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Filmmaking Schools in Portland OR

Not in Portland? Check out our lists of Filmmaking Schools in Bend, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, Salem, and across Oregon.

Want to break into the film industry with the best training? Portland, OR, offers some exceptional opportunities.

This guide to filmmaking schools in Portland OR highlights top programs, covering essential details to help you decide the right fit for your aspirations.

Portland State University – Film Program

Portland State University’s Film Program is renowned for nurturing creativity and practical skills in the heart of downtown Portland. Here, you can immerse yourself in a community dedicated to storytelling and technical excellence.

  • Diverse Curriculum: Whether you’re pursuing a major or minor, expect courses that range from film theory to hands-on production.
  • Expert Faculty: Learn from professors who are actively involved in the film industry.
  • Community Engagement: Students often participate in local film events, clubs, and internships.
  • Noteworthy Alumni: Graduates like Dominic Wilson-Carr have landed impressive roles, such as with the Portland Trailblazers.

Students can showcase their works at an annual film exhibition. The program prides itself on inclusivity, emphasizing the pivotal role of diverse storytelling.

Your journey in film starts with hands-on projects and builds up with advanced theory and criticism, preparing you for a future in professional film work or graduate studies. For more details, explore the Portland State University Film Program.

Portland Film Connection – Film Production Education Program

The Portland Film Connection offers a unique approach to film education. This program focuses on real-world experiences by embedding students directly into film production environments.

  • Hands-On Learning: Gain practical experience in lighting, sound, and set design.
  • Industry Mentorship: Work closely with industry professionals throughout your training.
  • Flexible Workshops: Remote six to nine-month screenwriting workshops allow you to learn from home.
  • Networking Opportunities: Build a network of industry contacts crucial for your career.

Portland is an ideal backdrop for filmmakers, given its scenic locations and active production hub. The cost-effective and immersive nature of this program makes it a compelling option. Delve deeper into what the Portland Film Connection offers.

NW Documentary – DIY Documentary: Story Finding

Northwest Documentary provides a series of workshops starting with the DIY Documentary: Story Finding workshop, designed to help you find your unique narrative focus.

  • Affordable Workshops: Prices are broken down into Story Finding ($150), Story Craft ($250), and Film Making ($400).
  • Expert Instruction: Learn from accomplished documentarians like Kia Anne Geraths and Max Swanson.
  • Community Emphasis: Embrace support from a community of like-minded filmmakers.
  • Recognition: Their students’ works have won notable awards, such as “2018’s Best Documentary Short” at The Oregon International Film Awards.

These workshops are geared toward refining your documentary filmmaking skills, from conception to final production. For more details and to see the list of workshops, visit NW Documentary.

Portland Community College – Multimedia Program

Portland Community College’s Multimedia Program offers an affordable and broad-reaching education in film and multimedia.

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: Courses cover digital video editing, motion graphics, and more.
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities: Utilize open labs with the latest Apple workstations.
  • Real-World Experience: Internships and cooperative education programs prepare you for the job market.
  • Flexible Options: Choose from degrees and certificates that match your career path.

With multiple specializations, this program prepares students for career roles ranging from video editing to multimedia specialists. Check out Portland Community College for more information.

University of Oregon – Cinema Studies Program

The University of Oregon’s Cinema Studies Program offers a multidisciplinary approach to cinema, integrating diverse academic perspectives.

  • Interdepartmental Curriculum: Courses span across Arts and Sciences, Journalism, and Design.
  • Study Abroad Opportunities: Learn at the Irish National Film School and participate in international film festivals.
  • Professional Development: Engage with student-run groups and attend sessions with visiting professionals.
  • Career Support: The university’s network assists with internships and career placements.

Graduates often enter various media industries as producers, editors, and other key roles. For a deeper understanding of their program, visit the University of Oregon Cinema Studies Program.

George Fox University – Cinematic Arts

George Fox University’s Cinematic Arts Program is dedicated to cultivating visual storytelling and artistic skills.

