Northwest Film Forum classes and workshops are designed to instruct filmmakers on both the mechanical skills required in current filmmaking technology and the artistic application of tools to explore the critical and emotional range of the cinematic experience. Classes and workshops are taught by working artists: filmmakers, writers, producers and editors.

Explore filmmaking by doing it. We do not want you to make a commitment you are uncomfortable with; we offer a wide range of classes and workshops that can be taken at whatever pace you prefer. Whether you are new to the art and plan to plunge into filmmaking as a career or you have purchased your own equipment and wish to drop in on a few certifications to learn more, our classes are for you. NWFF's curriculum offers a complete education in nearly all aspects of filmmaking. Multi-session classes meet weekly and offer in-depth, hands-on experience with filmmaking tools, while one-day workshops offer both insightful lectures and practical techniques on current filmmaking topics.

This schedule is updated regularly.  Please check back for new classes, or email [email protected] to ask about our annual class offerings.


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Intro to Cinematic VR with the Ricoh Theta S

DATE CHANGE - December 12th (Monday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Jonah Kozlowski
Tuition: $75 ($60 for Film Forum members)

The Ricoh Theta S is a consumer-level camera capable of producing high resolution stills (and grainy 8mm-like video).  We’ll cover 360 photography and time-based editing of that photography in Adobe Creative Cloud to produce a short VR experience. Experience in Premiere and/or After Effects recommended.

Click here to sign up for this class



Work in Progress Screenwriting Group

November 29th - December 20th (Tuesdays) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: Emily Zulauf 

Tuition: $195 ($160 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

In this group, we’ll share works in progress, from outlines to pages, and give support and feedback to our fellow writers. Each participant will get to hear their words read aloud (by non-actors, so there’s nowhere to hide!) and we’ll have an honest conversation about what’s confusing, what’s working, what to blow up… and we’ll help each other brainstorm solutions.


**Sold Out! Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.


Intro to the Sony A7s DSLR Camera

December 6 & 8, (Tuesday & Thursday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Brody Willis
Tuition: $100 ($90 for Film Forum members)

The Sony A7s is a revolutionary DSLR video camera that delivers high dynamic visual range and astonishingly clear, crisp images, even in extremely low light. Join Brody WIllis in exploring how to tame a technological beast whose native ISO is 3200, and how to shoot both during the day and the night. Enjoy a lively examination of SLOG2, polarisers, the deep and sometimes confusing Sony menu system, and even dabble in using the A7s on the Letus Helix Jr. Walk away with footage shot using available light. The A7s is the camera indie filmmakers have been waiting for!

Click here to sign up for this class

Image from the influential and acclaimed documentary "Stories We Tell" by Sarah Polley

Documentary Film + Heritage/Memory Theory

December 12th, (Monday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor:  Elliat Graney-Saucke
Tuition: $20 ($15 for Film Forum members)

Documentary film is nonfiction - but how is this style of filmmaking a construction of memory or 'the past' based on the view of the filmmaker(s)? Through heritage and memory theory text we will discuss and apply the philosophical aspects of  how artistic and creative lens bias constructs memory/history/heritage within documentary film - the pros and cons, and why it matters.

Click here to sign up for this class




Previously Held Workshops




Intro to the Red Digital Camera

November 28th and 30th (Monday & Wednesday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Brody Willis
Tuition: $120 ($90 for Film Forum members)

An introductory course which helps familiarize the student with the Red Epic digital cinema camera. Students will be exposed to the fundamentals of set-up and operation, with the objective of shooting a properly composed and lit subject. 



Crowdfunding to Build Independence

November 29th (Tuesday) 7:00-9:00pm

Free! Registration required - Click here to reserve your seat.

Join us for this special workshop presented by Seed&Spark.

* * * * 

Crowdfunding to Build Independence is workshop designed to help you leverage the tools for great crowdfunding to build a direct relationship with your audience that will last your entire career.

The only proven path to independence as an artist is a direct connection to your audience. Crowdfunding has become a fundamental piece of most financing plans for independent film. But most filmmakers miss the opportunity to leverage the power of crowdfunding for one film into an audience-building opportunity that can last an entire career – and provide the groundwork for effective distribution. In order to leverage this opportunity, it requires a new way of coming to work, and that’s what you’ll learn here.

We’ve taught this class at over 100 film festivals, schools and organizations around the country, and gathered learning from the thousands of filmmakers we’ve met and hundreds of campaigns we’ve supported. Fun Fact: Filmmakers who have attended these classes have a Seed&Spark crowdfunding campaign success rate of 100%!


Julie Keck takes care of media and communication strategy at Seed&Spark. She joined the team with 10 years of filmmaking and 5 of crowdfunding under her belt. Julie has run or consulted on crowdfunding projects that have raised over $300k total, and she’s spoken about social media for creatives, sustainable filmmaking, and audience engagement at SXSW, the University of Notre Dame, the Chicago International Film Festival, and more. Julie is also co-author of Social Media Charm School, a social media guide for filmmakers, available now for free on the Seed&Spark site. Play with her on Twitter as @KingIsAFink


Lindy Boustedt is an award‐winning filmmaker and co‐owner of First Sight Productions, where she writes, edits, directs and produces narrative features and shorts with her husband Kris. Lindy has produced dozens of films, including three features, and created media for nonprofit fundraisers and corporate promotions. Most recently she was project manager for Seattle University’s Film & Family Homelessness Project, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which produced American Refugees, four short animated films about family homelessness in Washington state. 




Producing Fundamentals for Indie Filmmaking

November 14th and 16th, (Monday & Wednesday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Lindy Boustedt
Tuition: $120 ($95 for Film Forum members)

Participants will gain an understanding of the creative producer’s process, timelines and the many idiosyncrasies around an independent film’s life cycle from development through initial deliverables. Lindy Boustedt will share how, through her award-winning company First Sight Productions, she has produced 18 short films and 3 feature films with budgets of all shapes and sizes. She will use her most recent short film and feature film as case studies. Participants are encouraged to bring their own projects to the class for specific advice. This two day workshop will cover budgeting/financing/audience on day one and pre- through post-production on day two.

**Sold Out! Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.




Filmmaking Fundamentals

October 4th - November 22nd, 2016 (Tuesdays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Jonah Kozlowski, Bernard Mann
Tuition: $595 ($550 for Film Forum members)

Limited to 8 students

For 8 weeks, learn the fundamentals for digital filmmaking. During class, students will have hands-on training as they are introduced to camera, audio, light and editing equipment. Students will acquire the actionable skills and understanding to independently make professional films. This class is filmmaking by practical application. All basic film equipment will be provided in class. Students can also bring their own equipment to class if they want too.

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Storytelling in Virtual Reality


**Sold Out**

August 16th 2016 (Tuesday) 7pm - 9pm
Instructor:  Daryle Conners
Location: 12th Ave Arts Conference Room, 1620 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Tuition: $8 ($5 for Film Forum members)

This talk will explore new ways of telling stories in a virtual reality environment.  We will discuss VR game stories, VR Film stories, and VR/Immersive Documentaries, focusing on how this emerging tech puts a whole new spin on revealing narrative.  VR has been called the "empathy tool", and it takes the audience away from passive entertainment and puts them in greater control of the narrative than ever before. How does this impact the way that we design and tell stories and what new kinds of story experiences will we see in virtual reality? From classic screenplays to non-linear narratives and 1st person perspective, we'll look at the trade-offs that come with interactive and immersive experiences, as well as their incredible power to engage.



