Dov Simens' 2-Day Film School at

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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:36 AM   #1
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Location: Willmar, MN
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Dov Simens' 2-Day Film School

Anybody here attended this seminar? I'm considering it, but would like to hear from a few that have been there.

So is it a life changing weekend, or a waste of $400?
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Old December 30th, 2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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Dov's actually a good guy. I took this way back in, wow, 1997 I think. However, back then it truly was "film" as DV wasn't around & rarely were true movies shot on video. I was a few years out of college & saving my money, and looking to tap into the indie film world. One thing I liked, as you might, was that I had the means. I had a video, but not film background, but I was pursuing film production. I had a script completed. Friends were going to act. Location. Pre-production skills. So on & so forth. I felt I really connected with him & the moment. He's definitely a straight shooter. I can't recall everything but I remember it being informative. Budgeting was a big issue back then, since film & developing costs were expensive. He walked us thru how to get it in the can on the first day, then post production, film festival, shopping it around etc the second day. One thing I recall is 3 or 4 people who were asking questions kept saying "I'm a filmwriter and..." basically saying they write movies but don't know or don't want to do the actual production & film work. Finally he stopped them and said "Ok quit it. You people are not "writers". You've never written a film that was made. There's a huge difference between writing something, and writing something which has been put to film". He's kindof no-nonsense in that regard. He admits he's not a true Hollywood producer. I think he made a B-movie or something in the early 80's or so, then he started doing his workshop.

I'm not sure how well it transistions over to modern day. If he talks about renting a RED camera to shoot with, or just HDV. Also if he just suggests editing it to DVD to ship to festivals. Anyway, alots changed. And for about 10 years now I haven't been in or really followed much in the "filmmaking" world. I dabble more in video as a hobby and lower level career. I took the 2 day crash course when it came to my city, then he gave a 2 day film production course which I flew out there to take. So, since it came to Philly, it was well worth it. Flying to LA, the added expenses, hmmmmmm. Well, if you have the money, and it truly is a route you are going to take, then yes, I'd recommend it. I did meet some interest people, which was cool & you can't put a price on that. However I think it was better those I met here, than those in LA whom I never saw or heard from again. Then again, facebook probably changes alot like that.

Again, I took it 13, nearly 14 years ago. Surprised it's still around, mostly because of the shift to low budget (ie youtube) videomaking. Feel free to write me if you have questions, but I said about most of what I recall. He does load you with facts & is a straight shooter. I remember calling him a few months later with a question I think about getting insurance. He spoke to me for a few questions so there's something to be said for that. Essentially, it's good for seperating the wheat from the shaff (the people who post ads on Craigslist for "DP - work for meals and credits cause we have no budget" versus those with all the tools to go thru with it, just want to figure some of the logistics & all out.

That's my opinion at least. In a bit of irony, or closure, the film I made I also had a role for my cousin in it. And she's getting married tomorrow night (NYE). Strange, but that's it.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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I took the course about 3 years ago. For me it was just Okay. Other people have said they loved it to hated it. I guess it all depends on the person's level of experiencs.

You can also get the film school on DVD, which may be your best bet since you can go back and review sections that you have questions on.

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Old January 1st, 2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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The more I look into it, the more it looks like it's about navigating the business aspect of filmmaking - financing, budgets, promotion, distribution, etc. If that's the case, it may not be what I want right now. I'm looking more for something to help with my "craft" of video production - more of the creative aspects.

Is that a correct assessment of the seminar?
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Old January 1st, 2011, 07:17 PM   #5
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Yes you are correct
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 10:13 AM   #6
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I have DOV's video film school, it's pretty useful, he covers a lot of stuff, and I like being able to take a break from it to walk away and process the information, as opposed to doing the 2 day workshop all the way through.
I have a dream that one day canon will release a 35mm ef to xl adapter and I'll have iris control and a 35mm dof of all my ef lenses, and it will be awesome...
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