Practical media training

All year long, Sur Place offers workshops in several creative & media disciplines: graphic design, video editing, audio creation, podcasts, creative writing, etc. All Workshops are proposed and led by local artists who have a passion to share their craft.

Accessible, flexible, and collaborative. Our workshops are limited to 8 students, run for 4 (or 5) sessions, and cost $200. Our mission is to offer affordable community-based arts training that promotes a fun & collaborative culture among students and teachers.

An emphasis on practical training. In just a few weeks, you can learn new skills to use for your projects or your job. Students are always encouraged to work on their own projects during workshops.

Give the gift of arts education.

Want to propose a workshop?

Questions and Answers

My schedule doesn't fit. Can you accommodate me? Could the workshop start sooner?

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Current workshops

Feb
4
Tue
Creative Editing: The Moving Image as Medium
Feb 4 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Creative Editing: The Moving Image as Medium @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Dive into nonlinear film making and discover a world of creative editing techniques.

Are you curious about film editing? Does the thought of using the moving image as a medium for self-expression fill you with excitement? If so, this workshop is perfect for you. As part of a group of passionate editors, you will learn creative editing techniques, become well-versed in Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve editing software, and acquire the confidence to take your work as a creative editor to the next level.

Together, we will learn to use digital editing software such as Premiere Pro and DaVinci Resolve as tools for experimentation and creativity.

Schedule (5 sessions)

  • Tuesday, February 4, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 11, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 18, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Tuesday, February 25, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Tuesday, March 3, 7:00-9:30

This course takes the form of a sequential workshop. Each of the five sessions will begin with an example of historical or contemporary work that features creative editing in a new light, followed by a discussion to move what we’ve covered from the realm of theory to that of practice. Each class, participants will produce short films or installation pieces that emphasize the “creative” in creative editing. All works produced as a part of the workshop will be showcased at the end of the course.

Examples analyzed in class vary from experimental icons such as Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage to contemporary artists like Sylvia Schedelbauer and Martin Arnold. Rather than mimicking theory and watching examples, our goal is to take inspiration from these early explorations and assimilate what we’ve learned into our own practice. Participants will learn how to incorporate colour and metaphoric imagery into their creative process and—first and foremost—how to use editing as a tool for self-expression. Together we will explore digital editing techniques such as how to use flicker, inversion, juxtaposition, and keying. At the end of the session, participants are encouraged to continue creating work as editors; they will leave with a strong foundation in the technical tools and resources necessary to guide them on their journeys.

This class is geared toward emerging editors who already have a basic understanding of software such as Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, or Final Cut Pro. Premiere Pro will be the main tool used for editing throughout the class. This workshop showcases creative and experimental editing forms, but will also provide those interested in commercial editing with the opportunity to develop their skill sets. If you have an open mind and a passion for editing, this is the workshop for you.

Elian Mikkola is a queer filmmaker, editor, and installation artist currently based in Montréal. Their work focuses on metaphoric queer and trans narratives through different film mediums and genres. Mikkola holds an MFA in Media Production from the University of Regina and a BA in Journalism from Tampere University. Their award-winning debut film SAARI (2016) was selected for the student program of TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival and Festival du Nouveau Cinéma for 2016-2017. Mikkola’s video and film installations have been exhibited in Regina and Montréal. They are a part of La lumière collective, based in Montréal. Mikkola is also a board member at Queer City Cinema.

Feb
27
Thu
Speaking In Front Of An Audience
Feb 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Speaking In Front Of An Audience @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Speaking in front of an audience doesn’t have to be a challenge fraught with anxiety.

Speaking In Front Of An Audience

Or, as too many people think of it, “Risking my Sanity In Front Of Hostile, Angry Strangers at Great Personal Expense.”

Writers— who love the safety of communicating on paper—will find themselves, ironically, having to present their work in front of an audience. Classes, workshops, open mics, book promotions, readings and festivals are valuable, and often unavoidable, ways for writers to interact, meet colleagues, promote their work, and receive feedback.

However, writer or not, too often, people let their fears override their confidence, and consequently miss out on the potential benefits of speaking before a group.

