No Budget Film School
Student Testimonials

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Here is what our students have said about No Budget Film School...

"I cannot say enough about the two-day class we just completed today...the course was fantastic!! I feel like I have learned in two days, what would've taken me several years of experience and experimentation to learn. Thanks for sharing your wealth of experience and knowledge with us." - Monica Vazquez

"I found it quite useful, but more importantly inspiring, and sending me thinking in the right directions in a confident and tactful way. I applaud your efforts with the No Budget Film School." - Grant Moninger, Aero Theater Manager

"This rocked. Thank you for the inspiration, kick in the butt and nuts-and-bolts of how to do it on a shoestring--sorely missing from other film education programs. Thanks for filling in the blanks!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Mark Stolaroff did a phenomenal job! Great teacher! Useful information. All areas of filmmaking were discussed. I particularly like the comparisons of cost between using film vs. digital, SAG vs. non-SAG, so many cost cutting ideas!!!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"I just spent 2 extraordinary days with you at the "No-Budget Filmmaking" Seminar. I came expecting the softward to be the best aspect, but instead Mark, Peter et al was "magic"! The proof will be in the pudding and I'm ready to cook. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and that of your friends. I will recommend this session to every young filmmaker I know." - Jacob Wheeler

"(The class) proved to be THE MOST beneficial class I have ever taken regarding film. It answered the technical questions I had always hoped would be answered." - John Dickson, (Kansas City 2007)

"Thank you for putting together such an informative and inspiring seminar.  I learned so much about how to defy conventional assumptions and make a film with the resources I currently have, rather than wait around for financing (which could take eternity).  I am so motivated to start pre-production on my film and get it made right away! Thank you again for all your wisdom and guidance." - Anonymous

"Your class was great and very inspiring--the greatest strength was the recent real-world examples. I look forward to attending future no-budget events." - Brent Beath

"It was great to take the No Budget Film School class again this past weekend, and I gained some new things above and beyond what I learned when I took it over two years ago. I enjoyed the guest speakers as well, and thank you for making all of this learning and exchange of ideas possible. Thanks again for all that you give to the filmmaker community." - Marc Salgia

"I attended the seminar this weekend and got a great deal out of the time spent there. I spent 8 hours on the road this Sat and Sun coming up from San Diego and feel that it was well worth it. The experience that you conveyed to us was invaluable. I will highly recommend it to my other filmmaker friends. You really have a winner with this seminar series." - David Bruno

"I must tell you I was very impressed with you and your speakers and VERY inspired. I teach screenwriting and film studies up here in Northern California at a college and will spread the word about your wonderful 2 day seminar to all my students." - Perry-Folino

"Well organized, good priority, great passion and very generous and valuable info." - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Thanks for a great two days. I learned a lot and it inspired me to take the resources I have (which are substantial) and build a story around them. It's time to shoot." - Jeff Drongowski

"Excellent class, worth way more than the cost of attendance. This was like film school in a weekend! Love it. I would recommend it over and over again. Thank you." - Liz Stewart

"I am so glad I did this. I especially liked the section on embracing your limitations and listing your resources. Peter Broderick ending the day yesterday was fantastic - he made everything you and the guest speakers were talking about seem not only viable but beyond what any of us has ever dreamed of in terms of not only creative control but financial control." - Claire Partin

"Thanks again for the great seminar. Especially loved hearing David Gordon Green speak. Very inspiring." - Elisabeth Fies

"Love top secret tips and the clips and guests. David (Gordon Green) and Jody (Hill)--very inspirational!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Thank you for your wisdom. I really enjoyed your No Budget class on Saturday, and I am utterly grateful for all the information you provided." - Elizabeth Simmons

"Thanks for the informative and entertaining course on no-budget filmmaking. I came away with many insights and much inspiration." - Uday Gunjikar

"Great class ... you were able to convert a film snob to digital!" - Monique Lai

I wanted to thank you for this weekend. I had a lot of fun and found it to be very freeing--in transforming my context on how I saw my limitations/circumstances. I am very interested in your next class and will definitely let my friends know about your classes. - Sarah Rose Bergman

"It's 2 days of advice that's not only solid and practical, but inspiring as well." - Anonymous Feedback Form

"The entire class was far more than I thought it would be. Need to come back and do other parts of No Budget Film School." - Anonymous Feedback Form (Atlanta 2007)

