San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking Class 19 will be graduating on March 15th 2015!

Graduation will take place at 11am at the Brava Theater in the San Francisco Mission District.
All students (current and alumni), faculty, friends and family members are welcome to attend this FREE event!
Graduation will consist of a celebration with food, drinks and each graduating student premiering his or her final project on the big screen!


11 am – Lobby Doors Open
Lobby doors of the Brava Theater will open at 11am allowing for a brief reception in which the students, faculty, family and friends will be able to meet and socialize.

11:30 am – Graduation
At 11:30am the main theater will open and the graduation ceremony will begin.

12 pm – Screening
Graduating students will premier his or her final project on the big screen!

1:30 pm – Final Reception
From 1:30 – 2pm students, faculty, friends and family will have another opportunity to socialize.
For tickets and more information about this event go to: Class 19 Graduation

The Brava Theater is located at 2781 24th Street in San Francisco. For more information about the Brava Theater, please check out their website at:

FilmSchoolSF 10th Anniversary Celebration

It has been an exciting 10 years since the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking has been helping filmmakers achieve their goals.

On Saturday February 7th we are planning a special day to celebrate the schools 10th anniversary and the students who have made our success possible.

From 3pm until 9pm we will be having forums, student screenings and SPECIAL GUESTS, in the evening there will be yummy food, drink and live entertainment.

One of the special events of the day is an Industry Panel: Feature Film Production in San Francisco. Two of our panelists are SUNDANCE Filmmakers and some of the best film producers in the Bay Area.  See more details below:

Richard Bosner – Bosner produced the politically charged true story FRUITVALE STATION for Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions starring Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan that won the 2013 Sundance Grand Jury Award and Audience Award. His credits include the Sundance 2009 selection LA MISSION starring Benjamin Bratt, FALLING UPHILL a self directed SF dramedy, wine-country comedy THE CHATEAU MEROUX with Christopher Lloyd and Marla Sokoloff, and THE SECRETS OF JONATHAN SPERRY with Robert Guillaume and Gavin MacLeod.  He recently produced THE WANNABE starring Patricia Arquette and Michael Imperioli with Executive producer Martin Scorsese.

Debbie Brubaker – Brubaker recently had two films at this years Sundance Film Festival, including DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, which was sold to Sony Pictures. Debbie also recently worked as the San Francisco UPM on Tim Burton’s film BIG EYES. Also new is Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning film, BLUE JASMINE on which Debbie was UPM. Debbie spent the last summer line producing an indie movie QUITTERS and just prior to that, producing Second Unit for an ABC midseason replacement show called RED WIDOW. Other indies movies she has done include Peter Bratt’s movie, LA MISSION. She has also done many other feature narratives, such as Finn Taylor’s THE DARWIN AWARDS , DOPAMINE, directed by Mark Decena, which was also a big hit at the Sundance Film Festival 2003. “I love independent film. I know how to do it and get it done. I enjoy working on projects from the features I’ve done, to commercials, industrials and docs. It’s what I do. It’s what I want to do.”

Please join us for an exciting day of celebration and honoring those that have made this the best film school in San Francisco!

3:00pm – 5:00pm: Film Screening – A Selection of Student Films 2005 – 2014
5:00pm – 6:30pm: Industry Panel – Feature Film Production in San Francisco
6:30pm – 7:30pm: Schmooze & Booze
7:30pm – 8:00pm: Keynote Address by FilmSchoolSF President, Jeremiah Birnbaum
8:00pm – 9:00pm: More Schmooze & Booze


TORN – Opening night in San Francisco: SOLD OUT!

Fabulous night in San Francisco – TORN the San Francisco premiere was completely sold out! The October 25 showing also featured a wonderfully insightful Q&A session with the director Jeremiah Birnbaum and his creative crew of producers. See the photo slideshow above and below are some moments of the opening night, captured in video.

“It was really real. Not your typical dramatic Hollywood film”

A relatable and powerful film – “The message of TORN blew us away”

“It really touched my heart. I really felt for the characters”

Improv Everywhere Comes to sfsdf!

improv everywhere

Is it real or is it improv?

SFSDF is excited to host a LIVE event with Charlie Todd of the world famous Improv Everywhere. MC’d by SFSDF Film Acting instructor and all-around amazing actor, Jeffrey Weissman, the evening will feature Todd delivering some insider-info from one of the most entertaining and creative improv organizations in the world. Event will be held on Wednesday, August 17th from 6:30 – 7:30pm.

From the response we’ve gotten already, it looks like we’ll have a full house – 100+ in attendance! So, yeah. You may want to get a ticket soon.

