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Cinema Production Basics

Starts July 10

In-person. 9 sessions: Wednesdays, July 10-September 4, 6:30-9:30 pm

In this beginning-level course, students will learn both theories and practical application of cinematography, producing, directing, scripting, storyboarding, and editing. By the end of the course, participants will have worked as a group to conceptualize a script and develop it into a short movie.

In addition to providing extensive hands-on experience through production exercises and projects, the course places considerable emphasis on visual literacy and metaphor, and the application of film language. This includes the basics of storytelling, cinematography and lighting principles and techniques, and audio recording.

Students will also receive an overview of editing with Adobe Premiere Pro to complete the class project. Tuition includes two camera package rentals (camera, mic, and light kit) during the course for optional individual projects and further practice outside of class. For the final four sessions bring a hard drive or 32GB USB flash drive, plus headphones or earbuds.

NOTE: this in-person course is held at FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, Saint Paul, MN 55114. FilmNorth is following CDC’s current COVID-19 variant guidance for Ramsey County:

  • People may choose to mask at any time. Masks are recommended for those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or at high-risk for complications associated with COVID-19 variants.
  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should stay home.

Tuition: $390 regular | $310 member | $250 low-income

As a child, Barbara Wiener first wanted to be an astronaut but discovered that motion sickness would be a hindrance to successful completion of the training. Instead, she found herself drawn to telling the stories of the world around her. Barbara believes human beings are hardwired as a species to respond to stories and images in emotional ways. That means our modern media has significant influence to shape how we see ourselves and others. She believes sharing visual stories has the power to create the world we want to live in. That’s where making films comes in.

Barbara’s career in film and television and teaching has spanned 32 years. She was a senior and executive producer for 14 years at Twin Cities Public Television and has completed many independent feature documentaries since that time. Her arts and cultural documentary and performance work has received many awards, including six Midwest Emmys and a Ciné Golden Eagle for her documentary film, Ida’s Story. Her work been seen in broadcast and screenings around the world, including the Walker Art Center’s Women with Vision, the New York International Film Festival, Chicago Silver Screen Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, Denver Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival, which featured a piece called Curious George Goes to Hellmade with storyteller Kevin Kling.

In 2000 Barbara founded TVbyGIRLS, a nonprofit that collaborates with and mentors teen girls using the tools of filmmaking to develop critical thinking, leadership, and social change film work. Films made by collaborations with girls have been seen by audiences around the world, awarded four Telly Awards, and nominated for a student Emmy award. As an expansion on the TVbyGIRLS mission, Barbara is teaching creativity workshops with Leah Gross for 55+ students to promote aging vitality and imaginative memoirs.

Having recently completed work with Art from the Inside about the power of art making for incarcerated people, and Words that Sing, a concert tribute to poet Michael Dennis Brown, Barbara is currently working on a film about therapy reading dogs.


Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those needing to cancel a registration at least 7 days prior to the first class session, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to the first class session, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
  • By registering for this FilmNorth class you are agreeing to our Community Values Statement.




July 10 @ 6:30 pm
September 4 @ 9:30 pm
Event Categories:


Barbara Wiener
Registration Deadline
July 5
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
9 sessions: Wednesdays, July 10-September 4, 6:30-9:30 pm