Digital Filmmaking & Video Production IDL

Digital Filmmaking and Video Production is a program designed to teach students all aspects of short film, video, production, and broadcast. From basic introductory classes to advanced, students will receive hands- on education using up-to-date technology found in the field and used by professionals for any type of production.

Every stage of production is covered in blocks where students progress through more advanced projects and processes. Students will be given grounded real word projects to develop their skills as they would apply them in eventual employment.

F.I.R.S.T. Institute students are graded and held accountable for each and every course they encounter. Consistent exercises and quizzes keep students active and interested in the information given by the instructor.

Prerequisite: Basic computer and internet competencies. High school level English or higher.

Delivery Methodology: Interactive Distance Learning (online)

Average Class Size: 15-20 Students                                             

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates obtain a Diploma.

Thirty-Nine (39) Weeks – 1014 Clock Hours / 91.26 Academic Quarter Credit Hours

811 Hours / 81.11 Academic Quarter Credit Hours – Instruction 203 / 10.15 Academic Quarter Credit Hours – Lab

What is Interactive Distance Learning?

Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) is not your typical online education. Students in our IDL programs get the full classroom experience from the comfort of their homes. This is a fully-engaged diploma program that gives students the opportunity to learn hands-on with industry-standard gear and equipment provided in their Creative P.A.K. Each IDL class includes live lectures with instructors, time to work on projects, video conferencing, student-to-student interaction, individual demos, and more.

Personal Academic Kit (Included)

Students in our Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program receive a Creative P.A.K. to use during the course of their program and beyond. The digital media industry and its relevant technology are ever-changing, so specific items in your Creative P.A.K. may be updated from time to time.

Gear included in the P.A.K.*
  • Sony a6400 w/ 16-50mm Lens & Accessories
  • Magnus VT-300 Video Tripod with Fluid Head
  • DJI RS 3 Mini Gimbal Stabilizer
  • Neewer 660 RGB LED 2-Light Kit w/ Stands
  • SmallRig RM120 Compact RGB LED Light
  • Raya 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Disc (42″)
  • SmallRig NP-FW50 2-Battery Kit w/ Charger
  • Sabrent USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C Card Reader
  • Hollyland LARK M1 SOLO Wireless Microphone System
  • RODE VideoMicro Ultracompact Camera-Mount

*Contents subject to change based on curriculum updates and availability.

Class Materials (Required)
Class Materials (Required)

Students are required to be prepared for class. This includes having these items at all times: pen, writing paper/notebook, ID badge, and all required materials for their program. The following required items are not included in the tuition. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase the items for use on the first day of class.

Storytelling and Video Technology

Students will learn that no matter what role a person plays in the development of a short film or video production, every crew member is responsible for enhancing the script using specific storytelling techniques that manipulate an audience’s mood and understanding of the conceptual world of film and video.


By focusing on the art and science of visual storytelling, and using specific examples from movies past and present, classes will uncover a multitude of techniques that can be applied to any cinematic or video project in each aspect of the entertainment business. Students will also discover the various jobs and requirements in the digital cinema industry, learn to write scripts using standard Hollywood guidelines.


Students will become familiar with the technical aspects of digital video production including common jargon used by professional technicians and the different lighting concepts that are applied to distinct film styles. In addition, they will learn fundamental camera techniques including building camera rigs, lens selection, and proper camera maintenance.


HD and UHD camera systems including 2K and 4K cameras are exposed in classes including their specific workflows and considerations for future editing.


DFVP 101IDL – Storytelling and Video Technology

  • Camera Framing

  • Exposure Triangle

  • Lighting

  • Movement

  • Narrative Structure

Digital Editing and Visual Effects

Students will cover the fundamental techniques and concepts of digital video, editing principles, and visual storytelling. The concept of visual storytelling will be explored and analyzed within various media projects to demonstrate the importance of constructing a fully developed idea using moving images. The course will instruct the process of video editing through the development of several media projects and footage assets.


There is an emphasis on footage sequencing with story continuity, media management, narration, and industry terminology. More time will also be dedicated to the importance of sound in the post environment and its subtlety in keeping the viewer grounded to the images onscreen. Classes will explore simple animation techniques including the basics of motion graphic design. Learning to animate, alter, and composite media using various tools including the use of optional plug-ins is paramount in the process and workflow for every motion graphic professional.


DFVP 102IDL – Digital Editing and Visual Effects

• Editing Techniques

• Visual Storytelling

• Visual Effects

Commercial Production

In Commercial Production, students will break from the conventions of traditional modes of visual storytelling to explore short-form methods. The primary focus will be on social media and marketing.


As post-production unfolds, students will begin editing the projects that were shot during this course. They will utilize the post-production concepts that they have learned to date, such as scene transitions, time and space perception, tempo, sound effects, and editing with music and mood changes to enhance their final projects.


DFVP 103IDL – Commercial Production

• Product Commercial Project

• Narrative Commercial Project

• Social Media Project

Music Video Production

In Music Video Production, students will develop and produce an advanced project with a focus on the music video. A music video project will help students understand the principles of shooting uncontrolled action and how to work with real clients.


At this level, classes incorporate a working knowledge of advanced editing techniques including editing on the beat, color correction, sound effects, and applying musical compositions.


DFVP 104IDL – Music Video Production

• Music Video Project 1

• Music Video Project 2

Short Film Production

In this course, students will develop and produce an additional advanced project with an emphasis on the short film. During the short film, students will apply their knowledge of preproduction by breaking down a script, creating a budget, developing a schedule, casting talent, scouting locations, and much more. Students will also implement advanced production techniques of camera and lighting.


At this level, classes maintain first-hand knowledge of advanced editing techniques including but not limited to enhanced color correction, dialogue editing, storytelling techniques, and sound effects.


DFVP 105IDL – Short Film Production

• Boring Room Challenge Project

• Short Film 1 Project
• Final Short Film Project

Episodic Production

In this course, students will explore the history of episodic production. This course focuses on writing for television and streaming. Students will learn the principles of episodic script writing, story guide creation, and character development.


DFVP 106IDL – Episodic

  • Story Guide Project

  • Television Script

Live Video Production

Students will learn the fundamentals of live video production and streaming by using up-to-date technology for all show needs. Students develop the skills to function independently or as part of a production team in the preparation and production of live shows for both traditional and live streaming, as well as corporatepresentations.


In this course, students will learn the technical aspects of streaming software along with studio equipment and continue learning proper signal flow for use in studio, stage, and remote-control rooms. They will learn specific camera, lighting, and production techniques unique to each of these live show realms, and discover the many different career paths within these industries.


DFVP 107IDL – Live Video Production

• Live Stream Project
• Live Music Performance Project

Color Grading

Students will learn the essentials of color theory and apply these concepts in the professional colorist program DaVinci Resolve. Practical filmmaking techniques like color balancing, correction, grading, and continuity will be studied through hands-on work in the program’s node-based editing system.


Students will also use Davinci Resolve to grasp enhanced aspects of audio post-production, diving into the concepts of voiceover, sound effects, and sound design. Each of these concepts in color correction and audio post-production will then be applied to further enhance the student’s portfolio projects.


DFVP 108IDL – Color Grading

• Color Balance Project
• Color Grading Project
• Professional Development