Course description: Ever dreamed about acting in a movie, or making a movie of your own? Students will have the opportunity to do both in this class.  In this fun, hands-on course, we’ll create and film a short independent movie from scratch, working as a group. Let’s Make A Movie is a Seattle film class in which people learn key things about filmmaking, and an acting class in which students who want to will get experience acting in front of the camera, all rolled into one. You’ll learn how to make movies by actually helping make one.

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  • Co-sponsored by the University of Washington’s Experimental College
  • 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/9, 5/16 (FIVE MEETINGS)
  • SATURDAYS 3:30 P.M.-5:30 P.M.
  • There are five meetings. The last two will run past 5:30, to give us more hours of filming.
  • Where: University of Washington campus in Seattle
  • Tuition: $150 for general public; $145 for UW students (plus $10 reg. fee)

General Public: $150 tuition Take Class
University of Washington Student: $145 tuition  Take Class

 In the first class, we’ll learn some fundamentals about filmmaking, and vote to choose a script to film.

  • In the next class, students will learn how to crew on a movie (set up lights, mark scenes with a slate, operate a prosumer camcorder and record audio.)  We’ll also cast the students in the class who want to be actors in the movie.
  • In the remaining meetings, we’ll film the movie.
  • Then a couple of weeks after the class ends, we’ll have a wrap party that you can attend and invite your family and friends to. Students are also free to act in the class movie if they would like to. At the wrap party, the movie will be available on a professionally printed DVD. Everyone is welcome; no previous experience is necessary.  The instructor’s movies have appeared in major international film festivals.
  • This class is taught by Seattle filmmaker Nils Osmar To visit the instructor’s IMDB (professional film credits) page, click here

Note:  You can take this class independently, or as part of a Certificate Program in Acting and/or Filmmaking.  To sign up now, click the Take Class button below.  To read student comments about this class, scroll down this page.

About the instructor

Nils Osmar has made his living in the arts since the 1980s, working as a visual artist, writer, director and independent filmmaker. He has taught acting classes, film classes, and other classes and workshops for over twenty years through the University of Washington’s ASUW Experimental College, and other programs.  His films have played at major international film festivals.

Frequently asked questions

Is Let’s Make a Movie a filmmaking class, a film acting class, or an acting class?

It’s all of the above. It’s a hands-on production class, which covers information of interest to both the actors and filmmakers.  You’ll learn about filmmaking, acting for the camera, and more.

What will we be doing in the class?
Let’s Make a Movie is a fun course in which we dive in from day one and actually make a short independent movie. You’ll learn making a movie by actually participating in the process of making one.

Can everyone act in the movie?
Yes.  Every student who wants to be in the movie, will be in it.

Are students required to act in the movie?
No. Some people sign up just to learn about filmmaking, and decide they would rather focus on behind-the-scene things like operating the camcorder, setting up lights, or recording audio. It’s fine to either act in the movie, be on the crew behind the scenes, or both.

Who writes the script?
We’ll talk about tips for writing a good script in the first meeting. Then anyone who wants to write one, is free to try doing so. We’ll read the scripts aloud in the second class, and vote on which one to produce. (There are also some scripts in the class archives in case no one in the class writes one. So there are always lots of good ones to choose from.)

What kind of equipment will we use?
We’ll use the same high-quality equipment filmmakers use when making movies for film festivals: a top of the line prosumer camcorder, a professional-quality tripod, and professional lighting and audio equipment.

I notice it meets on the U.W. campus. Are most of the people who take the class, University of Washington students?
Our enrollment is usually about 1/3 U.W. students, and 2/3 members of the general public. The folks who sign up end to be of all different ages and backgrounds.

What sorts of movies do you usually film in the class?
In the past, we’ve done everything from film noire detective movies, to mockumentaries, horror flicks, zombie movies, action movies, science fiction and fantasy, satire, humor, and romance. We’ll film whatever the students as a group decide to make.

What will happen to the movie when it’s finished?
We’ll upload it to online, so you can send links to your friends to see it. And we’ll also make a professionally printed DVD. It’s a beautifully printed professional DVD with a wrap around cover and color label. (The $9 supply fee covers the cost of both the handouts you’ll receive in class, and the DVD)

Student comments

I’d actually like to thank you. After taking your (Beginning Acting and Let’s Make a Movie) classes last year, I now have had two acting gigs. One in a movie called Sideways Japan… it was a Fox production… and I was in a commercial in Hollywood, that was a Time Warner production. The reel we made was very useful helping me perform in front of camera and the fact the directors thought I was funny and comfortable in front of camera got me the gigs. So your class I did pick up some pointers and payed attention. Tell everyone to not give up and give it your all if you want to make it. It was a slow start, but now I’m living in la and loving it. Thanks again, your classes are good. -K. S., Hollywood

I was looking for a filmmaking class, then decided it would be fun to try acting too. I ended up taking the class twice, once to get some experience behind the camera, and the second time to try my hand at acting. Both experiences were interesting and very challenging. I’m also taking the Crash Course in Filmmaking class, which fills in a lot of the more technical information there wasn’t time to cover in Let’s Make a Movie.  I recommend all of the instructor’s classes. – Barb B.

I saw a class similar to this at _____ but they wanted $8,000.00 for it! Thank you for a fun learning experience and for keeping it affordable! – Sharon B., Seattle

Thanks for teaching the class! The wrap party was a blast. It was fun seeing our class movie on a big screen…- S.G., Seattle

I was hoping to learn some basics about filmmaking and see how it was all done. That’s exactly what I got. I will recommend the class to my friends. – J.G., Seattle

Just a note to say that I loved the class. Thanks Nils! – V.M. (Seattle)

I was impressed with the professionalism of the movie we ended up with. Everything about it was great. The class was far more than I expected. – Joe G. (Kent)

The instructor was very patient and supportive. We are completing the course project, making a film, as promised. Nils has, and will continue to devote many additional hours working on the editing. I’ll probably take this class again. – M.F., Seattle

It was nice being able to choose, we could be in the film, or be on the crew, or just watch. I did crew this time around but I’ll be taking it again and try acting. – Brad R., Bellevue

Okay, I’ll tell you the truth. I was scared to death. But I really enjoyed the class, and liked the show. It’s fun to have done it. – Mary L. (Bellevue)

Thanks so much for the class. I had a great time, and learned what I was hoping to. – Mike G., Seattle

I was impressed with the professionalism of the movie we ended up with. Everything about it was great. The class was far more than I expected. – Joe G. (Kent)

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