"I really learned a lot and I am excited about making my "no budget" film. This class has helped me avoid certain mistakes, which will make the filming process easier and cheaper." - Anonymous Feedback Form (Atlanta 2007)

"I very much enjoyed your seminar. Your presentation was most impressive and your guest speakers were very knowledgeable. They knew their stuff, and I was in awe. " - Anonymous

"Loved the seminar on Saturday!! Thank you so much for all of the great information." - Sandra Payne

"Have been telling people about the No Budget Film School I attended on August 25th & 26th--so informative." - Mae Hi

"Your class really gave me some confidence, and it was funny, but the smallest note about shooting windows with ND filters and shooting in a car was something perfect for me at this stage. I enjoyed it a lot." - Inga Stanelun

"I want to thank you again for an incredible weekend!!!  Was amazing - you are a fantastic speaker and the time just blew by!" - Susan Mann, Mobile Film School

"Thank you so much for holding the no budget seminar. It was extremely informative and well worth the money. Your speakers were outstanding and I look forward to watching your film, 'True Love'." - Bradley A. Palmer

"To say the least it opened my eyes to a whole new world of filmmaking. The program covered just about everything one should know about creating the groundwork for their dream of making a movie outside the studio box. I personally learned a lot and was happy to meet the other filmmakers. The weekend was greatly appreciated. Thank you again." - Peter R.J. Deyell, American Biograph Films, HandCranked Pictures, DGA Special Projects Committee

"Wanted to sincerely thank you for your class - I learned a TON and now have answers to the myriad of questions that I had before taking your course. Your class was the 'kick in the pants' that Joshua and I needed to go and just make our film." - Nick Loritsch, Writer/Producer, Born & Raised (

"GREAT class: 3 thumbs Up! Excellent insights, advice & info. Run--no, skip! Really FAST!--to this seminar/class, next time it's in LA. NO EXCUSE to miss it. Unless you don't wanna make/finish your film. BEST $ we've spent on filmmaking. Period." - Louann Petrucci

"Thanks for the class this past weekend. I took an entire legal pad worth of notes. Not that I had to since you give us such extensive handouts. Great class. You are so easy to listen to and tell great stories. It inspired me to think making a no-budget film is possible, not easy but do-able! Thank you." - Phyllis Chase

"I wanted to thank you once again for the class that you provided this past weekend. There was a lot that was learned, and more than anything else it was completely inspirational." - Rachel Denis

"I wanted to say thanks for the great seminar you put on this weekend.  It Rocked!"  - Kenyetta Smith

"I enjoyed the class. I especially liked the people you brought in to talk about their successes and real experiences." - Jared Hanson

"Thanks for the great classes. They were inspiring and incredibly informative." - Wren Fearon

"Just wanted to touch base and convey my appreciation for your program. For your sharing of knowledge and experience and the rich assemblage of guest speakers. I learned a lot and the buzz from the crowd on BOTH days was that your workshop was actually worth MORE than what you charged!! Looking forward to making movies, man. Thanks a whole hell of a lot!" - Victor Rosa

"Just wanted to let you know that your class paid off big time!!!  Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me. Currently, my husband and I are six days/3 weekends away from finishing our first feature!!!  You were right!!!  It can be done for fractions on a dollar!!! God Bless!!!" - Zelie Dember-Slack, Writer/Director/Producer, The Sweetest Heir

"I'm so excited to say my feature directorial debut is locked! I'm incredibly proud that we made this amazing, expensive-looking and sounding film for 100k, and couldn't have done it without you and your no-budget class!" - Elisabeth Fies, Writer/Director, "The Commune" (

"I wish I would have known about this before I went to an expensive film school. Your seminar and website offer real "nuts and bolts" practical advice that makes sense. I'm sure you hear this one often but I have to say that after attending that weekend I felt energized and challenged creatively - I was thinking like a producer and not just a smug artist with tons of lofty ideas and no means to accomplish them." - Michael Okum, Writer/Director, Expressway To The Skull

"Your No Budget Filmmaking class was Awesome. I was in the class you taught through Image in Atlanta in March. Everyone enjoyed it so much that I got everyone's emails from that class and have been talking to Elizabeth about seeing if you could come back to Atlanta in the Fall and teach the other course parts that you did not teach this time. I learned so much from your class and have since done a small promotional video for promoting my small private school and have 2 documentaries in the works. Thanks for coming!" - Pat Roberts (Atlanta 2007)

