Lights, Camera, Learning: Prescott Film Festival Offers Ten Different Free Workshops, June 7 – 15

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While the Prescott Film Festival provides a great opportunity for movie buffs to catch up on the latest in groundbreaking feature, documentary and short subject films, it also offers interested students a chance to learn more about the craft of filmmaking.

Yavapai College’s Film and Media Arts Program sponsors ten different workshops during the June 7-15 festival, on topics ranging from film production to criticism to storytelling styles to local cinematic history. All of the workshops are free.

Workshops begin on the Prescott Film Festival’s first Saturday, June 8, with the highly regarded Filmmaker Bootcamp. This free, four-day intensive leads students through the creation of a group film, while offering expert tutorials in Camera and Sound Instruction; Location scouting, Casting and Pre-production; Filming techniques, and Editing. Enrollment is limited to the first 30 students.

The High School Student Film Competition, held Sunday, June 9, at 10 a.m., supports Arizona’s next generation of filmmakers. Local high school students compete for three different scholarships ($1,000, $500 and $250) to the Yavapai College Film and Media Arts Program. The competition’s best films will then be screened in Building 3 at the conclusion of the competition.

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Monday, June 10, offers two different workshops: The Best Narrative Short Films from the Prescott Film Festival, at 2 p.m., studies the best storytelling from the PFF’s decade-long history; in Hand-to-Hand Combat in Film, at 4 p.m., combat instructor Scottie Scott shows students how to square-off safely on camera – with fists or period weapons – and make it look real.

The Best Documentary Short Films, at noon on Tuesday, June 11, draws on the finest true-life storytelling from the PFF’s first ten years; then at 2 p.m., novelist/screenwriter Alan Dean Fosters examines what is gained, and lost, in the era of computer-aided filmmaking with Tech Kills the Movies! Film at 11! At 4 p.m., local historian Tom Slaback hosts Part One of Made in Yavapai County in the Prescott Campus Art Gallery. There, he uses his expansive movie poster and memorabilia collection to track the vast local history on the silver screen.

The psychology of the Scare dominates discussion Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, June 12, in Thriller vs. Horror Films and Why We Can’t Get Enough, Producer/Director Jeffrey Cooper examines the psychological components that filmmakers use to mesmerize audiences. The 2 p.m. workshop is then followed by a screening of Jonathan Demme’s 1991 suspense classic The Silence of the Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, at 3 p.m.

On Thursday, Yavapai College Philosophy Professor Andrew Winters takes a clinical look at the genre, with It’s Not the Monster But the Situation That Frightens: Understanding the Structure of a Horror Film, at 2 p.m. Then later, at 3:30 p.m., ever wonder why movie cops go into a situation without backup? Or why horror movie characters don’t just leave the house? Phillip Sedgwick’s Why Bad Life Choices Make Good Movies offers insights that budding screenwriters can apply to their own work.

The Film Festival’s workshop series concludes Friday, June 14, with Part Two of Tom Slaback’s Made in Yavapai County, at 4 p.m. in the Art Museum.

All Prescott Film Festival workshops (except where noted) will be held in Building 3, Room 119 on Yavapai College’s Prescott Campus, 1100 E. Sheldon Street. Advance registration is required for the Filmmaker Bootcamp. For details, as well as a full schedule of PFF events, please visit:


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