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. Classes are subject to change.
12 noon—There’s More Than One Way to Write a Screenplay
Lesley Alicia Tye, Instructor of Creative Writing and Motion Picture Arts, Interlochen Arts Academy
There are a ridiculous number of screenwriting aids out there, all claiming to be the best for helping you craft your cinematic masterpiece. But of course, not every story, and not every writer, is the same. This workshop aims to present a variety of practical approaches, exercises, and methods for structuring scenes and stories, constructing successful dialogue, and creating compelling characters
3 pm- Acting for the Camera: Working with the Director
U of M Screen Arts & Cultures Lecturer Robert Rayher, Casting Director-Actor Pamela Guest, and actors Joe Carroll and Elizabeth Guest
What makes movies unique on the level of performance is the relationship between director and actor. At best, they work together to believably populate the world the director envisions guided by the blueprint of the screenplay. Often times they speak entirely different languages, the director being trained in the technical, external aspects of filmmaking, while the actor is trained to use his or her “emotional” palette and inner life to create character. The different ways actor and director work together is the focus of this workshop.
12 noon—Legal Basics for Filmmakers
Joseph L. Voss, Senior Counsel, Clark Hill PLC
One of the most challenging aspects of filmmaking can be working through the legal issues that confront producers as they move from development to production to distribution. This class offers participants an overview of the basic legal concepts producers need to know, and will include discussions about financing, chain of title, common production contracts, rights clearances, and the legal mechanics involved in film distribution.
3 pm—Modern Melodrama
Ellen McCallum, Associate Professor, Michigan State University
Hollywood’s melodramas of the 1950s marked a high point of the classic genre in works of directors like Douglas Sirk and Vincent Minelli. Late 20th-century directors like Rainer Fassbinder and Todd Haynes reinvented the genre with films like “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” or “Far From Heaven.” Although directed by men, these films center on women’s desires and experiences. But female filmmakers have also reinterpreted the genre in remarkable ways, often showing us women through male characters’ eyes. We’ll discuss millennial women’s genre reinvention to think through classic melodramatic issues of family, attachment, sacrifice, and loss in a contemporary light
12 noon—Cellphone Cinematography: Acting and Directing for the Tiny Screen
Peter Johnston and Mark Colson, Michigan State University
As filmmaking devices have been miniaturized into machines that fit into our pockets, how have the techniques of acting and directing changed to match? This workshop considers tools for creating a big-screen aesthetic using small devices (stabilizing, creating movement, and capturing great audio), as well as techniques directors should consider when working with actors to fully utilize the guerilla possibilities of cellphone cinematography.
3 pm—Julie Corman Master Class
Producer Julie Corman
Julie Corman is one of the most respected, resourceful, tenacious, and determined producers working today. She runs New Horizons Pictures, a production and distribution company,with her legendary producer-writer-director husband Roger Corman, this year’s TCFF Michigan Filmmaker honoree. At this year’s film school, Corman will share the knowledge and experience she earned while producing films like Martin Scorsese’s “Boxcar Bertha,” Jonathan Demme’s “Crazy Mama,” a film version of the play “Da,” which won a Tony for Barnard Hughes,“Lady in Red” written by John Sayles, and “A Cry in the Wild,” based on the Newbery Award-winning book “Hatchet.” The Traverse City Film Festival is honored to welcome the former Chair of the Graduate Film Department at New York University to our film school
12 noon—Filmmaker Roundtable
Class of TCFF 2015 Visiting Filmmakers
Join this year’s lively discussion with visiting filmmakers in an informal and interactive film school session. Bring your story ideas; questions on financing your film; distribution queries; technical issues; questions about equipment, working with actors, or location scouting—you name it. Or just kick back and enjoy the repartee and spirited dialogue.
3 pm—Music In Film: Past, Present, And Future
Grammy-Nominated Composer David Joseph Wesley
It’s hard to think about film and not hear your favorite theme songs running through your head. Since the dawn of cinema, music has been inextricably linked to film. Its emotional impact helps to drive the story and transport you to a different place and time. Join Grammy-nominated composer David Joseph Wesley in an exploration of music in film’s past, present, and future.
12 noon—Leap Of Faith: Producing Your Own Indie Film
Rebecca Reynolds and Jim Carpenter, 8180 Films
After years working as a screenwriter and TV producer in Los Angeles and New York, Rebecca Reynolds will talk about how she took a leap of faith with partners Jim Carpenter and Larry Brand to start 8180 Films, an indie film company based in Leland, Michigan. Sharing clips and anecdotes from 8180 Films’ three award-winning features (“Christina,” “The Coexist Comedy Tour,” “The Girl on the Train”) and their upcoming performance documentary (“Beyond Glory”), Reynolds and Carpenter will divide the workshop into three sections: Our Story—how 8180 Films got started; Your Story—attendees share their own challenges; and Next Story—how to take your own leap and produce an indie film.
3 pm—Indie Darling Bob Byington’s Guide to Filmmaking
Bob Byington, “7 Chinese Brothers”
Join award-winning writer/director and TCFF perennial Bob Byington as he discusses the craft of storytelling in independent film. This master class in filmmaking includes a trip through his body of work, beginning with “Registered Sex Offender” (TCFF 2009), through the creation of his latest indie sensation, “7 Chinese Brothers,” from conception, to filming, to screening at TCFF. Byington’s sardonic and literate approach has yielded rich characters acted by the likes of Nick Offerman, Kevin Corrigan, and Jason Schwartzman. Don’t miss your chance to hear directly from one of today’s top filmmaking talents.