The most common advice is “practice,” but that’s only partly correct. What do you practice if you don’t know how to address the challenges? If you knew how to do something better wouldn’t you be doing it already?

The better advice is “prepare,” which approaches the task from another angle—developing confidence through concrete steps. It’s how you figure out what to practice.

This two-hour workshop will provide you with hands-on techniques. In an informal and low-stress environment, participants will answer questions and provide each other with feedback. The pace will move quickly, so there will be little chance to feel exposed, under scrutiny, or on-the-spot. Amy will provide phrases to use while practicing specific skills. Participants should bring a piece of their own work, to be prepared throughout the second half of the workshop, them read aloud. You’ll leave with a list of tangible tools and approaches to not just manage and minimize anxiety, but to develop technique and confidence.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Suggested cash donation: 10$

Amy Alt is a writer living in Montreal, originally from the US. Her short-format stories and poetry aim for humor, frequently drawn from her experience in the arts and science worlds and a collection of unconventional jobs. As a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher she logged many hours performing on stage and talking in front of rooms full of people. The skills she developed translated easily to other forms of public speaking, with an approach that comes from a different angle than traditional lecturing or storytelling. She has degrees from The Juilliard School and S.U.N.Y. Delhi. Her poem “Notice of Assessment” was recently longlisted in the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize.

Mar
4
Wed
Music Production with Ableton Live
Mar 4 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Music Production with Ableton Live @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA

Want to start creating in Ableton Live? Join composer, producer, and sound designer Solomon Krause-Imlach in Introduction to Ableton Live. As well as learning how to get around Live’s unique interface with confidence, you’ll learn how to record and edit MIDI clips; create synth basses, leads, and pads with basic synthesis knowledge; trigger clips for on-the-fly experimentation or performance; creatively use audio effects like reverb, delay, panning, and filters; chop, warp, and manipulate samples, and build layers and sections of a song.

These building blocks will jumpstart your future creative exploration in Live and allow you to experiment with intention.

Equipment

You can use Sur Place’s workstation and gear during the workshop, or bring your own: laptop, midi controller, & headphones.

Workshop schedule

  • Wednesday, March 4, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 11, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 18, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Wednesday, March 25, 7:00-9:30pm

Solomon (a Live user of almost 10 years) will not only guide you through the ins and outs of the technical and creative use of Live, he’ll be there to give you instant feedback and answer any questions that may arise throughout the learning process. The group environment will give you a chance to bounce ideas around with your fellow classmates and support each other when you’re trying new things out. Hear Solomon’s work and learn more about him here: https://solomonkrauseimlach.com/press

If you’re ready to delve into the limitless world of Live and want to develop the know-how to and creative spark to do so, come join us for Introduction to Ableton Live.

Mar
5
Thu
Video Editing in Production
Mar 5 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Video Editing in Production @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
This workshop is geared toward video enthusiasts who want a crash course on the fundamentals of video editing.

This class uses a hands-on approach to learning the basic principles of video editing and overcoming challenges that inexperienced editors might face when cutting their films. Students will learn how to import clips, add them to a timeline, editing techniques, adding effects & transformations, audio, titles, basic colour correction, finishing and exporting a video for distribution.

Video editing material will be provided but students are encouraged to bring their projects. By the end of this workshop, you will have gained the knowledge and tools to create professional videos.

Note: We can provide a laptop for use in the workshop, if needed.

4 sessions of 2.5 hours. The registration fee covers all 4 sessions.

Schedule

  • Thursday, March 5, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Thursday, March 12, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Thursday, March 19, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Thursday, March 26, 7:00-9:30pm

Weekly outline:

Week 01 (Date + 7:00 – 9:30pm):

  • Starting a project
  • Intro to interface and editing tools
  • Importing and adding clips to a timeline

Week 02 (Date + 7:00 – 9:30pm):

  • Video editing techniques
  • Audio editing techniques
  • Adding transitions to video and audio

Week 03 (Date + 7:00 – 9:30pm):

  • Transform and manipulate footage
  • Importing images and graphics
  • Adding effects to clips

Week 04 (Date + 7:00 – 9:30pm):

  • Add titles to your film
  • Intro to color grading
  • Exporting your film

About:

Raymon Fong has been teaching post-production and video editing in the 3D Animation & CGI program for 9 years and is the recipient of the 2016 Teaching Excellence Award at Dawson College. He has 15 years of video production, motion graphics and multi-media experience. He is also an avid artist, songwriter & producer of small video productions.

