Learn Filmmaking Network Founder Gabriel Alexis on Building a Community

Bronx-born Gabriel Alexis’s love of visual storytelling began when he was a kid in his childhood home, capturing family moments, a prelude to a career in which he would devote himself to helping filmmakers connect, inspire each other, and grow. After learning the ropes himself on a variety of projects, from TV to commercials, from music videos to creating short videos for the New York State Bar Association, Alexis had a moment while driving his car in 2018. “I was trying to create a community around me, so I said, let me just build my community, and one day, I was in my car thinking about a name. I love to learn, and I love filmmaking, so that’s how the name came about. [Laughs]. Learn Filmmaking: as a marketer, I was thinking about what people do if they go to Google and search for filmmaking. I was trying to make it so obvious you don’t have to think about it, and luckily, on February 2, 2018, Learn Filmmaking was available. I got the domains and the trademark.”

Then he got busy. Learn Filmmaking Network (LFN) became Alexis’s passion project. His goal has been to revolutionize the way that creators can access resources, giving them opportunities to hone their craft, meet their peers, and connect with already established filmmakers and creators in the industry. LFN is aimed at eliminating traditional barriers and creating a community where people can really engage with each other, show their work, and hone their craft. Thus far, LFN has a community of 756,000 and growing.

We spoke to Alexis about how he built his own dream job, what members of the LFN community experience themselves, and his hopes for growing the platform.

Learn Filmmaking founder Gabriel Alexis. Photo by Bryan Wolfinger.

Tell me a bit about your background.

I have a background where I started as an editor, then I directed and produced short and feature films and commercials, and I even went corporate—I used to work for the New York State Bar Association doing videos for lawyers. I felt like there was more to me, so when I created LFN, it wasn’t really about the followers; I was really looking for community. I love human connection, so I started reaching out to filmmakers and showing them love. My mission was to connect creators who are trying to get into the industry with people who are already established and bridging the gap. In 2018, I hit my first ten thousand followers, and then by 2020, we hit 300,000.

And, of course, 2020 was a year where the idea of a community, at least temporarily, changed drastically.

We all went through so much, and the LFN community was really loving the fact that we were bringing together so many creators and filmmakers to our platform and letting people know they weren’t alone. We used to go live Monday through Friday with different hosts. On Monday, it would be lighting breakdowns; on Tuesday, it would be filmmakers talking about their path; on Wednesday, we’d bring people in from the creator community to actually meet these directors or cinematographers. So, Learn Filmmaking bridged the gap. Filmmaking can be a lonely journey, so when you’re part of a community and you have people that actually take a moment to reach out, that’s why we’re growing. Now, in 2023, we have over 750,000 followers, and we keep growing.

Gabriel Alexis.

What was your method for reaching out to people and gaining their trust that LFN was a platform that could really help them?

I started messaging them and letting them know how much I loved their work. I’ve always been very bold. I try not to let fear get to me. I still reach out to filmmakers and creators at all different levels. It really doesn’t matter to me. I’d do video calls with them through Instagram or Zoom. I’d say, ‘Hey, let’s take ten minutes and let me just get to know you better, where you’re from, and what you do.’ For me, it’s about the work and how passionate people are as a creator.  I always just want to be kind, and I think that’s why people started trusting me with their work. They were like, ‘Look, this is what I have, I trust you.’  Our community is global—we’re in India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Africa. It’s a beautiful thing. I make sure our community is very diverse. I always put diversity first because if you want to see a change in the world, it’s got to start with you. So I started doing that myself, posting content from diverse creators, showcasing people of color and female filmmakers, and that’s what I feel like the community started growing because people could see themselves in our community.

How do you envision LFN growing?

So we started as a digital platform, now we’re building those human connections, and we’ve started to do workshops. We had a workshop in Los Angeles this past October 7th. We brought some of our community members there to learn about cameras and gimbals. So, more workshops in the future, and also to have networking events. Networking is so important to connect with other creators from your city or state. It’s awesome to connect digitally, but when you can actually get to know them in person, it’s a different level of connection, a different vibe. When you see somebody you’ve been following on social media for so many years and then meet them in person, it’s mind-blowing! We had our first private networking event three months ago in New York City. Community members came from Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Florida. It was amazing. We had 130 people show up, and honestly, it was such a moment for me because I saw the community come together to be a part of this event to connect with each other. We had a private chef, we had a red carpet, and it was free! [Laughs.]

Filmmaking is an incredibly collaborative medium, so connecting with people and establishing relationships is really crucial.

I have a bunch of followers, but how do you know it’s a real community? So, building these networking events and workshops shows that they are real people behind these followers. It’s amazing to me sometimes. We have a real community. People react to what I post. When I have a networking event or workshop, they’re just so involved. They want to learn. They want to keep growing. That’s what it’s about, really interacting and engaging with people. We live in a world where people focus on followers, followers, followers, but are these followers actually interacting with each other? My goal is to have real human connections and people that are actually interacting with each other and learning from one another. It’s a big difference. Let’s make the world a better place. We’re all in this together!

Check out Learn Filmmaking Network on Instagram and YouTube.

Featured image: Learn Filmmaking founder Gabriel Alexis. Photo by Bryan Wolfinger.


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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.

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