Workshop – CASTING: SELECTING THE RIGHT TALENT – Sat., May 16 at the School of Film


Join us for this single-session workshop taught by Portland-based director Scott Ballard (DEATH ON A ROCK, STILL STANDING).


Serve as a director in a casting session with professional actors, and experience the art and the process of selecting talent.


  • Knowing your story and what you are looking for
  • Clarifying your characters’ histories, motives, strengths/weaknesses
  • Charting out where a character is at any moment in time
  • Where to hold a casting session and what is needed
  • Selecting the scenes to be read
  • The professional casting environment and its protocols
  • What exactly happens in a casting session
  • How to communicate with talent during the session
  • Recording the readings
  • Get actor, instructor, and peer feedback on your directing
  • The call-back process
  • Frameworks for making the final decision

Prerequisites: none

Related Courses: FILM DIRECTING STUDIO (also taught by Scott Ballard)

Tuition includes admission to DEATH ON A ROCK, which screens in the Whitsell Auditorium on Sunday, May 17 at 4pm.


Get Ready for the New Year by Downloading our January/March 2015 schedule


The print edition of our January/March 2015 schedule is hitting the streets right now and is on its way to mailboxes all around town.  We’re really excited about our upcoming lineup, which includes:

classes & workshops at our School of Film
Italian Style, featuring films by Fellini, Antonioni, Lean, and others!
–a Ruben Östlund (FORCE MAJEURE) retrospective entitled “In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund
–the local and regional selections that populate our Northwest Tracking series
–four Alec Guiness powered films from his classic Ealing Studios days
–a mini-selection of Altman-oriented goodies
–films by Andrei Tarkovsky, Lav Diaz, and much more

If you’d like a handy & portable digital version of the schedule to comb over, you’ve come to the right place.  Just click on the image below to view, download or embed our January/March 2015 schedule:


School of Film workshop: MAKE YOUR OWN DSLR LENS

Make Your Own Lens2

Taught by the Northwest Film Center’s Equipment and Facilities Manager, Dave Hanagan.

Create a handmade lens that delivers an antique portrait look and dreamy, otherworldly effects.

Topics: Learn to create a lens that offers a distinctly different look than the sharp focus properties of commercial lenses; using easily available and affordable materials (provided with class tuition), build your own handmade lens step by step; learn about the principles of lenses, the differences in lens designs (including concepts of “flange focal length” and “spherical aberration”), and how this lens design is different; experiment with the looks you can achieve in class, then take home your lens creation and liven up your filming.

Allocated gear: Bring your DSLR if you have one (not required). Tuition includes all supplies.
Prerequisites: None
When: Saturday, June 14; 10am-2pm
Where: NW Film Center School of Film – 934 SW Salmon St., Portland, OR (corner of 10 & Salmon)

Sign up by calling (503) 221-1156 or on our website.

Check out Dave Hanagan’s film LANDING SHIP X-1 below for an idea of just some of the looks you can achieve by taking this workshop:

The World of Wes Anderson, Animation, Outdoor Movies and More: Download Our June/July/August 2014 Schedule

The print edition of our June/July/August 2014 is hitting the streets right now and is on its way to mailboxes all around town.  We’re really excited about our upcoming lineup, which includes our annual summer camp program for kids and teens, classes, & workshops at our School of Film, the 22nd annual Portland Jewish Film Festival, a 10th anniversary edition of our popular Top Down: Rooftop Cinema series, the local and regional selections that populate our Northwest Tracking series, an animated classics series dubbed KALEIDOSCOPIC VISIONS, a retrospective dealing with the films of Wes Anderson and his many influences, a second year of Drive-in at Zidell Yards, an overview of New Czech Cinema, and much more.    If you’d like a handy & portable digital version of the schedule to comb over, here you go.

Just click on the image below to download a .pdf version of our June/July/August schedule:


NWFC June July Aug 2014 schedule cover

FOLLOW US THROUGH FALL & WINTER: Download the Digital Edition of Our Nov./Dec. Schedule

The print edition of our brand new schedule has already hit the streets and mailboxes all around town.  We’ve got a ton of options lined up for November & December, including classes & workshops at our School of Film, our annual Japanese Currents series, the presentation of final projects by our School of Film’s certificate graduates, gads of special screenings, and, above all, the return of the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival for its 40th year!  If you’d like a handy & portable digital version of the schedule to comb over, here you go.

Just click on the image below to download a .pdf version of our November/December schedule:

Nov-Dec 2013 schedule_Page_01

Challenge Yourself this Fall


Challenge yourself to set artistic, and/or professional development goals in filmmaking beyond simply a class or two. Our optional, non-degree Certificate Program in Film provides a structure within which you can advance from the beginning to advanced level, while creating works that showcase your achievements as an emerging filmmaker.

Certificate students receive on-going advising and mentorship from faculty and staff. A Certificate may be completed in as little as two years when pursued at a rigorous pace. However, you can also move along at your own pace and take up to six years to complete all requirements.

Click here to read more.

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT – Register before August 23, 2013 at 5 PM to save $100. Class prices will go up after that time. Click here to register now.

challenge yourself

Early Bird Discount for Fall Classes


The fall term is on its way and we have filmmaking classes for all skill levels and interests. This week only, take advantage of our EARLY BIRD SPECIAL. Prices for all classes, 9 weeks in length or longer, have been reduced by $100.

Classes include:

Register now before Friday at 5 PM, when this deal will end.

School of Film: FILM FEED

Through our social networks, we asked some alumni to reflect on their ART OF FILMMAKING experience and the professional paths they have chosen to pursue.

Click here for more information about our ART OF FILMMAKING core sequence, coming this fall.


Click image to enlarge

How have ART OF FILMMAKING and the School of Film influenced you?

Post your thoughts:


Meet the instructor: Amy O’Brien – DIGITAL EDITING I


Taught by Amy O’Brien

AMY O’BRIEN is a documentary and narrative filmmaker/editor who, through her production company, Purple Macaroni Productions, creates short films that document personal stories and explore the lighter side of life. These have included FOUR, which screened in the Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, and NO SOLICITING, which screened at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival. She also creates promotional films for nonprofits such as Literary Arts and the Tucker-Maxon School for the Deaf and recently edited “Blue Fiddles,” a web series. An active member of Women in Film PDX, she studied media at the New School for Social Research.

CLICK HERE for more information about this class and to register.

Meet the instructor: Jacquelyn Blain – SCREENWRITING FUNDAMENTALS


Taught by Jacquelyn Blain

JACQUELYN BLAIN is a Writers Guild of America screenwriter with more than 75 hours of produced television and credits as a staff writer/producer on such series as “Diagnosis Murder,” “VR.5,” and “Martial Law,” working with actors like Dick Van Dyke, David McCallum, Arsenio Hall, Sammo Hung, and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). She has taught at the UCLA Writers Program, the Art Institute of Portland, and Chemeketa Community College, helping numerous students to produce award-winning films. She runs workshops and the Pitch Practice Room at the annual Willamette Writers Conference and served as script consultant and associate producer for the locally-shot independent feature NOT DEAD YET, which won first place in the Baltimore Women’s Film Festival.

CLICK HERE for more information about this class and to register.