Returning to Scholars Hall at Northwestern Michigan College, thanks to our sponsor Herrington-Fitch Family Foundation, our Film School offers twice-daily sessions featuring visiting filmmakers and professionals sharing their insights and experiences with an audience of students and film lovers of all ages. Tickets are just $5 per class. Classes are subject to change.
12 noon—What’s Up, Doc?
Instructor: Director Todd Douglas Miller
Visiting TCFF doc filmmaker Todd Douglas Miller will host a film school session taking you on his “Dinosaur 13” film festival journey: from conception and filming to post-production, stops at Sundance and other top fests, and, finally, to arriving here in Traverse City!
B. Ellen Wesley DO
3 pm—Producer Workshop
Instructor: TCFF Board Member Tia Lessin
Using clips and anecdotes from her award-winning films “Trouble the Water” and “Citizen Koch,” and drawing on her years producing for Michael Moore, Martin Scorcese, and other master filmmakers, Oscar nominee Tia Lessin presents a producer workshop in three parts:
- Pre-Production: how to raise money to make your documentary film;
- Production: creative producing and problem-solving, in the field and in the edit room;
- Post-Production: how to find and license great archival footage, and what is “fair use” (with Oscar nominee Carl Deal).
Matthew A. Klein and Nancy Peterson-Klein
12 noon—Green Screen Workshop
Instructors: Mark Colson & Alison Dobbins, Michigan State University
With advanced compositing capabilities at your fingertips, the depths of the ocean and the heights of Mars can be the backdrop for your next movie. This workshop will examine how green screen technology can be used to unleash the imagination. Cinematography and acting techniques will be explored—discover the best way to create something out of nothing.
School of Digital Media – College of Education & Human Services, Ferris State University
3 pm—Larry Charles Master Class
Instructor: Emmy Award-winning writer, director, and TCFF Board Member Larry Charles
TCFF Board Member Larry Charles will share his new short film, “I Can’t Go On,” a years-in-the-making passion project about comedian and television writer Adam Leslie. The screening will be followed by a characteristically funny lesson in the serious business of filmmaking from the guy who brought you the blockbuster hits “Borat” and “The Dictator.”
The Giffels Family
12 noon—Persistent Struggle: Politics & Art of Black Film
Jeffrey C. Wray, Associate Professor of Film Studies, Michigan State University
From the early 20th century “race films” of black filmmaking pioneer Oscar Micheaux to the Oscarwinning “12 Years a Slave,” black filmmaking and black representation in American cinema have required persistent struggle. This workshop will encourage discussion of the history of African-American cinema, of various black film movements, and of the presence—or lack thereof—of African Americans in cinema, using film clips from classic cinema, little known gems, and contemporary works.
Roberta & Peter Gluck
3 pm—Lights, Camera, Act!
U of M Screen Arts & Cultures Lecturer Robert Rayher and Casting Director Pamela Guest
One of the most popular film school classes is back with a new spin. What makes movies unique on the level of performance is the symbiotic relationship between the camera and the actor. This workshop will investigate the actor/camera relationship and how it is affected by the editing process.
Rick & Raj Wiener
12 noon—Exploring Music in Film
Grammy-nominated composer David Joseph Wesley
Join one of the composers on the team behind “Family Guy” for a unique interactive discussion covering music in film. From its roots in the silent film era to modern film soundtracks, we’ll take a journey through time and also learn what goes into creating the musical score for a film. You may even get to try out your skills as a composer!
Dave & Rota Bump Family
Join this year’s entertaining discussion with visiting filmmakers in an informal and interactive film school session. Bring your ideas, questions on financing your film, distribution, technical issues, equipment, location scouting—you name it! Or just enjoy the repartee and lively dialogue. Filmmakers: Doug Block, “112 Weddings;” Connie Field, “Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine;” Victor Levin, “5 to 7;” Ryan Murdock, “Bronx Obama;” Andrew Renzi, “Fishtail;” Onur Tukel, “Summer of Blood.”
12 noon—Crowdfunding & Community-Based Filmmaking
U of M Screen Arts & Cultures Lecturer V. Prasad, Filmmaker Sultan Sharrief, Producer Barbara Twist, and Producer Emily Best
While the film industry resides primarily in Los Angeles, cheaper high-quality cameras, crowdfunding websites, and online distribution have made regional filmmaking a reality. Using the Michigan-based films “Consideration” and “Destined” as case studies, this session will look at strategies for raising money, building an audience, and fostering collaborations in order to create a sustainable indie filmmaking community right here in Michigan.
J. Hans Schwab Appraisal & Consulting
3 pm—Writing the Adaptation
Lesley Alicia Tye, Instructor of Creative Writing and Motion Picture Arts, Interlochen Arts Academy
You’ve got great source material you know will make an amazing movie, but now what? How do you transform a story told in a novel, comic book, or article, and make it cinematically driven for the screen? This session will explore example adapted screenplays and talk about strategies for adaptation. Participants are encouraged to bring their adaptation ideas and questions for the group to consider.
Matthew A. Klein and Nancy Peterson-Klein
Wednesday & Thursday
2:45 pm—Young Filmmakers Workshop: Lights, Camera, Action! Claymation Animation
(ages 7-11 years)
Animate your own clay creations and make a short film that will be shown on Saturday before the Kids Fest film! Students will design and bring 3D claymation characters to life in this two-day workshop presented by Blackbird Arts. You can read more about their additional workshops, including an off-site three-day Claymation Animation camp for students ages 10-16, at blackbirdartstc.com.