  • Intimate Class Sizes: Personalized attention from professors ensures tailored guidance.
  • Diverse Courses: Options in screenwriting, animation, and 3D artwork.
  • Industry Exposure: Opportunities like attending the Sundance Film Festival provide practical insights.
  • Ethical Perspective: Integrates cultural contexts and ethical considerations into its curriculum.

Graduates from George Fox University pursue careers in sports media, audiovisual technology, and beyond. For more information about their offerings, visit the George Fox University Cinematic Arts Program.

Franklin High School – Franklin Film School

Franklin Film School is a four-year program within Franklin High School’s Career Technology Education offering filmmaking education to high school students.

  • Industry-Standard Equipment: This program grants students access to professional filmmaking tools, allowing them to gain practical experience from the get-go.
  • Inspiring Environment: It focuses on building confidence and sparking creativity within a structured high school setting.
  • Experiential Learning: Students receive comprehensive guidance from experienced instructors, ensuring a solid foundation in filmmaking.
  • Supportive Resources: High-quality resources and teacher support help budding filmmakers develop their skills.

Potential students should reach out to Franklin Film School for detailed information about the curriculum and any additional costs. Learn more about what Franklin Film School has to offer here.

NW Film Camp – Filmmaking for Kids and Teens

NW Film Camp provides a fun and educational environment through various spring and summer camps tailored for kids and teens.

  • Wide Range of Projects: Camps covering music video production, documentary filmmaking, digital shorts, and YouTube channel design.
  • Skill Development: Focused on nurturing cinematic skills, critical thinking, and social interaction through collaboration.
  • Professional Software: Students learn to use tools like Adobe Premiere and Adobe Audition, enhancing their digital portfolios.
  • Mentorship: Mixed-aged groups and mentorship foster a supportive learning atmosphere.

These camps are designed to be both informative and enjoyable, encouraging a passion for filmmaking. For more details, visit NW Film Camp.

Ted Rooney – Portland Film Acting Classes

For those aspiring to work in front of the camera, Ted Rooney’s Acting Classes at 21ten Theatre offer an exceptional educational experience.

  • All Skill Levels: Classes cater to actors at various stages, from beginners to seasoned professionals.
  • Holistic Approach: The curriculum emphasizes integrity, honesty, and being present on film.
  • Diverse Class Options: Includes On Camera I, On Camera 1.5, On Camera II, On Camera III, Scene Study, and Actorcise.
  • Positive Impact: Testimonials highlight Ted’s dedication and impactful teaching methods.

Ted Rooney’s classes focus on bringing out authentic performances and deep character immersion. To learn more about these acting classes, visit Ted Rooney Acting Classes.

Vermont Hills UMC – Mr. David’s Lego Animation and Movie Making Summer Camps

For younger children, Mr. David’s Lego Animation and Movie Making Camps at Vermont Hills UMC offer a week-long dive into stop motion and Lego animation.

  • Specific Technique Focus: Geared primarily towards Lego animation and stop motion.
  • Hands-On Experience: Led by experienced instructors, including Mr. David himself.
  • Age Target: Suitable for children aged 5-14.
  • Flexible Options: Traditional week-long options, half-day alternatives, and drop-in sessions are available.

Early registration is advised due to limited spots. For more information, check out Mr. David’s Lego Animation Camps.

How to Choose the Best Filmmaking School

Choosing the right filmmaking school involves several critical factors. Here’s how to make an informed decision:

  1. Program Length:

  2. Curriculum and Specializations:

  3. Faculty Expertise:

  4. Facilities and Equipment:

  5. Networking Opportunities:

  6. Cost and Financial Aid:

  7. Location and Community:

Choosing the right school is a personal decision that should align with your specific needs and career aspirations.


Portland, OR, offers a variety of exceptional filmmaking schools, each providing unique programs and opportunities. From immersive hands-on learning environments to comprehensive academic programs, you can find the right fit for your filmmaking career here. Whether you’re an aspiring director, screenwriter, or editor, these schools offer the foundations and connections needed to thrive in the film industry.

Explore your options further and take the next step towards your dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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