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?
One of the visiting TCFF documentary filmmakers will host a film school session taking you on their film festival journey from the film’s conception and filming to post-production and, finally, to arriving right here in Traverse City!
12 noon—Green Screen Workshop
Mark Colson and Alison Dobbins, Michigan State University
With advanced compositing capabilities at your fingertips, the depths of the ocean or 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 so you can discover the best way to create something out of nothing.
3 pm—Larry Charles Master Class
Emmy Award-winning writer and director Larry Charles
TCFF Board Member Larry Charles will share his new short film, “I Can’t Go On,” a years-in-the-making personal 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.”
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 Oscar-winning “12 Years a Slave,” black filmmaking and black representation in American cinema has 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 lots of film clips from classic cinema, little known gems, and contemporary works.
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. At their best, they dance together, intimately. It’s no different than a stage actor “finding their light,” or opening to the audience, but it’s a more subtle dance with the camera. This workshop will investigate the actor/camera relationship and how it’s affected by the editing process.
12 noon—Exploring Music in Film
Grammy-nominated composer David Joseph Wesley
Join one of the composers from 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!
An intimate session for you to ask your questions of our visiting filmmakers.
12 noon—Crowdfunding & Community-Based Filmmaking
U of M Screen Arts & Cultures Lecturer V. Prasad, Filmmaker Sultan Sharrief, and Producer Barbara Twist
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.
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 which you know will make an amazing movie, you’ve even secured the rights, but now what?How do you transform a story told in a novel, comic book, article, essay, or play and make it cinematically driven for the screen? This session will explore example adapted screenplays and talk about real strategies for adaptation. Participants are encouraged to bring their adaptation ideas and questions for the whole group to consider.
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.