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How to Produce a Feature Film (or Short, Doc, or TV Pilot)

Starts February 6

5 sessions: Thursdays, February 6-March 5, 6:30-9pm

“The amount of time spent trying to blame somebody else is simply not worth it. The bottom line is, you cannot be a producer unless you understand that it’s all your fault.” –Christine Vachon 

Whether you’re a producer looking for your next project, or a director shouldering many of the producing responsibilities on your film, you’ll walk away from this class with new principles, strategies, and tools to get your film production-ready, come in under budget, ensure a fun and rewarding (and safe!) experience for your cast and crew, and bring your film to audiences, while staying laser-focused on the number one goal: making something great.

We’ll cover every aspect of producing – from development, prep, and pre-production, to production, post, marketing, and distribution. Through first-person accounts, case studies, sample documents/templates, and no shortage of stories from the trenches, we will leave no producing stone unturned, arming you with the knowledge and tools necessary to successfully produce your next project. 

This class is appropriate for filmmakers and producers of all experience levels who want to learn how to be a better producer. While we’ll primarily use narrative features as a baseline for discussion, short and documentary filmmakers are also encouraged to enroll! Most of the principles of producing a narrative feature apply to docs and shorts as well, and we will discuss best practices for all three.

Tuition: $235 regular/$175 member/$130 low-income

Michael Forstein is a producer and director based in Minneapolis, MN. A 2016 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship in Media Arts, his films have screened at festivals throughout the world including Sundance, SXSW, AFI Fest, and Rooftop Films, and have been featured on Short of the Week and Vimeo Staff Picks. In addition to making films, he produced the 2018 Camden International Film Festival, is the founder and creator of the Film Festival Database, and has worked in operations for the Tribeca Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Rooftop Films, and Walker Art Center department of Moving Image. He has taught master classes in filmmaking and film festivals at the San Francisco Academy of Art, University of Texas-Arlington, University of Minnesota, and St. Cloud State University. 

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 wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but 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 a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.




February 6, 2020 @ 6:30 pm
March 5, 2020 @ 9:00 pm
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Michael Forstein
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