Frequently Asked Questions

#What is Smashcut?

Smashcut is an online film school that provides an affordable and flexible alternative to existing film education options. Smashcut offers a mentor-driven, project-based curriculum covering Screenwriting, Cinematography, Directing, and Editing, with cinema history incorporated throughout. Choose between our Standard 16-week program or Accelerated 8-week program.

#When is Smashcut available?

Smashcut will be avalable starting March 15th, 2018, and we will offer new start dates every month to accomodate most schedules. Smashcut will also be offered as a summer program.

#Who is Smashcut for?

Smashcut is for anyone wanting to establish or improve their filmmaking and media creation skills. Smashcut students can be any age and live anywhere. Smashcut offers an introductory film program geared towards students eager to understand the production process, and gain filmmaking skills. For many, the cost and time commitment of a traditional film school is prohibitive and impractical. Now that the tools of production -- cameras, editing software, lights, etc. -- are readily available, it only makes sense that high quality film education becomes accessible, too.

For a fraction of the price of traditional film schools, Smashcut provides technical skills, aesthetic concepts, professional mentoring, and career guidance. If you are passionate about movies, curious about learning filmmaking basics, or want to take your skills to the next level, Smashcut is for you.

#How is Smashcut structured?

Smashcut is designed around three components:

  1. Exclusive Video Lessons crafted by educators and film professionals
  2. Hands-on, project-based assignments in screenwriting, cinematography, directing, and editing
  3. Feedback and Live Mentor Sessions with industry professionals

#What will I achieve upon completion of the Smashcut Program?

  • A clear understanding of the technical and aesthetic concepts that support the creative process across screenwriting, cinematography, directing, editing, and sound
  • An introduction to seminal filmmakers and important films from across the cinematic spectrum
  • A range of hands-on work that advances your capabilities, and could provide the basis for a demo reel
  • An action plan, developed by Smashcut with Mentor input, which outlines specific educational or work-related next steps

#Do I need professional equipment?

You don’t need professional filmmaking equipment for our program. The minimum requirement is access to a smartphone with HD video and a computer to edit and upload your assignments. If you don’t have access to editing software, Smashcut will provide an Adobe Premiere Pro license for the duration of the program. If you want to increase your production value with a TK camera, LED lights, microphones and the like, we can help direct you to affordable options for buying or renting used equipment.

#What is the time commitment?

Smashcut provides two pacing options -- Standard and Accelerated.

Our standard 16-week course requires about 1.5 - 2 hours of work per day. Students are expected to complete daily viewing assignments and other projects. These tasks will include writing assignments and lots of hands-on work to build and demonstrate learned skills — from lighting exercises to camera techniques to editing. We suggest the 16-week program if you have a busy schedule, a day job, or need more flexibility to complete assignments. Our Accelerated 8-week program follows the same curriculum as the Standard 16-week program, but at a faster pace. It requires between 3-5 hours a day of work and is perfect for people who have plenty of time to dedicate to their Smashcut viewing assignments and projects.

#How does the Smashcut Program work?

Smashcut provides a guide for students to explore the world of filmmaking via detailed lessons, instructional films, hands-on assignments and weekly mentor-student sessions conducted on our video platform. Students will be creating “early and often” -- writing, shooting, and editing work based on course assignments. They will also work with video files provided by Smashcut. Some assignments will be short hands-on exercises designed to provide practical production and screenwriting skills. Others will be self-contained projects that can stand on their own as short examples of student work. At the end of the program, each student will complete a final short film or screenplay.

Smashcut is designed around three components:

  1. Exclusive Video Lessons crafted by educators and film professionals
  2. Hands-on, project-based assignments in screenwriting, cinematography, directing, and editing
  3. Feedback and Live Mentor Sessions with industry professionals

#Who are the Mentors and what do they do?

