson has served as a freelance colorist on commercial projects for Cartoon Network, The History Channel, and Jeep.
Johnson works as a Digital Imaging Technician and colorist on feature films, television, and commercials where he values each project as an opportunity to collaborate and learn. As of 2020, Johnson also works at Streamland Media as a Software Operations Specialist supporting numerous feature films and episodic projects.
In short, his credits include commercials and films like Need for Speed, Nightcrawler, The Ridiculous 6, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows. Other notable color work includes the documentary The Undocumented Lawyer (streaming on HBO) and Broken (ABC series).
Mentors Coming in 2022
We are also pleased to announce our mentors who will be coming to our platform soon. So, here’s who will be joining Filmmakers Academy in 2022.
Gabrielle Blackwood is a Jamaican director and director of photography who has written, directed, and shot short films, documentaries, music videos, and commercials for the US, Canada, UK, Jamaican, and New Zealand markets. Her clients include BBC World, CLARKS, Nike, Apple Music, and Mercedes Benz.
A recipient of the Geoff Evans Award for Excellence in Screen Production in New Zealand, Blackwood is currently in pre-production for her feature film Kendal which was shortlisted for a Sundance Lab, the Screencraft Drama Feature Writing Competition, and was the winner of the 2019 Caribbean Tales Big Pitch Competition.
Born in Jamaica, Gabrielle has her Masters (Hons) and Post Grad in Screen Production from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and was the past president of the Jamaica Film & Television Association (JAFTA) and a Co-Convenor of Women In Film Jamaica. She resides in Kingston as an independent filmmaker.
Wellness & Filmmaking Lifestyle
Lydia Hurlbut is CEO of the Filmmakers Academy. Founded in 2009, the business delivers outstanding professional education and mentorship to filmmakers worldwide.
Hurlbut earned her master’s degree in forensic nursing at the University of Virginia. After that, her career path journeyed through pediatric nursing and forensic science to life coaching and strategic marketing. She is passionate about wellness and techniques for optimizing health.
With a creative mind and unique skill set, enhanced by strong relationships in the film industry, Hurlbut continues to define the Filmmakers Academy as an innovator and trusted source. Both achievements reflect her passion for improving the lives of next-generation filmmakers.
Feature Film/Commercial Key Grip
David Knudson is a Local 80 Motion Picture Studio Grip and the owner of Gridside, INC. Knudson has helped shape the light on such films as The Fifth Element, American Pie, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Hunger Games.
Feature Film/Television Gaffer
Eric Forand is Local 728 Studio Electrical Lighting Technician with over 20 years in the Motion Picture and Television Industry. Forand lit films and shows like 500 Days of Summer, The Mindy Project, Pretty Little Liars, and Diary of a Future President. Forand is also the founder and CEO of Cinering.
Filmmakers Academy Courses
We offer a wide range of courses that are comprised of highly-produced video lessons. These also include detailed breakdowns, schematics, podcasts, and other resources to enhance your learning experience. Therefore, you can either start by navigating to your subject of choice or browse through them all.
Filmmakers Academy Subjects include:
- Color Correction & Grading
- Camera & Lenses
- Grip and Electric
Upon the launch of Filmmakers Academy, there will be new courses that debut in addition to all of the courseware carried over from Hurlbut Academy. Likewise, new courses will be added regularly and led by an assorted range of mentors.
Let’s take a look at some of our most recent releases below.
One of the things that separate good colorists from great colorists is the ability to do your best work efficiently and consistently. Colorist Derek Johnson sits down and explains the foundation of color grading, revealing tips and tricks to maximize your time so you can focus on the fun and creative parts of color grading.
In The Foundation of Color Grading, Derek guides you through the best hardware and shows you how to dial in your settings and use Optimize Media and Scene Cut Detection to maximize your performance. Now’s your chance to develop your skills with advanced tools, among other key insights so you can grow into the great colorist you were always meant to be!
In Unscripted Camera Operating: The Playbook, Cinematographer Sherri Kauk shares her Shooter’s Playbook providing valuable insights on techniques and methodologies that she wishes that she knew when she first started her career.
