Independent Filmmaking Symposium: Case Studies with the Department of Motion Pictures

Learn directly what it means to produce films through a series of workshops that demystify the filmmaking process. Given the producer’s role in every aspect of a film from start to finish—and serving as a film’s nexus point for financiers, agents, cast and crew—we speak to the entire scope of the filmmaking process. Using a case study approach with the Department of Motion Pictures’ past and current projects, we will demonstrate the many steps and details involved in filmmaking to equip students with wide-ranging creative aspirations with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate this industry. 


The Essay Film: Navigating An Alternative Storytelling Mode

This three-part session will dive into the construction and creativity of the essay film in both documentary and fiction, including exploring examples from Man With The Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929), Mur Murs (Varda, 1981) and Sans Soleil (Marker, 1983) to more recent films such as Adam McKay’s The Big Short (2015) and Spike Lee’s Da Five Bloods (2020). Participants will have the opportunity to develop their own essay film to be shared in the final session. 


Surviving and Thriving in the TV Industry

This three-part session will dive into the TV development process from three different perspectives, all experienced by the same individual: 

Session #1 (1/19): Lessons learned from the executive side -- this session will explore how development happens whether at a network, a studio, or a production company, how those three entities are different and how they are the same, who the players are in each, and the yearly development cycle. 

Session #2 (1/26): Transitioning to a writer/producer — this session will explore lessons learned on the business side that can inform a creator's long term strategy. 

Session #3 (2/2): Equity and Inclusion -- this session will examine how to develop your own unique voice as a content creator and use it to tell inclusive stories, thereby giving others a platform to raise and develop their own voices with the goal of creating more equitable content.