A FOCAL POINT ON LEARNING

Award-winning filmmakers bring the art of documentary filmmaking to the community

Posted 5/13/21

When it comes to filmmaking today, the giant cameras, heavy equipment, and fancy sets are no longer must-haves. We have decades of technological advancements to thank for all that with some of the …

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A FOCAL POINT ON LEARNING

Award-winning filmmakers bring the art of documentary filmmaking to the community

Posted

When it comes to filmmaking today, the giant cameras, heavy equipment, and fancy sets are no longer must-haves. We have decades of technological advancements to thank for all that with some of the best cinematic devices in our back pockets.

“Technology has completely transformed the face of filmmaking,” said Janette Force, Port Townsend Film Festival’s executive director. “But the fundamentals of good creation remain the same.”

“We all know how to use our phones to record things,” she explained, “but the fundamentals to really make an effective piece — that’s where education comes in.”

The Port Townsend Film Festival is offering these fundamentals in an online documentary filmmaking workshop. The Port Townsend community will get the chance to learn “The Art of Documentary Film Creation,” taught by award-winning filmmakers Doug Blush and Lisa Klein.

“We are so eager to offer those basics and welcome more and more voices of storytelling to documentary filmmaking,” Force said.

From planning and producing to shooting and editing, the goal of the intensive nine-week course is to give students a solid foundation to create their own documentary films. Along with lessons in pitching and financing projects, participants will also explore new territories in filmmaking, including virtual reality and multimedia nonfiction.

Accomplished filmmakers and instructors, Blush and Klein, have gotten to know the Port Townsend community through their years at the Port Townsend Film Festival and are now excited to help share the ideas and stories of the local public through film.

The pair founded the film production company, MadPix, Inc. Committed to documentaries with a focus on social justice issues, they hold to a firm belief that everybody has a story to tell. Whether it’s a family’s history, an interesting acquaintance, a personal or even a second-hand experience, Blush and Klein are on a mission to unlock these stories. They believe there is no better way to do that than through film.

“One of the best things about a community like Port Townsend is there are so many stories that haven’t been told that are just waiting for somebody to find, or somebody’s been wanting to tell that story for a long time,” Blush said.

He hopes the course will give participants the ability and the confidence to take their stories and make them into something to share.

“There’s nothing quite like a film to really gather people together and share that experience,” Blush added.

“What we want to focus on, too, is for people to really zero in on their passion,” Klein said.

The instructors have a desire for their students to discover what moves them and what makes them feel something.

“I think the possibilities are kind of endless,” she said.

While they admit it is preferable to teach filmmaking in person, that isn’t stopping the pair from bringing their knowledge to the community. The pandemic is limiting, but it doesn’t have to limit your imagination, Klein explained.

“It’s kind of a cool challenge,” she said. “There are just a lot of different directions you can go.”

“The number one goal is for everybody to find out in this seminar that their stories have value. They matter,” Blush said.

The online workshop will be held every Tuesday, beginning June 1 and running through July 27. There are eight Zoom class meetings, all live and interactive, with the last class acting as a virtual showcase for student projects. Everyone who attends the seminar will come away with a film that looks good, sounds good, and has a great story.

Participants of any age, location, and educational level are welcome to enroll.

Registration is open now and closes Saturday, May 22.

Learn more about the seminar, scholarships, and registration at www.ptfilmfest.com.

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