Virtual Production Workshop
“It wasn’t until I took a film workshop at Third World Newsreel that I actually believed that I could make a film.” -Yance Ford, Strong Island film
The Third World Newsreel Production Workshop is a unique “hands-on” media production training program providing practical skills and resources for emerging filmmakers. This intensive six-month program, now in its 44th year, is aimed primarily at members of historically marginalized communities, with limited economic resources and access to mainstream educational institutions or traditional training programs. Offering tools to create fiction or documentary projects, the Media Production Workshop carries on TWN's mission of promoting independent cinema by and about communities of color and other underserved groups and their progressive allies.
"Gathered on my monitor are a few rectangles holding the faces of some folks I had the pleasure of virtually meeting with once a week, in one of the most trying years in recent history. We need more storytellers who dare to be who they are when surrounded by media that doesn't reflect them or their communities. The Third World Newsreel Media Production Workshop is a place where storytellers can learn how to do just that.”
- Sallishah Ali, TWN 2020 Production Workshop fellow
The Production Workshop curriculum integrates elements of new digital technologies and transmedia in its training, but its focus is the development of the pre-production, production and post-production skills necessary to take a short 5 minute video project from conception to completion. Working in small groups, workshop members conceive and produce their films with the help of instructors and guest lecturers, professionals working in the field of film/video and transmedia. Students are expected to complete one individual short video project during the program.
"Although I already had a lot of production experience, the Third World Newsreel Production workshop gave me the professional edge I needed."
- Cyrille Phipps, Independent Filmmaker
During the pandemic, the workshop will meet virtually Wednesday nights from 6 to 8 PM, with Saturday labs also online. As soon as health conditions permit, the course will switch over to in-person meetings at the TWN office.
Prior film, video or related experience is helpful but not required; self-initiative, openness to feedback, a progressive and collaborative spirit are, along with a commitment to meeting class production deadlines and completing one’s film project. The Production Workshop is limited to 9 participants. A written application is required and selected applicants are chosen for interviews.
“The most important thing I learned was how to collaborate with people on the stories that mattered to us.”
Grace Lee, Asian Americans Series
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a changeover to virtual training, but the 2020 cohort of students were still able to produce their films. Due to the impact of the economic crisis from the pandemic on emerging student filmmakers' circumstances, the 2020 tuition were reduced. The 2021 tuition is also being reduced for these reasons to $400.
The TWN Production Workshop is led by Chrystian Rodriguez and Daniel Kim and is dedicated to the memory of Herman Lew, longtime Workshop Director, filmmaker and cinematographer. Past Workshop grads include award-winning filmmakers Daresha Kyi, Yance Ford, Byron Hurt, Paula Heredia, Renee Tajima-Peña, Jamal Joseph, and Randy Redroad and many others.