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.


You must be 14 years old or older to take part in this workshop.


Application for PDW for Experimental Film & Video Artists (Summer)

Application deadline: June 24th, 2024

Enrollment window closes: June 25th, 2024 (or when the class is full)

Applications are reviewed weekly. Once you are notified of your acceptance, you will have two (2) weeks to enroll, by paying for the course in full or making a deposit. Enrollment in the course is available on a first-come, first-served basis—an approved application does not guarantee a seat in the course.

Regardless of whether tuition is paid in full or a deposit is made, $250 of the tuition is non-refundable. Student-initiated drops are subject to a partial refund according to the posted Refund Policy.

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Portfolio Development Workshop for Experimental Film & Video Artists
Jun 24, 2024 to Aug 23, 2024
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $1,000.00 Click here to get more information
Section Notes

For a list of required materials, click here.

Application Deadline: June 24th, 2024.