“Microbudget Filmmaking” with Paul Harrill

August 12, 2017 | 10:30 am – 3 pm | 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203

Includes boxed lunch & entry fee waiver to Film competition, which is emailed after conclusion of workshop.


In this workshop, you will learn proven, cost-effective filmmaking and business techniques for producing a $50,000 (or less!) film project. We’ll go step-by-step through the filmmaking process to discover tips and tricks for developing, planning, producing, and distributing a microbudget film.

Read more in Filmmaker Magazine: Why Make a Microbudget Film? Five Questions for Director Paul Harrill on the Virtues of Ultra-Low Budgets

What You Will Learn

  • Developing a script or story treatment that can be filmed on a microbudget.
  • Raising money from investors, fans, friends, and family (and the legal issues involved).
  • Pre-Production tips for an efficient and well-scheduled shoot with special attention given to locations, permits, insurance, and other mysterious production questions. (We’ll also discuss catering a microbudget shoot!)
  • Positioning your film for success on the film festival circuit.
  • Distributing your film via services like Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon — either through a distributor or by doing it yourself.

Workshops Paul HarrillPaul Harrill

Paul Harrill’s films have screened around the world at festivals, museums, and on television. SOMETHING, ANYTHING, Harrill’s microbudget debut feature, was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick and listed as one of the Top 25 Best First Features in IndieWire’s 2015 Year-End Critics’ Poll. Harrill’s other films include the shorts Gina, An Actress, & Age 29, which won the Grand Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival and Quick Feet, Soft Hands, a co-production with the Independent Television Service starring Greta Gerwig.

In 2005, Paul founded to champion personal, regional, and do-it-yourself cinema. His work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, IFP, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Aperture Film Grant, among others. Paul lives in Knoxville, where he is the Dee and Jimmy Haslam Professor of Art and Cinema Studies at The University of Tennessee.

“How to Write a Break-In Script” with Cat Stewart

(*and What to Have in your Arsenal When it Happens)

September 9, 2017 | 10:30 am – 3 pm | 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203

Includes boxed lunch & entry fee waiver to Screenplay competition, which is emailed after conclusion of workshop.


This workshop will teach you best practices to get past the “gatekeepers,” the readers that decide what projects get moved to the next level. This is a hands-on workshop, using your own material rather than just examples of how successful films did it. EVERYONE can leave with a solid logline, first page, and roadmap to write  a first draft or better draft and know the best path to break-in with that concept.

What You Will Learn

  • How to fully develop a concept
  • Making structure work for you
  • The difference between television and feature writing
  • The best avenues for getting a script read
  • How to be ready to take advantage of forward momentum

Summer Workshops Cat StewartCat Stewart

Cat Stewart works as a reader for several major contests and writes coverage for a number of outlets, including film festivals and production companies. She is currently setting up N-Development, a company that aims to fill the gap that exists between finished and production ready scripts since studios abandoned development some years ago. An alumnus of UCLA and a Writer’s Boot Camp fellow, Cat additionally works as a writer, doing dialog polish, script development, and commissioned work for a number of producers and directors and was a 2016 WriteHer Award nominee for the pilot “Born In Blood” and has several optioned projects in various states of production.

“Balancing Art & Strategy” with Rory Uphold

October 14, 2017 | 10:30 am – 3 pm | 161 Rains Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203

Includes boxed lunch & entry fee waiver to Episodic competition, which is emailed after conclusion of workshop.


How do you make a web series you love and have it seen by others? Finding the happy medium between creating something beautiful and something marketable is the difference between whether or not your work gets time in the sun. This workshop will walk through how to find that balance, and tangible ways you can apply it to your own project.

Read more in from Bustle: Enter the hellscape of Southern California with ‘Only in HelLA’

What You Will Learn

  • The nuts and bolts of a creating a web-series
  • Factoring in distribution while still creating
  • Developing a successful strategy to get your work seen
  • Selling your project effectively
  • Maintaining your voice while getting it seen

Workshops Rory UpholdRory Uphold

Rory Uphold is an actor-writer-director with over 13M views on digital shows she’s created and starred in. She was Elite Daily’s first Artist in Residence with her original comedy series, “This Is Why We’re Single”, and created the viral web series “Only in HelLA”. Recently, Rory starred in Joseph Kahn’s racial satire BODIED and was a fellow in the Sundance Institute’s inaugural New Voices Lab with Youtube Red. She’s currently writing her first half-hour television show for Crackle and a snapchat series for Comedy Central.

Past Workshops Include:

Workshop Michael McCarthyMichael McCarthy (2016 Presenter)

Writing credits include SNL, Sesame Street, The Drew Carey Show, Mike & Molly, numerous projects for Comedy Central, and more than two dozen pilots. He currently teaches at iO Chicago and DePaul University, and his former students include Jon Favreau, Tina Fey, Brian Stack, Peter Murietta, Vanessa Bayer, Matt Walsh, Kay Cannon, Travis Bowe, Matt Kuhn, to name a few.

About NashFilm Summer Workshops

Every summer, the Nashville Film Festival is hosting workshops by bringing inspiring filmmakers, screenwriters, VR & 360 film creators and more to Nashville to show you ways to better your craft.

Unless otherwise stated, workshops are 4 hours long, and include a boxed lunch.  Also included in the price of admission is a entry fee waiver to the relevant NashFilm competition (relevant competition is stated in the workshop description), which will be emailed out after the conclusion of the session.

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