Mentors

DC Shorts champions short filmmaking. Through the Mentors project, we encourage filmmakers to develop the skills to create outstanding short films. Taught by film professionals and peers, these interactive sessions are designed to build upon one another, creating skills needed to better compete in the festival circuit — or regional editions of the 48 Hour Film Project.  All workshops take place at Gibson Guitar’s Showroom, 709 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20001.

Mentors is sponsored by Final DraftFX FactoryGlidecam, Honest TeaMichael Wiese Productions, Pond5, Pro Cuts Editing Service, Write Brothers

These workshops are designed for filmmakers of all skill levels — from novices to seasoned professionals. The series is designed for attendance at all 7 classes: projects developed during the first weekend will be referenced throughout the month. Limited numbers of individual tickets are also available.

 WEEKEND 1: The Story 

March 8, 2014: Film begins and ends with the story. Yet for many filmmakers, crafting a succinct tale is often the most difficult part of the process. During this session, filmmakers will create a story based on the techniques from local storytellers. Then, participants will re-imagine the story as a poem, understanding how themes and mood affect every directorial choice. Finally, area improv comedy writers and performers will engage all participants to act out their stories, and learn how on-the-fly changes can strengthen the final concept.

Regie Cabico
Regie Cabico has appeared on 2 seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and NPR’s Snap Judgement. His latest solo play is Godiva Dates & A One Night Stand premiered at the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival. His plays have been produced at The Humana Theater Festival, Joe’s Pub (Public Theater), New York Live Arts, Contact Theater.

Stephanie Garibaldi
Stephanie Garibaldi has enjoyed teaching storytelling and leading corporate story trainings for the past 8 years as SpeakeasyDC’s Educational Director, plus she’s performed stories, improv, & stand-up for even longer. Known as the hardest working story coach in the DC Metro area (and possibly the world,) Stephanie has personally coached over a thousand people in the art of storytelling.

Sue Jin Song
Sue Jin Song received her MFA in Acting from NYU’s Tisch School of the ArtsShe spent 4 years working with the Van Lier Playwrights in New York City at New York Theatre Workshop. She won “Best of Fringe” with her one woman show “Children of Medea.”

Greg Tindale
Greg Tindale honed his writing, performing and directing skills at the Washington Improv Theater in Washington DC. Greg has written multiple feature length screenplays, television pilots and comedy shorts.

March 9, 2014: Building upon the previous day’s work, participants will work hear tips and techniques from local writers on how to translate their story into a fully-realized screenplay. With assistance from writers and producers, participants will write a 3-5 page script. At the conclusion, the scripts will be read aloud, and each work will be critiqued.

Joy Cheriel Brown
Joy Cheriel Brown has an MFA from National University for Creative Writing, with a concentration in Screenwriting, and a Bachelors of Arts from Howard, where she studied Film and English and graduated summa cum laude.

Joe Flood
Joe has been involved in DC’s indie filmmaking scene for more than a decade, doing everything from working on 48 Hour Film Project scripts to interviewing filmmakers for On Tap magazine.

John Hutson
John Hutson has been nominated for two Los Angeles Emmy’s for writing and producing AIDS Issues; What You can Do. He attended the Writers Workshop for Playwriting at University of Iowa.

Greg Tindale
Greg Tindale honed his writing, performing and directing skills at the Washington Improv Theater in Washington DC. Greg has written multiple feature length screenplays, television pilots and comedy shorts.

WEEKEND 2: Behind the Scenes

March 15, 2014: Producing is much more than tracking expenses. Learn from professional producers with local and national credits about what they really do to make find money, make their investors happy, negotiate spaces and equipment, work with the unions — and keep the director true to his/her vision. How do you find the right talent for your production? What are casting directors look for? We will examine casting from all angles — with tips for both filmmakers and actors. At the end of the session, participants will hold a cold-call casting session to select actors for the next day’s session

Susan Barocas
Susan Barocas is a writer, producer and director specializing in documentary film and films for non-profit organizations. Her work includes projects for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, Maryland Public Television and Sierra Club among others. She served as director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival, the Women in Film and Video International Film Festival and as a grants panelist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She chairs the Circle Award jury for Filmfest DC.

Eric Byler
Eric Byler was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his debut feature Charlotte Sometimes (2002), hailed by Roger Ebert as a breakthrough for Asian American filmmakers. His films have won 15 international film festival awards, and paved the way for a new generation of Asian American filmmakers.

Anthony Greene, Writer/Director/Producer
Since he began filmmaking, Mr. Greene has written and produced eight short films, most notably the 2010 DC Shorts accepted “L1feline”.

Lance Kramer, Executive Director, Co-founder, Meridian Hill Pictures
Lance is a documentary filmmaker, educator, and journalist. At Meridian Hill Pictures, Lance produces the studio’s documentary films and media education projects, spearheads development, social media, outreach and engagement strategy.

Christian Oh
Christian Oh has been a pillar of the Asian American community. From being former President and Co-Director of the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, and recently finishing a 4 year stint as Executive Director of Kollaboration DC, an Asian American Talent competition here in DC.

