I practically begged to have the chance to review Online Christian Filmmakers Academy from Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc. I knew it would appeal to my son, who has always enjoyed electronics of any sort, and also my girls. Charlotte wants to film videos of herself singing self-penned worship songs on YouTube and Lillie wants to film how-to videos for jewellery making to post on her art blog. In addition, should I ever wish to make a tentative foray into filming videos for my blog, this would be the perfect way to learn. This product for us was a win-win-win opportunity!
What is the Online Christian Filmmakers?
Online Christian Filmmakers Academy is a father and son run business. Working together in the film making industry for over a decade, Ken and Zack offer their immense experience and expertise in this excellent course. They have produced their Online Christian Filmmakers Academy as an alternative to the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers’ Camp they run each summer. The first thing which struck me is their passion for God and for using their skills to build His kingdom.
It is our mission in life to equip God’s people to use the visual media the best they can to glorify God and spread His gospel and build His kingdom (Ken Lawrence)
This is an incredibly in depth course with almost 40 lessons available spread over modules and takes the learner through the stages of filming and producing a high quality film:
Each module has between five and fifteen lessons. Thomas has enjoyed this course so much I really wanted to show you just how involved it is and just how much it covers. Below are screen shots of the contents of each module and lesson:
Ken and Zack are both likeable men, who are easy to watch, listen and understand.
How Did We Use the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy?
For the purposes of the review, Thomas completed between three or four lessons each week and is currently on lesson 12 of Module 2. Zack encourages the students to take their time, watching and re-watching the videos until each specific concept is understood. He also emphasises that this course is a practical course and that the student needs to be transferring the knowledge they gain to a practical application using their own camera. Thomas loved this aspect of it! A whole course with no writing and yet learning some very useful and applicable skills 🙂
Thomas opted to use my camera throughout, which is a Nikon. I am forever snapping away, all day long, but honestly? – I never knew it took videos! How cool is that?! He will be filming a video to accompany his project on Victorian Inventors, with an emphasis on Edison, using the film in his presentation of his project at Christmas.
In addition, I thought it might be good for Thomas to view some of Zack’s work, so we ordered his film, In His Steps to watch during a family film night. I specifically asked him to look out for any aspects of filming he had learnt in his course:
Thomas really enjoyed the video and said it was great to be able to see all he was learning in action. He also very much appreciated the fact that the film gave a message of looking to God to lead one’s life. I think it was very encouraging and motivating for him and was a pleasant addition to the course.
What Did We Think of the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy?
To say we loved it is an understatement! It was never a hassle for Thomas to do this course. He was always interested, always enthusiastic and always glued to the screen during each lesson. I appreciated the fact that my son was learning something that I could have no hope in teaching him. There are many, many maths courses out there for home schoolers, but sometimes elective courses such as film making are hard to come by. This fills the gap perfectly.
Thomas felt that each lesson was full of information, with loads of practical application and safety measures. He thought the website was very easy to navigate and that Ken and Zack came across as friendly and eager to teach. His only con about the course was that some of the older videos do not have quite the same quality as the newer ones. Ken explains in his introduction that both he and Zack are constantly updating the videos to include upgrades in equipment and information, which is obviously a positive rather than a negative thing.
My twin girls will be starting the course in January and I have decided to join them. I have watched a few of the lessons and I am excited about the possibilities of using videos on my blog. I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to review such a great product 🙂
Connect with the father and son team behind the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy:
Current facebook page for our hands-on film camp is: www.facebook.com/christianfilmmakerscamp
New facebook page for just the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy: www.facebook.com/ChristianFilmmakersAcademy
For more reviews of the Online Christian Filmmakers Academy click on the picture below: