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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Pre-production for Docs

February 11th (Thursday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Gisella Bustillos
Tuition: $60 ($50 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. 

Click here to sign up for this class




Intro to the Sony A7s DSLR Camera

January 28th & February 4th (Thursdays) 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


Lean Team Doc Filmmaking

February 4th & 11th (Thursdays) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: Rustin Thompson
Tuition: $75 ($65 for Film Forum members)

Interested in making a documentary? This class will teach you how to streamline your production in order to make a long- or short-form documentary as a small team. We'll cover pre-production decisions (such as dealing with narrative, characters, locations and budgeting); choice of camera (including audio and support equipment that will enable you to film as a one-person crew); field techniques and skills (to keep you close to the action, expedite the capturing of footage, allow you to work light on your feet, and help you to recognize what is and is not essential to your story); and advice on how to pack for travel and field production (including the essential back-up items you need for piece of mind). In addition the class will touch on post-production choices you can make to save time and money. Some experience working with cameras and editing platforms will be helpful in this class.

Click here to sign up for this class



Intermediate Final Cut Pro X

February 4th - 25th (Thursdays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Bernard Mann 

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

This intermediate level class offers a hands-on, project-oriented approach into the deeper levels of the software. We will explore how to improve the quality of your audio during the mixing stage and how to manage a project that using multiple cameras. Students will then work through an advanced compositing module with a green screen and finish with an in-depth project focused on color correction. Students will finish knowing how to professional organize, edit and export any project using industry procedures and techniques.

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]).


Click here to sign up for this class




Beginning Adobe Premiere Pro CC

February 14th - March 6th  (Sundays) 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: Michael Poggenburg
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, 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 this class





"What They Won't Tell You” Masterclass in Directing

February 15th (Monday) 6:30pm - 9pm
Instructor: Johan Liedgren
Tuition: $20 ($15 for Film Forum members)

Masterclass in Directing - Johan LiedgrenBack by popular demand - Johan Liedgren will share non-obvious lessons from years of writing and directing both inside and outside the system for film, television and commercials. On the agenda:

Is your script actually done? How to test and hire your editor? Pre-pro discussions with DP, budgets based on calendar not money, pitching television in LA, useless storyboards, very useful storyboards, day one on set, what to look for in casting, unions, deal-structures for financing independent film, better notes to composers, Jungian preparation for directors before the feature shoot - all for the creatively ambitious film. 

Click here to sign up for this class



The Civil War and the Rise of Cinema

Februrary 18th (Thursday) 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Instructor: John Trafton 

Tuition: Free

Over one hundred years after the release of Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, the Civil War continues to have a strong presence in film and television. With the forthcoming release of the Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) directed The Free State of Jones, the true story of a band of Confederate defectors’ efforts to secede from the Confederacy, the Civil War’s place in cultural memory remains an important component of American notions of nationhood and our relationship with the past. This talk will look at how a conflict that took place three decades before the Lumière film exhibitions was viscerally documented through large-scale panorama paintings, still photography, and soldier testimonials, each leaving behind a set of aesthetic and narrative codes employed by filmmakers since the advent of cinema. Drawing on his recent book, The American Civil War and the Hollywood War Film, John Trafton’s talk will highlight how Civil War photographers pioneered concepts of documentary and visual genre, how the painters anticipated deep focus and invisible editing, and how the writings of soldiers combined art with the act of witnessing. 

Click here to sign up for this class




Intro to ProTools

February 15th - March 7th  (Mondays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Chris Spencer
Tuition: $275 ($250 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 6 students

Whether you’re new to Pro Tools, or interested in learning more about the film industry’s ‘goto’ Digital Audio Workstation, this course will make the grade.  The Introduction to Pro Tools offers a comprehensive approach to learning the fundamentals of Pro Tools, with a focus on audio for post-production. Students will learn all aspects of building sessions for dialog replacement, sound design, music composition, as well as create stems for a final mix.  We will also learn the ins and outs of navigating the application;  including audio interface configuration, session I/O, plugins & processing, file import & export, along with basic mix concepts.   Through in-­class exercises, you’ll solidify these concepts into basic workflow skills. Come join us and discover techniques to improve the quality of audio in your next project and simultaneously demystify this amazing tool.

Click here to sign up for this class




Blocking & Staging For Camera

February 22nd - March 14th  (Mondays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
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.

Click here to sign up for this class




Shooting with Anamorphic Lenses

February 25th and March 3rd (Thursdays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Jody Cole
Tuition: $95 ($80 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 sign up for this class


Intro to Final Cut Pro X

March 2nd - March 23rd,  (Wednesdays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
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.

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]).

Click here to sign up for this class


Intro to Generative Visuals and Max 7

March 14th & 21st (Mondays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
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.

Click here to sign up for this class



The Art of Sound Design for Movies

March 8th, (Tuesday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Frank Kniest
Tuition: $40 ($30 for Film Forum members)

BAM, KAPOW, RRRRRRROAR! This seminar is an introductory and basic overview study of contemporary Post Production Sound Design techniques for the motion picture soundtrack. Included is a breakdown of the key elements of sound for feature film movies with a particular emphasis on the interplay of sound effects, music and dialogue in the filmic experience.  We will discuss the technological and artistic challenges of creating sounds and the various roles played by the post sound teams to both fulfill the movie soundscape and fully engage the audience in the movie. We will draw upon movie clips to illustrate the interplay among the elements of the film’s visuals and the soundtrack.  Furthermore, we will break down the processes of adding sound to movies as we delineate the many components to a full sound track and the creating and varied approaches to achieving a successful soundtrack. Classmates will participate in the process of understanding movie sounds with back and forth discussions of the sonic processes. Particularly, we will describe the challenges and sheer enjoyment of working in movies in Hollywood and some of the solutions to “grabbing the right sounds” for the movie. 



