About The School

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Thank you your interest in the Charlotte  Film School.

We bring together local film professionals who are down-to-earth and accessible & the adults who want to learn various filmmaking skills from them. For Winter and Spring 2020, most of our classes will be on Weeknights 6:15pm-9:00pm or Saturdays.

Who is teaching during January 2020?

Julie McElmurry

Andy Heck

Esmeralda James

Chip White

Robert Guti

Joshua Overbay

We asked 4 people why they signed up to take workshops with us.

“I would like to improve my craft. I think I understand the process but I need to learn to pay more attention to detail. I would like to know more about I need to think about.”

“Learning with others and any chance I would have to give back.”

“I have no experience with film making so I want to learn everything I can, especially when it comes to making something that can affect people in a positive way.”

“It’s an excellent opportunity to be part of a community of folks trying to improve their filmmaking skills.”

How It All Began [a short history]…

Summer of 2017, started with informal meetups in parks and coffeeshops with the intention of gathering local men and women to talk about various filmmaking related topics.

Spring of 2018 was our first semester. Starting with a cohort of ten people, we had 12 classes with 12 different local film pros as teachers. We made four short films about local non-profits at the end of our semester. Many deep friendships were built during this time and many films have been made by folks who met through that semester. In addition to the cohort, each class was open to anyone to take “a la carte” A generous grant of $7000 from the Unconventional Pilgrim’s Fund gave us what we needed to run this first semester. Our name is a tribute and a nod to these people who first believed in this vision.

Fall of 2018 we offered an array of top quality classes, this time without a previously recruited cohort of students.

Spring of 2019 we partnered with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to offer 10 free classes on Saturdays, serving over 600 local Charlotte men and women.

Spring of 2019 we partnered with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to offer 10 Saturday Filmmaking workshops. More than 600 seats were filled at these 10 workshops. These were offered for free to the community.

Fall of 2019 we are partnering again with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to offer three types of classes this fall including two sessions of a four-week Documentary Filmmaking class, a one-day session on screenwriting and four small-group (only 15 people permitted) hands-on classes on four different Saturdays (can only attend one of the four) where we will film scenes. In addition to these, we are currently (August 2019) solidifying our schedule and will feature classes in Spanish and English plus ten various classes on Wednesdays. keep checking out our page on meetup which is the most up to date place where we put our info: https://www.meetup.com/Charlotte-Independent-Filmmaking-Meetup/

Want to know a little about the Director/Founder, Julie?

That’s me in the video up there at the top of the page. I just finished my 7th documentary (January 2020) and am currently representing my 6th documentary at film festivals. I’m mostly self-taught and I’m not a “techie” but I’ve been able to complete these movies and I believe YOU can do the same. You can see most of my movies here. Before picking up a camera, I assembled a book with writings from 40 people. You can find that here. You can further spy on me/connect with me here. Here’s an interview with me on the https://anchor.fm/quarantine-phone-calls/embed/episodes/Julie-McElmurry-Documentary-Maker-From-Charlotte--North-Carolina-ebm4up/a-a1novvq" height="102px" width="400px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">Quarantine Phone Calls podcast.

What about the future?

Let’s say there are 100 people with interesting stories only they can tell. We know we can hear from 15-20 of them because they have the skills, gear, connections and know-how to make a film. What about the other 80-85 people? Theirs are the stories we want to hear and those are the people we are looking continue to serve. To do this, we need:

-Some money (not millions, but in increments of 100s of dollars) to defray “tuition” costs and thereby remove money as a barrier to people

-Some more cool, down-to-earth, humble yet accomplished film pros to teach with us

-Some help getting the word out