After working as a producer in New York and Hollywood for 25 years with industry greats like Lorne Michaels, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, John Stewart, and William C. K., Tara Gardner developed an eye for talent. As our film program manager, she puts her high standards and A-list contacts to work for our students, lining up a schedule so full of luminaries that we may need to buy our own red carpet. "We have some truly amazing talent coming this year," says Gardner. "These people are at the top of their game, and also brilliant instructors. Great credits matter. Teaching ability matters. I'm looking for the ones who have both."
This year's line-up of film courses may be our most impressive ever, with star-power lighting up classes that cover all aspects of filmmaking. One of our newest additions is a course designed and taught by writer, actor, director, and MMW Young Artist alum Caitlin FitzGerald, currently playing the role of Libby Masters in Showtime's Masters of Sex. Described recently as one of "Hollywood's new power players", FitzGerald came to us with the idea for a course that would help both actors and directors make most of their talents on sets that can often be chaotic and hurried. Unlocking Emotion: Tools for Directors and Actors not only draws from her experience working with heavy hitters like Meryl Streep, Ed Burns, and Ang Lee on major film and television productions, but also her experience as a writer and director of independent films.
FitzGerald joins a growing number of industry rock stars you'll find under the tent here this summer. Author Joyce Maynard, whose novel Labor Day was recently released as a film starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, will be teaching Personal Storytelling, and now that all the Twilight films are in the can, veteran production executive Andi Isaacs will lead Understanding the Hollywood Studios & Distribution. Michael Palmieri, best known for his music video collaborations with Beck, The Strokes, and The New Pornographers will be lending his cinematic prowess to a course for documentary filmmakers, Cinematic Documentary, and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations DP Zach Zamboni will be teaching the brand new Camera in Action workshop. Over in post production, we've got Academy Award-winning sound mixer Mark Ulano (whose massive credits could take up this entire column) on deck for a 15th season, teaching Production Sound Mixing.
No less than four ASC members are on this summer's schedule: Amy Vincent teaching Camera Operator, Daniel Pearl teaching Advanced Camera Operator, Steven Fierberg teaching The Camera and Visual Storytelling, and (with fingers crossed that his schedule allows) Russell Carpenter teaching Director of Photography Master Class. Almost as exciting is the line-up of gear that our students will get their hands on. "Wait until you see the cameras coming in this year!" says Gardner, sounding just a little bit like a kid on Christmas Eve. "Other schools use out-of-date, inexpensive cameras. But we'll have Arri's Alexa XT and Amira, Canon's C300 and C500, RED Epic, and the latest from Panavision--the best of the best." Try them out in The Camera Assistant Workshop, taught by Pirates of the Caribbean AC Brad Edmiston andMen in Black 3 AC Greg Lutzel.
This year's program is a veritable who's who and what's what of the film industry. It's enough to make your head spin. If you're struggling to choose just one of these inspiring instructors to work with, we understand. That's why we created two brand new eight-week film intensives. Geared towards college students, recent grads, and emerging professionals, the Producing Intensive and Cinematography Intensive link together our best film workshops to give you everything you need to refine your understanding of the industry, get your hands on an enormous amount of gear, and produce samples for a professional reel. Think of it as your personal filmmaker launching pad. For those of you who have been working in the field for several years and are ready to take your skills to the next level, be sure to check out the 12-Week Cinematography Intensive or 30-week Independent Filmmaking Certificate Program. For both established and emerging film folk, there have never been more reasons to spend a summer in Maine.
Want to hear what our students have to say about our film intensives? Check out this short video.