The Art of the Short Film

Today, everyone is a filmmaker. How can we take advantage of all the wonderful recording technologies we have available to us while holding onto some core principles of storytelling? This intensive workshop will attempt to recapture some of the magic, fun, and rigor of the art of movie-making and will introduce you to old (16 mm black and white film stock, 1980s VCR cameras) and new (Vine, iMovie) traditions of short filmmaking. This workshop will plunge you headfirst into an intimate relationship with the art of short visual storytelling.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Principles of narrative, documentary, and experimental filmmaking
  • The materiality of film
  • Basic cinematography, including the framing and lighting of a shot
  • Purchasing and caring for film stock
  • How to load and operate a Bolex camera
  • Film processing, digital transfer, and the lab
  • Cutting/splicing film and projection

Other activities may include:

  • Exercises where we shoot footage of Rochester landmarks, including Mt. Hope Cemetery, the Kodak Building, and High Falls
  • Learning how to best submit films to festivals
  • Seeing how film is manufactured
  • Visiting the world-renowned George Eastman House of Film and Photography, and interacting with their film restoration specialists
  • Class visits by filmmakers

Instructor Ryan Conrath’s Portfolio

The following is a short film I made on 16mm as a graduate student:

The following is a trailer for a film I shot:

Student Application Process

  • Student application with personal statement
  • Letter of recommendation
  • $50 nonrefundable application fee (will be applied to final tuition)
  • Permissions form
  • Most recent transcript
  • An admissions interview may be required (the Office of Pre-College Programs will contact the student if applicable)