"I thought it was worth every penny. It was informative and entertaining. I thought that Mark's teaching style was very organized and intuitive. The guest speakers were great and I highly recommend it. It was one of the wisest decisions that we've made in a while. It was fantastic. I really really enjoyed it." - David Branin & Karen Worden, Hosts of "Film Courage" Radio Show (

"Thank you guys for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. I feel like I've been to heaven and back. As a first-time filmmaker, you have already saved me thousands of dollars." - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Over all, my socks have been blown off!!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Thanks for a tremendously inspiring and informative weekend. Great, concise, very helpful info. What I didn't know scares me! I've already plugged your class to a number of friends." - Patrick Cannon, WGA

"Thanks again for the great sessions this weekend. I am really impressed with what you offered to filmmakers these past two days, and wanted to thank you again for the inspiration and practical advice you and your colleagues offered. I have associate produced/PM'd two features, a six part series and several docs, and will be producing my third feature this fall, but I still felt there was a wealth of practical knowledge that I gained from these sessions and your handouts that will help me in moving forward with my first festival film. Thanks again for all your hard work in putting your session together, and sharing such valuable information. You did an exceptional job." - Signe Olynyk, Great American Pitch Fest; Writer/Producer, Below Zero

"You are awesome...I am truly grateful to have found out about your seminar and to have taken it!!! I found it to be unbelievably helpful. Thanks again." - Blake Robbins, Writer/Director/Actor, The Sublime And Beautiful

"I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the seminar this past weekend. Your presentation, candor, and overall excitement were wonderful and your guest speakers we're a blast. Thanks for such an informative and intuitive look at guerilla, no budget filmmaking!" - Katie Covell

"I attended your No Budget Film School 2-day course at Raleigh Oct 21-22. I loved it...very inspiring and informative. THANKYOU!!" - Sandra Gray

"Thank you so much for the outstanding 2 day course on August 25, 26! I was very inspired by your artistic and practical advice as well as your positive presentation. I can't wait to get my films into production." - Eve Curtis

"Thank you for a wonderful weekend filled with helpful information! The classes & speakers were truly inspiring and your enthusiasm kept my interest" - Aqila (Kiki) Mayle

"WHAT AN AWESOME CLASS!!! Just in the nick of time. Some friends and I are going to meet to see what we can do with no money!!! Thank you again!!!...IMMENSELY!!!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"I thought Mark did a great job of combining practical advice with an inspiring message." - Anonymous Feedback Form

"I had a great time, Mark. I was bummed I had to leave town and miss Day #2. But I learned a lot, and it was a pleasure meeting you. See you when you have the next class!" - Greg Benson (

"There was a great deal of information for the beginning no-budget producer. Really helpful dollar saving info. Amazing Guests!! Inspiring." - Anonymous Feedback Form

"I loved it. I enjoyed the entertaining video clips of your experience and the detailed Powerpoint presentation." - Christine Owens

"I really enjoyed my time this past weekend and learned a lot. Mainly I was inspired because I have already made plenty of no budget films, but I learned some key things that will help in the future." - Rob Clyde

"I just wanted to thank you for this weekend's (5/6/06) class. I enjoyed it very much and thought it extremely helpful. I'm just starting out and had NO idea of what direction to even go in, now I feel I have a strong starting point for myself." - Danielle Le Bouty

"Thanks for a great seminar last weekend. We have already revised several sections of our script to make it more no-budget feasible." - Heidi Hornbacher

"This course was outstanding. Loads of information presented." - Anonymous Feedback Form (Atlanta 2007)

"Your presentation gave me confidence to plan for a project, however small or big it is. It's really encouraging." - Srini Jashty

"There were tons of good stuff! Great broad strokes of problems to solve on set and in production. Liked FSI (Film Scene Investigation) the best. Come back to Atlanta--we'll spread the word." - Anonymous Feedback Form (Atlanta 2007)

"Thanks, Mark. I had a great time at NO BUDGET FILM SCHOOL. I appreciate your generous spirit in sharing what you have learned over the years. I will not hesitate to recommend it to others." - Fred Bashid

