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Founder of the FilmingLife Academy, Courtney Holmes, is an American born Sydney-sider who’s passion is to create beautiful, love soaked films and photos for families.

Courtney draws on 18+ years of experience as a storyteller and musician to create a nostalgic experience for her clients in her work through the use of carefully hand selected music and thoughtful, intentional storytelling.

As a CreativeLive instructor, Courtney has taught filmmaking to thousands of photographers worldwide and as a result more and more photographers are starting to incorporate video into their family photography businesses.

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Allison Redmon is Malaysia born, Texas raised girl, living as an expatriate in Saudi Arabia where she films and photographs the everyday lives of families in the Middle East as well as the United States using a storytelling approach.

Allison's approach to her films and photography is one grounded in a storytelling-documentary style. She excels at creating work that is both artistically beautiful while grounded in honest, real moments. Her extensive background as a upper level music teacher has naturally led her to teach the art of using music in films with her colleague, Courtney Holmes at the FilmingLife Academy, and she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with other photographers & film makers in hopes that they can create stories of their own.

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Kylie Purtell spends her days capturing life with a camera, in whatever form it takes. She lives with her husband Dave, and two daughters Punky and Zee, enjoying life & adventures in the gorgeous Hawkesbury region, north-west of Sydney, Australia. Kylie is a wedding & family photographer & filmmaker and she love nothing better than being a fly-on-the-wall in other people's lives, observing, capturing & documenting the heart-felt moments & real-life connections that unfold before her eyes. Kylie has a passion for creative experiments and trying new things in photography, filmmaking and life.

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We want you to walk away with the knowledge you need to create the kinds of films YOU want to create, the community support to help cheer you on, and the confidence to make it into a PROFITABLE business.

To foster a cozy/intimate retreat feel, attendee’s will each get their own room with a queen or king bed in a three bedroom villa at the resort, and included in your ticket price is dinner on the first night, and then breakfast, morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea throughout the rest of the retreat. Your evenings will be free for you to go out to dinner together or hang out at the beautiful resort in your villa for some down time.

The content is divided into three FULL days, consisting of an even mix of educational discussion and on-site shooting sessions with hands on support from the instructors throughout the retreat. We’ll take you through client prep, shooting techniques, editing techniques, creative filmmaking, visual storytelling, marketing, pricing and goal setting exercises. There’s so much content here we could barely fit it into 3 days!


Magenta Shores Resort, NSW Australia

Dates: 20-24 Oct 2019

Nestled between the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean and Tuggerah Lake this luxuriously designed resort is just 15kms north of Terrigal and a 90 minute drive from Sydney. There is a shuttle company available for you to be able to book transport to/from SYD Airport if you are flying in (let us know and we’ll provide you with details). Perfect for our retreat, this five star resort offers fully self-contained open-plan 3 Bedroom villas for our attendees to stay in and a beautiful, cozy conference room perfect for our group sessions.

Retreat Cost and Inclusions:

Price: $3300 AUD (includes GST)

In addition to all the amazing content described above, this prices also includes:

12 months complimentary membership to the FilmingLife Academy ($900 value!!)

Four nights accomodation in a 3 Bedroom Villa shared with two other Attendees (each attendee gets their own room with queen or king size bed)

Dinner + Drinks on the first night

Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea for the three days of the Retreat

Payment Plan: 1/3 due on sign up, 1/3 due 15 June, 1/3 due 15 Sep


*Schedule is subject to change at our discretion*


Attendees arrive from 3pm and get settled in their rooms.

Catered DINNER at Barrett’s Restaurant (Included) 5:30pm

Opening Talk (Courtney) 6pm



Breakfast (Included)

Client Prep / Storyboarding without a Storyboard (Courtney) 8-8:30am

Client Prep / Capturing Audio (Allison) 8:30-10am

Morning Tea (Included)

Group A Family Shoot with Courtney 10-11pm

Group B Family Shoot with Allison 10-11pm

Group C Creative Shooting Exercise with Kylie 10-11pm

Group D Free Time 10-11pm

Group B Family Shoot with Courtney 11:15-12:15pm

Group C Family Shoot with Allison 11:15-12:15pm

Group D Creative Shooting Exercise with Kylie 11:15-12:15pm

Group A Free Time 11:15-12:15pm

LUNCH (included)

Group C Family Shoot with Courtney 3-4pm

Group D Family Shoot with Allison 3-4pm

Group A Creative Shooting Exercise with Kylie 3-4pm

Group B Free Time 3-4pm

Afternoon Tea (Included)

