Film School Schedule

Returning to Scholars Hall, thanks to our generous sponsor Northwestern Michigan College, our Film School offers twice-daily sessions featuring visiting filmmakers and professionals sharing their insights and experiences with an audience of students and film lovers of all ages. Tickets are just $5 per class. Class topics and instructors are subject to change. 

ADDITIONAL FILM SCHOOL PROGRAMS

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY

YOUNG FILMMAKERS WORKSHOP: CLAYMATION ANIMATION | 2:45 – 4:45 PM

THURSDAY & FRIDAY 

FILMMAKER CAMP with MSU (Ages 12 – 16)

GAME DESIGNER CAMP with MSU (Ages 12 – 16)

Wednesday

12 NOON | ASK THE MICHIGAN FILM & DIGITAL MEDIA OFFICE
Film School-28MFDMO Representatives, Legal Expert Joe Voss, JD, and filmmaker Rich Brauer, Tony Garcia, Locations Manager, Michigan Film & Digital Media Office, Selam Ghirmai, Strategic Partnerships & Promotions Manager, Michigan Film & Digital Media Office

Take it from our panel of experts: there’s no better place to make a film than right here in our beautiful state. Get the answers to some of the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office’s most frequently asked questions—like how to legally protect your idea, and how to put together a production team. Hear directly from filmmakers and professionals in the industry. Be sure to come with your own questions about the resources needed and available for getting your film made in Michigan at this interactive live streamed event.

3 PM | WHERE TO GO FROM HERE: DEVELOPING YOUR MOVIE 
Jim Burnstein, University of Michigan Director of Screenwriting

You have a terrific idea for a movie. Now what? Find out how to turn your great idea into a great screen-play, step by step. From FADE IN to FADE OUT, this is the process for writing a screenplay. Michigan-based Hollywood screenwriter Jim Burnstein (“Renaissance Man,” “D3: The Mighty Ducks”) will help you develop your movie kernel, and explain how you can take it all the way from idea to reality.

claymation day 2

Wednesday & Thursday 

2:45 PM- 4:45  |  YOUNG FILMMAKERS WORKSHOP: CLAYMATION ANIMATION        
Ages 7-11 years

Animate your own clay creations and make a short film that will be shown on Saturday before the Kids Fest film! Students will design and bring 3D claymation characters to life in this two-day workshop presented by Blackbird Arts. You can read more about their additional workshops—including off-site, two-day claymation animation camps for middle and high school students—at blackbirdartstc.com. This special two-day class is $20.

Thursday

12 NOON | MAKE IT WEIRD: EXPERIMENTAL AUDIO FOR VIDEO
Jay Batzner, Central Michigan University Associate Professor, Composition & Technology

What happens when you blur the lines between Foley arts and film scores? How do sonic artists tweak and craft sounds to heighten the emotional core of a scene or bolster alien and unique settings? Learn how to

use common audio editing tools to stretch your aural skills and add more layers of meaning to your sound designs. This workshop will look at several digital audio workstation tricks to expand your sonic palette and create truly memorable sounds for your next project.

3 PM | LIGHTING FOR FILM AND VIDEO ON A BUDGET 
Eric Limarenko, Central Michigan University Assistant Professor

This course will present video and film lighting techniques and introduce budget-conscious, effective instruments for film and television lighting. The aesthetics of lighting will also be discussed alongside a wide range of contemporary examples. Enhance the light while embracing the shadows—the art of cinema is the art of light.

Thursday & Friday

As the official Learning and Innovation Partner for Traverse City Film Festival, Michigan State University is taking the lead to inspire the next generation of media makers. Everyone has a story to tell and during the festival, MSU is offering two-day camps for youth ages 12-16 focused on filmmaking and game design and development. During Thursday and Friday of Festival week, students in each camp will create their own short films and digital games from scratch.

Filmmaker Camp
Instructors: Pete Johnston and Kirk Mason

Students will begin by analyzing what goes into making a great movie—the story, acting, directing, camera, sound, and editing. Specialized workshops in writing, acting, sound, cinematography, and editing will equip students with the skills to take their films to the next level. The end product of two intense days will be a short film created entirely by the students. This special two-day class is $200.

Game Designer Camp
Instructors: Luke Kane and Jeremy Bond

Students will learn the basics of digital game design and development, including the process of prototyping, playtesting, and balancing. Other topics include learning the process, tasks, and roles involved in game development, including programmer, artist, and designer, while building their very own digital game. Students will also have an opportunity to play and analyze some current video games. This special two-day class is $200.