"I wanted to say how much I was inspired. Not only was the information you presented invaluable, you presented it in an upbeat and interesting manner. Honesty, originality, integrity are my cornerstones, but now I have a new mantra to add to those...the "no budget way". I also found each guest speaker unbelievably honest and facsinating. So, BRAVO! You cannot emphasize enough that no-budget filmmaking is not no-moral filmmaking. I had thought that is what it was before I took the course. You presented practical solutions along the entire process of filmmaking that don't include needing great sums of money to produce a good final result. You pointed out major snags in the process to avoid--by writing to your means; asking favors by creative negociating, and not looking for pure handouts; avoiding some legal issues and other pitfalls (music publishing clearances and shooting permits). Thank you for doing these invaluable workshops." - Steven Ritz-Barr, Producer (

"Terrific seminar this week, Mark.  I enjoyed attending again." - Leandro Esquerra

" I really enjoyed the course. It's given me a lot of new ideas about how to get my movies made." - John West

"Not only did I have a great time, but I feel tremendously energized by your take on filmmaking; sincerely, it's liberating to come out of film school and have somebody tell me (and prove to me) that I'm in control when all of my professors were arguing the contrary. So again, thanks." - Norm Leonard

"Really great class! I enjoyed it so much. And I'll tell you, it's set me straight. I feel like being a rebellious filmmaker again for more than a few reasons. You are right about everything as far as production value. You CAN make a good film with just a good story and great actors. Thanks and cheers!" - Ryan Doyle

"As a former student of your wonderful No Budget course, I would like to share with you that my (first) feature has just come out on DVD. The movie is called "Bloomington" and it is being released in the US by Wolfe Video. I just wanted to say that the lessons I learned in your class really helped me a lot while I was making this ultra-low budget, totally self-financed film. We have played in over 40 festivals so far, have spent over 60 days in the's best sellers list for gay & lesbian films and have secured distribution in many European territories. In other words, your class works! So please keep teaching it." - Fernanda Cardoso, Writer/Director, "Bloomington", (

"You did an excellent job with your presentation. The two days were very informative (and very entertaining at times). It was a memorable journey. Thanks for being the valiant "myth-buster" guide for it. I am in your debt, sir." - Stacy Waymack Thornton, Professor, Cal State Univ. San Bernardino

"Thanks again for an excellent course this weekend. It was like opening the lid on a container of repressed ideas and aspirations. Everyone I spoke to at lunch agreed it was the best course of this genre (filmmaking-related) they had ever attended. The guest speakers were also excellent and inspiring. So the reason I think your course works is that you have a generous spirit, even if you are tight with your purse strings. :-) You open doorways for lots of people, and that is a cool thing." - Lisa (Kali) Lewinson

"You are such a blessing!!! What an awesome class. I will definitely recommend your seminars to everyone. It's a no-nonsense approach that is so doable. Thank you for changing my way of thinking. I can see "it" now!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Both my brother and I want to thank you for the most exhilarating educational experience we've ever had. And that's saying something since I'm 65 and my brother is 62. Your personal enthusiasm, your knowledge and your care made it a fantastic weekend. Thanks again for last weekend's fun, funny and incredibly helpful seminar." - Ron Jackson (Writer/Producer, 5 Hour Friends,

"Loved the two days at Raleigh Studios. I got so inspired I am writing a new script to use only my available resources. Principal photography will start June 1st 2007 come hell or high water. Not bad for a guy pushing 60." - Mike Chinea

"Great job with the film school, I learned more in two days than in weeks of reading books and watching instructional DVDs. I'll be making shorts at first, with little or no budget, and the tips and techniques that you and your guest speakers shared will save me a fortune, literally." - Chris Davison

"Loved everything about the day!!! I couldn't be more appreciative! Outstanding! Very focused on the topic. Superb!!! Phenomenal day!!!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Weekend course was excellent! Exactly what I was looking for and I will recommend it to all! I look forward to future classes!" - Ross Guidici

"I'm not one of those who took your seminar and did nothing with it. It was great for me because your techniques and ideas were things that I already do - you just gave me license to do it and feel good about it - and to get me to be even more "creative" in how I approach things. And your seminar gave it all a name. Cool. I'm running with it. I'm going to be producing my first feature coming up in the next few months. To date I have all of the locations except one for free, all of the background and much of the crew (non-key positions) for free, and on and on." - Joseph Caro, Writer (and now Producer)

"Thank you so much for the class. I learned a great deal about no-budget films and will definitely recommend this class to my friends and colleagues." - Tatiana Chekhova

