Mentors

Through DC Shorts Mentors, we encourage independent filmmakers to develop the skills to create outstanding media projects. Taught by film professionals and peers, these interactive sessions are designed to build upon one another, developing the skills needed to better compete in the crowded field of filmmakers.

All workshops take place at The DC Center located at 2001 14th Street NW suite 105.  Please bring govt issued ID. Conveniently located 1 block from the U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Metro. Street and parking garages are available.

These workshops are designed for filmmakers of all skill levels — from novices to seasoned professionals.

Day 1 -Saturday March 5th: Screenwriting: Shaping The Story

You’ve got a great idea for a movie.  It’ll sell for millions.  All you have to do is write it.

Learn how to shape your idea into an effective story that will impact audiences.  Topics include creating strong characters, structure, conflict, compression, exposition, misdirection, restrictive point of view, writing short films, and advanced techniques for writing description and dialogue that will leap off the page—and launch your career.

Bio:

  • George Andre Tittle is a working director and screenwriter with over ten years’ experience.  A former assistant to Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson, and a finalist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, he is an artist who is passionate about telling stories—stories with true emotional impact.  He also directs plays and is represented by his manager Jethro Rothe-Kushel at Scenario, and his agent Rick Clark at Media Artists Group.

Day 2 – Sunday March 13th:  Directing: Bringing Your Scenes To Life!

You’re behind schedule.  The sun’s going down.  You have to wrap this location today.  And your lead actor just broke up with his significant other and is in no condition to work.  What do you do?

Learn advanced techniques that will help you make your day—while bringing your scenes vividly to life.  Topics include script analysis, directing actors, lenses, blocking, and visualization.

Bio:

  • George Andre Tittle is a working director and screenwriter with over ten years’ experience.  A former assistant to Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson, and a finalist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, he is an artist who is passionate about telling stories—stories with true emotional impact.  He also directs plays and is represented by his manager Jethro Rothe-Kushel at Scenario, and his agent Rick Clark at Media Artists Group.

Day 3 – Sunday March 20th: Editing Theory

Learn from the masters of editing by watching and discussing the theory behind combining shots to compose a scene and create a feeling. This workshop focuses on the creative aspects of editing, how a producer and editor collaborate, and how a film evolves from paper to the screen. Be prepared to think, to critique, and to discuss a variety of scenes with a range of material. The space between the frame effects far more than you think.

No computer is required. The presentation will be guided via slides and video clips. Q&A are integral to the process, so come prepared to watch and speak.

Bio:

  • Becky Varni joined Cortina Productions in 2012 after 8 years in video production. She works as a Coordinating Producer to bring ideas from scrap paper to screen and oversees large scale installation based projects. Becky started editing on Final Cut Pro in 2002 and has since cut on most NLE platforms. In the years following, she has cut everything from single screen SD projects for broadcast to multiscreen projections, 4K interactive experiences, and 3D immersive environments. Regardless of the technology, the feeling drives everything.

Day 4 – Saturday March 26th: Intro to Audio Production & Lighting on a budget:

Good sound and picture are two key components to any film. Good production sound is often overlooked by rookie filmmakers. The first half of the day will focus on what it takes to capture good production sound from both the mixer’s POV as well as the producer/director. The second half will be a hands-on course on the how’s and why’s of lighting for cinema. Learn by example on how to light a  scene with 1 light, 2 lights, and 3 lights without breaking the bank.

Bio:

  • Michael Panfeld has been a production sound mixer for eight years. His clients include: CNN, The History Channel, The Bravo Network, Weber Shandwick, McGee Digital, Cavus Media, Pigs Fly Media, Kaiser Films, Logan Circle Films, among others.  Mike also owns a rental house, KvM Rentals, a proud sponsor of DC Shorts.  He enjoys teaching filmmaking workshops focusing on the technical and scientific aspects of filmmaking.  More information can be found at www.kvmrentals.com and at www.belowthelinefilmschool.com.
  • Zhibo Lai, cinematographer/editor has been making films in the area for over 10 years. He specializes in narrative film production, including shorts, music videos and commercials. He is often spotted holstering a Red Epic Dragon with an array stabilizers and drones buzzing near by. As a fan of visual effects, he founded DimensionFX.com, a boutique post-production house to boost production values of local films through creative post solutions.
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