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


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: April 23 - May 21 | Wednesdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members

Click Here to Register!
Or Call 773-293-1447
Instructor: Mike Bohacz

This course will cover basic elements of directing and acting for the camera, including aesthetics, tone, text analysis, and controlling dramatic aspects of film through acting. The relationship between the director and the actor will be emphasized: building effective communication, evaluating performance, and understanding the rehearsal process from both ends. Students will work in groups to audition and cast actors, rehearse and plan the execution of a scene with scripts, floor plans, and blocking; and shoot scenes for evaluation.

5 weeks: May 1 – May 29 | Thursdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $295/280 Members

Click Here to Register!

Instructor: Stephen Cone

Stephen Cone is a Chicago-based director, writer and actor. While dabbling in the Chicago theatre scene in the early 2000s, Stephen founded Cone Arts in 2005 to facilitate the making of his own films. Since then, he has written, produced and directed the short films Church Story, Young Wives (2007 LA Shorts Fest) and 7 Experiments, as well as his medium-length feature debut The Christians (Gene Siskel Film Center; Philadelphia Independent Film Festival; NewFilmmakers @ Anthology Film Archives) and his first three full-length features In Memoriam (Gene Siskel Film Center, Big Muddy Film Festival), recent New York Times Critics' Pick The Wise Kids (Winner of the Grand Jury Awards for Outstanding US Dramatic Feature and Outstanding Screenwriting at Outfest and the Audience Award at NewFest), and his latest, Black Box.

In the summer of 2011 Stephen made his Chicago stage acting debut in the World Premiere of Philip Dawkins' The Homosexuals at About Face Theatre in Chicago, for which he was named one of the seven Hot New Faces of the Chicago Stage by the Chicago Tribune.


Spring Session

The HD revolution is upon us! Come learn the cameras used by industry professionals and independent filmmakers alike. The workshop will discuss different cameras and compare shooting formats, including DSLRs, HDV, DVCPRO HD, XDCAM HD, 2K, 4K, and AVCHD. Topics include lenses, compression, power, mobility, lighting issues and new post-production problems. Camera options for narrative, documentary, and commercial applications will also be covered.

May 17 | Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Tuition: $95/80 members

Instructor: Chris Peppey
Click Here to Register!
Or Call 773-293-1447

Learn to Edit Footage!

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: May 20 - June 17 | Tuesdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members

Click Here to Register!

Or call 773-293-1447

Instructor: Jill Hansen-Lewis

Recording clean audio on location is a tricky job and often the Achilles' heel to many low budget productions. This workshop will cover audio recording and microphone techniques using professional microphones and state of the art flash memory audio recorders. Learn various recording techniques such as recording solo and group musical performances, interviews, sound effects and background room-tone, as well as sync and non-sync dialog for film and video. Topics such as microphone choice, booming, level adjustment, monitoring, sound physics, and alternative creative tools will be covered. Students will create an audio project using multi-track, timeline based editing software. This workshop is designed to bring professional production values audio/visual work and is perfect for film and video makers, musicians, journalists, and artists.
May 24 | Saturday, 10am - 4pm
Tuition: $145/130 Members

Click Here to Register!
Or Call 773-293-1447
Instructor: Adrian Anguiano

Make it happen!

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
Session 2: May 28 - June 25 | Wednesday, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Tuition: $245/230 members

Click Here to Register!
Or Call 773-293-1447
Instructor: Ed Koziarski and Junko Kajini

Take the First Step!

Our basic production course is designed to cover key concepts and practices for making a film or video project. Topics include a thorough introduction to the professional DV 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: May 29 – July 31 | Thursdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $595/580 members

Click Here to Register!
Or Call 773-293-1447
Instructor: Danny Agama

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.

8 weeks: June 2 – July 21 | Mondays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members

Click Here to Register!
Or Call 773-293-1447
Instructor: Paul Peditto

Intro to Documentary

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: June 3 - July 8 | Tuesdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Tuition: $325/310 members
Click Here to Register!
Or Call 773-293-1447
Instructor: Julie Englander

Ages 13 - 16

This comprehensive, 2-week camp 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. The camp closes with a public screening to showcase the work for friends and family, and each student receives a DVD copy of all projects completed in the workshop. 

Ages 13 - 16 // Weekdays 10AM - 3PM // $475
Session 1: 
July 7 - 18 
Session 2: August 4 - 15

Registration now open! 

Click here to enroll online for Session 1 (a comprehensive registration packet will be emailed to you upon payment)

Click here to enroll online for Session 2
 (a comprehensive registrations packet will be emailed to you upon payment)

If you have any questions or would prefer to register over the phone, please call our office at 773.293.1447! 


Join Our List


Follow Us


Upcoming Shows

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 8:00pm
Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:30pm
Wed, 04/23/2014 - 6:30pm
Fri, 04/25/2014 - 8:00pm
Sat, 04/26/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 04/30/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 05/03/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 05/07/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 05/10/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 05/14/2014 - 6:30pm

Support Us