As part of its training and professional development efforts, the South Carolina Film Commission presents a series of production seminars each year. All workshops are provided to South Carolina residents at no charge and on a regular basis by action of the S.C. Motion Picture Incentive Act, passed by the state legislature in 2004. Click here to join our email list for announcements and registration links for upcoming seminars.
The 2017-2018 workshop schedule is now complete. Seminars will begin again in Fall 2018.
Check back here for updates, or sign up for our email list for announcements and additional information.
MEDIA ARTS EDUCATION TRAINING
Digital media is one of the world’s main communication tools, making Media Arts an essential part of a well-rounded education for students of all stripes. The workforce’s next generation needs an understanding of how to effectively convey a message through narrative and documentary video production, a skill-set that's becoming as necessary as writing and language arts.
With this in mind, professional film and commercial Producers and Directors led a one-day workshop with Trident Technical College film faculty focusing on these skills, geared especially for teachers, media specialists, and other educators. The seminar took place on March 23rd, 2018, at the Idea Lab at SCETV Studios in Columbia, SC.
The workshop examined the process of production from screenwriting to shooting to editing and sound design, using case studies and interactive content. Leaving educators and others across the state with a firm hold on how to most effectively and professionally create production projects, and better equipped to teach and present those aptitudes.
P.A. BOOT CAMP
Indie Grants held a two-day P.A. Boot Camp on Nov. 11-12, at Trident Tech's North Charleston campus. Led by Jody Brockway, a veteran of the production industry, and a team of highly-experienced professional Production Assistants, the extensive workshop took an engaging, embedded approach. Immersing participants in a model production office, meeting, and process as they went through topics such as production paperwork, radio training, set protocol, how the A.D. team functions, and gear & supplies.
The seminar stressed interactivity, with games and challenges that demonstrated what a P.A. does and what they need to know. The team also discussed how best to prepare a resume and how to find PA positions, revealing the inner-workings of a production and its hiring practices. .
VFX & POST-PRODUCTION PIPELINE
Noted VFX producer and Writer/Director VW Scheich presented a fascinating seminar on Post-Production Workflow with Indie Grants, Oct. 21 at Trident Technical College in North Charleston.
VW began his career on-set working with various feature film directors, then learned the studio side of the movie business by working for Pete Corral, the Senior Vice-President of Production at Columbia Pictures. During his time at Columbia Pictures, VW coordinated sixteen films, including such blockbuster hits as Ghost Rider, Monster House, and Spiderman III.
After leaving Columbia Pictures, VW landed at The Third Floor, a CG pre-visualization studio. As Director of Project and Business Development at The Third Floor, VW utilized his contacts at the major studios to help obtain new projects, such as Iron Man II, Smurfs, Thor II, and Jack the Giant Slayer. While at Locktix VFX Studios VW was a producer on such films as Ted 2, Death Race: Anarchy, Wet Hot American Summer, Fargo, John Wick, Nightcrawler, and many more.
During his day-long workshop, VW delved into each component of the post-production process and how they work together, using notable case studies from his filmography to discuss how each step works and how they're all integrated together. This includes how much of post is dealt with in prep, including how detailed the typical Pre-Viz process is, the different approaches, and how they work as the blueprint for th entire filmmaking process.
The morning session focused on typical studio workflow and conventions, based on VW’s work with projects such as Spider-Man 3, House of Cards, and Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience. And as an independent filmmaker himself, including directing the feature-film Interwoven (starring Academy Award winner Mo’Nique) and the award-winning, VFX-driven short film Wallenda, VW also understands the post-production challenges specific to independent film projects. He spent the afternoon discussing how independent filmmakers with lower-budgets can be most effective with their post-production process, including proprietary techniques and strategies developed by VW over the course of his career.
NEW FILM TOOLS WITH STEVEN GLADSTONE
AT THE SOUTHEASTERN FILM & PHOTO CONFERENCE
Indie Grants and the South Carolina Film Commission teamed up with American Society of Media Photographers to present a day of free production training workshops, during ASMP's annual Southeast Film & Photo Conference.