Mar
9
Mon
Scénariser une bande dessinée: comment écrire une bonne histoire
Mar 9 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
En développant chacun un scénario visant la BD, les élèves seront guidés dans leur projet.

Regardez une bande-annonce vidéo ici.

Avec l’émergence de la popularité de la bande dessiné à Montréal, plusieurs artistes des arts visuels se tournent vers cet art. Or, de beaux dessins ne suffisent pas à écrire une bonne BD: si l’histoire laisse à désirer, même l’esthétique la plus grandiose ne pourra pas combler ce manque.

Il est primordial de bien construire son histoire avant de se lancer dans la réalisation d’une BD. Pour y arriver, il faut passer à travers plusieurs étapes: établir l’idée de base, la développer sous forme de synopsis et développer des personnages intéressants et complexes. Viennent ensuite le scène-à-scène, la rédaction des dialogues, etc.

Mais comment accompli-t-on ces étapes? Comment trouve-t-on des idées et parvient-on à les développer avec une profondeur, pour que l’histoire ne soit pas qu’un prétexte plus ou moins ennuyant au dessin? Comment écrit-on des dialogues riches et réalistes, tout en donnant subtilement une information au lecteur? Comment peut-on travailler le silence en BD?

Dans ce cours, nous allons explorer différentes techniques pour créer des histoires riches. En développant chacun un scénario visant la BD, les élèves seront guidés dans leur projet: les failles dans leurs histoires seront repérées et corrigées.

Il y aura un cours magistral, suivi d’une période de création et de partage d’idée. Les projets seront discutés en groupe, afin que chaque élève puisse bénéficier des erreurs et des apprentissages des autres également.

L’atelier dure 5 semaines, deux heures par séance.

  • Lundi, le 9 mars, 19h-21h
  • Lundi, le 16 mars, 19h-21h
  • Lundi, le 13 avril, 19h-21h
  • Lundi, le 27 avril, 19h-21h
  • Lundi, le 4 mai, 19h-21h

Semaine 1

Au cours de la première semaine, nous allons commencer par discuter du récit en BD, son importance, les pièges possibles et finalement, comment développer une idée qui se tient jusqu’à la fin.

  • Présentations et objectifs du cours
  • Comment trouvez une idée?
  • Qu’est-ce qu’une bonne idée?

Semaine 2

Pendant la deuxième semaine, le cours se penche sur le synopsis: qu’est-ce qu’il contient, comment le rédige-t-on et pourquoi le fait-on? À ce stade, il est primordial d’avoir une idée précise de l’événement déclencheur et des personnages qui feront partie de ce récit.

  • Le synopsis
  • L’événement déclencheur
  • Développement des personnages principaux et secondaires

Semaine 3

Maintenant que le synopsis est rédigé et que les personnages sont bien définis, il est temps d’aborder les obstacles qui les attendent, et de voir comment l’intériorité des personnages qu’on a développés pourra s’intégrer au récit. Il est également important de réfléchir aux lieux et à leur représentation, car ils donnent beaucoup d’informations sur le milieu social/culturel/économique des personnages.

  • Les obstacles et péripéties
  • Le scène-à-scène
  • Les lieux

Semaine 4

Les dialogues représentent un élément difficile de la scénarisation: comment évite-t-on les mauvais dialogues, ceux qui sont trop longs ou qui sonnent faux? Comment intègre-t-on les expressions/le joual en BD? Comment crée-t-on des silences?

  • Les dialogues et les silences
  • Les pensées
  • Les récitatifs

Semaine 5

Pendant la dernière semaine, on finalise le tout en explorant les raisons qui nous ferons pencher vers un scénario écrit ou un scénarimage, quelles sont les spécificités de chacun et comment faire le découpage en tenant compte de la lecture des cases.

