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  • 11-day intensive, hands-on documentary filmmaking workshop.
  • An award-winning staff and a student-teacher ratio of 1:3 (only 12 students admitted).
  • The curriculum is divided into three phases: storytelling and narrative structure, taught by John Jacobsen; cinematography, taught by Shana Hagan; and editing, taught by camp directors Pete Vogt and Doug Pray, who also provide general filmmaking and one-on-one instruction throughout the course. Each day features a balance of instruction, discussion, collaboration, and physical production.
  • Daily classes cover the art of storytelling: identifying great subjects, creating a shooting plan, and understanding the mythic and entertaining elements within your documentary story. Production workshops teach interviewing techniques, camera operation and coverage in live situations, lighting on a budget, and the importance of great location sound. Post production classes are based on the principle that editing is writing. We teach footage analysis, workflow strategies, story structure, editing techniques for pacing, and the use of music and sound design.
  • Equipment: HD video camera packages, audio recording gear, basic lighting packages, editing systems and hard drives, projectors, connectors, and all other basic filmmaking necessities are provided. You are welcome to use your own equipment, but none is required.
  • Short Films: each filmmaker creates his or her own 3-to-5 minute film with each other's help during the course of camp. In-class exercises are tested in the field as students practice all aspects of the filmmaking process (producing, directing, shooting, editing, and collaborating with others).
  • Documentary subjects: although the Methow Valley is remote, its towns and countryside are full of interesting stories, history, controversy, beauty, and a surprising diversity of people from all walks of life. During camp we also shoot live public events (for example the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival, or, last year the response to area forest fires).
  • Wild Mind Film Festival: on the last night of camp, a public showing of your short film provides an opportunity to measure your growth as a filmmaker and test your ideas in front of an audience. You’ll be heroes to the locals who will attend in droves to hear stories from their own backyard told through the eyes of developing filmmakers.


  • Please note: Wild Mind Film Camp will not be held in 2017 (no applications accepted until further notice). The following information is subject to change for future Summer workshops. Updates will be posted here.
  • Dates: our past workshops have been held for 11 days during the second half of July
  • Applications will be accepted from anyone over 21, who is serious about developing their professional documentary filmmaking abilities.
  • Tuition at our last session was $3,000 and included 11 days of instruction, equipment, room and board.
  • Location: Twisp, Washington, in the gorgeous Methow Valley, nestled along a river below the Cascade Mountain range, in Twisp, Washington. It’s about a 4-hour drive from Seattle, and about the same distance from Spokane to the east.
  • Classes, workshops and screenings have been held at TwispWorks, a former Forest Service facility that’s been redeveloped into an innovative center for arts, agriculture, technology and education.
  • Accommodations: in past sessions we've stayed at the beautiful Methow Valley Inn, a large bed-and-breakfast with gorgeous gardens, just a block away from the river.
  • Great food: Our amazing caterer, Cameron Green, supplies two meals per day of the best of what’s local, fresh, and delicious (with vegetarian/vegan options if desired). Breakfast and dinner are included in tuition. Campers will be responsible for their own lunches and can take advantage of a number of wonderful eating options nearby campus.

Stefanie MaloneWild Mind Film Camp was a transformative experience, and has given me the confidence and skills to advance forward as an independent producer. This well-rounded intensive includes important lectures ranging from production to storytelling, and is paired with hands-on experience that results in the creation of your own documentary short. All four of the teachers bring different expertise to the table and are incredible filmmakers and instructors. For someone that is interested in taking their documentary skills to a new level, this experience cannot be missed.

– 2012 Filmmaker Stefanie Malone, Seattle WA
Northwest Film Forum
In association with Northwest Film Forum