The morning seminar was on New Film Tools with Steven Gladstone, one of the industry's leading film equipment reviewers and bloggers. Steven discussed emerging tools for filmmakers and production professionals, including demonstrating the newest tools from manufacturers such as Redrock, Schactler, Zacuto, Ikan and Schneider Optics. There was also a hands-on component to the workshop, where participants got to try out the gear for themselves.
Canon Explorer of Light Jack Reznicki presented a lively keynote presentation in the afternoon, discussing photographic concepts and how he applied creative problem solving throughout his career, working on projects for companies such as Toys “R” Us, Tylenol, AstraZeneca, The Wall Street Journal, Hyatt, Kodak, Reader’s Digest, Crest, AT&T, Playtex, and several Time Magazine covers. Along with many other awards, Jack was very proud to twice receive the IPC (International Photographic Council) Leadership medal for “Excellence in Studio Photography” at the United Nations.
BECOMING A BETTER SCREENWRITER WITH PETER J. FOX
The fundamentals of good production always begin with the script. Where plot, character, and structure work together to form a captivating blueprint for the process. Building a story that, by the end, engages audiences, whether it be a feature-film, episodic, or short film. With this in mind, noted script consultant Peter J. Fox returned to Charleston on May 6, leading the BECOMING A BETTER SCREENWRITER seminar for writers, filmmakers, and other production professionals. View video webinar of the workshop here.
The workshop was free and open to the public. As a follow-up to his celebrated 2015 screenwriting workshop, Peter focused on what it takes to make a career as a scriptwriter, from creative and structural concepts to the realities of the industry. A section of the seminar also examined screenwriting for short films, an essential tool to gain footing in the industry. What makes a good short? What are the mistakes short filmmakers often make? How does the short film format change the approach to story structure, and how do they force a writer to rethink how to present a story? Indie Grants shorts were screened and discussed as case studies, with lively discussions resulting.
ABOUT PRESENTER PETER J. FOX:
Peter holds a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. He has worked as a reader and story analyst at Paramount Pictures, Universal, Sony TriStar and MGM Pictures, and Concorde New Horizons. He makes regular appearances on Fox News CT as Film and Entertainment Analyst, and is the Editor of Film and Entertainment for VENU Magazine. Since 2001, he has conducted The Inside Track Workshops for Story and Cinematic Structure and has become one of the most sought after instructors of Screenwriting. Peter's methods have caught the attention of Hollywood executives and the literary world alike.
SCRIPT SUPERVISING WITH MARTHA PINSON (THE AVIATOR, SHUTTER ISLAND, HUGO)
Continuity. A filmmaker's most underestimated focal point. Likewise, we often find continuity to be the most noted attribute of any film.
Enter well-respected Script Supervisor Martha Pinson. Ms. Pinson led a Script Supervision Workshop for a rapt audience of production professionals and students on Jan. 28, presented by the South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College. A long-time script consultant for Martin Scorsese and Sidney Lumet, Ms. Pinson imparted the structure of this vital position, the necessary diplomacy when working with the creative minds of a Director and Director of Photography and how this position keeps the dots connected, enabling a seamless transition into Post-Production.
Ms. Pinson shared her approaches to the craft, including proprietary approaches and methods she's developed over her 35-year career. She also presented behind-the-scene case studies involving shooting and script supervising visual effects, and led discussions on directing and acting as it relates to the role of script supervisor.
Ms. Pinson is one of the industry's most distinguished script supervisors, with credits that include The Aviator, Hugo, Wall Street, and Prince of the City. (See more about Martha Pinson here.)
CASTING SEMINAR WITH AVY KAUFMAN (NATIONAL TREASURE, LIFE OF PI, LINCOLN)
Having worked with celebrated directors such as Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg, and Ridley Scott, acclaimed Casting Director Avy Kaufman set aside an evening to speak with South Carolina production professionals and students at the South Carolina Film Commission's CASTING SEMINAR WITH AVY KAUFMAN. The workshop was an intimate, two-hour Q&A at the Charleston Music Hall, and was part of the 2016 Charleston International Film Festival.
With over 25 years of experience Ms. Kaufman has established herself as one of the industry's most distinguished casting directors, with credits that include Lincoln, Promotheus, Life of Pi, The Bourne Ultimatum, Garden State, and The Sixth Sense. At the seminar she discussed her approach, shared invaluable career insights and her love for this ever-changing industry, regaling the audience with her wit and candor. An incredible opportunity for all actors, directors, writers, and more to learn from one of the industry's foremost leaders.
