Grad School Week 3

Last week was the end of “boot camp.” We had three pretty intensive weeks of class to get us ready for… more classes… But it was good. We shot some, we wrote some, and, I think most importantly, we got to know one another as classmates. The other grad programs at Columbia College Chicago ( haven’t had these three weeks to work with each other before the really important classes start. So, for us producers and directors, we’re coming into class on September 4th already knowing a bit of how each of us works. And it should make for some easier collaboration in class.

Here’s this weeks breakdown from Week 3:

We screened the shorts that we shot with our directors over the weekend. I posted mine last week, but in case you missed it, here it is again. We got out early on Monday, and it was much-needed.

[vimeo w=500&h=281]

The Sell: ROUGH CUT from Jeremy Widen on Vimeo.

We screened the original pilot episode of Aeon Flux ( and covered acquisition of the property and the process of turning it to a film. We also went over “Look Books.”

Since this week was mainly about post production and distribution, we took a look at the post process from a producer’s POV. We screened the original director’s cut of Aeon Flux ( and discussed what the producers/studio might have said as far as notes. We covered how to write and deliver notes on a cut of a film. We went over financing a film; how to find funding, the difference between grants and investments, etc. Joe and Kevin talked about business plans and pitch packets. Wednesday was a full day. On top of all that, we also had a big assignment due Thursday morning. Dad came into town Wednesday morning, so we went out that night. It was a long night.

Over Wednesday night we were tasked with creating a presentation on various studios. It was a group project, which is always difficult to coordinate. My group got Focus Features ( It went pretty well… minus the videos we pulled for the presentation crashing. After the presentations, we talked about distribution, making deliverables, and about festivals. After lunch, it was all about marketing. What better way to teach about marketing then by having the class break out into group and create two one sheets… oh yea, by the way, only give them 20 minutes… Our’s turned out pretty good for only 20 minutes (thank god I have/know Photoshop).

Last day of boot camp. Friday was all about the school. We went over the curriculum for the next few years. We discussed how the camp went. And we ended by watching some of the previous graduate films. After class there was a “new grad welcome party” thing. That was fun.

All in all the CCC Creative Producing MFA “Boot Camp” was pretty useful. It got me back into the swing of school. I got to meet and work with my classmates before things start getting super intense. And I even picked up a few tid bits I hadn’t already known.

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