"Mark, great class. Can not begin to thank you. Learning so much, and finding inspiration. It was a fantastic experience. I have watched and rewatched some of the films that were mentioned and shown last weekend." - David Zaugh

"Phenomenal stuff. A shot of adrenaline for us to do our film. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" - Anonymous Feedback Form

"I just wanted to write and say thanks for putting together the NBFS classes this past weekend. I've attended similar seminars in the past (and even taught a few), so I was prepared for the possibility that it would be more or less a waste of time. But I gotta say that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality! Peter Broderick's presentation was enlightening, entertaining and VERY inspirational! Thanks again for the fantastic class, and I look forward to attending future NBFS and NBFC events!" - Ryan Markle

"Thank you for the class. Course 101's information was realistic, yet it let me see the possibilities for me to make a no-budget film." - Leina Yotanka

"I wanted to thank you for the lecture you gave today. It was incredibly insightful and helped me a lot. You also pumped me up a bit knowing I'm doing the right thing, on the right track, and just do it." - Michael Eiff

"Wow. So glad I got to attend. I am going to re-write my script and shoot for no money!!! Plus I'm already thinking of a new script using the locations and people I have. Thank you." - Anonymous Feedback Form

"Thanks for the class today--it was well worth my time, and I'm so glad I went. Great teaching. Your class has helped me A LOT with pre-production." - Steve Rudolf

"Wonderful! Enjoyed it. Learned so much. It was exactly the kind of class I had been looking for! Wish you were here in Atlanta!" - Anonymous Feedback Form (Atlanta 2007)

My partner and I took the two day seminar last year and are using many of your valuable lessons in the lead up to production. Thanks again! - Carl Darchuk, (Director-"Beautysleep Symphony")

"The information was great. I appreciated Mark sharing his secrets and knowledge of the industry." - Anonymous Feedback Form (Atlanta 2007)

"I can't tell you enough how helpful I found your No Budget Budgeting lecture. So many things you spoke about that day have come up for me. I'm very glad I took your class." - Pamela Pedder

"Thanks again for a great workshop last weekend. Fantastic from start to finish, and I have recommended it to others already." - Phil Kaufman

"Thanks for a great class. The No Budget Film School was awesome." - Michael Morris

"I had a great time at your workshop. You did a great job and I really like your spirit and enthusiasm." - Dionisio Ceballos

"Thank you for a great weekend. Inspired me and exceeded my expectations." - Matt Del Negro

"Great class, Mark! Jay (Duplass) was great, but so was all your hands-on experience. Great class." - Arianna Ortiz

"Tremendous stuff, all weekend long, and so professionally put together. The "write to your definition of no-budget/write to your resources" philosophy at the center of your teaching really came through and rang true -- absolutely vital, and really sums it up." - Chris Soth, Screenwriting Instructor,

"Your workshop was fantastic--well worth the money in my no budget filmmaking world. I'm a graduate of UCLA film school and two of my screenplays were considered by the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab. You and your guest speakers inspired my husband and I to move forward, honor our uniqueness, and trust our intuition instead of playing the approval game. You've liberated us! Thank you so much. Once again, thanks a million for sharing your experiences." - Chien-ei Yu

"It was a great balance between the practical elements and the inspiration to create films with limited resources.  It was well organized and the guest speakers added a tremendous amount to the class.  I will definitely be recommending it to several people I know." - John Chalverus

"As good as the first seminar was, this one was even better organized and more effective.  The guest filmmakers were great, especially Jay Duplass.  You were entertaining and inspiring as usual.  It's a kick in my ass to get a feature going.  Thanks." - Patrick Cannon

"Just took the class yesterday, wonderful! Taught me as much as 6 months in film school." - Jason B Kohl

"I was really impressed with you presentations, your style and your storytelling; I found it to be really entertaining." - Susan Glatzer (former VP at Paramount Pictures)

"Your workshop has given me a new-found drive to make my film." - Anna Maganini

"This workshop was really really great. I've been to many and I still learned so much." - Darrell Kiedo, Actor/Producer/Screenwriter

"I really enjoyed the No Budget class, it was excellent, and very inspiring. Your presentation was lively and fun, and I have already recommended it to a couple friends. I'm gearing up to make a no-budget feature right now, so the timing was perfect for me." - Aeolan Kelly