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.


Bookmark and Share


What Makes a Scene Work

February 16th (Monday), 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Guinevere Turner
Tuition: $65 ($85 for Film Forum members)

In this class, we select scenes written by students and stage a reading of them in front of the class. The actors will be volunteers from the writers in the room.  We then discuss the scene, what works, what isn't clear - and delve into some ideas about the dramatic structure of a scene (even as it relates to comedy). The class will include discussion, participation, digression of the most fun kind, and clips of some great, interesting or in some way accomplished scenes from existing films.

Each student will bring a scene they have written, with enough copies so that each character in the scene can be performed by an actor with the scene in their hands.


Click here to sign up for this workshop



Distressed Film Workshop

March 29 (Sunday), 11am-2pm
Instructor: Roger Beebe
Tuition: $70 ($60 for Film Forum members)

This class offers a quick introduction to a number of cameraless techniques for working directly on 16mm film of various sorts (found footage, clear leader, raw stock). Participants will get a chance to make a series of short 16mm loops using a variety of approaches including etching, bleaching, direct animation with Sharpies and stamp pads, hole punching, burning, etc. In short, we’ll be exploring all the things Kodak never wanted you to do to their film, but that you’ve always secretly desired (or should have!). For those who’ve always wanted to work on film but thought it was too expensive, this class is also an introduction to one of the cheapest ways you’ll ever make motion pictures of any sort.

Click here to register for this Distressed Film Workshop



Camera for Choreography

March 7 (Thursday), 6:30pm-9:30pm
Instructor: Jeremy Moss
Tuition: $55 ($45 for Film Forum members)
In this lecture, filmmaker Jeremy Moss will elaborate on his camera design for choreography, and how it connects to past and present traditions in filmmaker/dancer collaborations.

Click here to register for this Camera for Choreography workshop




Intro to Final Cut Pro X

March 7 & 8 (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 this class




Intro to Aerial Videography

February 21 (Saturday), 2pm-5pm
Instructor: Jeremiah Kaynor
Tuition: $65 ($55 for Film Forum members)

Amazing aerial footage is not just a luxury for big-budget movies anymore. With the new Aerial Flying Units (AFU) that carry HD cameras, the options are limitless. Come and discover the world of AFU’s/Drones and the new tools for Aerial Cinematography, as we cover what is now available to independent filmmakers. See the different ranges of AFU’s and have a chance to watch them in action as you learn all about Aerial Cinematography with AFU’s. The only limits are your imagination!

Click here to register for this Intro to Aerial Videography workshop


Encoding with Apple Compressor

March 1 (Sunday), 12pm-3pm
Instructor: Michael Poggenburg
Tuition: $80 ($65 for Film Forum members)
Limited to 5 students

Compressor is Apple's audio and video encoding program bundled with Final Cut Pro. This updated version of the class will explore the new interface of Compressor 4.1, while we look at the basics of encoding, format conversion (transcoding) and compression for such applications as making a DVD, preparing footage for YouTube and Vimeo and converting video formats for editing and post production. Topics include program navigation, understanding some of the most common codecs, frame rate conversion, and the many different output options that Compressor will give you in your future projects. Recommended for users already familiar with Final Cut Pro.

Click here to register for this Encoding wth Apple Compressor workshop


Intro to Grip Tools on Set

March 22 (Sunday), 1:30pm-5:30pm
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.


Digital Print Mastering (DCP) for Festivals


March 22 (Sunday), 1:30pm-5:30pm
Instructor: David Ayala
Tuition: $60 ($50 for Film Forum members)

Once upon a time, short film festivals required 35mm prints to exhibit in Europe & US, costing thousands of dollars. In the new Digital Cinema Projection (DCP) world, filmmakers now need to create digital prints to exhibit in most theaters around the world. Going to an industry approved mastering house can still costs hundreds of dollars for independent filmmakers. Using open source software (, we will show a process for mastering your short film, formatting your thumb drive and ingesting a short film onto the Fim Forum's DCP system, with a final projection test in Cinema 1.

Click here to sign up for this class



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.



Intro to Screenplay Pitch and Queries

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

This class will show screenplay pitches and queries that produce results. This class will also discuss screenplay structure and the process of getting a screenplay written, development, and pre-production.

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