Script to Production


July 31st - September 4th, 2016 (Sunday) 5pm - 7pm
Schedule can be changed after the first meeting based on the group's preference and availability

Advisor: Craig Downing
Tuition: $80 ($60 for Film Forum Members)

This is not an intro class.  This class is for filmmakers who have already had a little experience with audio, camera, lighting, and/or editing.  With the class’ film crew, students will develop and finish a short film during the class.  Students will apply for and fill specific crew responsibilities for this project.  Selected students will hone their skills of pre-production, actual film production and post production. Over the span of 6 weeks, under the guidance of an instructor, this class will follow the process of completing a narrative short. Film Fundamentals 1 is not required for this class. But, a basic understanding of filmmaking is recommended.

The first step will be accepting a director and producer. The following step would be that the selected director and team would select the script for this round. Submitted short scripts should not be longer than 5 pages. After the script, the director and producer select the crew from the pool of applicants. Listed below are the roles that students can apply for to join this class. If applying for different roles, students can attend this class for multiple sessions.

  • Writer (may apply for another role but not director)
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Assistant director
  • Editor
  • Camera
  • Audio
  • Gaffer/Grip

Application sequence for class

Director, Producer,                         

                       Selected applicants are presented submitted scripts.           

                      Selected by Producer and Director.

Editor, Camera, Audio, AD, Grip/Gaffer

                      Selected by Director and Producer




Arri Light Kit

October 26th, 2016 (Wednesday) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: Jonah Kozlowski
Tuition: $25 ($20 NW Film Forum Members)

This workshop covers the fundamentals of lighting for video with our Arri lighting kit. The Arri light kit is an industry standard kit used on many professional shoots. Students will learn the basics of setting up these lights along with common terminology and options. After attending this certification, students will have access to rent the Film Forum's Arri light kit.




Recording Audio For Film

Instructor: Craig Downing
Tuition: $90 ($75 for Film Forum members)

This two-day workshop will cover the essentials of audio, microphones, recorder technology and recording techniques to enable your production, no matter the budget, to sound professional. The first evening will be an in-depth presentation of the concepts. The second class will include three hours of hands-on learning with a field test and an evaluation. Students will leave knowing how to listen to, evaluate and capture better audio for film production.


Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.




Successful Film Set Practices

Instructor: June Zandona
Tuition: $30 ($20 for Film Forum members)

Whether you find yourself running your own film set or working on someone else's film set, it can be an intimidating place - full of highly specialized roles and coded language. This workshop will take some of the guess work out of the daily nuts and bolts of filmmaking and give you a leg up on getting the next job on a film set.


Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.





Intro to Final Cut Pro X

Coming Soon!

Instructor: Bernard Mann 

Tuition: $275 ($250 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

Final Cut Pro X is an ideal non-linear digital editing program for anyone with little or no background in editing. The software's interface and ease of use allows aspiring filmmakers to produce polished and well-told stories in no time.  In this class, students will learn to make better story decisions while learning the software from the ground up. You will learn how to import footage and organize your media while mastering editing techniques for digital video and sound. Students will also learn how to effectively use transitions, text and color techniques while understanding how to export to one of the many formats available. Prior experience in non-linear editing is not required, but basic computer skills are necessary.



Intermediate Final Cut Pro

Coming Soon!
Instructor: Bernard Mann 

Tuition: $275 ($250 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

In this class, students will delve into a deeper level of the program interface.  Designed for the student who has mastered the basics of FCP X, this class offers a hands-on, project-oriented approach to editing, learning how to work with advanced audio, multi-camera editing, advanced compositing with green screen, and color correction.

Sign up for both our Intro and Intermediate Final Cut Pro class and receive a 15% discount. Please contact us to sign up for this offer ([email protected]).

Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.




Working with Color Correction

4 week Course - Coming Winter 2016
Instructor: Kollin O'Dannel
Tuition: $225 ($200 for Film Forum members)

Intro to color correction. In this class you will learn the basics of balancing and correcting your footage then applying LUT’s or Look Up Tables to give your footage a cinematic look. We will be using both Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve to achieve this process. Both pieces of software are capable of delivering professional results, it’s your choice in what tool to use. Students are encouraged to bring in their own media, there will be Red raw files, Cinema DNG and Pro Res files provided for the class to play with also. The final project for the class will be grading a 4 minute short film. This class is designed to be a light environment in the hopes of making color correction interesting and fun. 


Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.




Intro to Generative Visuals and Max 7

Instructor: Jesse Chappelle
Tuition: $110 ($95 for Film Forum members)

This two-day introductory course will delve into the world of generative art using the program MAX 7 to learn about and creating generative visuals. This course requires no prior programming experience and will enable students to begin to explore the tools used by audio/visual professionals and new media artists.


Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.


Post-Production Audio Editing

Instructor: Nate Eiford
Tuition: $90 ($75 for Film Forum members)

This class will cover the fundamentals of audio editing and sound mixing for video. Students will be introduced to available mixing and processing tools to clean up noise, achieve consistency of sound and take post-production sound to a professional level. The first two-hour class will focus on sound theory. For the second session, students are encouraged to bring clips as we work in the editing suite at Northwest Film Forum.





Media Management for Premiere Pro CC

Coming Soon!
Instructor: Bernard Mann
Tuition: $65 ($60 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

Digital editing has another side to it besides learning the software and theory: it's also managing gigabytes of data and hundreds of files to make a project into a finished story. From this evening workshop, take home a deeper understand of how to set up projects, manage new media and archive at completion. Recommended for beginners and more seasoned editors as well.





Beginning Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Coming Soon!
Instructor: Daniel Truog
Tuition: $275 ($250 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

This workshop will cover the essentials for learning to edit with Adobe Premiere Pro Creative Cloud, a leading platform used by many professional filmmakers for editing digital media. The class will provide the training so students will have the skills to confidently, efficiently and effectively edit films with the most up to date version of this software. We will focus on the basics about the interface, the timeline, and the workflow. 

Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.






Pre-production for Docs

Instructor: Gisella Bustillos
Tuition: $50 ($40 for Film Forum members)
Do you have a documentary idea but don't really know where to go from there?  This 3 hour crash course into documentary pre production covers the resources you need to help you out: from hashing out your story to budgeting templates, research processes to legal paperwork. 

Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.




Sundance Artist Services Workshop

On the closing day of this year's Local Sightings Festival (October 1), Northwest Film Forum will host the first-ever Sundance Institute Artist Services workshop in Seattle. The Artist Services program empowers filmmakers navigating the changing business of independent film. Through online resources, live workshops, and a network of allied organizations, the program provides support and insights on creative funding, marketing, and distribution. The Artist Services workshop is a day-long event for filmmakers focusing on the most important topics in creative distribution and funding and will take place at the Forum from 10 am - 4:30 pm on October 1st, followed by a reception.

* * * *

Opening Salvo and Icebreakers | 10:00 am
Courtney Sheehan, Northwest Film Forum
Chris Horton and Liz Manashil, Sundance Institute
Creative Funding Discussion with Local Creators | 10:30 am
Clyde Petersen, Kickstarter Creator and Filmmaker
Evan Briggs, Kickstarter Creator and Filmmaker
Liz Manashil, Moderator

The State of Distribution: A Panel Discussion | 11:30 am
Sudeep Sharma, Festival Programmer
Jonathan Marlow, Kanopy
Chris Horton, Sundance Institute
Courtney Sheehan, Moderator

LUNCH BREAK | 12:30 pm

Digital Distribution Deliverables: All You Need to Know | 1:30 pm
Amanda Kleibusch, Quiver Digital
Chris Horton, Moderator

Direct To Fan Distribution: Case Studies that Matter with BitTorrent, Vimeo, and VHX | 2:30 pm
Peter Gerard, Vimeo/VHX
Missy Laney, BitTorrent
Chris Horton, Moderator

The Producorialists: Emerald City Edition | 3:30 pm
Khalik Allah
Tracy Rector
Jennifer Roth
Liz Manashil, Moderator

Workshop Takeaways | Reception | 4:30 pm
NWFF Lobby

* * * *

$65 general
$45 NWFF/Sundance Institute members

After the workshop, come back for the closing night awards ceremony and participate in the cakewalk for festival filmmakers! Tickets here.