Learn more about Avy Kaufman here.
SOUTHEASTERN FILM & PHOTO CONFERENCE WITH GREGORY HEISLER
The South Carolina Film Commission and American Society of Media Photographers teamed up to host the Southeastern Film & Photo Conference. The first of its kind event took place Aug. 26-27 at Furman University in Greenville.
Highlights included a VIDEO EDITING SEMINAR with Adobe-certified instructor Clay Asbury and the Keynote Presentation by Gregory Heisler. Renowned for his technical mastery and thoughtful responsiveness over a career spanning more than 35 years, Heisler has photographed luminaries ranging from Bill Clinton to Bruce Springsteen, and is perhaps best known for his more than 70 cover portraits for Time Magazine. His iconic portraits and innovative visual essays have graced the covers and pages of publications such as Life, Esquire, Fortune, GQ, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and The New York Times Magazine. He has also photographed major advertising campaigns for such clients as American Express, Benson & Hedges, Dewar's, Ford, Guinness, Marlboro, Merrill Lynch, Nike, Pfizer, Reebok, and United Technologies.
South Carolina film and photo professionals, and students from across the state, got the chance to hear the stories behind his incredible images and learn from his breadth of experience.
PRODUCTION LEGAL SEMINAR WITH DAVID PIERCE
In the filmmaking industry, legal questions frequently arise during each phase of production. Laws are in place to protect the production, determine who owns the rights to the project, where and how you can shoot at a location, and even who may appear in your film. It can be overwhelming and it's helpful to know where to start.
The aid in this element of production, the South Carolina Film Commission brought in entertainment attorney David Albert Pierce for a PRODUCTION LEGAL SEMINAR, a one-day discussion on important aspects of filmmaking law. The event took place at Tapp's Art Center in Columbia, SC.
David Albert Pierce is Managing Member of Pierce Law Group LLP, a boutique entertainment law firm specializing in Film, TV & new media finance, production counsel services, entity formation, talent representation, and counseling creative entrepreneurs. PLG has provided production counsel services on The Academy Award winning film The Artist, as well as, providing legal services on all of the Hunger Games franchise, Fox Studio's Peanuts Movie, and over 100 independent films. He has also been involved in over 100 reality TV deals and has worked for such acclaimed production companies as multi-Emmy Award winners Harpo Productions and Profiles Television Productions (producers of The Amazing Race). In 2014, David helped craft a sophisticated financing plan for a primary investor of the Keanu Reeves' film entitled John Wick, and he works closely with independent film lenders and studios.
THE CHUBBUCK TECHNIQUE WITH FRANTZ TURNER OF THE IVANA CHUBBUCK STUDIO
The Power of Acting. Skill and technique that elevates performance to another level. In authenticity, skill and professionalism. A fundamental component of the filmmaking process, and one that takes massive amounts of work to achieve. South Carolina actors and filmmakers had the unique chance to experience this firsthand, at an ACTING WORKSHOP with Frantz Turner from the Ivana Chubbuck Studio, one of the most respected acting schools on the planet.
Ivana Chubbuck Studio has worked with Academy Award winners and nominees such as Halle Berry, Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, James Franco, Terence Howard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Catherine Keener, and Jared Leto. (Click here to learn more about the Ivana Chubbuck Studio.) Sixteen South Carolina Actors were selected to undergo a scene study process as part of the workshop, working with Frantz intimately as they broke down the scene and performance during the workshop. A first-hand look at the process of crafting a performance from one of the world's leading instructors.
LIFT CERTIFCATION WORKSHOP
The South Carolina Film Commission and Trident Technical College held a one-day LIFT CERTIFICATION workshops in Charleston in September. With a focus on Condors and Scissor-lifts, the training was free and open to all South Carolina production crew. At the successful completion of the seminar, all attendees were issued a 3-yr Certified Operator's License.
Training was conducted by United Rentals through IVES Training at their facility in Charleston, SC. The morning session consisted of classroom safety training, ending with a written safety test. The afternoon was hands-on operation training with the two pieces of equipment.
