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1-Day Film School Sat, Ap. 22-Live Streaming

Sat, April 22, 9:00a - 5:00p 
Producer’s Workshop: From A-Z:
Learn best practices and strategies for each of the five phases of filmmaking; Development, Pre-Production, Production, Post Production and Marketing/Distribution. See syllabus below.
​ONLY $48 Web, $78.00 to Attend 
Montrose Church Office 2678 Honolulu Avenue Montrose, CA 91020


Finding the right story and effective pitching for success in today's market. How to do a 168 Film and how to succeed in the "Faith Genre." This may be the best one-day Film Production Seminar in L.A.  Webcast Available, see below. Instructor: Derrick Warfel is the Producer of "The Fall of Night," and “Laleh,” the true story of the first Iranian female racecar driver, who fights against tradition and the theocracy bent on stopping her.  To discuss cameras, we welcome Dominic Bartolone. He is a Film  and TV Camera and Stedicam Operator.  His credits include, several 168 Films and Collateral, Open Range, Flicka, Rush Hour 3,  Cowboys and Aliens, The Closer, Heroes, JAG, Reno 911, Southland, Longmire, The Brink and many more.  Dominic recently finished the feature film Billionaire Boys Club and MTV's hit show Teen Wolf.

Montrose Church Office 2678 Honolulu Avenue Montrose, CA 91020 




(© Derrick Warfel 2005-2010)


  • Mental and Spiritual Preparation - To be creative, first go to the Creator
  • Getting the best story idea - what sells - your passion; unique, not first idea, work on the pitch
  • Pitch: yourself (profession, training, personality); what is your vision (genre, audience); why now (168)
  • Determine limits: budget, time, resources, personnel; low 50-750; medium 750-2,500, high 2,500-10+
  • Get Max Production Value: script, actors, crew, locations, visual & sound design, editor, avoid pitfalls
  • Hiring the writer: read samples, holds attention, good dialogue, conflict, awards, why does he want in.
  • Hiring the director: can tell a story, can work with people (actors), a visual eye; look at his reel
  • Budget: List what you have ($, locations, cast, crew, equipment); what you still need, financiers
  • Sample Budget (note how quickly costs add up);  Budget exercise
  • Fundraising: practice pitch, do budget, list donors, send letter, phone call, meet with, call back, thank them
  • Locations: available, photogenic, lighting problems, sound problems, practical: parking, green room, toilets
  • Equipment:  borrow, rent, buy and sell later; CAMERA, tripod, dolly, memory; LIGHTS: stands, reflector MICS, boom pole, radio mic; PROPS, set dressing; EDITING: software, memory;
  • Cameras:  standard def:  high-def - camcorders 1 chip; Prosumer 3 chip; High End Prosumer; Pro.
  • Food - Meals:  feed them well; Craft Service: snacks on set so people don't leave, work while eating.
  • Shooting Permits and Location Fees - shoot on private property, not an attractive hazard.
  • Insurance: equipment insurance, production liability insurance;  (maybe workman's comp, E & O)
  • Entertainment Unions: Let all know it is a non-union shoot; Maybe go SAG signatory if necessary.
  • Legal Releases:  actor, crew, writer, composer, location - without these - you don't screen, you don't sell.
  • Crews: Whom do you need?  DP, Gaffer, Mixer, Boom, AD, Prod. Designer, Editor, Composer


  • Writing: who's main character, what does he want, who keeps him from getting it? Battle of values
  • Breakdown the script into scenes (lining), do breakdown pages, Schedule by availability, location, ext. 1st
  • Director's script analysis; actor's intention, actions, opposition, adjustments, climax
  • Casting: likable star quality, type casting, does actor listen, can he/she take direction,
  • Visual Design:  fits the film; images-emotion, colors, camera position, lenses, angles, motion, effects, sets
  • Sound Design: fits the film, evoke emotion, on camera, off camera, psychological, music, against the action
  • Rehearsals: Read Through (get character); Blocking (stage directions), Dress (tech & final run through)
  • Coverage:  LS, MS, MCU, CU, CS, ECU, two shot, OS, cut away, insert, establishing
  • Pre-visualization: storyboard, floor diagrams; Shot list:  master, a number 5; coverage, a letter 5A
  • Safety First:  meeting, 1st aid kit, electrical, fire, guns, stunts, driving, children, 6 hour rule
  • One Essential of Producing: communication; Call sheets   2nd most important: transportation & directions.
  • Preproduction - production schedule.  Your meeting countdown, let everyone know, equipment tests.


  • Daily Preparation:  call sheet & Shot List (night before), (Morning) Planning/Safety mtg; blocking, trouble shoot
  • Tech Rehearsal; Dress Rehearsal, Calling the Shot
  • Working the Set:  Rules, Problems: time problems, people problems; Production Stills (in scene, 2 shots)
  • Amateur Camera (not close enough, tripod, jump cuts, boring bg., shadows, hot spots, flat light, color correct)
  • Amateur Sound (echo, off axis, too loud, background noise, dialogue overlap)
  • Amateur Directing:  too many takes, let first shot take too long, know what shots you can cut
  • Continuity:  in costumes, set dressing, props, actor's actions, dialogue, lighting/camera; take still photos, logs


  • 1/3 budget and time, editing - reediting, finishing touches in cuts, sound editing, mix, color correction takes time.
  • Editing: less is more; edit for emotion, what do you want to see next, avoid jump cuts - test screening confused, bored
  • Sound Editing: clean dialogue (ADR), sound effects, Foley, psychological sounds, atmosphere, music,
  • Final Details: Visual FX, Sound mix (even highs/lows), Color correction (match shot to shot), Titles/credits, QC final output


  • Press Kit (stills, bios, synopsis, quotes, press release, DVD trailer); Website (EPK, blogs, links, Facebook & Twitter page)
  • Poster (postcard):  capture genre & evoke emotion, mystery, conflict, jeopardy, relationship, compelling simple/graphic, tagline
  • Build the Buzz: cast/crew wrap party; invite everyone to festival; DVDs to cast/crew; write up lessons learned
  • Distribution:;, churches, YouTube,, Sermon Spice, Highway Media, Worship House
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