Hey, I’m Alex Darke.

I grew up with a love of filmmaking.

I think this is partly because of my early interest in magic. While I was on vacation in Hawaii with my family, we went to my first magic show. There were people walking from table to table doing magic before the main event and I distinctly remember a magician coming up to me, showing me a quarter and as he brought it closer to me it morphed into a giant quarter the size of a hockey puck.

This, of course, blew my tiny child mind, and I was hooked. I bought every magic trick, set, or book I could find and my parents would let me have.

 Then, I saw Jurassic Park. It gave me the same feeling that I got from watching magic tricks as I saw people running from this enormous T-Rex. How did they do that?

Then another movie came out that influenced my thinking about filmmaking.


This took my movie-love to the next level because this was a comic and cartoon that I loved. And now, I saw real people playing these characters that I have known for years. It was incredible.

PLUS, they had an hour-long special behind the scenes featurette that aired on television that showed all of the stunts, the Wolverine FX, and fight scenes. I knew, then and there, that I wanted to be a filmmaker for the rest of my life.

At the time, filmmaking education ended at books and magazines until going off to college to study film at a university.

So, when the time came, I applied to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts – the #1 film school in the world at the time. There was no way I would get in, but I applied anyway, assuming that I would end up going to UNLV – my in-state school that had a young burgeoning film school on the horizon.

Well, long story short I got into USC! Unbelievable! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so I went.

After college I went out into the “real world”, but I still had a desire to learn MORE…

So I scoured the internet for every online course, membership, tutorial, or workshop that I could get my hands on, and I still try to remain actively learning because there are always new techniques, new technology, and new ways to learn.

I created Filmmaking Mastery to help other filmmakers wade through all of the courses online – to shed some light onto which are worth the money and which to hold off on.

I hope you enjoy…

If you want to read or hear more from me, visit my educational filmmaking blog Cinema Summit and listen to my podcast No-Budget Filmmaking.