Dee Sanae
Dee Sanae has been a hands-on producer and creative director in the areas of new media and and webisodes. Apart from being a producer, Dee is in public interest law and consults with other creative entrepreneurs and artists on their start-ups, business development, marketing and public relations.

Kimberly Skyrme
Kimberly began her career at Central Casting, and in 1993 she started her own company, Capital Casting. She was know as “Kimberly from Casting” and decided to change the name of her Company to Kimberly Skyrme Casting. Kimberly recently completed casting for her largest endeavor yet, the Netflix original series House of Cards. Which premieres on February 14th, 2014.

Chris Tsou, Senior Producer, Ventana Productions
With over ten years of experience as a producer, writer, and consultant, Chris Tsou’s professional and television experience spans both the private and public sector.

March 16, 2014: A director’s vision must be clear. But how do you impart that vision onto a diverse cast and crew? This day-long experience will bring local directors together to talk about their techniques and war stories. Actors chosen the day before will return for an exercise to rehearse a scene from a prepared screenplay (preferably the one created the weekend before.)

Anthony Greene, Writer/Director/Producer
Since he began filmmaking, Mr. Greene has written and produced eight short films, most notably the 2010 DC Shorts accepted “L1feline”.

Ron Newcomb
Ron has been a producer on eight short films along with two full-length feature films. He has been the director of two full-length feature films along with two short films.

Rohit Colin Rao
“After winning ‘Best of Fest’ at DCIFF, his micro-budget feature “Ultrasonic” went on to receive theatrical distribution and is now on Netflix, iTunes Amazon, etc. His first solo album “Code” is set to be released on March 15, 2014.”

Koichi Take
Koichi Take is a videographer and founder of 1:57 Pictures, a start-up video production company creating music videos for artists in the D.C. He has extensive experience creating hip-hop and rock/alternative music videos.

Timothy Malcom Wilson
Black Magic Tim (Born Timothy Malcom Wilson) is a filmmaker working mostly with music videos, EPK’s, commercials and independent feature films. He has directed, filmed and edited productions for clients such as Blackground Records, Tommy Boy Entertainment and TVT Records.

WEEKEND 3: Cameras, Lights & Microphones

March 22, 2014: Visuals and sound are key to a quality film. First, meet area DPs and camera operators and learn special techniques to ensure that your shot is well framed, in focus — and at an exposure which will make for easier color correction. Learn to shoot under low-light, direct sun and other difficult conditions, and how to use a small light kit to improve any shot. Then learn why sound is more important to audiences than picture —  no matter how beautiful.  Learn from sound professionals the tips and tricks to obtain the a solid sound recording, why ADR is a myth, and ways to salvage what went wrong. This session is only available to purchasers of the the full Mentors Pass.

Jack Foley
Award-winning director/producer with extensive camera operation experience across multiple platforms including T.V., web, still photography, film, theatrical release, home video/DVD, and broadband. Strong project and production management background overseeing all aspects from development through delivery including contract negotiations, deadlines, budgets (up to $1M), scheduling, staffing/casting, scripting, staging, camera operations, and editing. Proven ability in managing and prioritizing multiple concurrent projects with competing deadlines in a high pressure environment.

William Gray
William Gray grew up traveling from military base to military base in the EU and Asia and now lives in the Baltimore, Maryland / Washington, DC area. Gray has worked full time in the Motion Picture Industry for nearly 3 decades. He has had the pleasure of schlepping and pulling focus for Arris, Aatons and Panavisions for some of the most gifted cameramen in the business, having served as a focus puller (1st AC) for 23 years before I changed my IA 600 card to stills in 2008.

Brian Wilbur Grundstrom
Brian Wilbur Grundstrom’s compositions for film, orchestra, musical theater, opera, chorus, piano, and chamber ensembles demonstrate an innovative use of harmony and melody, which although firmly rooted in the tonal tradition is entirely new. His awards include Outstanding Emerging Artist in the 2013 DC Mayor’s Arts Awards, two Peer Awards from TIVA-DC, Encore from American Composers Forum, Composers Assistance Program from the American Music Center, ASCAPLUS from ASCAP as well as four artist fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Bart Johnson
Bart Johnson is an independent DP, Producer, and Director in Northern Virginia. He has worked on numerous independent short and feature length films, TV shows for Investigation Discovery, TLC, and E!, and has produced corporate pieces through his production company, Bart Johnson Productions, LLC. He has shot on everything from 16mm film to DSLR’s, and is always looking for new ways to get that great shot.

Zhibo Lai
Zhibo Lai is a filmmaker/Visual Effects Artist who has worked on numerous shorts, features, narratives, and docs. Having worn many hats in the process, he is experienced in all aspects of filmmaking. Founder of Dimension FX production company, he specializes in creating cinematic visual effects and is often on set shooting and operating with his Red Epic camera.