Our mentors are working industry professionals who are committed to giving back to the up-and-coming filmmaking community. Throughout the Smashcut program, students and mentors will participate in weekly Live Mentor Sessions. These are one-on-one video chats during which students can review and discuss project feedback or ask other questions. Meet a few of our Mentors here.

#Can I choose my own Mentor?

Our team matches students and mentors based on area of focus, experience level, and time zones. We work hard to pair students and mentors to ensure the Live Mentor Sessions are a productive experience for everyone.

#Will I have the same Mentors throughout the duration of the program?

Because our Mentors are professionals who are actively working, their projects may take them away from their Smashcut duties from time to time. In these cases, our team will assign you another Mentor. It’s always good to hear multiple points of view and expand your network.

#Can I become a Mentor?

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor please reach out to mentors@smashcut.com

#How do I schedule Live Mentor Sessions?

Once accepted, you will have a chance to indicate your availability during our orientation process. Our Student Success Coordinators will work to schedule your Live Mentor Session between you and your mentor, based on your schedule.

#What is the enrollment process?

Spots are limited, but we will do our best to accept as many qualified candidates as possible. To apply, schedule a time to talk with one of our student advisors, who will make sure Smashcut is a good fit for you. Some applicants may be brand new to the filmmaking world, while others might already have plenty of experience in the film industry and are looking to brush up on their skills by continuing their education.

#How does pricing work?

The Smashcut program costs $4250. Our curriculum is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of the entire filmmaking process. Each week, you will have multiple lessons in Screenwriting, Cinematography, Directing, and Editing.

Early Enrollment Offer: By pre-enrolling, you will save your spot for launch, and receive a 10% discount for being a part of our inaugural program.

#What is your refund policy and process?

Smashcut’s withdrawal and refund policy is simple. Withdraw within your first week for a refund minus a $250 cancellation fee. Withdraw later, and your refund is prorated based on the number of days you spent in the program minus a non-refundable cancellation fee of $250. If more than 50% of your program time has elapsed, you are no longer eligible for a refund. I have other questions about enrollment. How do I contact you? You can email us at enroll@smashcut.com.

#Are you an accredited institution?

We are not accredited at this time, but may be at a later date. We are in the process of becoming an accredited institution and will keep you posted on our progress.

#What is the grading system?

We don’t give out grades. Students work is evaluated and critiqued by industry mentors and professionals and success is measured by your creative growth, technical improvements, and the quality of work students display throughout the program. Echoing real-world scenarios, work at Smashcut isn’t graded so much as assessed. Students should have personal goals they set at the beginning of the program and then evaluate their achievements at the end. Some examples of goals may include honing technical skills, expressing a thematic idea, shooting a scene with a complex lighting setup, or completing a short screenplay.

#Does Smashcut offer scholarships?

Increasing access and diversity within film education is core to Smashcut’s mission. While Smashcut’s tuition fee is much less than traditional film school’s rates, we understand that it may still be prohibitive for some students. That’s why we plan on creating a not-for-profit side of Smashcut to accommodate underserved, under-represented, and low-income students. Smashcut is also dedicated to providing scholarships for students in need as soon as we can.

#What is Smashcut’s Mission and Philosophy on teaching?

Inclusive: Our mission is to increase access to film education by breaking the geographic and financial barriers traditional film schools can pose for filmmakers. We are dedicated to providing low-cost, high-quality, guided film education with one-on-one guidance from industry professionals — we call them mentors — no matter where you live.

Active: Smashcut’s curriculum requires that students “create early and often”. Smashcut students who complete the program will leave with a practical and technical understanding of filmmaking and film theory, as well as a portfolio of work that demonstrates their skills and abilities.

Accountable: We believe in our students’ ability to grow their skills, set goals and achieve them. Our job is to provide resources, establish curriculum and guide our students to ensure growth. We plan to make good on that promise — that’s why we offer a refund policy: to make sure our students are getting what they want. In return, we ask that students hold themselves accountable by remaining disciplined, completing projects and assignments, and respecting their Mentors.