Expect to gain key insights on how to shoot reality TV. You’ll learn why it’s essential to have a specific reel for each genre or platform that you want to work within. Then, Sherri outlines the key players that have the biggest impact on delivering the story elements for post, and how to leverage those relationships in production to get the most out of your footage.
This course explores when to use Man-to-Man versus Zone coverage, the importance of moving your feet and how to get closer into the action of the moment to sculpt the story, obtaining crucial techniques for reaction shots and inserts, and getting the most out of your footage for the production.
Color Correcting: Terms & Techniques
A career as a colorist is a rewarding experience. It’s your job to bring the cinematographer’s photography to life and meet the vision of the director. In other words, you never stop learning. To keep up with the demands of the industry, you’ll need to be able to solve problems in the moment.
In Color Correcting: Terms & Techniques, Master Colorist David Cole sits down in the color bay to teach the fundamentals of color grading, beginning with essential terminology, showing what each term means, along with his professional approach. Next, David imparts his passion together with valuable information and concepts to give you the confidence you need to become an expert colorist. Then, he takes that terminology and applies it directly to the screen. He provides you with real-time examples to help you understand even the most complex of techniques.
Commercial Directing Master Class
In Filmmakers Academy’s Commercial Directing Master Class, Director Jordan Brady reveals the crucial steps to take to become a working director. Above all, you will learn to build and manage your career as a filmmaker for major brands and advertising agencies.
Moreover, Brady explains how to get hired as a director followed by how to navigate pre-production, production, and post-production, using his own work as case studies to facilitate the learning experience. Thereafter, you can expect to learn the ‘Brady Method’ of casting, how to manage pre-production meetings, the Rules of Engagement on set, how to manage your crew, work with actors, and much more.
How To Light Night Interiors Volume II
How To Light Night Interiors: Volume II is a masterclass in lighting for night because you will learn how to light for a complete 360-degree dolly shot! From the location and tech scouts all the way to the build, dialing it all in, and the execution of the shot, Shane Hurlbut, ASC breaks down this complex maneuver into easy-to-understand segments.
Initially, you will discover how to take what’s on the page of your script and translate it to screen with your location, articulate the vision to your crew, plus plan your dolly track and lighting setup with motivated sources. Then, we reveal how to get the most out of the dolly to get up close and personal while also providing enough light to emphasize the movement of the 360-degree motion. Certainly, this process will deliver the emotional impact necessary to bring your audience into the mind of the character.
Filmmakers Academy continually strives to add new courses and subjects in the future. In 2022, we will be adding Documentary Directing and Wellness courses.
Our Documentary Directing course will be instructed by Gabrielle Blackwood who will take you into the mind of the independent filmmaker. Not only will Gabrielle guide you through the docu-process but also reveal how to work efficiently and get the most out of working with less.
Meanwhile, the long hours spent on set or in the editing bay can easily compromise your work-life balance. Therefore, for our upcoming Wellness series, Lydia Hurlbut tackles the hurdles involved with the stresses of the job and how to mitigate pressures to get the most out of yourself.
Filmmakers Academy wields two primary interfaces — the outward-facing interface presented before you create an account and an inward interface where you access our video content.
When you first navigate to FilmmakersAcademy.com, you’ll be met with a menu bar at the top of the screen that contains Courses, Store, Pricing, Blog, Join Now, Log In, and a search icon.
That is to say, you can cruise through the website and peruse courses, store items, and our extensive blog with equipment reviews, camera and lens tests, film analysis, and much more.
Watch Filmmakers Academy
Once you log into the website, you’ll open watch.filmmakersacademy.com where you can access and watch any lesson or course with an All Access membership, or stream your store purchases from My Library in the drop-down menu.
Below are the other features listed in the drop-down menu:
- My Favorites
- My Library
- Billing Change Password
- Buy Gift Card
- Redeem Gift Card
- Back to filmmakersacademy.com
- Sign Out
Firstly, the menu bar is presented differently, with Discover, Mentors, and a Menu dropdown. So, if you wish to check out the mentors, for instance, then you can simply select the Mentors tab to browse our available mentors.