  • Scénario écrit ou d’un scénarimage?
  • Le découpage
  • La lecture des cases

Val-Bleu (Valérie Jacques-Bélair) est une bédéiste montréalaise qui aime aborder des thématiques sociales. Féministe, elle exprime sa réalité et celle des autres avec un dessin naïf et simple, ainsi qu’une bonne touche d’humour. Elle tend ainsi à dédramatiser des situations complexes afin d’ouvrir une discussion avec des gens qui préféreraient éviter ces sujets.

Ayant d’abord étudié en scénarisation et en littérature, elle travaille toujours le récit de ses bandes dessinées avec soin avant de commencer à dessiner.

Mar
10
Tue
Stock Photography: Earn Money with your Favourite Hobby
Mar 10 @ 7:00 pm – Mar 10 @ 9:00 pm
Stock Photography: Earn Money with your Favourite Hobby @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Do you have hard drives filled with photos and video clips that could be earning you income? Would you like more people to see your work?

This workshop will help you identify your shooting strengths and get you started on creating your own image bank so you can start selling your photos and videos online. Whether you are interested in selling on microstock sites or other outlets or just getting your creative work under control, this workshop will help you develop your personal workflow and editing skills to make that possible.

Jeannette will share her own experiences with stock footage and photography as well as leading practical hand’s on activities. Together we’ll identify your strengths and develop your talents to be able to share your work more widely. While selling stock photos and videos is unlikely to provide a full-time income, you will develop new digital skills that will allow you to pursue flexible, creative part-time work you can easily do at home whenever it suits you.

Bilingual instruction possible, French speaking participants welcome.

Schedule (4 sessions)

  • Tuesday, March 10, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Tuesday, March 17, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Tuesday, March 24, 7:00-9:00pm
  • Tuesday, March 31, 7:00-9:00pm

Outline

Lesson one :

  • Identifying what photos or footage to shoot and sell
  • Photo editing and keywording exercises

Lesson two:

  • Build a light tent
  • Photo shoot of small objects
  • Assigment: create a small batch of images or footage for your image bank

Lesson three:

  • Hand’s on preparation of batch of images or footage
  • Neighbourhood photo shoot

Lesson four:

  • Creating a workflow model
  • Submission to sales outlets
  • Brainstorming future ideas

About

Jeannette Lambert is a multi-media artist who works with photography, video and music. She studied film at York University and worked at one of the first stock film footage agencies in Canada. She’s a jazz vocalist and pursues photography part-time. She has been shooting and selling her stock photos online for over a decade. http://www.shutterstock.com/g/nettestock

Mar
13
Fri
Speaking In Front Of An Audience
Mar 13 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Speaking In Front Of An Audience @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Speaking in front of an audience doesn’t have to be a challenge fraught with anxiety.

Back by Popular Demand! Speaking In Front Of An Audience

Or, as too many people think of it, “Risking my Sanity In Front Of Hostile, Angry Strangers at Great Personal Expense.”

Writers— who love the safety of communicating on paper—will find themselves, ironically, having to present their work in front of an audience. Classes, workshops, open mics, book promotions, readings and festivals are valuable, and often unavoidable, ways for writers to interact, meet colleagues, promote their work, and receive feedback.

However, writer or not, too often, people let their fears override their confidence, and consequently miss out on the potential benefits of speaking before a group.

The most common advice is “practice,” but that’s only partly correct. What do you practice if you don’t know how to address the challenges? If you knew how to do something better wouldn’t you be doing it already?

The better advice is “prepare,” which approaches the task from another angle—developing confidence through concrete steps. It’s how you figure out what to practice.

This two-hour workshop will provide you with hands-on techniques. In an informal and low-stress environment, participants will answer questions and provide each other with feedback. The pace will move quickly, so there will be little chance to feel exposed, under scrutiny, or on-the-spot. Amy will provide phrases to use while practicing specific skills. Participants should bring a piece of their own work, to be prepared throughout the second half of the workshop, them read aloud. You’ll leave with a list of tangible tools and approaches to not just manage and minimize anxiety, but to develop technique and confidence.

