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Film School: 10 Mistakes of the Student Film (and Sometimes Mine)

In this workshop session, one of indie film's most unique and ingenious voices will break down ten often-overlooked elements that separate a "professional" film from a student film. He'll include examples from failed indies, Hollywood blockbusters, and even mistakes of his own. A straight forward, honest dissection of our failures as filmmakers
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Film School: Animation: Past, Present, and Future

Animated filmmaking is over 100 years old and has evolved with changing audience taste and visual technology. This seminar will review key films that changed animation and provide historical context to this evolution considering viewership, social change and technological advancement. From tools such as Zoetropes to the lastest Virtual Reality storytelling, we will examine trends and project possible future directions.
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Film School: Creating an Award-Winning College 3D Platforming Game Panel Discussion

RAD, a student-developed game at Ferris State was a top 7 finalist in the E3 College Game competition this past June in Los Angeles. RAD is a fast-paced 3D platformer collect-a-thon inspired by earlier iterations from the late 90s/early 2000s. This panel discussion and demo will present how the game was developed from idea to completion as well as the challenges encountered along the way. If you'veever wondered how you can create your own videogames, hear it from the student developers.
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Film School: Fake News

"With great power comes great responsibility." Spider-man's Uncle Ben Parker may have said it best, but we bet he never imagined the power of editing tools that would one day be within arm's reach.This workshop will focus on ethics in post-production. Participants will be guided through real-time examples of manipulating the moving image in order to fool an unsuspecting audience. By understanding the tricks of the trade, learn how to critically evaluate the media you consume.
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Film School: Filmmaker's Roundtable

Join this year’s lively discussion with visiting filmmakers in an informal and interactive film school session. Bring your story ideas; questions on financing your film; distribution queries; technical issues; questions about equipment, working with actors, or location scouting—you name it. Or just kick back and enjoy the repartee and spirited dialogue.
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Film School: The Big Idea: Taking Film Ideas From Impulse to Action

You have a great idea for a narrative or documentary film, but you don't know what to do next to make it a reality. In this session, we'll put these ideas in writing by making a "treatment" and talk about the next steps we can take towards making these ideas a reality. We'll use both screenwriting and production strategies to get our treatments into shape and share a treasure trove of tools for getting the resources you need to move the project forward. Everyone will leave with a treatment for their "Big Idea" in hand. All levels of experience welcome.
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Film School: The Pitch: Visual Story and Boarding Techniques for Filmmakers

The art of communicating visual ideas to co-collaborators, clients, or prospective funders can be a challenge at best. For animators, the process we have built around this problem is called "The Pitch." In this workshop we will use rudimentary drawing skills, simple tools, and basic boarding techniques to help filmmakers explore visual ideas, present narrative solutions, and even plan out difficult scenes long before the camera begins rolling.
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Film School: U-M Pilot Production: Behind the Scenes

Learn how U-M’s filmmakers and actors have turned their attention to the small screen. Having already produced television industry showrunners like Craig Silverstein (Nikita) and Beth Schwartz (Arrow), U-M’s Screen Arts and Cultures is teaching students how to break into TV by making a show of their own. Industry casting vet Pamela Guest (Blue Velvet) joins the instructors and students from U-M’s latest pilot production class to answer questions and give tips on what it takes to bring your own pilot to life, from staffing a Writer’s Room to guiding an original pilot through production and post-production.
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Film School: Writing Pilots

Building your own tv show from the ground up is about more than just telling one engaging story. Creating a pilot is all about crafting a new world with a cast of promising characters and storylines that can last for at least five seasons (syndication money, amirite?). Networks and producers want to know that your show has legs and a “pitch bible”—beyond just the pilot script—is how you prove it. This workshop takes you through the process of creating your own pilot presentation, from determining the world that your show will inhabit to creating a cast of memorable characters and crafting a story in the pilot strong enough to keep viewers coming back.
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Film School: Young Filmmakers Workshop: Claymation Animation

Animate your own clay creations and make a short film that will be shown on Saturday before the Kids Fest shorts program! Students will design and bring 3D claymation characters to life in this two-day workshop presented by Blackbird Arts. You can read more about their additional workshops—including off-site, two-day claymation animation camps for middle and high school students—at This special two-day class is $20.
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