Composer Mark Orton teaching workshop


Composer MARK ORTON will be teaching an upcoming workshop, INSIDE THE WORLD OF FILM COMPOSING, this Saturday at the School of Film.

Founding member of the genre-bending acoustic chamber ensemble Tin Hat, MARK ORTON has written original scores or contributed music to numerous films including THE GOOD GIRL, THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN, EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED, BUCK, Fernando Meirelles’s 360, NBC’s “E.R.,” and the upcoming Ken Burns series “The Roosevelts.” An alumnus of the Peabody Conservatory and the Hartt School of Music, and the recipient of a Sundance Institute Composer Fellowship, he was nominated as Best New Composer by the International Film Music Critics. As an arranger he has worked with artists including Tom Waits, Willie Nelson, Mike Patton, and Norah Jones. In addition to film, he composes for dance, circus, radio drama, and the concert hall, drawing inspiration from his collection of antique and unusual musical instruments.

Click here to hear some of the pieces he’s composed for film.

This weekend’s workshop will go into the types of film scores (original, licensed, public domain, live captured, sound design); the film music department staff (who does what); film music budgeting; what happens before a composer is hired (the temp score, the cue sheet, demos, typical contracts, and budgets); how to work with a composer (the spotting session, what a composer needs technically, the adjusted cue sheet, giving notes, film music vocabulary, the illusive locked picture); licensing music (different types of licenses, understanding publishing, obtaining a license, different types of rights scenarios, how to avoid “the man,” re-purposing non-film music, filing a finalized cue sheet).

To register now visit 

What does Will Vinton have in common with Mr. Miyagi?

Wax on, wax off, and sign-up for stop-motion animation.

Where would Daniel La Russo, Marty McFly, and the Ninja Turtles be with out their mentors?

Mr. Miyagi, Doc Emmett Brown, and Master Splinter all provide the key skills and knowledge that a young grasshopper would need to know to succeed in their chosen area of interest.

The NW Film Center is proud to have the master and creator of Claymation, Will Vinton, molding the animators of tomorrow.

Vinton’s debuting award winning claymation creation was “Closed Mondays” a story depicting a drunk who wanders into a museum and witnesses art and sculptures “coming to life.” The surreal storyline and twisting imagination was so innovative that it served as a launch to the unique company of clay animators working under Will Vinton known as Will Vinton Studios. Since then Vinton has created and produced many more popular shorts such as The Adventures of Mark Twain, The Great Cognito, Rip Van Winkle, and many more.

For the past three years Vinton has been passing on his craft to young animators at the NW Film Center School of Film with his Stop-Motion Animation/Claymation class. Students will learn make their own claymation creation come to life in a stop-motion animation short. Former student, Dorn Roberts created Jack Rabbit Jitters a little rabbit learning the values of traffic safety. Another pupil of Vinton’s, Nicholas Mahon, brought the Godfather to Career Day in his stop-motion short.

The School of Film is eager to see what journey Vinton’s students will take us on next with their claymation creations.

Sign up here, young grasshopper.

Follow the School of Film on Facebook.

Sound Advice with Kelley Baker

On Wednesday, May 9, we have the pleasure of hosting Portland filmmaker Kelley Baker for some (yeah, you guessed it) sound advice! It will be an evening of film clips, conversation, and a book signing celebrating his new book THE ANGRY FILMMAKER SURVIVAL GUIDE PART TWO: SOUND CONVERSATIONS WITH (un)SOUND PEOPLE.

To show off just how far sound takes you in a film, Kelley (at Room 529 in the Hotel Modera) put together a scene–one scene with several different scenarios, divulging just how critical sound is to our understanding of story.

Check out “Faux Play” and join us on Wednesday for more audio wisdom. Click here for more event details and here if you’re interested in workshops Kelley is teaching at the School of Film this month and next (there’s still time to sign up).

New Class: Video Production for the Technology Shy

For all those hankering to sink their teeth into video production and filmmaking but are apprehensive about all the technology and gear involved, this is the class for you!



If you love the idea of learning about filmmaking but cringe at the prospect of having to deal with confusing technology, this is the class for you. Intended specifically for those with little or no previous camera or computer experience and/or those who are simply uncomfortable with technology in general, the class encourages students to focus on what they’ve already gleaned (without even realizing it) from watching media and observing the world: powerful visual storytelling skills! Hands-on instruction in planning, shooting, and editing will move at a pace that allows for plenty of explanation and interaction, with lots of time for questions. Everything you need is provided: scripts to practice with, camera and editing equipment for use in class, and kindred classmates who will crew with and support you. You’ll develop a foundation in media technology and gain a solid understanding of the production process from beginning to end. Outside time is not required, as projects can be completed during class meeting time. Fear not: if you can frame a shot with your hands, you can make a film!


For more information and to register click here.


40-Second Gift for 40 Years of Film

The Newsroom has been abuzz with news of our 40th Anniversary events including teasers of what’s to come at our 40s-themed glamorous Gala on May 12. You may also remember the Make it Short contest, where lovely NW Makers came together to show off their 40-second shorts, well we received a 40th anniversary gift in that style from experimental animator Devon Demonte:

“Rubbings of the historic Moviola editing machine from NW Film Center’s School of Film are animated by cameraless methods using only photocopies and adhesive tape onto 16mm film leader. Inspired by NWFC’s 40 second movies project, this is exactly 40 seconds long, 960 frames of picture. The variations in grid square size are the result of the Moviola’s metal footpedal being worn down in the editing of countless movies. This evidence of millions of miles of film footage, lovingly cut by scores of editors is recast upon wings of light via crotchety projection contraptions in wishing NWFC all the best for the next 40 years.”

KBOO Interview with Makers Near and Far

The yesterday morning’s The Film Show on KBOO Community Radio was packed full of Film Center related interviews.

First on the show was Linda Goldstein Knowlton, director of the documentary SOMEWHERE BETWEEN, which has been screening at PIFF for a touched and affected audience and has it’s final screening for high school students as part of our Global Classroom program.


SOMEWHERE BETWEEN focuses on teenage girls from around the US that have all been adopted from China, and the identity issues they encounter.

The show then turns to Janet McIntyre and Kelley Baker (School of Film Instructor), director and executive producer respectively of FADED: GIRLS + BINGE DRINKING another documentary about young women, this time focusing on binge drinking and the issues surrounding it. The film is screening at the Film Center on March 15, 7 PM as part of our NW Tracking program featuring local filmmakers.

Listen to The Film Show here:

Kelley Baker: Screenwriting and Pony Rides

Marketing Intern, Abigail Press sat down with Angry Filmmaker, Kelley Baker to give you a glimpse into what Baker’s screenwriting class at the School of Film will be like this winter!

Beginning Screenwriting: Master the Basics in the Short Film Format  is beginning January 23rd, for more information and registration visit the School of Film website.