Group D Family Shoot with Courtney 4:30-5:30pm

Group A Family Shoot with Allison 4:30-5:30pm

Group B Creative Shooting Exercise with Kylie 4:30-5:30pm

Group C Free Time 4:30-5:30pm

DINNER (not included)



Breakfast (Included)

Music + Audio Editing with Allison 9-10:15am

Morning Tea (Included)

Colour Correction and Colour Grading (Courtney) 10:30-11:30am

Editing In Camera Transitions (Kylie) 11:45-12:30pm

LUNCH (included)

Critiques 1:30-2:30pm

Afternoon Tea (Included)

Critiques: 3-5pm

DINNER (not included)



Breakfast (Included)

Hands On Film Assembly Workshop 9-10:30am

Morning Tea (included)

Make a Profit (Courtney) 10:45-12pm

LUNCH (included)

Marketing Family Films (Allison) 1:00-2pm

Afternoon Tea (included)

Business Panel Discussion 2:15-3pm

Avoiding Burnout (Courtney) 3:15-4pm

DINNER (not included)


Who is FilmingLife : the Retreat for?

Anyone who is interested in hands-on, one-to-one learning with Courtney, Allison & Kylie.  We are gearing this retreat to all skill levels, whether you are a beginner or more advanced. We will cover topics on business, editing and shooting family films, giving you strategies to immediately incorporate into your own films and photography businesses.  

What kind of topics will be covered at the retreat?

We’re big on the idea of practical, hands-on learning with experienced mentors!  From live shoots with real life families to live-editing to hearing first hand our pro-tips of running a successful family film business, not only will you be working one-to-one with Courtney and Allison to film live model families, but you’ll get to watch them live-edit, get expert guidance as you edit your own work, participate in a Q&A panel discussion, get both your website and film work critiqued by Courtney & Allison, and leave empowered to take what you’ve learned and incorporate it into your own family films business in any type of market.

How is this retreat different than being enrolled in the FLA?

In short, in-person, hands-on learning with an expert by your side is the fastest and best way to improve both yourself as a family filmmaker as well as how you manage and market your business.  Both Courtney and Allison are expert teachers and mentors, have thriving family film businesses, and have designed this retreat to be focused on practical, experienced-based learning.  This isn’t a lecture style workshop.  You will be in the field, shooting and editing, one-on-one, with our instructors.  

What should I bring with me?

You will need all your camera gear (lenses, microphone, memory cards, batteries etc.), your laptop, as well as one scene from a film you are currently working on to edit while at the retreat.    

What’s included with my ticket?

Your ticket price includes four nights in a three bedroom villa shared with two other attendees at the beautiful Magenta Shores Resort in NSW Australia for $3300 AUD.  Villa share requests will be honoured whenever possible. Retreat attendees are required to stay with us at the resort to foster the retreat feel and strengthen the educational experience.

Also included in your ticket are three catered breakfasts/lunches & afternoon teas along with one group dinner at Barrett’s Restaurant.  The hotel offers meals for purchase, and there are a variety of dining outlets both on and off property (all within walking/driving distance).

Your spot can be paid in three easy installments:  1/3 deposit when your application is accepted, 1/3 due 15 June 2019, and the final payment due 15 September, 2019.  

When can I register?

Registration opens 20 February 2019 at 10 am AEDT

I’d like to come but I’m not a member of FilmingLife Academy?

That’s ok! When you sign up to FilmingLife: the Retreat you get a complimentary 12 month membership to the FilmingLife Academy ($900 value!!). Becoming a member of the FilmingLife Academy will help you prepare for the retreat if you are brand new to filmmaking, and will also help you after the retreat to continue building on what you’ve learned.

Is this a family friendly event?  Can my child accompany me?

Our retreat schedule is jam packed with incredible content for you as a filmmaker.  Due to the one-to-one learning nature of parts of our retreat, we ask that you come on your own to maximize your learning opportunities.  

What if I purchase a ticket and can’t make it?

All tickets are non-refundable. You are very welcome to transfer your ticket to another attendee. Ticket transfers will incur a $50 administration fee. 

Can I submit my work for live critique?

Yes!  In fact we ask that every attendee submit one film prior to the retreat for either Courtney or Allison to live critique at the retreat.  

Which airport should I fly into?

Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport (ASX) is about 1 hour and 45 minutes drive away from the Magenta Shores Resort.    Attendees will need to secure their own transportation to the resort. A shuttle company that provides transport to/from the airport is available, please get in touch with us for details.