Amy Alt is a writer living in Montreal, originally from the US. Her short-format stories and poetry aim for humor, frequently drawn from her experience in the arts and science worlds and a collection of unconventional jobs. As a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher she logged many hours performing on stage and talking in front of rooms full of people. The skills she developed translated easily to other forms of public speaking, with an approach that comes from a different angle than traditional lecturing or storytelling. She has degrees from The Juilliard School and S.U.N.Y. Delhi. Her poem “Notice of Assessment” was recently longlisted in the 2019 CBC Poetry Prize.

Mar
23
Mon
Behind The Camera: An Introduction To Self-produced Documentary Film
Mar 23 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Behind The Camera: An Introduction To Self-produced Documentary Film @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
This workshop aims at demystifying documentary practice, and will give you the confidence, knowledge and skills to enter this space and self-produce your own documentary.

Everyone has a story to tell but, too often, commercial demands and a closed movie industry appear as impenetrable barriers to making documentary films. Simon Kessler has worked in both network television and on personal projects with limited financial and technical support. Both experiences have led him to realize that a documentary storyteller is limited only by their imagination and ingenuity. Big budgets and institutional support are nice, but lacking those resources should not be a barrier to making your movie, or just getting started in the genre.

Schedule

  • Monday, March 23, 7:00-9:30 pm
  • Monday, March 30, 7:00-9:30 pm
  • Monday, April 6, 7:00-9:30 pm
  • Monday, April 20, 7:00-9:30 pm

Format

The format of the workshop will be problem-based. Each week we will address two to three problems that commonly emerge in documentary film. We will consider (1) pragmatic concerns—from camera choice to gaining site access and building rapport, (2) aesthetic concerns—from framing to exposure and shot choice, and (3) theoretical concerns—including questioning the documentary’s point of view and claims to objectivity.

These problems will be further elaborated each week through screenings of short excerpts of different kinds of documentaries. As a group, we will identify and discuss the choices filmmakers have made in order to assist each participant define and approach their own practice. There will be opportunities for feedback during the workshop. Over the course of the four weeks, you’ll be invited to produce two to five minutes of footage, implementing some of the techniques and discussions from previous weeks.

Equipment

Students won’t need to bring anything but their laptop if they want. The workshop is aimed towards showing that you can DIY a documentary with very little equipment. Students will need any camera (even one from a phone!) and a laptop for editing, though screening raw footage is also an option. Suggested equipment, although not necessary, includes a tripod and any sound recording device.

Who should attend?

This workshop is best suited for people who are beginning to develop their documentary film practice. Participants are encouraged to come with a project idea they would like to develop over the course of the workshop. By the end of the workshop, participants can expect to come away with the tools to start their own documentary projects.

Bio

Simon Kessler is a French documentary filmmaker based between Montreal and Paris. He has directed and developed a number of documentaries for network television, including the  National Geographic and Planète+ channels. His documentary AF447: In Search of Flight AF447 has been featured by the Guardian, France Inter, Radio-France International and Radio-Canada. In addition to his television work, Simon has developed a number of self-produced short documentaries. His personal practice privileges intimate portraits of people, places and institutions in intersticial moments.  https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4636000/

Apr
1
Wed
Portrait: Volumes, Ombres et Valeurs de Gris
Apr 1 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Portrait: Volumes, Ombres et Valeurs de Gris @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Cet atelier vous guidera à travers plusieurs méthodes permettant de travailler les valeurs de gris en dessin.

À la fin de la session, vous serez en mesure de réaliser un portrait ou votre autoportrait. Au fil des semaines, nous explorerons les formes, les volumes et leurs ombres pour leur donner une tridimensionnalité sur papier. Par les différents médiums (fusain, graphite, encre de chine, feutre, crayon noir et blanc), les techniques de hachures, de dégradés et de lavis seront démontrées et chacun pourra les expérimenter en s’inspirant de formes simples. Par la suite, des compositions un peu plus complexes seront explorées pour comprendre les volumes et ensuite passer aux formes plus organiques. Enfin, les participants seront encouragés à dessiner les volumes du visage en s’inspirant du leur en utilisant le médium de leur choix.

