Classes


Chicago Filmmakers offers college-level classes in film and video production. For newcomers, we recommend starting with Digital Moviemaking for a broad overview of the production process, then taking classes in various disciplines that interest you. Persons with experience in filmmaking may further their training with specialized courses and workshops. In either case, you will find a quality education similar to those found at accredited schools and universities, but for a fraction of the time and cost. Plus, you can become part of a filmmaking community that can support and sustain you for many projects to come. 

 

Please read our Class Registration Policies for more information.  

 

Upcoming Classes

 

It's time to roll up your sleeves: this class will provide the foundation and support needed to complete a feature film script. Students will present writing to the class for feedback and critique, and are expected to work on their script regularly outside of class. Discussions about developing character, plot and structure will help students effectively utilize story models for their own scripts. Students should already have a basic knowledge of the screenwriting format, the elements of structure, plot, action, and character, and have a screenplay underway in order to take the class.
Instructor: Paul Peditto
8 weeks: January 8 – February 26 // Thursdays, 6.30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members
Limit: 5 students
Instructor: Paul Peditto
 
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with Harrison Sherrod

The double/doppelgänger is one of cinema’s most cherished and recycled tropes. Originally popularized in the fantastic literature of Edgar Allen Poe and E.T.A. Hoffman, the double quickly migrated to the silver screen. Although the double initially appeared as a sight gag in the slapstick films of Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers, its gothic dimension has cemented it as an enduring mainstay of the horror and thriller genres. Drawing on traditional psychoanalytic readings of the double combined with recent debates surrounding the ontology of film, this course will attempt to account for the popularity of the double in cinema. Films shown include The Student of Prague, The Double Life of Véronique, Enemy, Fight Club, Vertigo, and others. Taught by Harrison Sherrod of Aurora University and South Side Projections.

6 weeks: January 11 – February 15 // Sundays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Chicago Filmmakers
Tuition: $125/110 members

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Truth is often stranger than fiction, and there seems to be no better time than the present to become a documentary filmmaker. Discover the techniques and styles best suited for your documentary idea and then shape that idea into a work that can be funded and completed. This course will give you an overview of documentary forms and teach you how to research your project, write a treatment and synopsis, target interested funders, write a proposal, make a budget and prepare a shooting schedule. Students are encouraged to come to class with a specific documentary idea they wish to develop.
6 weeks: January 13 – February 17 // Tuesdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $325/310 members
Limit: 14 students
Instructor: Julie Englander
 
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This is our basic production course designed to cover key concepts and practices for making a film or video project. Topics include a thorough introduction to the professional HD camera, important aspects of lighting, sound, shot composition, camera movement, visual storytelling devices, working as a filmmaking crew, and editing. In-class demonstrations and exercises will allow students to work collaboratively on group projects as a digital cinema team. Prerequisite: Basic Macintosh computer literacy.
10 weeks: January 14 - March 25 (no class February 18) // Wednesdays, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Tuition: $595/580 members
Limit: 12 students
Instructor: Tommy Heffron
 
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Apple's digital nonlinear editing software has long been used by professional editors around the world. This course will provide students instruction on the complete process of digital editing on Final Cut Pro X, from logging footage to mastering onto DVD. Topics covered include basic editing, transitions, titling, sound, filter usage, and aesthetics. Students may sign up for 10 hours outside of class to practice during regular business hours. No previous editing experience is required. Prerequisite: Basic Macintosh computer literacy.

5 weeks: January 15 - February 12 // Thursdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members
Limit: 6 students
Instructor: Jillian Hansen-Lewis
 

 

In an era of digital, real FILMmaking is still incredibly valuable, both for aesthetic reasons and professional flexibility. This workshop will cover many elements of DIY 16mm filmmaking that will allow you to engage with moving images as a physical medium. We'll teach you to shoot on Bolex cameras, film stock choices, getting correct exposure, laboratory processing, hand-processing options, found footage. Class price includes ALL film materials and you will leave the class with at least 400ft of material you shot and edited. 
4 weeks: January 17 - February 7 // Saturdays, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuition: $495/480 members
Limit: 8 students
Instructor: Ian Curry 
 
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Students (ages 12-18) work with a professional filmmaker in a comprehensive hands-on experience to learn how to navigate the entire moviemaking process. This course will cover all aspects of digital video production, from initial concept to finished movie. Students will learn about pre-production planning, storyboarding, cameras, lighting, sound, shot composition, and computer editing, and will work collaboratively on group projects. Each student has the opportunity to focus on their own personal interests while building a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to make a movie. 
6 weeks: January 18 - March 1 (no class February 8) // Sundays, 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Tuition: $325/310 members 
Instructor: Joe Lewis
 
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Special effects and motion graphics! Special effects have become a core part of film, television, Web, and interactive forms of entertainment. Green screen keying, manipulating video images, animating photos, moving title sequences, and 3D Z-axis animation are some of the standard techniques of today's filmmaking. This class will utilize Apple Motion and advanced Final Cut Pro X tools to introduce fundamental concepts in special effects and motion graphics. Exercises cover the above plus FCPX special effects, advanced compositing, motion design, animating typography, and an introduction to Motion's 3D Z-axis animation. This class does not cover 3D modeling and animation.
5 weeks: January 19 - February 16 // Mondays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members
 
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The secret's out: producers are the ones who make it all happen. Pre-production and proper planning are essential to successful filmmaking. Lectures and seminars will use real production case studies to cover budgeting, scheduling, casting, releases, permits, soliciting investors, script breakdowns, hiring crew, coordinating post-production, festivals and distribution. These topics are the most critical issues every filmmaker should address before beginning a production. 
5 weeks: January 19 - February 16 // Mondays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $245/230 members
Limit: 14 students
Instructor: Ed Koziarski
 
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with Ben Sachs

Surrealism was one of the major artistic movements of the 20th century, combining elements of popular culture, radical politics, and psychoanalysis to fashion an empire of imagination where anything was possible. Though the movement began in 1920s Paris, its influence soon spread around the world, and remains strong today. Surrealists worked in painting, literature, and of course movies. This course will look at the beginnings of surrealist cinema (with shorts by such figures as René Clair, Germaine Dulac, Hans Richter, and Joseph Cornell), the mid-century surrealist features of directors Luis Buñuel and Alain Resnais, and modern-day heirs to the movement like David Lynch and Michel Gondry. Taught by Ben Sachs of the Chicago Reader.

6 weeks: January 23 – February 27 // Fridays, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Chicago Filmmakers
Tuition: $125/110 members
 

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Upcoming Shows

Sat, 01/10/2015 - 7:00pm
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Sun, 01/11/2015 - 6:00pm
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Fri, 01/16/2015 - 8:00pm
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Sat, 01/17/2015 - 4:00pm
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Sat, 01/17/2015 - 8:00pm
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Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:30pm
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Fri, 01/23/2015 - 6:00pm
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Sat, 02/07/2015 - 8:00pm
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Wed, 02/11/2015 - 6:30pm
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Sat, 02/14/2015 - 8:00pm
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