Narrative Filmmaking – Finding Opportunities in Constraints



Online Workshop

Drawing inspiration from movements like the French New Wave and Dogme 95, this filmmaking workshop aims to encourage new filmmakers to embrace constraints as a doorway to creative expression. You will be asked to think about your resources — whether that's locations, actors, equipment, or time — in a new light and draw upon your ingenuity to fully realize a short fiction or experimental film. Supported by curated presentations, step-by-step instruction and group workshops, you will explore and develop an idea into a story through outlines, scripts, shot lists, storyboards, and script breakdowns all the way through production and post into a complete 5 - 10 minute short film.

Register by June 28

More details | What you'll need | Instructor | Session info (click here or see sidebar)


This workshop combines scheduled real-time virtual class meetings via Zoom, asynchronous material, and independent work.

  • Number of weeks: 6
  • Session dates: 7/6/21–8/12/21
  • Number of meetings per week: biweekly plus access to instructor for one-on-one instruction
  • Meeting schedule: T/Th: 6:00 pm –7:45 pm CT
    (with optional office hours by appt.)
  • Tuition: $775


The workshop will be divided into three distinct cycles:
• Preproduction, where we will focus on screenwriting and storytelling
• Production, where we will turn our attention to composition, visual language, and sound recording
• Postproduction, where we will find and finish our films in the virtual editing room.

We will celebrate the end of the workshop with an online premiere to screen the work for friends and family.

What you'll need at home


  • Smartphone or Digital Camera

  • Computer: Laptop or PC with

    • 8GB RAM minimum & 16GB RAM or more recommended

    • Wi-Fi

    • Web cam

  • External Hard Drive (optional)

  • Tripod (optional)

  • Sound recorder (optional)

Software / Apps


  • Adobe Premiere Pro
    Non-linear editing software: 1-yr subscription for $21/mo; month-to-month subscription: $31.49/mo; or bundled with the Creative Cloud monthly or annual plan

  • Writer Duet (free screenwriting software)

  • Google Docs, Google Sheets

  • Zoom (free virtual conferencing app)

A native Austinite, Emily Grooms is an independent filmmaker creating in both documentary and narrative film. Focused on the extraordinary ordinary in everyday life and people, Emily's films have been recognized for awards in both disciplines and played at festivals across the country. With a background in post-production for network TV, Emily came to grad school to transition into production and now works regularly as a DP for both documentary and narrative/experimental media. She is in her final year of the MFA in Film Production program at UT  and is about to start production on her thesis film, a short family drama set in and around Austin. 

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Session Information

One Session

6 weeks, 2 meetings per week

T/Th: 6:00 pm –7:45 pm CT