Objectif

Faire découvrir des méthodes pour travailler les valeurs de gris et arriver en fin de session à faire un portrait ou son autoportrait.

  • Type d’atelier: 3 rencontres de formation, 1 rencontre de création
  • Médiums: Encre de chine, feutre, crayon graphite, fusain, crayon blanc et noir

Programme

  • Mercredi, 1 Avril, 18h30 à 20h
  • Mercredi, 8 Avril, 18h30 à 20h
  • Mercredi, 15 Avril, 18h30 à 20h
  • Mercredi, 22 Avril, 18h30 à 20h

Plan

Rencontre 1: Valeurs de gris et volumes simples

  • Présentation des médiums proposés et de leurs utilisations
  • Dessiner des objets (bougie, boîte, bouteille, orange) déposés sur la table avec une source de lumière dirigée pour voir l’ombre; explorer les médiums

Rencontre 2: Introduction aux proportions

  • Les proportions à partir d’images (petites scènes, natures mortes)
  • Dessiner les images proposées, déconstruire en formes simples, utiliser les valeurs de gris; médium au choix

Rencontre 3: Formes du visage

  • Les proportions du visage à l’aide d’images, d’un miroir et d’une sculpture, comprendre les différents volumes; médium au choix

Rencontre 4: Portrait

  • Dessin d’un portrait ou autoportrait à partir d’une photo ou à l’aide d’un miroir; médium au choix

Dominique C. Habib est une artiste en art visuel québécoise vivant actuellement à Montréal. Diplômée en Arts visuels et médiatiques puis en Design industriel, elle a une fascination pour le monde qui l’entoure et pour matérialiser des concepts abstraits en images ou en objets. Elle s’intéresse fortement aux sujets de la nature, de l’enfance et de la psychologie qu’elle décline par la peinture, la sculpture et le dessin.

Apr
2
Thu
Write Like a Pro
Apr 2 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Write Like a Pro @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Writer and journalist Colleen Kimmett teaches the art of effective writing.

The Write Like a Pro workshop is designed to guide participants through the stylistic and technical elements that make a great piece of writing. It draws heavily from the art and craft of narrative non-fiction, but is relevant for anyone who wants to communicate more effectively through the written word. The nut of it is: How do you make your truth compelling to others?

Over the course of the workshop, we’ll cover: shaping ideas; planning and organizing material; elements of storytelling; wordcraft and style; finding your voice; tough-love editing; and, finally, putting your work out there.

Now in its EIGHTH run, this edition of Write Like a Pro will put special focus on practising techniques we learn in class through the process of developing, writing, and polishing a short (500- to 1000- word) non-fiction piece by the end of the workshop.

Some class time will be spent writing, but participants will get more out of the workshop if they’re able to set aside an additional hour or so per week to write at home. For many past participants, making time to sit down and write has been the most rewarding part.

Schedule

  • Thursday, April 2, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 9, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 16, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Thursday, April 23, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Colleen Kimmett is a Montreal-based writer and journalist. Colleen’s work has been published in The Walrus, The Guardian, Al Jazeera America, Bright Magazine, In These Times, StatNews, Arctic Deeply, and beyond. Previously, she was a senior editor at The Tyee and a founding editor of The Discourse. Currently, she teaches a science communication course at McGill and is the community outreach coordinator for the Institute for Investigative Journalism.

Testimonials

“A great class! I appreciated the focus on specific techniques + I loved learning about new authors.”

“Very informative & practical which I like very much.”

“Colleen is a solid instructor who provides useful, packaged, and directed feedback.”

Apr
7
Tue
Pay Attention: A Meisner Acting Workshop
Apr 7 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Pay Attention: A Meisner Acting Workshop @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Director Peter Giser teaches you to turn speaking a series of lines into the kind of genuine connection which brings your acting to life.

In this workshop run by director Peter Giser, we’ll build up that all-important thing in acting: the connection with your scene partner. Part of the problem we face in scenes is we really aren’t paying attention! So we’re going to learn how to listen up, improve our ability to tell what’s going on with the other actor, get through to them better, and build that relationship. In other words, we’re going to turn speaking a series of lines into really connecting with someone and making acting a living thing. Through a combination of improv, script-based work, and of course – paying attention! – we’ll tune right in to what’s really going on and make our acting work more exciting for both ourselves and for the audience.

