How MZed Pro Makes Me a Better Filmmaker – Black Friday Special

How MZed Pro Makes Me a Better Filmmaker – Black Friday Special

Black Friday Deals are everywhere this week. Let’s be honest: more often than not they encourage us to buy something we don’t really need. However, even in this flood of overconsumption, it’s still possible to find some real gems. In my opinion, one of the best ways to invest your money is in yourself and your professional development. That’s why I encourage you to take a look at our MZed Pro special offer. Until the 27th of November, you can get a yearly member subscription for $199 instead of $349. That price covers 50+ filmmaking courses, over 450 hours of distilled knowledge from industry experts, and countless insights. To give you an idea of what you will get with MZed Pro, I gathered my personal MZed Pro lessons and highlights from different courses.

For the record: I studied filmmaking for real. Also, I never miss a chance to delve into textbooks about film analysis or watch the latest online tutorials for new tools. Learning is a life-long process, after all, but despite my expertise, participating in MZed courses always provides valuable insights. There are so many diverse areas you can dive into on our educational platform, from specific foley recording tricks to wedding videography secrets. There is something new and inspiring for everyone.

Click here to get our MZed Pro Black Friday deal: $199 instead of $349 for 1 year of the best filmmaking education (deal expires November 27, 2023!) Individual courses, which you can buy to own forever, are also significantly discounted.

Visual subtext as one of the MZed Pro highlights

One of the basic stylistic rules for writers goes: “Omit needless words.” So easy and so difficult at the same time. Just as each word in a text must tell you something, every frame in your film should have a meaning and bring the story further. Why exactly did you choose this composition? What impact does a bigger headroom have on a viewer? How does a closeup of the face affect our perception of the character in a given moment?

An example of powerful headroom use. Film stills from “Ida” by Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013

These are all fair questions, and they belong to the realm of visual storytelling, which is imperative to master if you want your films to tell effective and engaging stories. MZed has various courses on it from “Fundamentals of Directing”, which gives a thorough overview of basic shot structure and frame elements, to “The Art of Visual Storytelling” in 2 parts.

My biggest highlight from the latter course was Alex Buono’s lesson on visual subtext, which goes a level deeper than the classic frame composition theory. In his course, the seasoned cinematographer shows dozens of film masterpieces and explains how they used this advanced technique. For example, a big revelation for me was the symbol of the moth in “The Silence of the Lambs” and how it communicates the transformation that each character in the story is seeking. It manifests itself consistently in names and dialogue, in the props (Buffalo Bill’s night-vision glasses), and in different visual forms.

Why is it so impressive? Instead of explicitly stating their message, filmmakers employ artful techniques to tap into our subconscious, creating a deeper resonance. A brilliant, suspenseful, and intriguing way to ask the question and leave us to figure out the answer. How to craft your film into a thought-provoking cinematic puzzle that the audience can’t wait to engage with and unravel? That’s what you can learn in “Alex Buono’s Visual Storytelling 2” on

Everything about camera movement

The thing that impresses me most about MZed is that there seems to be a course that covers almost any topic. Let’s say you want to learn more about long takes and different camera movements. No problem! “Vincent Laforet’s Directing Motion” has 6,5 hours of valuable material for you. In this detailed workshop, you will not only understand when and why to move the camera, but you will also dive deep into the impact those movements have on the audience.

For example, what do you feel when you see the following sequence from “Full Metal Jacket”?

Tension, I reckon. Maybe even fear. The camera keeps backing up from Gunnery Sergeant Hartman as he explains the rules of the game, always framing him front and center. There are no cuts and no mercy for the spectator: we are not allowed to take our eyes off this guy, and so his power stretches way farther than only in the imaginary world of Stanley Kubrick.

In his course, commercial director and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet breaks down scene after scene and motion after motion until we fully comprehend this superpower and how to use it. And that’s something you can always apply to your video projects, even if you only work in commercials or YouTube vlogs.

Editing techniques from Oscar-winning Tom Cross

For people who are more into editing, MZed has a whole palette of courses. You get comprehensive training in different editing software – DaVinci Resolve for beginners and experts; speed editing in Final Cut Pro; and each aspect of Adobe Premiere Pro. Additionally, you discover professional tips on when to cut and why. From former Saturday Night Live film unit editor, Adam Epstein, I learned, how to quickly underline visuals with properly created soundscapes without leaving my editing software. From the Oscar-winning feature film editor Tom Cross, I gained a deeper understanding of how to approach a long narrative piece.

No point in hiding that I’m a big fan of Tom’s work. It feels like a huge privilege to be able to watch him deconstruct his own scenes. For example, in the course “The Art & Technique of Film Editing“, he explains exactly how the language of editing builds up one of the best scenes in “Whiplash” – its climactic ending.

At first look, this scene is one of a band performance with extensive drumming parts. Yet, it tells so much: the uncomfortable atmosphere overall, the relationship between the main characters, and above all, both of the character’s developmental arcs. Fletcher starts in a place of anger because his band is being hijacked, and switches to approval, where he likes what he is hearing. The protagonist, Andrew, also kicks the scene off with anger, but over time develops transcendency and goes to a place where he is among the great drummers he always wanted to become.

Thanks to thoughtful editing that concentrates on the visuals and arranges shots that complement or contrast, we get the emotional story behind this scene without needing much dialogue.

MZed Pro highlights for only $199 on Black Friday

This was only a small sneak peek at what you get as an MZed Pro member. As a matter of fact, I can go on for hours, dive into interesting technical aspects (like an innovative day-for-night approach that Hoyte van Hoytema explains in the ASC conversation on “Nope”), and praise the variety of educators (from the big YouTube channel hosts to Award-winning filmmakers). However, I recommend you form your own opinion.

Now is the perfect time to join MZed because we are offering a special deal for Black Friday. Until the 27th of November, you can get a year of the MZed Pro membership for only $199 instead of $349. We also slashed all the prices for individual courses during this sale period.


Black Friday Giveaway: $20K+ in prizes for 20 lucky winners (free to enter)

Apart from that, you can take part in our enormous Black Friday giveaway. Becoming an MZed Pro member greatly enhances your chances to win $20K+ worth of gear. You can find all the information and details on how to participate here. Entering is free and no purchase is necessary. MZed Pro members increase their odds of winning.

So, what’s your call? Are there any MZed courses you’re particularly interested in? Which one would you watch straight away? If you’re an MZed Pro already, what are your highlights from our courses? Let us know in the comments below!

Full disclosure: MZed is owned by CineD

Join MZed Pro now and start watching today!

Feature image source: MZed

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