Eight Months to Your Career at Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ School


Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ School of Film, Photography and Digital Media offers hands-on training in the media arts from a team of expert faculty. Courses are taught in filmmaking, photography, video production, digital media and the history and theory of all of those forms. Pittsburgh Filmmakers has more than 40 years of experience in fostering, educating and training artists. A key strength in the School’s success is its faculty — filmmakers and photographers whose work has been exhibited in festivals and galleries nationally and internationally.

Students can apply to one of the School’s eight-month full immersion Intensive programs (Filmmaking or Photography), or they can enroll in individual college-level production classes. These classes all aim to help students develop a strong aesthetic, analytical, and technical foundation on which they can build as they become working artists and professionals.

The Filmmaking Intensive

The Filmmaking Intensive, an accelerated professional program designed to develop the creative talents of aspiring filmmakers in all aspects of film and video production, runs each year from September to April. Building on Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ expertise and experience training filmmakers and digital artists, the program prepares students for careers in a variety of positions within the industry.

From the very first class a hands-on approach helps students to discover their own unique, artistic voices. The Filmmaking Intensive is built around a core curriculum of hands-on production classes that teach current technologies. These classes give students closely supervised experience in professional practices and procedures. The program also includes courses in film history, screenwriting and business, providing students with a detailed knowledge of the field.

Throughout the Filmmaking Intensive, students serve as crew members on each other’s films, gaining valuable experience in a variety of roles. By graduation, students will have a public theatrical screening of their work, along with a full filmmaking portfolio.

“The Filmmaking Intensive was a perfect blend of classroom instruction and real-world application. The courses didn’t just make us competent; they gave us voices as filmmakers. Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ community of faculty, staff and students is unparalleled. I gained a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and experience in less than a year.”

—Tom Fisher, Filmmaking Intensive graduate

The Photography Intensive

The Photography Intensive is a full immersion education that develops the creative talents of aspiring photographers through its focus on shooting, editorial and studio lighting practices, and the business of photography. Students also learn the basics of design and digital video to ensure a balanced education in multimedia production skills. All classes are taught by working photographers — prolific artists and professionals who teach from experience.

Running from September to April, students can expect to receive a full education in just two semesters. They work on a variety of documentary and commercial projects from conception to completion, and they create imagery for both print and Web content. Students collaborate creatively, while at the same time forming their individual identity as photographers.

Upon completing the program, students graduate with a diploma and a comprehensive portfolio of their work, which includes a personal Web site. They also publicly exhibit their photography in Pittsburgh Filmmakers Galleries. Graduates will be prepared to launch a career in photography.

“Expect to work. Hard. But the program really represents a conversation on our progress as photographers. We’ve covered a great deal of ground influenced by our own feedback and questions. It genuinely feels like each instructor in this program is wholly committed to seeing us succeed.”

—Laura Wetzel, Photography Intensive student

The Apprenticeship Program

After graduation from either the Filmmaking or the Photography Intensive, Pittsburgh Filmmakers offers the Apprenticeship Program, an optional, no-cost career guidance program. It includes internship placement, interview coaching, portfolio review, job references, networking events, and a one-year, full-access membership to Pittsburgh Filmmakers facilities and equipment. Not to mention free enrollment in a limited number of additional, ongoing classes for up to two years.

It’s the perfect way to jumpstart a career in filmmaking or photography. For more information about the Intensive programs at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, or to register for one of Filmmakers’ upcoming spring Open Houses, visit pfm.edu.