You will be able to keep track of your favorite content by tapping the heart icon with the text “Add to Favorites.” All of your favorite content is housed in the My Favorites section of the drop-down.
Secondly, if you have questions about our service, simply navigate to our FAQ section. This is where you could have your questions answered, like how to change your password, update billing information, and compatible browsers that best support Filmmakers Academy.
Further, you will have the ability to change your personal information from the Settings, update how you pay from Billing, buy or redeem a gift card, or navigate back to FilmmakersAcademy.com.
As you scroll down the screen you’ll find a search bar that’s ideal if you know exactly what you’re looking for. Otherwise, keep moving south for sideways scrollable playlists that consist of lots and lots of options:
- Continue Watching
- New Releases
- Popular Courses
- Build the Path for Your Career
- Lighting & Grip
- Color Correction & Grading
- Commercial & Music Video
- Camera & Lenses
- Popular Lessons
- Shaping & Controlling Light
- Blocking for the Camera & Your Scene
- Getting Started in Your Career
- Lighting for Daytime
- Lighting for Nighttime
- Discover different Lighting Fixtures
- Moving the Camera to Tell the Story
- Theory, Camera & Lens Tests
- Winning the Job with your Treatment
- The Look Of…
- Camera LUTs & Picture Profiles
- All Lessons
- All Courses
Filmmakers Academy is compatible across nearly any kind of device. For instance, these include computers, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and smart TVs.
We recommend using the latest version of Google Chrome for the best results; however, we are also supported by Firefox and Safari web browsers. Note that if you are using an older or out-of-date browser, you may experience playback issues.
Then, with an appropriate web browser, you can access courses and lessons on your smartphone, tablet, and other devices. However, if you would like to watch our content on your TV then you can use either Chromecast or Airplay to cast from your mobile device to your television.
How many Filmmakers Academy memberships are there? Filmmakers Academy offers one all-encompassing membership: All Access.
All Access includes unlimited access to all of our courses and lessons as well as entry to our Private Facebook Group for Global Referrals + Collaboration, access to PDF assets, and our Career Paths feature that includes Cinematography, Directing, Lighting, G&E, Color Correction, Post-Production, and more!
Can I interact with Filmmakers Academy mentors? Filmmakers Academy mentors teach video lessons based on many years of industry knowledge and experience. These uniquely designed video courses save you years of trial and error, time of grinding on the job, and money. Above all, our mentors are giving you the playbook for what you need to succeed in your career.
On the other hand, if you wish to interact one-on-one with a specific mentor, then you can participate in a 1-hour private session with your mentor of choice to ask questions, review work, and learn how to leverage your career! Please note, this opportunity will soon be available in the Filmmakers Academy Store. If it’s not available yet, however, check back in a few weeks.
What filmmaking topics does Filmmakers Academy offer? Filmmakers Academy extends an impressive range of topics that include Cinematography, Directing, Lighting, Grip and Electric, Color Correction, Post Production, and more coming soon!
So, what should I study for film production? Filmmakers Academy offers a Career Paths feature designed by Shane Hurlbut, ASC based on 30+ years of Hollywood feature film experience. For example, if interested in cinematography, select the Career Path for the right modules, lessons, and courses to achieve your unique trajectory.
However, if your question wasn’t answered here, please check out our FAQ page.
Sign Up Filmmakers Academy
Signing up to Filmmakers Academy is simple! So, follow the instructions below to join our membership.
- Firstly, visit filmmakersacademy.com
- Then, select Join Now in the top menu.
- As a result, you will be redirected to our pricing page. Choose Become A Member for All Access if you would like unlimited access to Filmmakers Academy. But, if you just want to create an account for the time being, then simply click Sign Up.
- Subsequently, you’ll be taken to our account page where you will be directed to enter your email, full name, phone number, location, and prompted to create a password.
- After that, you will need to complete your order by entering your billing information.
Please note that if you’re purchasing an account as a gift, then you can choose the Buy as a Gift option. As a result, you will be redirected to a screen with fields for your email address and billing information.
Get the Filmmakers Academy App
Stream our content at any time no matter if you’re in the throes of production or learning on your schedule.
- Watch on desktop, TV, tablet, or mobile device
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