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 [email protected] for any questions.


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Bill Plympton on Being an Indie Artist

April 15th (Wednesday), 6pm - 8pm
Instructor: Bill Plympton
Tuition: $45 ($30 for Film Forum members)

Bill Plympton, an Academy Award-nominated American animator, will join us for a night sharing his work and his career as he speaks about opportunities and recommendation to work professionally as an independent artist. The first 12 registered students will be able to attend a screening of his film Cheatin' for free, immediately following his workshop.

Click here to register for this workshop

  •  Don't miss our screening of Bill Plympton's new film Cheatin', April 15 - 21! Read more >

Cheatin' Trailer from Bill Plympton on Vimeo.


Get Up & Stop Down - Stop-motion Workshop

April 19th (Sunday), 12pm - 4pm
Instructor: Kelly Sears
Tuition: $110 ($90 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of stop-motion film production. We will learn how to construct a DIY down shooting rig and how to use Dragonframe stop-motion software. Pacific Northwest imagery of frontier exploration, Bigfoot, wild animals and native north western lore will be the basis of this stop-motion workshop that explores larger topics of détournement, visual politics, and animationas a critical practice. Participants will collaboratively create a collaborative 2D cut out and collage stop-motion film that turns this imagery into a new Pacific Northwest history. This workshop be hosted in Portland and Seattle. The stop-motion segments made in each city will be combined into one project and all participants will get a Vimeo link and downloadable copy of the film.

Click here to sign up for this class



Working With Green Screen: Theory & Practice

April 26th & May 3rd (Sunday), 1pm - 4pm
Instructor: Bernard Mann
Tuition: $180 ($160 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 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 this class


Actors Transitioning from Stage to Film

April 26th - May 3rd (Sundays) 6pm - 9pm
Instructor: Bradetta Vines
Tuition: $140 ($120 for Film Forum members)

Limited to 10 studentsThis class will explore the basic differences between theatre and film. Learn the basics of how actors adjust from a 1000-seat theater to a Wide Shot, Medium Shot, Two Shot, Reverse and Close Up. How directors utilize their time on the set efficiently. Discover where trained theatre technicians fit in the film world. From gaffing, rolling, action, spiking the camera and hitting your mark this class will teach basic vocabulary and point you in the direction of how to start working in the film industry. If you are an actor bring a monologue. If you are a director or technician, be prepared to stand behind the camera.

Click here to sign up for this class


Digital Media Management for Editors

April 27th (Monday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Bernard Mann 
Tuition: $65 ($50 for Film Forum members)

In this one day workshop, students will learn and discuss methods for managing their media for their projects and hear suggested ways to manage media for different types of scenarios. It's well known that editing has another side to it besides learning the editing software and theory; it's managing the gigabytes and hundreds of files created to make the project into a finished story Students will take home a deeper understanding of how to setup their projects, manage new media during the project and archive at the completion of the project. We will focus on the editing platforms Final Cup Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. Recommended for beginner and more seasoned editors was well.

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Shooting with Anamorphic Lenses

May 17th (Sunday), 11am-5pm
Instructor: Jody Cole
Tuition: $110 ($95 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

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 this class



Intro to Time Lapse Video Production

May 31st (Sunday), 11am - 3pm 
Instructor: Michael Poggenburg
Tuition: $110 ($95 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

This class will cover beginning to intermediate level time lapse techniques, from camera settings to post-production. You'll learn what to look for in a scene, how to set up your camera, what additional equipment to use, software you can use to improve the look of your finished product, as well as some of the most common problems you'll encounter and how to fix them. After taking this class you'll have a firm understanding of how to take excellent time lapse video to incorporate into your next project. This class will focus primarily on DSLR cameras and Adobe After Effects, but the principles will apply across all camera types and editing setups.

Click here to register for this class