Legal Basics for Filmmakers

Instructor: Matthew Dresden
Tuition: Free

This class will provide an introduction to the basic legal issues affecting all filmmakers. We will cover the entire life cycle of a film, from development and financing to production and exploitation. If you are thinking about spending real money on a movie – or asking other people to do so – then this class is for you. If you have ever wondered, “Could I get sued for this?” then this class is for you. If you have never wondered, “Could I get sued for this?” then you are probably on the wrong website.







Shooting with Anamorphic Lenses

Coming Soon!
Instructor: Jody Cole
Tuition: $40 ($30 for Film Forum members)

Even with DSLR cameras, you can be shooting with anamorphic lenses for your next project. From Wes Anderson to Tarantino, learn how easy it can be to shoot with this iconic format. In this class, we'll explore the history and characteristics as we jump in and try some lenses out in the classroom. Shooting anamorphic is traditionally expensive but we'll explore all your options, ranging from pro rentals all the way to faking it for under $20. Bring a camera and a lens you are familiar with to see the effects for your preferred system during the hands-on section. On completion, you'll be certified to rent the Film Forum's official Anamorphic Kit and take your dreams to the Widescreen



Intro to DJI Ronin M

September 27th (Tuesday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Tylor Jones
Tuition: $60 ($50 for Film Forum members)

Developed for the filmmaking professional, the DJI Ronin marks a generational leap in camera stabilization technology. Its custom sensors, powerful motors and advanced algorithms put world-class precision in your hands. Come learn how to set up, use and store this exciting film tool.



DSLR Videography

Instructor: Craig Downing
Tuition: $35 ($25 for Film Forum Members)

Come explore and learn the basic skills of DSLR video filmmaking. Using our Canon 60D, this class covers standard camera functions and the artistic possibilities of DSLR cameras. Students will learn how to manually control the necessary exposure functions to create professional video content.

While we use a Canon camera in class, the concepts will apply to most any camera. So, feel free to bring your own camera if you'd like.

Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.




Media Management for Final Cut Pro

Instructor: Bernard Mann
Tuition: $65 ($60 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

Digital editing has another side to it besides learning the software and theory: it's also managing gigabytes of data and hundreds of files to make a project into a finished story. From this evening workshop, take home a deeper understand of how to set up projects, manage new media and archive at completion. Recommended for beginners and more seasoned editors as well.







Directing & Acting


Blocking & Staging For Camera

Coming Soon!
Instructor: Oliver Tuthill
Tuition: $260 ($240 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 8 students

Now is your chance to learn the high end production skill of blocking and staging for camera with award winning director/producer Oliver Tuthill. Many independent filmmakers are not trained in these highly technical and sophisticated techniques. A well placed camera and actor/and or actors creates much of the emotion of a scene, and a DP or director with these skills knows how to bring a three dimensional depth to a two dimensional medium.  In this class, you learn how to effectively andd efficiently construct and create a scene. You will learn about stationary blocking, the moving camera, the value of parallax, pivots, a notation system for blocking, the seven essential steps of blocking and staging, open and closed framing and more. Once you have completed this course you will be ready to go tackle your next project with the confidence and skill set of a seasoned professional. This course is also recommended for producers, actors and crew.





Queering Film

Instructor: Elliat Graney-Saucke
Tuition: $25 ($20 for Film Forum members)

What is queer film? What does it mean to ‘queer’ content / aesthetic / characters / form, curation, etc? Through presentation and discussion, we will discuss what ‘queer’ means in the application of film, both from historical and contemporary perspectives, taking into account elements of festivals / distribution / curation, community and generational definitions, theoretical application, and personal interpretation of attendees.


Sign up for our email notifications for future offerings.