Michael Panfeld 
Michael Panfeld caught the filmmaking bug seven years ago and has since produced 18 short films, crewing in all positions. He has zeroed on sound mixing as his craft. Mike owns the only rental house in the District and one of the largest in the region: KvM Rentals, a proud sponsor of DC Shorts. He also teaches a series of filmmaking workshops focusing on the technical and scientific aspects of filmmaking.

Aaron Shirley
Aaron Shirley: works in the MDV area as a filmmaker for indie films, government industrials, and experimental art projects. Aaron received his B.F.A. from SCAD and has been in the business for 18 years. He’s worked as an Editor of commercials and training videos, as Faculty at Arlington Independent Media and Fairfax Community TV, and as a producer at USPS and NASA- Goddard and HQ. He has written, produced, directed, shot, and edited dozens of award winning shorts and features including a Gold Peer for Cinematography.

Gus Soudah
Gus Soudah, founder of Light & CameraWerks, has worked for 15 years on award-winning music productions, documentaries, corporate videos, films and reality television.

Aaron Webster
Aaron Webster is a sound recordist with credits including working with Discovery Channel, History Channel, and has done work for Obama for America and Pepco.

WEEKEND 4: I Made My Movie, Now What?

March 29, 2014: The effective marketing of your film is an essential part of the creative process, yet one often overlooked. Filmmakers of every skill level will gain a thorough understanding of how to create effective and targeted promotional print, guerrilla and social media campaigns — for little cost.

Robert Anderson
Robert Anderson is a marketing and business development executive. He has spent his 20 year career primarily working with media companies. His first 10 years were spent working as a television producer within television station and cable network promotion and marketing departments.

Jon Gann
Jon Gann is the Executive Director of CINE, a 56-year old organization that honors the best in film, TV and digital media with the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. He is also the founder of DC Shorts, a non-profit organization championing short filmmaking, and the creator of the DC Shorts Film Festival.

Kendra Rubinfeld
Kendra Rubinfeld founded and directs the Our City Film Festival and is Co-Principal of the boutique PR/Marketing firm, Kendra Rubinfeld PR. She has worked with filmmakers, film festivals and film producers alike to help bring their projects to the next level.

Jackie Steven
A native of Washington, D.C., Jackie has been involved in the area’s film and video community for over 25 years. She has been on staff at Arlington Independent Media (AIM) since 1986 and currently serves as the organization’s Director of Community Programs, and as Director of the Rosebud Film and Video Festival.

March 30, 2014: Most independent films find an audience through the film festival circuit. Learn why a planned festival strategy will save money in the long-run, and how to find, research and apply to festivals worldwide. The session concludes with a Q&A panel with local festival directors — ask any question and learn what really happens in the programming room.

Kimberley Bush
Kimberley Bush is the Executive Director of Reel Affirmations Film Festival: Washington DC’s International LGBT Film Festival. During the film festival’s 21 year life, it has been the 3rd largest LGBT film festival in the country. Kimberley’s intense involvement with RA spanned 10 of those 21 years fulfilling roles of Film Festival Director, Director of Programming, Director of Marketing, Director of Development, Director of Outreach, Member of the Board of Directors, curator of its monthly film series Reel Affirmations XTRA and chairperson of its grant program which raised funds to help filmmakers complete their projects.

Jon Gann
Jon Gann is the Executive Director of CINE, a 56-year old organization that honors the best in film, TV and digital media with the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle Award. He is also the founder of DC Shorts, a non-profit organization championing short filmmaking, and the creator of the DC Shorts Film Festival.

Kendra Rubinfeld
Kendra Rubinfeld founded and directs the Our City Film Festival and is Co-Principal of the boutique PR/Marketing firm, Kendra Rubinfeld PR. She has worked with filmmakers, film festivals and film producers alike to help bring their projects to the next level.

Jackie Steven
A native of Washington, D.C., Jackie has been involved in the area’s film and video community for over 25 years. She has been on staff at Arlington Independent Media (AIM) since 1986 and currently serves as the organization’s Director of Community Programs, and as Director of the Rosebud Film and Video Festival.

The workshops may be purchased individually or as a series pass.

Full Mentors Pass – $200 – SOLD OUT
Entry to all 7 workshops. May be shared among a group of filmmakers (limit one person per workshop.) This pass allows exclusive access to the “Camera, Lights & Sound” workshop on March 22. In addition, Michael Weise Books has donated copies of Crowdfunding for Filmmakers by John T. Trigonis, The Screen Writer Within by D.B. Gilles, Film and Video Budgets by Deke Simon, Writers Rehab also by D.B. Gilles, and Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds by Michael Hauge for Mentor Pass Holders. Purchase by clicking March 8 link below.

Limited Mentors Pass – $180
Entry to 6 workshops. May be shared among a group of filmmakers (limit one person per workshop.) This pass allows dos not include entry to the “Camera, Lights & Sound” workshop on March 22.

Single Workshops – $40

Access to a single session. NOTE: Saturday, March 22 — Cameras, Lights & Sound is ONLY available to those who purchase the Mentors Pass.