AN AFTERNOON WITH RUSSELL CARPENTER, ASC
With a prolific career that includes an Academy Award for Titanic, cinematographer Russell Carpenter, ASC sets aside an afternoon to speak with South Carolina production professionals and students at the South Carolina Film Commission's AN AFTERNOON WITH RUSSELL CARPENTER: A CINEMATOGRAPHY SEMINAR.
Russell has over 30 years of experience as one of the industry's most talented cinematographers, including an Academy Award for Titanic and a credit list that include This Means War, 21, Shallow Hal, Charlie's Angels, Ant-Man and XXX: Return of Xander Cage.
PRODUCTION MAKE-UP SEMINAR WITH KELCEY FRY
After an exciting and inspiring engagement last year, Emmy-award winning Make-Up Artist and Instructor Kelcey Fry returned to South Carolina for the South Carolina Film Commission's PRODUCTION MAKE-UP WORKSHOP on Jan. 17, 2015 in Charleston.
With over 35 years of experience, Kelcey's credits include The Artist, Baggage Claim, Hitchcock, and Showtime's Masters of Sex. Currently on the jazz period feature Bolden, she has been personal make-up artist for legends such as Lily Tomlin, Helen Hunt, and Diane Keaton. But there's nothing Kelcey loves more than sharing her experience and know-how with other production professionals. (See more about Kelcey here.)
CAMERA ASSISTANT WORKSHOP WITH DOUG HART
In February of 2014, South Carolina lost a beloved and talented member of its film community in an on-set incident in Savannah, GA. A Columbia, SC, native and former Trident Tech film student, Sarah Jones loved being a camera assistant, and loved working in the production industry. This workshop was held in honor of Sarah.
Douglas C. Hart is an instructor and professional Camera Assistant who literally wrote the book on the profession -- The Camera Assistant: A Complete Professional Handbook. Last September, Doug lead a two-day CAMERA ASSISTANT, focusing on procedures of the camera department, including camera mechanics, lenses and filters, safety, camera department paperwork, on-set procedures, and more. .
With over 40 years of experience, Doug is one of the most respected names in the camera/cinematography industry, with credits that include What's Eating Gilbert Grape; Girl, Interrupted; and Presumed Innocent.
SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP WITH PETER FOX
It all starts with the script.
You can put the best technicians and actors in the world on a project, but if the screenplay - the story - isn't there, it will flounder. Few know this better than noted script evaluator and screenwriting instructor Peter J. Fox.
Peter has assessed and evaluated over 1000 scripts for top studios like Universal, TriStar, and Paramount. And has worked on projects such as Good Will Hunting, Air Force One, Mallrats and The Mask of Zorro. He knows what scripts will sell (and will make a good movie). And now Peter has instructed South Carolina writers on how to make that happen, at the South Carolina Film Commission's SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP.
As the creator and instructor of The Inside Track for Story and Cinematic Structure, Peter's methods have caught the attention of Hollywood executives and the literary world alike. Presented with passion and intensity, his seminars are not rehearsed or canned. Questions are encouraged and the opportunity to interact, share and explore the process of writing for film is a large component of his seminars.
The workshop focused on the fundamentals of strong themes, characters, and classic cinematic structure, as well as the Five Pillars of Cinematic Conflict, rewriting and editing, and how to get through the studio and agency gatekeepers. And the seminar helped attendees understand how to continue on their journey as screenwriters even after it ended.
NEW CAMERA TECHNOLOGIES WITH SNL DP ALEX BUONO
Presenter Alex Buono, DP for Saturday Night Live's film unit, has shot and produced films Green Street Hooligan (starring Elijah Wood) and the 2008 Sundance hit Bigger, Stronger, Faster. Throughout his career he has been on the forefront of emerging camera technologies, becoming one of the first to use Canon DSLR’s in professional production by incorporating the technology into SNL's title sequence, commercial parodies, and other digital shorts.
Alex spoke to S.C. students and professionals about the evolving camera options and formats, using samples from his career as a cinematographer to enlighten and inform seminar attendees on the format.
Alex attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, majoring in film production and still photography. His early post-collegiate years were spent on the camera crews of studio films such as Twister and Armageddon, learning from ASC cinematographers and personal mentors, including Conrad Hall, Don Burgess, Dean Cundey, and John Schwartzman.