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Film Technician 101

Learn the basics of being a Film Technician to build your foundation for a successful career across the film industry!

Film Technician 101

Course Overview

Film Technician 101 is a moving image production course centered around 4 core film tech crafts: Camera, Lighting, Grip, and Audio. This course engages students through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on experiences. Students will not only gain skills required to be competitive for entry-level technical crew positions, but also acquire critical knowledge in gear terminology, set etiquette and film career development. 

What will I learn in Film Technician 101?

FILM TECHNICIAN 101 is a 36  hour film crew training course taught by 40 year industry veteran Kirk Manton with specialist guest instructors, Key Grip Tony Perija and Chief Lighting Technician Tom Voelpel.

This course will cover:

  • The Essentials of Camera, Lighting & Electric, Field Audio, and Grip

  • Inside Tips of the Trade

  • Safety on the set

  • Being part of the Team (how to function on the set within your department)

  • Film Career Development (College(?), Unions, and Succeeding as a Freelancer)

  • The Tools of the Trade (What things are called, How are they used, What’s in my personal kit)

  • Shaping The Light (The Art of how Grip and Electricians work together to light the scene).

  • Mounting and Rigging the world


What's next after Film Technician 101?

Entertainment Industry:


• Gaffer 

• Best Boy 

• Key Grip 

• Dolly Grip 

• Grip  

• Film Electrician 

• Large Venue/Specialty Lighting & Rigging


Multi-faceted positions:


• Independent productions

• Community service productions (churches and non-profits)

• Local commercial

• Local broadcast

• Basic electric in local soundstage productions or in metropolitan areas

• Local TV access stations, 

• Small business marketing

• Training videos

• Infomercials

• Local theatre companies

• Streaming prosumer productions

• Set lighting technician

• Managing safety practices of the electrical department (requires solid work experience)

• Lighting Programmers 

Course Cost

The Film Technician 101 course is $1600. You can pay this upon registration. 

All associated costs are included in these fees, including instruction and use of the studio facilities and equipment.

Please get in touch to discuss payment options which might work for you!

Course Schedule

Class Schedule:

MAY 2023

  • Tuesday, May 30th (6pm-8pm)

JUNE 2023

  • Thursday, June 1st (6pm-8pm) (Guest Lecture: Chief Lighting Tom Voelpel)

  • Saturday, June 3rd (9am-5pm) (Guest Lecture: Chief Lighting Tom Voelpel)

  • Tuesday, June 6th (6pm-8pm)

  • Thursday, June 8th (6pm-8pm)

***No classes week of June 11-17 (Fathers Day Sunday, June 18th***

  • Tuesday,  June 20th (6pm-8pm)

  • Thursday, June 22nd (6pm-8pm)

  • Saturday, June 24th  (9am-5pm) (Waiting on date confirmation form Key Grip Tony Perija)

  • Tuesday, June 27th(6pm-8pm)

  • Thursday, June 29th  (6pm-8pm)


Application Deadline: 

All classes are filled on a first come first serve basis. We strongly recommend registering as soon as possible. 


Your Teachers

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Kirk Manton

Kirk Manton has over forty years of experience in the film, video, and live event production industry. He started working grip and lighting on film sets in the 80's and then moved on to equipment, facility, and people managing. Whether working in a business or ministry environment, from Southern California to the flatlands of the Texas high plains, Kirk brings a unique mix of tech savvy, relational maturity, creative energy, and administrative excellence to everything he does.

Tom Voelpel

Tom Voelpel is an Emmy award winning Chief Lighting Technician with Hollywood IATSE Local 728. Approaching 40 years of experience within the entertainment industry, Mr. Voelpel began his career in 1983, kicking off the golden era of music videos. His expertise expands from approximately 250 music videos, 1400 commercials, short films, feature films, tv shows, and many more. Tom has worked with various artists including Janet Jackson, David Bowie, Mariah Cary, Stevie Wonder, Van Halen, Beyoncé, Fleetwood Mac, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Ariana Grande, Snoop Dog, Paula Abdul, Luther Vandross, Billy Joel, Celine Dion, John Malkovich, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Bacon, Tom Hulce, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow and numerous other professionals.


After years of dedication to various entertainment industry avenues, Tom decided to concentrate more on commercials and worked for several products/services including Old Navy, Clairol, Revlon, McDonald’s, JC Penny, Burger King, Budweiser, Panda Express, Lowes, Sears and magnitudes of other distinguished brands. Additionally, Mr. Voelpel worked on the NBC tv series Heist and Sesame Street, lighting up the characters we all know and love

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Tony Perija

Tony Perija is a Key Grip and Orange County California native. Mr. Perija is known for wearing many hats in the film industry and using his skills to specialize in areas such as dolly grip, camera operations, car rigging, metal fabrication, photography and general broadcast technician.


Tony began his career in the eighties at Chapman College while interning under Key Grip, Kirk Manton and Cinematographer, Ralph Linhardt. Tony’s credits consists of hundreds of infomercials, commercials, feature films, television shows, and video games. He has worked on projects such as God of War, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Star Wars: Battlefront II, D.E.B.S., Days Gone, Horizon, Light & Magic and many more.


Currently, Tony is working as a Key Grip, Broadcast Technician for Disneyland Resort and Disney’s broadcast partners ABC, and AAA video games. Because of Mr. Perija’s grip skills and experience, when he is not working for The Mouse, he is freelance all around the world.

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