Course Description

Photo by Eve LaFountain

CalArts' Portfolio Development Workshop for Experimental Film & Video Artists is an eight-week online intensive designed to help you explore nontraditional, experimental, avant-garde, and documentary filmmaking, and enhance your application portfolio for college filmmaking and fine art programs. The focus is less on making perfectly polished productions and more on giving you an open arena to explore unconventional ways of approaching filmmaking as an artistic practice while broadening creative ideation and output. This course will empower you to be a holistic filmmaker who can use easily accessible tools to express yourself through cinematic arts.

Each week the instructor will introduce different creative exercises, techniques, and styles, and examples from films to inspire new work and teach you about non-traditional cinematic art forms. Weekly assignments will build on each other toward a final film project and artist statement. They will also generate various elements such as sound, writing, and photography that could be used in college portfolios.

Portfolio Development Workshop class sessions and critiques are not live streamed. You are free to access the class materials each week at your convenience. You will work on your assignments on your own time and upload them to the class module on Access, a CalArts online learning platform, by a set deadline. At the end of the week, the instructor will give you direct feedback on submitted assignments with video critiques. Lectures and video critiques are pre-recorded.

Application Instructions

Enrollment in this workshop is based on submission of the online application form and the review of:

  • 3 pieces of original artwork, consisting of still photography and moving image work.

    • At least 1 of the pieces must be moving image based.

    • The total combined maximum runtime of all videos submitted should be 5 minutes or less. Do not submit reels—we want to see short complete pieces. These do not have to be big, professional-style productions; something simple shot with your phone is fine. Submit any moving image work as a Youtube or Vimeo link.

  • A short 60 to 90 second video statement about why you want to be in this class. Do not edit, and do not read from a script. Submit your video statement as a Youtube or Vimeo link.
  • A list of 5 filmmakers, artists, or screenwriters who inspire you.

Applications must be accompanied by a $10 fee.

Program Prerequisites

This workshop is well-suited to:

  • Artists who are experimental in nature
  • Artists who are mature, courageous, and willing to push boundaries
  • Artists seeking critical dialogue and visionary thinking

Although this workshop is open to applicants 18 and up, this program is not suitable for fledgling artists. The ideal candidate is an artist or college student who is established in their practice and wants to expand their approach to filmmaking.



Application for PDW for Experimental Film & Video Artists

Application Deadline: June 18, 2021

Enrollment and Payment Deadline: June 21, 2021

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Section Title
Portfolio Development Workshop for Experimental Film & Video Artists
Jun 28, 2021 to Aug 27, 2021
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $1,000.00 Click here to get more information