Film School Coaching: How It Works

Working with a Forster-Thomas creative coach is just like one of those intensive summer filmmaking programs…except the student:teacher ratio is 1:1, and we don’t kick you out after 3 weeks. We have a unique and personalized candidate-focused process that ensures you’ll get the most for your money:

1. Reflection & Inspiration

Just as you have to know what your film is about before yelling “Action,” we need to get to the heart of who you are before we can help you. To do this, you’ll fill out Workbook One, a detailed inventory of your personal background and values, your professional and creative accomplishments, the defining moments in your life, and your future aspirations. Once you’re done, you’ll have your first meeting with your creative coach, who will use the workbook as a launching pad to get to know you. We’ll ask tough questions and expect honest answers, so keep the canned responses for a cocktail party. We’ll also want to view any films you’ve shot and read any scripts you’re written. That way, we know what skills you have a strong grasp of, and which ones you need to develop.

2. Brainstorming & Guidance

Once we really know who you are, we’ll work together to brainstorm your creative materials. We’ll look over your film ideas and help you decide which ones would make good feature-length treatments, which ones could make a great short script, and which you should probably bury forever.  Then we’ll help you develop the best ideas further, making sure you strong narrative structure, dialogue that really sparkles, and characters who aren’t flat and one-dimensional. Throughout this process, we’ll also develop the contents for your personal statement (required by every school), and begin to come up with an outline for it. 

3. Polishing & Tightening

After you've e-mailed us the first draft, we'll make detailed notes and send it back—or call you directly for a one-on-one discussion about how to improve the work. During this session, we’ll examine your work—making certain your writing is engaging, well structured, and insightful—and then review it with you, going over the notes and answering any questions you may have. Once everyone is on the same page, you will complete your second draft.

If we’re coaching you to actually shoot a short film, this is where we’ll review every aspect of the production, from casting to crew to locations, to make sure you’re as prepared as you can be before you hit the record button. 

4. Editing & Proofreading

Our final step is time spent mostly on our own. Our copy editor, who hasn't yet seen your work, steps up to the plate to clean up lingering grammar mistakes and sloppy constructions, spell-check the spell-check, and make any final notes to ensure that your materials have an edge with admissions. We will speak with you one last time, explaining any final changes we suggest. Then we review and proofread the final work—you can never be too confident. We’ll also view your DVD reel and make sure the menus are right, the titles are correct, and the audio levels are where they should be. You want to make sure the film schools are viewing your work the way it should be viewed.