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.
Registration will begin in January, 2014
These workshops are designed for filmmakers of all skill levels — from novices to seasoned professionals.
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.
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.
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
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.)
WEEKEND 3: Cameras, Lights & Microphones
March 22-23, 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.
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.
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.
The workshops may be purchased individually or as a month-long pass.