SEMINARS

RAHWAY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SEMINAR SERIES

8-Week Spring Screenwriting Workshop

(April 29 - June 17, 2014)

Rahway Film Festival has teamed up with world-class artist and Yale professor, Rick Sordelet, to offer an 8-Week Screenwriting Workshop leading us up to this year’s film festival! He will be teaching a specialized screenwriting intensive at Hamilton Stage, the home of the Rahway Film Festival. Newcomers and experienced writers alike are welcome.

About our Professor:

 

Rick Sordelet is a professor at Yale University School of Drama lecturing in Acting and Stage Management. He has recently sold a feature script and television show to LEGENDARY PICTURES and has been working with his partner as a show doctor to two MAJOR MOTION PICTURES coming in 2014. Film announcements to follow.

 

In addition to his writing credits, Sordelet is known as the country’s leading fight director. His film credits include “The Game Plan” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Dan in Real Life” with Steve Carrell and “Just a Kiss” with Marisa Tomei and Peter Dinklage. His Broadway credits number over 50 productions including shows such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Lion King”, “Tarzan”, “Aida” and “The Little Mermaid.”

About our Class:

 

Be prepared to test your limits! Each week, students will be asked to produce pages to be honed and workshopped until, at the end of eight weeks, each student will walk away with a feature-length screenplay of which they can be proud! As an added bonus, top scripts will be chosen for REPRESENTATION by publishing company Sordelet Ink at no cost to the writer. Sordelet Ink was founded by Rick Sordelet and David Blixt to publish and promote literary works in fiction, film, and theatre. Click here to read more about Sordelet Ink.

 

Over the course of the class, there will be guest lectures by successful industry professionals, group workshops and table reads. This class is great for newcomers looking to learn the ins and outs of screenwriting as well as for experienced professionals looking for the motivation and support to create their next masterpiece.

 

Classes will take place weekly on Tuesday evenings from 6:00pm - 9:00pm beginning on April 29, 2014 and ending on June 17, 2014. Classes will be held at Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts, Home of the Rahway Film Festival.

How to Register: (Registration is Closed!)

 

ONLY TEN SPOTS are available in the course, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity! Reserve your spot by clicking the button below and filling out our registration form. After submission, you will be redirected to our secure PayPal page where we are able to accept PayPal or credit card payments for the course fee. The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 22, 2014. In addition to the screenwriting intensive, you will also receive an official Rahway Film Festival T-shirt, RFF Associate Producer credits for this year’s festival, a sneak peak of RFF founder Gina Rodriguez’s latest short film, and a personal thank you from Gina Rodriguez. All proceeds go towards production costs for this year’s Rahway Film Festival.

 

For any inquiries, please email us at rahwayfilmfest@gmail.com.

 

Course Fee: $175.00

Course Dates: April 29, May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17

Course Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Course Location: Hamilton Stage for the Performing Arts, 360 Hamilton St, Rahway, NJ 07065

 

Registration Deadline: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PAST SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS: RIFF 2014

Raymond Rolak will further present a template for emerging filmmakers, musicians, educators and film buffs regarding the journey of incorporating new music with their cinema projects.  "This planning starts in preproduction and the timeline will platform long honored techniques on how musicians and filmmakers can collaborate," says Rolak.  He will also show how musicians, students and songsters can enhance their projects at little cost.  There is a defined process.  All attendees will get a complimentary industry related worksheet. For more info, please click image to the right. 

PAST SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS: RIFF 2015

In addition to film screenings and networking opportunities, Rahway International Film Festival is proud to present a variety of Filmmaking Seminars led by leading local filmmakers in the industry. To keep with our mission to educate and inspire through film, we also offer attendees the opportunity to learn from experienced filmmakers about the filmmaking process.

Past year's seminars covered topics ranging from directing, pitching a screenplay, location scouting, and production management. For more info, please scroll down below.

RIFF SEMINAR #1: "Harmony of Music & Cinema"
presented by Raymond Rolak

 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

1:30-3:30pm

Fazioli Room

 

Raymond Rolak, post-producer for RIFF’s Opening Night's short music presentation, "Only Wanna Party", and hailing all the way from Hawaii, leads this seminar on the process of incorporating music in film.  "Only Wanna Party" is a new trans-media feature from Hawaii Cinema.  It is a spinoff from the full feature motion picture, "GET A JOB", which had 27 original songs; 18 by the BAREFOOT NATIVES (Willie K & Eric Gilliom), along with others from Don Tiki, Amy Hanaiali'i, Avi Ronen, Kris Grove, and the Throwdowns.  Rolak will showcase how director Brian Kohne and producer Stefan Schaefer wove the tracks into the tropical comedic narrative, which results in a lively Youth Oriented Music (YOM) soundtrack. Rolak has been a longtime content provider for sports and entertainment projects.

RIFF SEMINAR #2: "NY/NJ Production Seminar"
presented by Doug LeClaire

 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

4:00-5:30pm

Fazioli Room

 

Doug LeClaire, thirty-year veteran of the New York City TV commercial & national cable network production industry, leads this seminar on the production of a national TV spot from storyboard to post-production. From creation to production to completion, learn what it takes to be a producer in this exciting session! The best attendees for this talk are folks who are seeking employment in the film/digi/video production industry and/or folks interested in learning how a national TV commercial production comes together.

 

Doug LeClaire is a Clio Award winning Line Producer of national television commercials and major cable network promos.  He has produced advertising and promotional television campaigns for Lifetime TV Networks; WE-TV; Comedy Central; MTV; Spike, Oxygen as well as the NBC and ABC TV Networks. In 1981, Doug founded Asbury Shorts USA, now New York City’s longest running short film exhibition and touring show. He has been an instructor & guest lecturer at The School of Visual Arts; The New York Institute of Technology; The State University of New York; New York University, Monmouth University, Upstate Independents; Film/Video Arts and One Day University.

 

 

RIFF SEMINAR #3: "How to Pitch Your Film"
presented by Rick Sordelet

 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

1:30-3:00pm

Fazioli Room

 

A “pitch” is an animated summation of your screenplay meant to entice agents and executives to purchase your script. You can write a great screenplay, but without the proper pitch it will never see the light of day. Come and learn how to wow studio execs with professional screenwriter, director, and owner of Sordelet Ink - Rick Sordelet!

Rick Sordelet is a professor at Yale University School of Drama lecturing in Acting and Stage Management. He is known as the country’s leading fight director. His film credits include “The Game Plan” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Dan in Real Life” with Steve Carrell and “Just a Kiss” with Marisa Tomei and Peter Dinklage. His Broadway credits number over 50 productions including shows such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Lion King”, “Tarzan”, and “Aida”. Additionally, he has recently sold a feature script and television show to Legendary Pictures and has been working with his partner as a show doctor to two upcoming major motion pictures.
 

RIFF SEMINAR #4: "On Location with Paul Kramer & Rick Butler"
presented by Paul Kramer & Rick Butler

 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

4:00-5:30pm

Fazioli Room

 

Ever wonder how to snag an awesome location for your film? Ask professional Location Manager, Paul Kramer what it's like to secure the locations for major feature films and successful TV shows. (Credits: Person of Interest, Kings, I Am Legend, Hitch, Analyze This). Professional Production Designer, Rick Butler, will join him for all of your artistic inquiries. (Credits: Person of Interest, Pieces of April, Big Daddy). Come and see a sneak peek of what it’s like on a professional film set!

 

Paul Kramer has worked for the last 20 years finding and managing locations for the film and television industry, on such projects as "Batman Forever", "Analyze This", "The Thomas Crown Affair", "Hitch", and "I Am Legend", among others. He is currently the location manager for the CBS Television Show "Person of Interest", now in it's fifth season.

 

Rick Butler is currently the Production Designer for the CBS/ Warner TV series “Person of Interest”.  As Art Director or Asst. for more than 30 films, he has worked for some of the legendary designers of the Industry, such as Dante Ferretti, Roy Walker, Stuart Wurtzel, and Kristi Zea.  Two of those films, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “The Age of Innocence”, were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction.  He studied design for theater and film at Boston University and the Yale School of Drama, and history of Art at Columbia University.  In his spare time he teaches design and stagecraft at Brooklyn College (CUNY).

THE GREATER GOOD: A HITCHHIKE PERSPECTIVE 
Documentary Screening & Discussion

at Rahway International Film Festival 2014

 

(July 12, 2014, 11:30AM - 12:30PM, Hamilton Stage - Fazioli Room)

 

Thomas Francine, activist and documentarian, will screen a special presentation of his film, THE GREATER GOOD: A HITCHHIKE PERSPECTIVE and share his insight on why documentary film is his preferred method of expression. The film has screened in numerous festivals across the U.S and Europe.  Francine has most recently been in the news due to his endeavor to walk across America while performing one good deed a day. He has hitchhiked 26,000 miles through 34 states of the U.S. and 13 countries. His experiences have led him to an understanding that humanity is by far greater good, and that we can work with this good to change the world in simple ways. There will be a brief Question and Answer at the end of the screening and discussion.  

 

Francine says, “I’m excited to show that it is possible for anyone with the desire, to make a successful film.  I am excited that I can be a part of RIFF and that it is happening within my great community.”

 

Learn more about Thomas Francine and his "Go Greater Good" project by

clicking here.

 

Thomas Francine
DIRECTING YOUR FIRST INDIE FILM: 
Don't Let Directing Be The Last Thing You Think Of On The First Day Of Shooting
at Rahway International Film Festival 2014

 

(July 12, 2014, 3:15PM - 4:15PM, Hamilton Stage - Fazioli Room)

 

Francesca Rizzo, an award-winning filmmaker and former Cinewomen NY president, has taught film study and craft in NYC as well as Kean University. Her 1995 short film, Sullivan's Last Call - a sexy little film about celibacy, is used in Boston University's curriculum and she was an invited speaker at the Harvard Film Archives "The Independents" series. The film will screen at the festival as a prelude to her 1 hour seminar "Directing Your First Indie Film: Don't let directing be the last thing you think of on the first day of shooting."

 

Rizzo says, "Unlike the Hollywood process, most indie filmmakers have to wear many hats and often they get so caught up in finding the money, scouting locations and getting the equipment that they end up winging the actual "directing" aspect. I try to impress upon them the importance of getting a great performance above all else. I mean, really, who cares if the camera angles are great when the acting stinks?"

 

Learn more about Francesca Rizzo by clicking here.

Francesca Rizzo

PAST SEMINARS: RIFF 2016

RIFF "BRUNCH & LEARN" SEMINAR #2:
"Casting from Both Sides:
Perspective of the Casting Process from both a Casting Director & Director POV" with Debra Markowitz

 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

11:15am-12:30pm

Fazioli Room

Rahway International Film Festival Seminar Series:

"Casting from Both Sides: Perspective of the Casting Process from both a Casting Director and Director POV"

During this "Brunch & Learn" Seminar, attendees will be treated to a brunch buffet before a one-hour long filmmaking seminar led by Debra Markowitz. As an award-winning filmmaker who has been in both shoes on movie, TV, and commercial projects, she will cover the casting process from the point of view of both a Director and Casting Director. Here's a short outline:

- Do you need a name for casting your low-budget project?
- How to get a name for casting your low-budget project?
- New SAG rules
- General discussion of the casting process

 

Debra Markowitz serves as the Director of the Nassau County Film Office where she presides over the Nassau County Film Advisory Board and chairs as its Executive Director. An enthusiastic filmmaker herself, Ms. Markowitz, an award winning producer, has acted as casting director, writer, director and producer on movie, television and commercial projects. Debra teaches actors workshops as both director and casting director at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Ms. Markowitz is also a proud member of New York Women in Film & Television, an ex-oficio member of the New York Production Alliance and is a member of the Association of Film Commissioners International.

 

At this year's Rahway International Film Festival, Debra Markowitz is accompanying one of this year's short films "Leaving" as its Director and one of this year's feature films "Living with the Dead" as its Executive Producer / Casting Director.


Seminars are included with the purchase of an All-Access Day Pass but tickets may also be purchased individually.

*All festival tickets & day passes include free admission to the Opening Night After-Party & Saturday Lobby Networking Hour, which will offer a complimentary light buffet and cash bar. Come join the fun!

Debra Markowitz
RIFF "BRUNCH & LEARN" SEMINAR #1:
"NJ Filmmaking Tips Straight from the Top: A Lesson from the NJ Film Commissioner" with David Schoner

 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

11:15am-12:30pm

Fazioli Room

Rahway International Film Festival Seminar Series:

"Tips from the Top: Tips from the NJ Film Commissioner"

During this "Brunch & Learn" Seminar, attendees will be treated to a brunch buffet before a one-hour long filmmaking seminar led by

David Schoner of the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission. He will discuss the secrets and know-how on what it takes to turn script dreams into film reality in the Garden State. With its diversity of locations and proximity to New York and Philadelphia, New Jersey offers a wealth of locations for filming, and Schoner has decades of experience liaising between filmmakers and locales on making cinema dreams come true. Need to blow up your car, close a bridge or somehow recreate the Gulf War? Schoner has helped filmmakers do all of this—and more—in New Jersey. He will discuss the ins and outs of the industry, as well as how location shooting has changed and what aspiring filmmakers can expect as they move forward in their careers.