Making sounds for movies is flat out FUN!!!

Click here to sign up for this class




Queer Feminist Video Art

March 10th - 31st  (Thursdays) 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Instructor: Coley Mixan
Tuition: $250 ($225 for Film Forum members)

This workshop offers a primer to queer and feminist film/video art studies, focusing onseveral key genres, artists & themes in transnational queer and feminist cultures & erudition. We will explore what makes a particular media practice “queer” and/or “feminist,” & what role our own media production, distribution, and exhibition has in the process of culture at large. We will examine constructions of sexuality, gender, race, and nation in a variety of movies/performances/video art & investigate how transnational queer and feminist work can both participate in and resist dominant ideas about sexuality, colonialism, race, gender, politics and civics. The course teaches basic video art concepts (editing, cinematography, mise-en-scène, etc.) so that students can apply them to the performances we create & study. Students will also learn artistic production skills and gain familiarity with digital video production, digital mapping software, managing/documenting live performances and engaging with queer feminist thought. We will place emphasis on practice & process over product.

Click here to sign up for this class




Filmmaking Fundamentals

March 15th - May 3rd, (Tuesdays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
nstructor: Jonah Kozlowski, Bernard Mann, Craig Downing
Tuition: $560 ($525 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.


DSLR Videography

March 27th  (Sunday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
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.

Click here to register for this class



Apple Compressor

March 27th (Sundays) 1pm - 4pm
Instructor: Michael Poggenburg
Tuition: $85 ($65 for Film Forum members)

Compressor is Apple’s audio and video encoding program that pairs with Final Cut Pro. This class will explore the basics of encoding, format conversion (transcoding), and compression for such applications as making a DVD or Blu-Ray, preparing footage for web, or converting different video formats for editing and post-production. Topics covered will be basic program navigation, understanding some of the most common codecs, optical flow technology, and the many different output options that Compressor will give you in your future projects. After taking this class, you'll know how to convert video between different sizes and frame rates, maximize that quality of your web content, make high quality slow-motion footage from regular video, burn customized optical disc content, and more. Recommended for users of Final Cut Pro at all skill levels.

Click here to sign up for this class


Recording Audio For Film

April 7th & 14th (Thursdays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Jose Diaz
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.

Click here to sign up for this class




Intro to the Red Digital Camera

April 3rd and 10th  (Sundays) 4pm - 7pm
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. 

Click here to sign up for this class




Working with Green Screen

April 24th  (Sunday) 1pm - 5pm and May 1st (Sunday) 1pm - 4pm
Instructor: Bernard Mann
Tuition: $120 ($100 for Film Forum members)

During this workshop, you will learn all the industry methods for lighting and shooting your subject using a green screen. Afterwards, you will learn how to composite your footage using an advanced keyer over a background. In post, 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. Cost of class if for both dates, May 24th and May 1st.


Click here to sign up for this class




Producing Fundamentals for Indie Filmmaking

April 18th and 25th (Mondays) 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.

Click here to sign up for this class




Work in Progress Screenwriting Group

April 27th - May 18th (Wednesdays) 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.

Click here to sign up for this class


Business Plans for a Creative Project

April 21st and 28th (Thursdays) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: Scott A. Capestany
Tuition: $80 ($60 for Film Forum members)

This two-day workshop will give students, filmmakers and industry professionals a hands-on, step-by-step approach in constructing a professional business plan for a creative Film/TV or Web-Series project. Participants will learn how to present and pitch each item of a business plan for investors, businesses and organizations. The final day, participants will be invited to bring in their own current creative projects to apply everything they have learned to their new business plans.

Click here to sign up for this class




Post-Production Audio Editing

September 15th & 18th (Tuesday and Friday) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
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.

Click here to sign up for this class




Successful Film Set Practices

December 7th (Monday) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
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.

Click here to sign up for this class



Screenwriting & Filmmaking Fundamentals

Janurary 19th - March 8th  (Tuesdays) Hugo House
March 15th - May 3rd (Tuesdays) Northwest Film Forum
Michael Shilling, Jonah Kozlowski,
Bernard Mann, Craig Downing 
Tuition: $885 ($796.50 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 8 students

Write it at the Hugo House. Film it at the Northwest Film Forum.

With this neighborly collaboration between the Hugo House and the Northwest Film Forum, learn about script writing and then learn how to film your short script.

Spend eight weeks at Hugo House learning the basics of the screenwriter’s art. The class will look at examples from films such as Chinatown, The Thing, and Raising Arizona, and do in-class writing that includes feedback on screenplay ideas.

The following eight weeks will be spent at Northwest Film Forum receiving hands-on training with camera, audio, light, and editing equipment. Students will acquire the skills to independently write and make professional films. All basic film equipment will be provided in class. Students can also bring their own equipment.

While edit lab computers will be availalbe, if you have a laptop with Adobe Premiere Pro CC and would like to use it in class, please email [email protected]

Classes at the Hugo House will meet Tuesdays, 7:00 PM-9:00 PM.

Classes at NWFF will meet Tuesdays, 6:30 PM-9:30 PM.

Click here to sign up for this class