The Improv Everywhere Live! show is an hour of behind-the-scenes stories from Charlie’s unique personal experiences as the organizer of Improv Everywhere’s legendary missions. The show also features clips of Improv Everywhere’s best videos with Charlie’s live commentary and an interactive question and answer session.

Charlie Todd is the founder of Improv Everywhere, producing, directing, performing, and documenting the group’s work since 2001. Charlie is the author of Causing a Scene, published by Harper Collins in 2009. Based in New York, Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places and has executed over 100 missions involving thousands of undercover agents including the legendary Grand Central Freeze and the infamous No Pants! Subway Ride. The group’s videos have received over 170 million views online.

Also, we are super-lucky to have a a Full Festival Pass to raffle off for one lucky winner! Call it a ‘Golden Ticket’ to what is sure to be one of the biggest improv events of the year! Email to enter!

SFSDF student? You’re getting in for 50%-off! Email to get on the list! Everyone else – you can get your tickets HERE!

The Marin School tours sfsdf

We love having visitors. From formal tours, families in from out-of-town, neighbors and the just plain curious, we get all sorts of people coming by to learn about SFSDF and our mission.

We recently had the opportunity to welcome a big group of High School seniors from our neighbors from the distant north; Marin County. These students from The Marin School were touring the Bay Area checking out the film industry highlights such as Pixar, ILM, famous SF film locations and SFSDF.

We showed them around our new space, gave an inspiring talk about following your dreams (filmmaking or otherwise) and delivered a breakdown of how SFSDF is succeeding as a uniquely effective film school. Over two hours, students were treated to a hands-on, 3-point lighting lecture and watched a few of our best films.

“I love having kids this age come to the school and learn about what we do. They are at such a critical part of their lives; they are thinking about their futures and what they may want to do with themselves. I’m honored to be able to present filmmaking as possible path for these bright young adults, said Stephen Kopels, SFSDF Director of Education.

Who is The Marin School?

The Marin School attracts smart kids who want something different in their education. We honor each student’s unique learning style and act in accordance with an unshakeable belief in the potential of each and every student.

The Marin School faculty is made up of passionate, skilled, motivated teachers who love what they do. They wholeheartedly believe in each student’s unique potential and are equipped with the talent, tools, skill and enthusiasm to meet the needs of multiple learning styles.

Small class sizes naturally encourage more one-to-one teaching, experiential learning, innovative lessons and non-traditional, yet effective, learning opportunities. We offer a challenging, thought-provoking curriculum that effectively prepares graduates for college and life beyond.

sfsdf hosts d2s games underground

Continuing our dedication to the support of the Bay Area media community, SFSDF is proud to host the 1st event from San Francisco mobile games company, D2S Games. This Thursday, March 31st from 5:30 – 9pm we’ll have over 150 people attending D2S Games Underground.

About D2S:
D2S Games is revolutionizing mobile and social games by connecting players to each other and their environment. Our formula for fun: combine casual, multi-player games that you play on the big screen TV in your favorite hangout, with your mobile phone as the game controller.  The results are an instant party connecting you to others through awesome social gaming. D2S Games puts big screen fun in the palm of your hand – and gets you in the game.

This new event will bring together the Bay Area’s leading developers, technologists and creative thinkers to discuss the current state of the gaming industry, possible futures and advances and highlight mobile game successes.

D2S Games Underground is a new social mobile game platform for developers who create with Unity, Corona, Flash or raw code on Linux, Windows, Apple, and Android.  Get the insider scoop and become the next hottest game on the next hot platform.

Before you arrive, download the free D2S Games MoJoe app here.



The event is co-sponsored veteran San Francisco game designer yetiZen and drinks will be provided by Blue Angel Vodka.
Want to come? RSVP and we’ll see you on Thursday!



Digital SF world: FilmSchoolSF opens up for intersection for the arts

digital sfOne of the most exciting parts of moving into our new place in the SF Chronicle building was our new neighbors. We looked forward to the time to when we could begin to work together, collaborate and basically ‘hang out’ with each other. Creative sparks will fly!

We recently welcomed artist Mike Lai to our digital SF green screen + stage where he spent the day working on his latest big piece. Mike is working with out next-door-neighbors at Intersection for the Arts – one of the Bay Area’s oldest art organizations.


I am creating a fine art video about Immigrants’ journey to the U.S. through the water. Specifically, the project will reinterpret a tragic event of immigrants smuggling across the Niagara River from Ontario to New York in 1988. The incident ended with the death of all passengers, including a six year old girl.