Friday

12 NOON | BEHIND THE SCENES OF U-M FILM SCHOOL
Robert Rayher, University of Michigan Screen Arts & Cultures Lecturer, and Pamela Guest, Casting Director-Actor

Discover the ways student actors in U-M’s famed 423 class (makers of the two shorts that premiere each year at the TCFF) take what they’ve learned and translate it into careers in film and TV. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the exciting world of character creation for the camera. What skills did they learn and what’s the life of the working actor really like? U-M alums Jacqueline Toboni (who was plucked directly from 423 to star in “Grimm”)  will be with us in person and Yuriy Sardarov of “Chicago Fire” will answer your questions via Skype.

3 PM | ANATOMY OF A SHORT
Lesley Tye, Interlochen Arts Academy Instructor of Creative Writing and Motion Picture Arts

Be it fiction, documentary, or the completely bizarre, TCFF always showcases the best and most exciting in the world of short films. But what exactly makes a short film compelling? Why do some shorts resonate with an audience while others fall flat? Whether you are interested in writing or producing your own short, or you’re just a big fan of the short form, this session will explore a variety of genres to get to the heart of what elements are essential to successful shorts.

14803757545_b1521e56b5_z

Saturday

12 NOON | SYNC LICENSING FOR FILM AND TV 
Entertainment Attorney Howard Hertz, TCFF Music Director Jeff Bihlman, and Musician Andrew Dost (fun.)

Ever wonder about that amazing song you heard in a movie, and how to get a great song like that for your film? Join our industry pros to gain some serious insight into the little understood and potentially lucrative aspects of sync licensing. Filmmakers and musicians alike will benefit as our panelists discuss performing rights organizations, copyright registration, royalty streams, license types, and much more as they dig into all aspects of music for film and TV.

3 PM | MOBILE DOC FILMMAKING
Peter Johnston, Michigan State University Digital Film/Media Production Manger

14780756126_dc4d8e5aac_zAn unprecedented number of citizen journalists are documenting brutality and holding the powerful to account using the extraordinary filmmaking tools that most of us carry around in our pockets. But how can we thoughtfully wield these tools while paying attention to quality? How can we make cellphone footage look and sound professional? What kind of stories lend themselves best to mobile camera filming? This workshop focuses on techniques, tips, and tricks for beginning and experienced filmmakers interested in using mobile cameras. The low-budget DSLR camera system has opened doors to a whole new generation of filmmakers, putting professional-looking cinematography within the reach of everyone who has a true passion for filmmaking. Get an introduction to the DSLR world of products, discover hints and techniques in pre-production, lens choice, and post-production procedures, and find out how to take your films to the next level—without breaking your budget.

Sunday

12 NOON | FINDING MONEY TO MAKE FILMS
Geri Alumit Zeldes, John Valadez, and  Carleen L. Hsu, Michigan State University Associate Professors

George Foster Peabody Award-winning filmmakers Carleen L. Hsu and John Valadez have lots of practice writing grants for nonprofit organizations. Often the acceptance rate of proposals at these agencies is
5% or less. How can you make it into the top-tier of filmmakers who receive funding? And, where can we look for funding as federal pools of support dry up? Find out about grassroots funding opportunities and more in this informative session.

3 PM | GET A CAREER START IN PUBLIC ACCESS TV  
Courtney Jerome, UpNorth TV Station Manager

Looking for a new platform to showcase your creativity and filmmaking skills? Air it on UpNorth TV, the region’s only public-and-government-access television station and online video streaming source. Using state-of-the-art technology, UpNorth will teach you how to use video and other media to celebrate local culture, share community information, and provide educational content for the world to see. Once complete, you’ll be a certified UpNorth TV producer and can submit content that airs in homes across 10 Northern Michigan counties, and online at UpNorthTV.org.

Sunday BONUS!

3 PM | THE DOS AND DO KNOTS OF FILMING IN CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS
Director Rich Brauer
Meet at Discovery Center Pier in Greilickville!

It was so popular, we have to do it again! This year, TCFF Michigan Filmmaker of the Year award winner Rich Brauer (“Frozen Stupid,” “The Lost Treasure of Sawtooth Island”) will treat you to an instructive trip on the Madeline for an intensive on location film class adventure. Set sail on Grand Traverse Bay, and gain hands-on experience as Brauer shows you the ropes of filming in challenging environments. This session will be cancelled only in the event of high winds or lightning; rain and cold will not deter us. This special film school class is $20 and departs from the Discovery Center Pier in Greilickville.