Returning to Scholars Hall, thanks to our generous sponsor Northwestern Michigan College, 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. Class topics and instructors are subject to change.
12 NOON | PITCH SESSION
Jim Burnstein, Director of Screenwriting Program, University of Michigan
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “This would make a great movie!”—and thought you might like to do something about it—here’s your chance to pitch your story to an accomplished writer who has taken his own story ideas to the finish line. Whether it’s an original narrative that hit you out of the blue, a true story that happened to somebody you know, or a great book that somehow never found it’s way to the silver screen—all you need for this special pitch session is a couple of sentences that capture your idea, and Michigan-based Hollywood screenwriter Jim Burnstein (“Renaissance Man,” “D3: The Mighty Ducks”) will hep you develop your movie kernel, and explain how you can take it from there.
3 PM | MAKING MOVIES IN MICHIGAN
Michigan Film Industry Professionals
Take it from our panel of experts: there’s no better place to make a film than in the beautiful state of Michigan. Learn how to legally protect your idea, develop your project, attract funding, identify talent, and put together a Michigan-based production team. Drawing on the experiences and lessons of successful films made in Michigan, the panel will provide a realistic and insightful overview for anyone looking to create and produce a film here, using brief presentations, a step-by-step guide, and questions from the audience. Presented by the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office.
Wednesday & Thursday
2:45 PM | YOUNG FILMMAKERS WORKSHOP: 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 shorts program! 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 off-site, two-day claymation animation camps for middle and high school students—at blackbirdartstc.com.
12 NOON | MUSIC IN FILM: THEN AND NOW
Grammy-Nominated Composer David Joseph Wesley
Music has been an essential part of the art of cinema since the earliest days of film—the movies have never truly been silent. And it is the soundtrack, perhaps even more than the image, that makes us laugh, cry, and cheer at the movies. As part of our State Theatre Centennial celebration, Grammy-nominated composer David Joseph Wesley will take us on a journey through the history of music in film, from the 1920s when musicians performed live in classic movie palaces, to modern musical collaborations between some of cinema’s greatest filmmakers and composers. No previous musical knowledge is required. Whether you’re a filmmaker or a film fan, this audible trip through time is for you.
3 PM | MR. MANNERS: FILM ETIQUETTE ON SET
Director Rich Brauer
No director wants to experience a Christian Bale-style tantrum thrown by cast or crew. This panel will help you head off such catastrophes by exploring the importance of treating actors, crew, and location owners with respect and consideration. TCFF 2009 Filmmaker Award winner and “nicest guy in the biz” Rich Brauer will bring years of experience to this insightful crash course on how to run a professional set so that you can get the jobs, actors, crew, and locations you want. Learn how to get things done and maintain a schedule while still having plenty of fun on set.
12 NOON | ACTING FOR THE CAMERA 5.0
Robert Rayher, Screen Arts & Cultures Lecturer, University of Michigan, and Pamela Guest, Casting Director-Actor
Our perennially popular U-M Acting class is back with a new spin, exploring the relationship between director and actor that is the key to eliciting unique and powerful performances on film. Learn how directors and actors with different backgrounds, languages, and training styles can collaborate on set through shared sensitivity, intelligence, and willingness to listen. The focus of this year’s workshop is finding ways to bring the technical, external director’s perspective together with the emotional, inner storytelling of the actor’s approach in order to create the best possible work.
3 PM | STRIKING THE RIGHT CHORDS
Bill Withem, Composer and Instructor of Music, and Geri Alumit Zeldes, Associate Professor, Michigan State University
Composing music for film is part instinctual channeling of emotion, and part design through technique. This session will dissect the collaborative process between composers and documentary filmmakers, which relies on clear communication in order to strike the right chords and achieve the right feel. Composer Bill Withem and documentary filmmaker Geri Alumit Zeldes will share the best practices for combining emotion and science to underscore silence, ideas, and action in film projects, gleaned from their collaborations on nearly a half-dozen documentary films.
12 NOON | CONSEQUENCES FOR ALL WITH MICHAEL MOORE AND KIRSTEN JOHNSON
Oscar-winning Filmmaker Michael Moore and Documentary Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson
Join a personal and revealing conversation with two award-winning filmmakers who have truly seen it all. Oscar winner Michael Moore (“Where to Invade Next”) and Kirsten Johnson (“Cameraperson”) have worked together on “Fahrenheit 9/11,” witnessed countless tragedies, and found themselves in dangerous situations that put their lives at risk. But what happens when the cameras stop rolling? This class will shine light on a rarely-discussed side of the documentary process: the consequences over time both for the people filmed and the filmmakers.
3 PM | THE BASICS OF DSLR FILMMAKING
Eric Limarenko, Assistant Professor, and Aaron Jones, Video Unit Head & Instructor, Central Michigan University
The low-budget DSLR camera system has opened doors to a whole new generation of filmmakers, putting professional-looking cinematography within the reach of everyone who has a true passion for filmmaking. Get an introduction to the DSLR world of products, discover hints and techniques in pre-production, lens choice, and post-production procedures, and find out how to take your films to the next level—without breaking your budget.
12 NOON | THE DOS AND DO KNOTS OF FILMING IN CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS
Director Rich Brauer
In a Film School first, we’ll take you out of the classroom and on location for an exclusive
film class on the Inland Seas. Set Sail on a beautiful Grand Traverse Bay, and gain hands-on experience from filmmaker extraordinaire Rich Brauer as he shows you the ropes of filming in challenging environments. Learn how to think on your feet, techniques for getting the shot when Mother Nature is calling the shots, and how to prepare for the unpredictability of working outdoors and at sea. This session will be cancelled only in the vent of high winds or lightning; rain and cold will not deter us.
3 PM | THE FEATURE FILMMAKING OF A TEENAGE GIRL
Directors Bailey Webber and Mike Webber
If you have a passion for filmmaking, you’re never too young to step behind the camera. Take a page from Bailey Webber’s book in this course, as the high school-aged filmmaker behind the acclaimed documentary “The Student Body” (TCFF 2015) returns to TC to share her inspiring story of transformation from shy teenager to outspoken activist and award-winning filmmaker. Class topics will range from concept development to documentary storytelling, production funding, distribution, and activism through film. Bailey’s father Mike Webber, director of “The Elephant in the Living Room” (TCFF 2010), will co-present.