Multi-Session 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. 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 dave @ to ask about our annual class offerings.


Bookmark and Share


Perceptive Practices: Making the Observational Film

Instructor: Adam Sekuler
Tuition: $300 ($275 for Film Forum members)

The goal of this eight week course is to practice paying attention in our filmmaking on the way to producing new work. Many filmmakers have honed their perceptive practices to more thoroughly make use of the photographic and sound elements that present themselves while on location.  Drawing from the teachings of filmmakers such as Fredrick Wiseman, the Maysles Brothers, James Benning and Joris Ivens, this class will cultivate your sensory awareness to investigate how your eyes and ears connect you in space to others.  We will use elements of personal storytelling and environmental description to generate images and ideas; and then craft those images through a series of test films comprised of moving images, still images, and field recordings. We'll spend several sessions venturing to a location to observe the environment, paying close attention to the people who inhabit the environment and how they interact and to how the light, sound, and objects construct the space.  After our initial observational period, and taking what we have learned from our test films, we will return to an off-site location to create 3-5 short documentary pieces that put your observational experiences to use in your filmmaking practice.


How to see again, and how to make satisfyingly experiential non-fiction films.


Adam Sekuler is a filmmaker whose work strikes a delicate balance between stylization and naturalism, anchored within an observational world while creating a poetic and lyrical form of visual storytelling. His films have been screened at festivals from Rotterdam to Portland, museums including the Walker Art Center, and art houses across the globe. While not making films he's also a curator, having programmed most recently for Northwest Film Forum. 




Distribute Your Film Today

Instructor: John W. Comerford

Tuition: $200 ($175 for Film Forum members)


Where will films be played in the near future? This class is a must for any filmmaker who wishes to know about new models of distribution, from screens to monthly subscriptions to à la carte viewing.

Video On Demand offers filmmakers the chance to reach film lovers from around the world from a single source, for example, while Digital Cinema standardizes high-resolution prints for traditional theatrical exhibition. This class will walk you through each of the primary on-line and theatrical delivery systems and will connect you with distribution professionals who make the decisions about who will enter the marketplace to access revenue.

Along the way, we will take up the pivotal question of how to support your release with social media marketing. With periodic insights from guest distributors, this class is a map for any filmmaker who wishes to know, from informed sources, what state the digital endgame looks like for today's films.  

Week 1 - Distribution Channels

Week 2 - Distribution Deals

Week 3 - Inside VOD (Skype conversation with Steve Beckman, Director of Content Partnerships FilmBuff - WE ARE LEGION, SENNA, EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP)

Week 4 - Inside Hybrid Theatrical (Skype conversation with Richard Abramowitz, Principal, Abramorama - WE LIVE IN PUBLIC, PEARL JAM TWENTY, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN)

John Comerford is President of Paradigm Studio, an award-winning independent film and television production company based in the Pacific Northwest. His most recent critically acclaimed film, Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense, is being distributed by The Documentary Channel, FilmBuff, Indiepix, and Mercury Media. Current feature film projects include a supernatural thriller based on Northwest indigenous mythology, a romantic comedy set in the International District, and a story based on true events surrounding a mass-shootong in Seattle’s music rave scene. Distributors and exhibitors of Mr. Comerford's work have included Showtime, Netflix, Hulu, Cannes Film Market and South by Southwest.  

Register for Distribute Your Film Today

Final Cut Pro X - For Beginners




Class will be offered again in June


Apr. 24-May 15 (four Thursdays), 6:30-9:30pm

Instructor: Bernard Mann 
Tuition: $300 ($270 for for Film Forum Members) 


Final Cut Pro is the the ideal non-linear digital editing program for anyone with little or no background in editing.  Its interface and ease of use allows aspiring filmmakers to begin to produce polished and well-told stories in no time.   


It has been said that editing is a skilled art, that every decision to put one clip after another is a story decision as well as a technical operation in editing.  In this class, students will learn to make better story decisions while learning the software from the ground up (including the 10.1 update). You will learn how to import footage and make a plan to organize it, basic editing techniques for picture and sound, polishing the project with transitions text and color, and exporting to one of the many formats available. Prior experience in non-linear editing is not required, but basic computer skills are necessary.


Professional film storytelling using the latest version of Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro X - Intermediate

April 16 - May 7 (4 Wednesdays), 6:30-9:30PM
Instructor: Bernard Mann
Tuition: $300 ($270 for Film Forum members)

Designed for the editor who has learned the basics of editing with this software, this Final Cut Pro X (FCP X) master 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 work and edit a project that was shot with multiple cameras. Students will then work through an advanced compositing module with green screen and finish with an in-depth project focused on color correction.  

What students will learn: How to edit any kind of project that they may asked to do, as well as take their edited project through the final stages of polishing for virtually any kind of submission.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN: The next level of compositing, in-depth color-correction, multi-cam editing, sound editing and green screen keying.


Register for Final Cut Pro X for Intermediate Students - April class

Sound Production For Film and Video


Class will be offered again this June

APRIL 22 (7-9pm), APRIL 24 (7-10pm)
Instructor: Robb Kunz
TUITION: $95 ($80 for Members) 

Sound, sound design, soundtrack, audio in general: much of a film's impact depends upon its sound,yet it is often the last consideration in indie film production. This two-day workshop will present you with the essentials of audio, microphone and recorder technology and technique and will enable your production, no matter how low-budget, to sound finished and professional. The first evening will be a two hour lecture, and the second class will include three hours of hands-on learning, with a field test and evaluation. It will cover all the basics to get you better sound in your next production, and participants will leave knowing how to listen to, and capture better, in film production.

This class will take place in Northwest Film Forum's Workshop classroom.


Introduction to Post-Production Sound

MAY 6 (7-9pm), MAY 8 (7-10pm)
Instructor: Robb Kunz
Tuition: $95 ($80 for Members) 

So you've finished shooting but neglected the sound and now your audio is all over the place. In this five-hour class you will learn the fundamentals of audio editing and sound mixing for video. Using Final Cut Pro and professional sound software, you will be introduced to mixing and processing tools that will enable you to clean up noise, achieve consistency of sound, and make your post-production sound the best it can be. The first, two-hour, class will take up sound theory; students are encouraged to bring clips to the second session, to work on in class. 

This class will take place in Northwest Film Forum's edit suite.

Register for Post-Production Sound

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Eight Week Screenplay

Instructor: Walter Dalton
Tuition: $300 ($275 Members)

William Goldman, who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men and The Princess Bride, once said, “Nobody knows anything.” He meant nobody in the film business, and, in a way, he was right: there are no rules about what is good or what audiences will want to see or what is "sure fire." But there are habits and techniques and tools you can acquire as you write your story, whether that’s a Hollywood film or an independent feature. 

In this class, over eight weeks, you will learn as you write through direct feedback and in class discussions about character development, plot structure and the evolution of themes. You should come to class with an idea for a film and over the course of two months you will develop it, talk about your ideas and get responses as you progress. You will benefit by coming to class with knowledge of the proper formatting techniques.

The craft and art of classic screenplay writing from a proven master.

Walter Dalton has had a distinguished career writing for, and appearing in, TV and the movies, including scripts for Barney Miller and acting in the strong independent feature, Wendy and Lucy.

Register for Every Picture Tells a Story: The Eight Week Screenplay: