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.

When urological surgeon Jacek Mostwin first came to us as a workshop participant back in 1990, he knew that he would improve his photography. At the time, he used his camera to record details of operations and surgical procedures. What he didn’t know was that those early workshops would eventually lead him to see his patients and medical colleagues in an entirely new light, and transform the way he practices medicine.

Mostwin began taking photography workshops as a way to creatively express and understand the complex emotions that are an inevitable component of caring for patients. Over the course of a decade, he built a foundation of photographic skills that allowed him to capture moments of fragile vulnerability and tender compassion. Eventually he learned to use those seeing skills without a camera. “I learned to be a participant and an observer at the same time,” says Mostwin. “When I’m just working, without a camera, I’m aware of the dynamics and the choreography of the scene. It’s an unusual experience, and has made me very sensitive to subtle moments of expression and communication with others. It has also made me appreciate my colleagues in medicine and nursing all the more. When they work well, they’re doing something really beautiful for other people.”

Seeking to add even greater depth to his work, Mostwin joined our MFA program. Expecting to concentrate exclusively on images, he soon discovered that even deeper connections were waiting to be revealed. “I learned a great deal about the creative process—understanding it, nurturing it, listening to it. I learned to be patient, and I learned the differences between inspiration, craftsmanship, vision, and discipline,” says Mostwin. “Halfway through the program, I began writing about the photographs, and discovered a wonderful synergy between word and image. All of us have loved stories since we were children. It is a fundamental structure of how we think and transmit values that are really important to us.”

After receiving his MFA degree in 2004, Mostwin sought to share his insight with others. He currently teaches The Human Side of Medicine here at Maine Media, a workshop for photographers, filmmakers, and health care professionals interested in seeing medicine and illness from a more personal perspective. ­He will also be presenting at The Examined Life Conference at the University of Iowa this spring, a forum for educators that brings together writing, the humanities, and the art of medicine. For Mostwin, this interdisciplinary and emotional exploration has value to all professionals. “No matter what kind of work you do, tapping into this primary curiosity about the life of another is a great skill to be able to cultivate.”

MMW+C is offering a number of new courses that combine photography and writing. Check them out here. To learn more about our MFA program, click here.


jonathan adamsGain industry experience, lifelong friends and be a part of a fun, educational, and inspirational organization!
Each summer, MAINE MEDIA WORKSHOPS + COLLEGE hire approximately 75 people to help run one of the world’s great creative centers.  Photographers, filmmakers, and other visual media artists looking for an exciting summer full of challenge, camaraderie, and the opportunity to work alongside some of the world’s greatest creative minds, are encouraged to interview at the 
Rockport, Maine March 28th & 29th
Positions available include teaching assistants, film technical staff, editors, photography studio staff, darkroom interns, teen program counselors, media producers, digital services staff and kitchen/housekeeping employees. Applicants are encouraged to attend the Fair in order to get a sense of the creative environment here in Maine, and for Workshops department managers to meet their prospective staffers.

Almost all of our summer hiring is done through the Job Fair - don't miss it!

Click here to apply online!

One of the most exciting things happening here on campus this winter is the construction of a new Book Arts & Alternative Process Studio, which will be complete in just a few weeks.

Part of a from-the-studs-up renovation of the lower level of the Ernst Haas building, the studio is dedicated to enhancing our Book Arts & Design program, introduced in 2007 by former Maine Media President Charles Altschul. The studio will house a raft of exceptional book arts equipment including Vandercook proofing presses, multiple book presses, a photopolymer platemaker, composing stone and base, stamping press, bookbinding sewing frame, and much more. The Alternative Process Lab being renovated in the adjacent space embraces the resurging interest in 19th century historic photographic techniques including tintype, collodion, gum bichromate, and calotype. It's a veritable cornucopia for "maker" enthusiasts and photographers alike! 

The new studio will allow our students to exponentially expand their opportunities here, by exploring, blending, and combining these age-old techniques in tandem with the most cutting-edge image technology available. Take a picture on an iPhone, use a special printer to create a digital negative of that image, print the image using a historic process, and overlay letterpress onto the final image or bind multiple prints into a hand-bound book. It's the marriage of old and new.  

For those of you who have already had a chance to look over our latest catalog, you'll see loads of new book arts, design, and alternative process courses taught by world-class instructors. We know you are going to love experimenting and creating in this gorgeous new space! 





