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


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.

Instrructor: Adrian Anguiano

Session 1 – August 2 | Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Tuition: $145/130 Members
Limit: 6 students
Click here to enroll online.

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! 


Want to translate your idea into a feature film? This course covers the fundamentals of writing a feature-length screenplay and is designed for beginning students and writers. Through screenings, outside readings, discussion, and critiques, students will engage with such issues as character development, dialogue, structure, narrative progression, and what to do with a finished screenplay. Students should use this course as a springboard towards generating the first draft of a feature-length screenplay.
Instructor: Paul Peditto

8 weeks: August 4 – October 6 (no class Sept. 1 and 22) | Mondays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members
Limit: 10 students 
Click here to enroll online.

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.

Instructor: Julie Englander

6 weeks: August 7 – September 18 (no class Aug 28) | Thursdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $325/310 members
Limit: 14 students
Click here to enroll online.

This is our basic production course 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.
Instructor: Bryan McHenry
5 weeks: August 9 – September 6 | Saturdays, 10:00am – 4:00pm
Tuition: $595/580 members
Limit: 12 students
Click here to enroll online.

This course will cover basic elements of directing actors 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.

Instructor: Stephen Cone
6 weeks: August 12 – September 16 | Tuesdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $365/350 Members
Limit: 8 students
Click here to enroll online.

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.
Michael Bohacz
5 weeks: August 14 – September 11 | Thursdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members
Limit: 6 students
Click here to enroll online.

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.
Session 2 - 5 weeks: September 3 – October 8 (no class Sept. 24) | Wednesdays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $395/380 members
Limit: 6 students
Click here to enroll online.

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.
Session 2 – 5 weeks: September 8 – October 13 (no class Sept. 22) | Mondays, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Tuition: $245/230 members
Limit: 14 students
Click here to enroll online.

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.
 Instructor: Chris Peppey
Session 2 – September 13 | Saturday, 10am – 4pm
Tuition: $95/80 members
Limit: 12 students
Click here to enroll online.

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Upcoming Shows

Wed, 07/30/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 08/09/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 08/13/2014 - 6:30pm
Sat, 08/16/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 08/20/2014 - 6:30pm
Thu, 08/28/2014 - 8:00pm
Sat, 08/30/2014 - 8:00pm
Wed, 09/03/2014 - 6:30pm

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