The video will capture passengers in a raft struggling through whitewater. It will devoid of all scenic setting and background, only props and performers. It will focus on performers simulating a raft moving down a river by pulling, pushing and hauling it in mid-air. Not only will they emulate the movement of whitewater, just as the water can transport or take you under, they will push, pull and flip the raft and the passengers within to create the tension between life and death, triumph and failure of the journey.

digital sfThe final presentation of the video will be a projected installation for the Intersection for the Arts 5M gallery next door to the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking. The scale will be large, similar to 18th century French heroic paintings, and so will the composition of the shot and the style of post-production work. The project is experimental in nature. So, I will explore different performance strategies and camera work during the shoot.


Who is Mike Lai?

Mike Lai is a multimedia performance artist based in San Francisco. He received his B.A. from Davidson College, NC and M.F.A. from SF Art Institute. His work has been exhibited nationally, including Queen’s Nails Annex Gallery and Southern Exposure. He has been invited to perform at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival and Washington Square Park in San Francisco, which he received an Individual Artist Commission from the San Francisco Arts Commission in 2007.

Much of Lai’s work is large-scale performance that explores the relationships between Asian identities and the media. He utilizes references from film, history, literature and popular culture as a way to examine and raise questions around how people negotiate their identities and the ones created by the media. Often times, his work also develops into sculpture, video and photography.


We hope to see the finished video by mid-May. Until that time, you can check out this rough video sketch to get an idea of what it will look like. We’ll post the finished project once Lai gives us the OK.

Clean white lines is throwing a fundraiser!

clean white lines

FilmschoolSF alums Staci DeGagne and Heather MacLean formed Clean White Lines about a million years ago. They started making movies with crude stone and wooden tools and their audience consisted mostly of random hunters and collectors and the occasional well-mannered velociraptor. Good times.

Flash forward to 2011 and we find the seasoned and experienced duo embarking on another bold adventure. But this jaunty journey needs a a few dollars to hit the road. Your dollars. Make a point of coming to the Clean White Lines fundraiser next week at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco and helping them get this endeavor out the door. Great music, stiff drinks and a guaranteed chortle or two. See you there!

The Entertainment?
Sean Hayes
Bart Davenport
DreamDate (Acoustic)
Anna and Spencer
Chris Garcia

Where & When?
Hemlock Tavern, March 16, 9pm

How much?
A paltry $10! Amazing!

“So here is a quick breakdown of WHY we are trying to raise money. Clean White Lines so far has been mostly music videos and promotional videos, and we love that. But we also fancy ourselves as writers of narrative film and documentary content. But we have no money for it…yet. So we are trying to fund a short narrative comedy we have written about Santa Claus’s midlife crisis (done in the style of Fellini) as well as a documentary on Muffler Men: The Roadside American Yeti (a three week roadtrip documenting the ellusive “large man” of the US, and the people that keep them). They are definitely passion projects of ours and will take a chunk of change to make and we thought “Well if St. Patrick’s Day is the greenest holiday of the year, why not MAKE some green right before it?!” (see, it’s kinda a Money Punny) So any money made from this event will go directly into funding for these two projects.” – Heather MacLean

FilmschoolSF Director of Marketing takes over transmedia group – #spoilrr

San Francisco digital film school transmediaLong-time readers of theFilmschoolSF Blog will remember a post from a few weeks back in which we talked about a how FilmschoolSF hosts such future-leading organizations like Ubiquitous Studio, Metaio and Spoilrr. We think exposing students to what the future may hold in terms of technological influence on filmmaking is an important part of a well-rounded education.

Recently the Transmedia group Spoilrr was taken over by FilmschoolSF Director of Marketing Christopher F. Smith.

“I’m thrilled to be take over this organization and look forward to building relationships with technology and filmmaking leaders and making Spoilrr an important part of the Bay Area media scene,” said Smith.

What is Transmedia? A quick refresher!

In transmedia storytelling, content becomes invasive and fully permeates the audience’s lifestyle. A transmedia project develops storytelling across multiple forms of media in order to have different “entry points” in the story; entry-points with a unique and independent lifespan but with a definite role in the big narrative scheme.

A great place to begin to learn about Transmedia and filmmaking is this excellent Slideshare from’s Robert Pratten. You’ll want to follow him on Twitter, too. #Tstoryteller.

The hashtag for all things Transmedia is, predictably, #Transmedia and the Spoilrr hashtag is #Spoilrr.

The next Spoilrr meetup in Tuesday, March 29th, 5:30 – 7:00 at SFSDF. RSVP and learn a few things!