Schedule

  • Tuesday, April 7, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday, April 14, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday April 21, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Workshop 1: Tuning In

We will begin with Meisner exercises including “the repetition” and “the observation,” and then take those into improvised scenes focused on listening and observing. We will learn how to really listen to our scene partner, and to then become able to respond honestly.

Workshop 2: Tuning Up

We’ll add one element to this: our own objectives, and how we need the listening and observing in order to pursue our need in a scene.

Workshop 3: Out of Tune

Important tasks and conflict. Through use of assigned tasks that are difficult, we will explore scene communication, focusing on struggle over objectives.

Workshop 4: Tuning Back In

We’ll recap what we’ve learned and look at well-known scenes from plays, using our techniques to explore these beloved scripts.

Peter Giser is a director, actor and singer who has been performing for over 20 years in Montreal and New York. Originally trained as a musical performer, Peter turned more fully towards acting while in New York, studying at the Strasberg School and later becoming a member of The Michael Chekhov Theatre Company. Peter also began producing and directing in New York, which he now continues to do in Montreal through his own theatre company, Snowglobe Theatre. His knowledge and training include Stanislavski work, Strasberg, Meisner, Michael Chekhov technique, Shakespeare performance, and commedia, among other styles and methods. Peter puts a large focus on developing talent and skills, and has been offering workshops in Montreal to the artistic community since 2019.

Apr
29
Wed
Making a Scene: A Screenwriting Workshop
Apr 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Making a Scene: A Screenwriting Workshop @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Award-winning writer and filmmaker Wiebke von Carolsfeld guides you through the process of effective and resonant screenwriting.

The devil is in the details, and never is that more true than in the movies. The single most important building block to a successful screenplay is a scene, so in this workshop we will explore how to write a great one.

We will discuss how to give each scene a strong arc, making sure that it pushes the overall story forward, while revealing character through action and dialogues. We will discuss how to deal with exposition, character descriptions, action, formatting and finally how to write believable and entertaining dialogues. Participants will workshop scenes from their projects, learning what makes a scene great and what to do to make it even better The workshop runs for 4 weeks, two hours per session.

Workshop Schedule

  • Wednesday, April 29, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 6, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 13, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 20, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Wiebke von Carolsfeld is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, who has directed three critically acclaimed theatrical feature films (Marion Bridge, STAY, The Saver), Her films have played at festivals around the world (TIFF, Rotterdam (competition), Karlovy Vary, Sydney, Pusan etc), winning many awards including Best First Feature at TIFF. Claremont, her first novel, was published to much acclaim in the fall of 2019. The German edition, by Kiepenheuer&Witsch, is forthcoming.

Apr
30
Thu
Drawing as a Way of Seeing
Apr 30 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Drawing as a Way of Seeing @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Explore creativity and vision through the medium of drawing with artist Bronwen Moen.

Throughout the development of all my projects as a visual, theatre, and film artist, one skill has helped me more than any other—drawing! The art and practice of seeing spatial relationships, textures, proportions, perspective, tone, and volume has helped me to render and create realities and fictions quickly and with ease.

These skills have transformed how I see. They translate into everything else I do, from graphic design to photography to set design for TV and film. It is a way of seeing, thinking, and communicating that is an essential tool for any visual practice.

This course will take you through a series of skill-building workshops designed to help you become skilled at drawing & rendering as well as to help you structure a regular practice so that it becomes a part of your professional toolkit. We will use a variety of drawing media (wet and dry) and practice with a variety of subjects, images, and references.

Drawing is also a perfect tool to explore your own creative interests and voice! Each session will start with a brief body-based drawing meditation, that will help bring some of your own ideas and impulses to light.

