One-Day / Weekend Workshops

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. The Film Forum'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. Email for any questions.


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Beginning Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

December 13 & 14 (Saturday & Sunday),10am - 3pm
Instructor: Chris Julian
Tuition: $330 ($295 for Film Forum members)

This workshop will cover the essentials for learning to edit with Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro is a leading platform used by many professional filmmakers for editing digital media. This class will provide the training so you will have the skills to confidently, efficiently and effectively edit films. We will focus on the basics about the interface, the timeline, workflows and refining your cut. Dynamic linking will also be introduced, for those handling effects in your Premiere timeline. 


Click here to sign up for Beginning Adobe Premiere Pro CS6



Intermediate Adobe Premiere Pro CS6

November 8 & 9 (Saturday & Sunday), 10am-3pm
Instructor: Chris Julian
Tuition: $330 ($295 for Film Forum Members)
Limited to 5 students  

This workshop builds from the Premiere Pro essentials to help you take your editing skills to the next professional level. We will cover managing media with larger projects, photomation, backing up projects, time remapping, color correction and many more working-industry practices.

Click here to sign up for Intermediate Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.


Beginning Final Cut Pro X

December 6 & 7 (Saturday & Sunday) 11am-5pm
Instructor: Bernard Mann 

Tuition: $330 ($295 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 5 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.


Click here to sign up for Beginning Final Cut Pro X




Intro to Screenplay Pitch and Queries

January 11 & 18 (Sundays), 6pm-9pm
Instructor: Erik Bernard
Tuition: $90 ($70 for Film Forum members)

Erik Bernard spent ten years in active duty as an officer. After returning home from three combat tours, Erik focused on his writing, finding great success. His screenplays have garnered awards and attention from international competitions such as WRITEMOVIES, ScreenCraft, Eddie Bauer Jr., the LA Movie Awards, Final Draft Big Break, NexTVentertainment, StoryPros, the Atlanta Film Festival., and many others. Recently, he optioned his award-winning script Shaolin Wing Chun: The New Beginning and is co-producing the film with Roderick Powell of RAP Filmworks. 


Click here to sign up for Intro to Screenplay Pitch and Queries



Make Your Own DSLR Lens

January 18 (Sunday), 11am-3pm
Instructor: Dave Hanagan
Tuition: $85 ($70 for Film Forum members)

Bored with your run-of-the-mill high definition video? Liven up your filming with handmade lenses! In this class, students will use DIY methods to create their own lens from easily available and affordable materials. The lenses we create will not have the sharp focusing properties that commercial manufacturers aspire to; rather, we’ll make creative use of different lens deficiencies to create images that suggest antique portraits or dreamy, other-worldly effects. Dave, filmmaker and lens-hacker, will explain the principles of lenses and use hands-on demonstrations to explore the differences in lens designs and explain terminology like “flange focal length” and “spherical aberration.” Each participant will go home with their own lens (the cost of materials is included in the class tuition). Bring your own DSLR camera if you have one.



Click here to sign up for Make Your Own DSLR Lens




Part-time Producing Workshop

January 21 (Wednesday), 6:30pm-9:30pm
Instructor: Michael Seiwerath
Tuition: $60 ($45 for Film Forum members)

In this workshop, seasoned producer Michael Seiwerath (Police Beat, The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, My Last Year with the Nuns) will talk through his experience on feature films, from the creative inception and fundraising to the premiere at Sundance and other International Film Festivals. Expect specific examples, war stories, and advice on balancing film producing with other gainful employment.

Click here to sign up for Part-time Producing Workshop.



Red Digital Cinema Basics

January 12 & 14 (Monday & Wednesday), 6:30pm-9:30pm
Instructor: Brody Willis 
Tuition: $140 ($125 for Film Forum members)

An introductory course which helps familiarise 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. 

Click here to sign up for Red Digital Cinema Basics Class.


Psychedelic Ethnography

November 16 (Sunday), 12pm - 5pm
Instructor: Ben Russell
Tuition: $80 ($65 for Film Forum Members)

This workshop is conceptually organized around the seemingly opposite poles of psychedelia and ethnography, two approaches which have the same goal at heart: the understanding of our/selves in the world. This workshop proposes a critical study of past and present in order to forge a new way forward. Drawing from the flicker films of Paul Sharits to the trance anthropologies of Jean Rouch and Maya Deren; from the embodied abstractions of Makino Takashi to the documentary provocations of Renzo Martens, the end result will be a syncretic understanding of how these touchstones can be integrated into a filmmaking practice. Selected screenings will be supplemented with performative PowerPoint lecture and in-class filming exercises. Students should come with some kind of image-and-sound capture device.

Click here to sign up for Psychedelic Ethnography.

  • Don't miss our screening of Ben Russell's new film A Spell to Ward Off Darkness on November 15—a collaboration with British independent filmmaker Ben Rivers. Read more and watch the trailer >

Working With Green Screen

November 16 (Sunday), 10:30am - 4:30pm
Instructor: Bernard Mann
Tuition: $180 ($160 for Film Forum Members)
Limited to 5 students

In this one-day workshop, you will learn all the industry methods for lighting and shooting your subject using a green screen. To start, you'll learn the history and theory of green screens and the travelling matte. Second, we will set up and light a green screen in our studio. Afterwards, using Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro, you will learn how to effectively position the subject over the new background resulting in movie making awesomeness. Bring your own camera if you have one, but it is not required.

Click here to sign up for Working with Green Screen.


Shooting with Anamorphic Lenses

November 2 (Sunday), 11am - 5pm
Instructor: Jody Cole
Tuition: $110 ($95 for Film Forum Members)

Even with DSLR cameras, you can be shooting with anamorphic lenses for your next project. 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.

Click here to register for Shooting with Anamorphic Lenses


Intro to Grip Tools on Set

November 16th (Sunday), 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Art Reynolds
Tuition: $110 ($95 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 10 students

In this one day class, students will be introduced to the standard tools used by grips in the industry. Using clamps, stands and more, students will get hands-on experience learning what's available and how to use it effectively on set. 

Click here to register for Intro to Grip Tools on Set.


History of Music in Film

November 23 (Sunday), 11am–6pm
Instructor: Chris Julian
Tuition: $110 ($95 for Film Forum Members)

This course will feature a guided history of film music over the last 80 years, and its various trends. It will also cover common concepts, theories, issues and pitfalls within the scoring world. Our time together will feature plenty of viewing and listening, plus lots of rousing discussions and debates. This is great for filmmakers and musicians--both professional & amateur--and for film fans and enthusiasts alike.

Click here to register for History of Music in Film.