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In the past 20+ years, FFI has developed numerous workshops and programs that were extremely beneficial to our local filmmaking community. Here are some of the exciting programs we have produced over the years…

CINEMA PROGRAM: IN SCHOOL

The primary goals of CINEMA are to teach young adults the art, business and science of filmmaking; to provide these participants a hands-on experience of making their own films in a realistic format that encourages them to consider filmmaking as a viable career alternative; and to explore the creative process of cinema as a means to increase self-esteem and develop decision-making skills necessary in any profession.

During each CINEMA series, instructors provide 19 two-hour workshops and one day of film shooting. In-depth workshop topics include script writing sessions that cover story arc, character development, grammar and vocabulary and general literacy; acting; directing; cinematography; introduction to the equipment used in filmmaking; and technical aspects of film shooting, editing, and production.

Each group of students who participate in CINEMA perform all of the roles required to make a film. Each student writes an idea for a script. Then, the students as a group choose one of the film ideas to produce a full script treatment, the one selected will be produced by the group. Students audition for each job; lighting, camera, sound, makeup, wardrobe, director, actors, etc., that must be filled to make the film. The students must then secure a location for the film shoot and determine the logistics of the film. The students spend a day on location filming to produce a finished 5- to 10-minute film. The students work with the FFI staff to edit and complete the film. Each student receives a DVD copy of their film production. Students also enter their completed film into local, regional and national film festivals.

Our program helps prepare students for a future in the film industry. There is a great need for skilled professionals in the field, and the workshop series will provide students with an introduction to career options as well as an understanding of the film industry, the various roles in film production and the practical skills needed in each area.

CINERAMA SATURDAYS

‘CINERAMA Saturdays’ featured an introduction into film producing and screenwriting for local high school students who have a passion for filmmaking. The program incorporated production sessions that included auditioning, assigning crew, camera positioning and sound/lighting. As part of the 20 week workshops participants had the opportunity to shoot a short film and present it at a premiere screening. Instruction for the workshops was provided by local film industry professionals. Participants had to endure an audition process first in order to be selected for the competitive program.

DOCUMENTARY FILM PROGRAM

In the summer of 2010, The Florida Film Institute worked with The Women’s Park and their GEM (Girls Empowerment and Mentoring) arts program. FFI produced an all-girls documentary film camp. The girls produced three short documentaries based on accomplished women leaders in the local community. The camp covered the basics of documentary filmmaking which included: researching the women, writing the story, filming each interview and editing the footage to create a final project.

ALTERNATIVE MEDIA WORKSHOP: COMEDY & REALITY TV

For this series, famed Hollywood television director Morris Abraham curated two days of seminars to instruct participants on various aspects of filmmaking in a Hollywood atmosphere. The workshops conducted ‘live’ and ‘in-person’ film and video clips as well as lively discussion and interviews with industry professionals. Various Hollywood talent were invited to participate, making the seminar an extremely valuable opportunity for students to network with Hollywood veterans.

CRAFTING SCENES . . . CREATING ACTIONS: SCRIPT WRITING INTENSIVE

The workshop was designed to enhance each participant’s ability to develop and execute a superior script while striving to improve their ability to create imaginative and emotionally layered characters. This intensive script writing workshop was held for the first time in 2005 at the Sheraton Biscayne Bay. The successful workshop was repeated in 2006 at CineWorks Digital Studios in Miami and in 2007 at the Wolfsonian-FIU on Miami Beach and in 2008 at the Florida Media Market Conference.