Film School 101

About that whole interested-in-filmmaking talk I’ve been rambling on for the past half a decade…Well, it’s finally being realized. Matthew Perdie moved to Alabama, and has temporarily taken up residence in the Fair Hills Farm Guest House as a live-in tutor in filmmaking for the Read family. Having our minds crammed with months and years worth of film school in a few weeks hasn’t been the smoothest and most peaceful process. But we’re learning a lot, and the prospects of future productions are exciting!

The lessons have involved film analysis…

More "Notorious".

Analyzing Hitchcock’s “Notorious” has been thrilling and amusing.

Rachel filmed a clip of the scene in which Devlin "finds out Alicia is assigned a spy job which requires her getting lovey dove with another man."

DEVLIN’S “CONSTERNATION”: Rachel filmed a clip of the scene in which Devlin “finds out Alicia is assigned a spy job which requires her getting lovey dove with another man.”

More Hitchcock...this time, "Rear Window".

More Hitchcock…this time, “Rear Window”.

Now for some good ol' historical drama...John Adams (2008).

Now for some good ol’ historical drama…John Adams (2008).

…as well as producing our own short films.

Amanda's Epic Fail

My first attempt at actress/director. You can see the result in my face: This just bombed.

Oh, the complexities of editing a movie!

Oh, the complexities of editing a movie!

THE LIST Screen Test (Lesson 5, 360p)

Amanda Read and Matthew Perdie experiment with a scene from one of their project scripts. The bonus blooper reel demonstrates improvised ways of staging the same scene, which is actually written to take place at a café bar. “Fred and Ginger’s” was a café name invented by Rachel Read while playing around on the chalk board during staging.

Playing Chess (Lesson 2, 360p)

How is Ben to keep his big sister Beth from beating him in chess? Little sister Becca comes in handy…This short film was made on day three of our film school with Matthew Perdie. Our roles were assigned to us at random upon drawing our names out of a basket. We added an amusing blooper at the end, which gives a glimpse of the challenge behind directing small children (and having a young boy hold the boom mic for so long).

Closet Doors (Lesson 1, 360p)

A little boy attempts to sneak past his brother to get a board game out of the closet on a stormy day when he gets more than he bargained for. (This is the result of our first film lesson with Matthew Perdie. He gave us the assignment of shooting a short film in five hours with no advice or help with equipment we had never learned how to use before. Amanda had a more elaborate, lighthearted plot idea, but when we started running out of time, the plot took a dark turn – no pun intended, but we misjudged the lighting too on that stormy day.)

Look at that! The green screen at Longleaf Studios!

Look at that! The green screen at Longleaf Studios!

We’ve also done a little location scouting for the web series. Until next time…

Get ready for the adventure!

Get ready for the adventure!


2 Thoughts.

  1. Loved your article. I am a fan of old flicks and new, well mostly old. Seriously, love the fact you gave Matthew a new perspective on believing in God. You are an inspiration as is Matthew. God Bless you both!

  2. Hi Amanda,

    I came across your blog in 2008 after googling “Sarah Palin” Deborah or “Sarah Palin” Queen Esther (or something) — I was looking for people who viewed the election with a Biblical perspective and affirmed the positive role the LORD had in raising her up to be John McCain’s VP pick.

    I so enjoyed reading your blog entries and the contributions your mother made to the “Fair Hills Farm” site.

    Have you ever heard of “Act One?” (It’s a program devoted to schooling and mentoring aspiring Christian screenwriters and producers.) The website is: — They have long term programs devoted to acquainting people to the industry here in Hollywood, (I’m a Los Angeles native) but also events and seminars held across the country as well. I highly encourage you to check it out. :)

    As a director/writer/actor yourself, I had a question for you actually regarding the standards you place for yourself and for those on set when it comes to portraying romantic scenes? Highly respectable films such as “Rear Window” and the like include kissing scenes — what is your opinion about how Christian actors and filmmakers navigate these aspects of storytelling while still honoring ourselves, our real-life significant others, and glorifying the LORD?

    God bless!

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