David Schoner is currently the Associate Director for the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission. He produced 2 award winning independent films (A Dangerous Place, Murder Reincarnated, that are distributed by outlets such as Screen Media, Netflix, Blockbuster, York Ent). He also has set up feature film screenplays proposals which have awarded/recognized by organizations such as Producers Guild Of America, IFP, Panasonic Digital Filmmakers Award. In his spare time, David raises funds and is involved in various educational and child related charitable endeavors.

Seminars are included with the purchase of an All-Access Day Pass but tickets may also be purchased individually.

*All festival tickets & day passes include free admission to the Opening Night After-Party & Saturday Lobby Networking Hour, which will offer a complimentary light buffet and cash bar. Come join the fun!

THIS YEAR'S SEMINARS

Filmmaking Seminar #2:
Screenplay Competition Staged Readings

Sunday, September 24, 2017

11:00am-12:00pm

Free Admission, Donations Accepted

Rahway International Film Festival: Screenplay Competition Staged Readings


We will hold staged readings of the winning screenplays of this year's Screenplay Competition. The actors will consist of our Acting Monologue Competition winners.

Selected Screenplays:

"The Badge, The Gun, and the Hangman’s Noose"

Written by Edward Santiago

Reading Directed by Steven Hayet

Synopsis: A ruthless desperado faces the ghosts of his past, as he flees from the law of the Old West.

 

"Hell to Pay: The Legend of Robert Johnson"

Written/Directed by Giancarlo Fusi

Synopsis: Following the death of his wife and baby during childbirth, a sharecropper's burning desire to be a famous Bluesman leads him to sell his soul to Satan at a Mississippi crossroads to become the greatest guitarist of all time. 

 

"The List"

Written/Directed by Drew Novelli & Lauren Greenspan-Novelli

Synopsis: SMITH is a hitman with obsessive-compulsive disorder. We see him cleaning up a job when he finds a to-do list that his MARK left unfinished. SMITH’S OCD prevents him from walking away and picking up payment from his boss, MR. SANGOSSI, until every item on the MARK’S list is crossed off.

 

"The Knight and the Slacker”

Written/Directed by Joe Territo​

Synopsis: Can a medieval Knight and a modern-day Slacker share an apartment without driving each other crazy?

Honorable Mention:

  • "American Mother" written by Andrew Fleming

Acting Monologue Competition Winners:

  • Julian Masters

  • Na’im Shaw

 

This is a FREE ADMISSION event. However, we encourage you to register to RSVP! Donations will also accepted at the door.

*All festival tickets & day passes include free admission to the Opening Night After-Party & Sunday Awards Ceremony. Come join the fun!

**Planning on attending multiple blocks? Save & buy a Saturday/Sunday All-Access Day-Pass! Available for Advanced Sale only, will NOT be sold at the door.

***For helpful information such as tickets, directions, parking, handicap access, and where to eat/stay, please visit our Attend page.

Filmmaking Seminar #1:
Stunts on Set with the Nation's Leading Fight Choreographer
Saturday, September 23, 2017

11:00am-12:00pm

*SEMINAR CANCELLED*

We regret to inform you that due to a personal emergency, our seminar instructor, Rick Sordelet will no longer be available on Saturday.  As such we have been forced to make the difficult decision to cancel this seminar.

RIFF Filmmaking Seminar: Stunts on Set with the Nation's Leading Fight Choreographer

 

During this Filmmmaking Seminar, attendees will attend a one-hour long filmmaking seminar led by leading local filmmakers in the industry.

Learn how to keep your actors safe on set when it comes to film stunts.  Famed fight choreographer and stunt coordinator, Rick Sordelet, shares his expertise and stories from his professional career as the nation's premier fight director.

Rick Sordelet is a professor at Yale University School of Drama lecturing in Acting and Stage Management. He is known as the country’s leading fight director. His film credits include “The Game Plan” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Dan in Real Life” with Steve Carrell and “Just a Kiss” with Marisa Tomei and Peter Dinklage. His Broadway credits number over 50 productions including shows such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Lion King”, “Tarzan”, and “Aida”.

Rick Sordelet
Rick Sordelet, Fight Choreographer

© 2018 by Big Dreams & Silver Screens Inc. & Rahway Film Festival

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David Schoner