Master Class: Building Your Successful Career in Film

Presented by WDSE • WRPT

Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3, 2019

With Instructors Cirina Catania, veteran filmmaker and co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival, and the team from "We Make Movies Smart Phone Studio,” Sam Mestman and Aubrey Mozino.

Special appearances also by Patty Mester, president and general manager of WDSE•WRPT and Philip Gilpin, executive director of the Catalyst Content Festival.


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Your Successful Film & Television Career: The Economics of Field Production and Delivery

What Film School Doesn’t Teach You About Getting and Keeping that Job

Film schools are great, but there are very few that teach students how to get and keep that job they covet so much! Often times, graduates walk away from the classroom knowing how to run a camera or edit a short film, but with many unanswered questions about what they need to know once they get that amazing position. They learn the “real world” through trial and error.

Wouldn’t you love a shortcut and some ammunition to help you rise above the competition?

This two-day intense, action-packed Master Class will give you the foundational information that meets you wherever you are in your career. You will get back room information you can’t get anywhere else and will leave empowered to create an exciting and profitable career as a filmmaker.

You will be able to identify next steps on your journey because the most important part of production workflow is what happens behind the scenes: before the camera starts rolling and all the way through to delivery.

Want to see where the magic happens?

In this demanding but fun workshop, you have an incredible opportunity to learn and get individual guidance from someone who has experienced and is experiencing remarkable success as a Hollywood filmmaker, studio executive, and documentarian - Cirina Catania.

Sam Mestman and Aubrey Mozino will join Cirina in a fast-paced version of their “We Make Movies’ Smart Phone Studio” which has been changing lives in Chicago and around the country using mobile filmmaking as a catalyst for creating and executing stories.

And speaking of catalyst, Philip Gilpin, formerly with HBO and the Executive Director and driving force behind Duluth’s very own Catalyst Content Festival will enlighten you on the economics of the deal and give expert guidance on the financial bottom line.

More about your Master Class Leader: Cirina is Founder/Lead Creative at the Catania Group, Host of OWC RADiO and partner, Lumberjack System. She is a longtime member of the Producers Guild, Writers Guild, Cinematographers Guild, the National Press Club, National Press Photographer’s Association, and more. She has worked as a writer, director, supervising producer, cinematographer, post-producer, or marketing exec on over 130 film, television and new media projects for the big screen as well as for networks such as National Geographic and Discovery. She is one of the co-founders and former director of the Sundance Film Festival and former Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at MGM-UA and United Artists. Cirina is based in San Diego, D.C. and Berlin when she is not on the road filming in the Amazon or other exotic locations.


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Topics and Takeaways

The team is excited to discuss: The Bottom Line, Story, Economics and Budget. Your solid takeaways include valuable information on:

  • Pre-Production: Everything you need to know about prepping for the field. Cirina will share examples from her work with the United Nations in South Africa and National Geographic field work. Want lists? She’s got lists!
  • Budgeting: Turning your dream story into a budget to help you plan for proper gear, crew and every line item in between. You’ll find out more about HR, contracts, legal/rights considerations and... get more lists!
  • Shoot Prep: Organizing each day, working with post-production in mind, getting the shot, equipment, DIT, etc. And yes, even more lists.
  • Mobile Filmmaking: We’ll take you through the storytelling experience where you will create a plan, cultivate an idea and shoot a scene/story using your own mobile phone and laptop. You will become part of a four-person team where you will create, yes overnight, a short video between 1 and 2 minutes long with a compelling beginning, middle and end.
  • Post-Production Planning: How to avoid common pitfalls, crew prep for post, NLE’s (non linear editing), workflow.
  • But, wait! It’s not over yet - you still have deliverables: We’ll discuss and define what they are and how to make sure you get them.
  • And don’t forget PR/Marketing before, during and after the shoot, licensing/merchandising, partners/sponsors. Are you out of breath yet?
  • Final Reports required by the networks - you might be exhausted from the shoot, but you still have to finish the job and leave everything buttoned up.
  • The Economics of Success - the deal and what to expect.
  • Review and Crossing the Finish Line.

Cirina’s guests include Content Catalyst Executive Director Philip Gilpin who will talk about distribution and opportunities through the Content Catalyst Festival.

Powerful, intense and essential, this Master Class is well worth the investment for your future and career as a film maker!


Workshop Schedule:

August 2
9am-12pm - Learn what is required by the networks in order to get and keep your job working in television production (both independent and network). We’ll go into specific detail and you will get information not available anywhere else! We'll also do an overview of the workshop objectives, and discuss individual career goals and questions, and what is really required when you work for companies like the United Nations, National Geographic and the networks.

12pm-12:30pm - Lunch and networking.

12:30pm-1:00pm - Review workflow, logging and organizing include instruction on using Lumberjack, etc., for FCPX and Premiere Pro.

1pm-1:30pm - Tips and resources for field gear in remote locations.

1:30pm - 4pm - Break out into teams and begin planning your mobile filmmaking shoot. Instruction on supporting apps. We'll provide each team with a new iPhone and a new MacBook Pro to use during the workshop!* We’ll discuss story building, gear, logging and managing media, and give you a surprise log line.

4pm-? - Your team will go out, shoot based on the direction given and return the next day with the original media on your team’s iPhone.

August 3
9am-12pm - With the help of your instructors, you will download the media shot the night before, edit your short using Final Cut Pro X, add music, titles, etc.

12pm-12:30pm - Lunch and networking.

12:30pm-1:30pm - Screening of the scenes and story-building/shooting feedback.

1:30pm-5pm - The Economics of Filmmaking - We'll discuss enhancing the bottom line: budgeting, making the deal, and the landscape of deals in the OTT world with companies such as Netflix, Amazon, PBS, etc.

Side Note: The Catalyst Content Festival 48-Hour films will be screening in Duluth at the Zeitgeist Theater beginning at 7pm. Plan to go!

*Participants will be required to sign a permission slip accepting responsibility for damages and promising to return the equipment.


The workshop will be held at WDSE • WRPT, located on the beautiful University of Minnesota – Duluth campus, overlooking Lake Superior.

632 E Niagara Street, Duluth, MN 55811.

Necessary practice equipment will be available for use during the workshop.

Lunch will be provided along with several beverages.

Check back here for updates on the schedule details, as they are subject to change.

For more information about Cirina Catania:

Website:  CirinaCatania.com
Twitter:  @Cirina
Instagram:  CirinaCatania

WDSE•WRPT is hosting this workshop, featuring incredibly talented professionals from across the film industry right here, in Duluth, MN, at an approachable rate so local film makers can continue to learn and grow in their careers. Will you join us?


Register for the Workshop


Air dates: 
Mon, 2019-07-01
Price: $0.00

You will receive an email confirmation after signing up.

If you have any questions, please email them to email [at] wdse [dot] org or call (888) 563-9373.