Steve Rausch Documents Poverty Among Families of Inmates

While attending Doug Jensen’s The Art of Lighting and Shooting Interviews workshop this summer, Steve got a call to gear up for a month-long shoot to document some of the poorest families in Cambodia and Costa Rica who had at least one family member in prison. Steve served as Audio and AC on the project, and recently sent us this dispatch:

We shot in incredible conditions: heat, monsoon rain, and thick fog. We shot in areas where dengue fever are highly present as well as lots of gang activity. The level of poverty was eye opening. One young girl that we filmed lives with her grandmother in an old crematorium. It’s the only place they have to go. Working on this project was priceless experience that, I hope, will assist the client in raising funds to help these people in such great need.


Deanna Witman Connects Celestial Nighttime Visions

MFA graduate Deanna Witman recently exhibited a new body of work at Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA that dispenses with cameras in favor of the unpredictable vision of the lowly slug. The trails these nighttime wanderers left behind on her gelatin silver paper resemble images captured of far away galaxies and nebulae, and the collection of images draws fascinating connections between something so small and simple with something so massive and unfathomable. The entire collection, titled Supercluster Arion and Other Phenomena, can be seen by clicking HERE, and in a beautiful catalog prepared for the exhibit. One of the collection’s images was recently selected for Plates to Pixels juried Lenzless exhibition. View the online exhibition HERE.


Tell us what you're up to! Send your alumni news to Karin Leuthy at

The workshop season is over, but students in our long-term programs are just hitting their stride. Our Professional Certificate students have been combing the midcoast and surrounding islands (on land and under sea), photographing, interviewing, and writing. Their recent presentation of first term work was impressive. MFA candidates and auditors were joined at their biannual retreat by award-winning documentary filmmaker Bestor Cram, and were also treated to a presentation by Newman Award-winning photographer Steven Laxton as he closed out his recent exhibition, Circo El Salvador, in our Rockport gallery. The MFA students are currently showcasing their progress towards their degrees with a Maine Media Gallery exhibit titled A Work in Progress, running through February 1. If you missed Steven Laxton’s exhibit, you can see it through December 28 at PhoPa Gallery in Portland. 

We’re sorry to tell you that Peter Turnley’s winter and spring Paris workshops are both full. They have always been some of our most popular Destination Workshops. If you missed out on travelling to the City of Light with Peter this year, he’s got a pretty good consolation prize for you. His new book, French Kiss—A Love Letter to Paris celebrates 40 years of photographing intimacy and street life that is uniquely Parisian. Photographer, collector, and bookstore owner Tim Whelan wrote this review for us:

There are still a few spots available in Peter's July and September Paris workshops! To check out Peter’s complete list of 2014 Destination Workshops, CLICK HERE. You can also watch a wonderful interview with him about his new book and his love for Paris on his website at

Peter Turnley has shared his love of photography since he was a teenager. Since then, his travels have taken him to over 90 countries. He has photographed world leaders, wars, famine, and a great deal of human suffering. Paris was his safe haven, a place where he could recharge from the many horrific things he never flinched from. The iconic Parisian photographer Edouard Boubat once told him, “Peter, if you keep your eyes and heart open there is a gift waiting for you at the corner of every street.” Fortunately for us he took these ideas to heart, and worked hard to create many iconic images. He did not put his camera away at the end of an assignment, but would walk the streets of Paris, always looking. With Peter there is always an immediate connection made. He communicated with attention, interest, and eye contact.

Peter Turnley has given us an intimate, classically beautiful, poetic, and keenly seen book on love in Paris. He shares with us 138 black & white photographs made on the streets, riverbanks, and in the cafes and restaurants of his adopted home. The book is 144 pages, 11 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches high, hardbound with French fold dust jacket, and an elegant cloth covered slipcase. This is Peter’s first self-published book. A gutsy undertaking that allowed him the freedom to make it just as he wanted. It marries great images and fine printing with strong design from Laura Lindgren. 40 years of images have given him a lot to choose from, and resulted in interesting sequencing and strong imagery throughout.

This is a timeless book that is in the classic tradition of Cartier- Bresson, Doisneau, Boubat, Kertesz, and Ronis. You may want to buy it soon, as well over half of this slip-cased deluxe limited first edition has sold in the first month of the book’s release! It is sold exclusively from Peter’s Website at: French Kiss-A Love Letter to Paris         

--Tim Whelan

Screenwriting Instructor Wayne Beach was interviewed on 207 recently. Check it out for some great advice about how to get your script or screenplay through the door and onto the screen. Wayne wrote the screenplays for Murder at 1600 and The Art of War as well as developed projects for the makers of The Pirates of the Caribbean, Law & Order, The Fugitive, Ocean’s Eleven and The Perfect Storm. Watch the video HERE.