Workshop Schedule

  • Thursday, April 30, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 7, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 14, 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 21, 7:00-9:00 pm

Week 1

  • Body-mapping meditation drawing
  • Intro to “Drawing as Seeing” concepts and practices
  • Practice: Drawing from observation with pencil/pen (contour, continued line, gesture)

Week 2

  • Body-mapping meditation drawing
  • Drawing as a research tool – examples and discussion
  • Practice: Drawing from observation with pencil, charcoal, ink/watercolour (Push&Pull: colour, volume, mass & perspective)

Week 3

  • Body-mapping meditation drawing
  • Drawing as a tool for creating fictional spaces/collage/fantasy – examples and discussion
  • Practice: “Making Strange” – using 8 prompts for combining subject matter to create stories & meaning

Week 4

  • Body-mapping meditation drawing
  • Presenting personal projects – meta-conversation of “How to talk about art!”
  • Practice: Workshop-on-Request—emergent workshop based on the specific needs of the students

Bronwen Moen moved to Montréal, Québec in 2006 where she completed a Masters of Fine Arts at Concordia University in 2013. Her work in painting, drawing, and performance focuses on the vibrant materiality of the human form, the natural and manufactured world, and all vibrant systems. As a dancer and performer she draws deeply from her physical practice that provides a map of deepening connections with herself and others; sensations and images of the uphill crumble of collaboration and interrelatedness. With a foundation of painting and murals her work also extends into photography, design/illustration, large-scale puppets, and sets and props within tv/film and theatre productions. This multi-disciplinary practice also extends into teaching and facilitation and is woven together with themes of embodiment, agency and connection.

May
5
Tue
Start Your Novel: Architect, Gardener, and Story Seeds
May 5 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Start Your Novel: Architect, Gardener, and Story Seeds @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Willow Loveday Little guides participants through a series of exercises and steps towards writing a novel.

Have you always wanted to write a novel?

The prospect of writing a book can be intimidating. Most of us are first exposed to novels during high school, where we study Great Works of Literature like The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, and Pride and Prejudice. We learn to analyze. We learn to make sense of the mesmerizing metaphors, larger-than-life characters, and the authors’ insightful social commentary.

As wonderful as this is, it means that when it comes time to write our own stories we’re faced with a problem. We’ve only ever encountered the manuscript in the form of a polished final draft, and there’s no way we could create something like that, right?

If you’ve always wanted to write a novel but are unsure how to get the ball rolling, then this is the workshop for you. Whether you’re caught in a perpetual staring contest with a blank Word Doc or simply haven’t had the time to sit down and figure out how you’re going to write the darn thing, this four-week workshop will give you the space to develop your prose dream into reality.

A significant portion of workshop time will be allotted to writing and feedback, to ensure participants have the time, space, and support to craft strong story foundations. By the end, you will leave with a working story outline, the draft of a first chapter, ample feedback, and ultimately, the structure and knowledge you need to hit the ground running and move from opening hooks to “the end.”

Classes are structured to give you the tools to develop your story beyond the scope of the workshop. Workshop 1 focuses on outlining—theory and prompts to push through creative blocks and get words on the page. Workshop 2 will be spent fleshing out outlines, developing character motivations, goals, and conflict. First chapters will be critiqued during workshop 3. Workshop 4 will consist of a discussion of sustainable creative practice and a final sharing session.

Schedule

  • Tuesday, May 5, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 19, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 26, 6:30 – 9:00 pm

Workshop Breakdown

WORKSHOP 1: Outlining

Approaches to outlining, getting the ball rolling, dealing with creative blocks, freewriting, character creation, roadmapping and seeding story, etc.

WORKSHOP 2: Plotting

Developing outline, considering characterization, symbolism, setting, motivations, limitations, genre, etc.

WORKSHOP 3: First Chapter

Workshopping first chapters (This may be spread across two dates, depending on registration.)

WORKSHOP 4: Sustainable Creative Practice

Why do we write? What measures can we take to protect our writing time? What resources are at our disposal? Discussion of creative community, models for creativity, etc. Wrap up with a sharing session and discussion of where to go next to continue—and finish—your manuscript.

Willow Loveday Little is a writer, poet and freelance editor whose work has appeared in places like The Dalhousie Review, On Spec, Westmount Mag, and Hirundo Classics Journal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, teaches ESL, and edits fiction manuscripts. She was a finalist for the QWF poetry mentorship two years consecutively. Willow curates “Pieces of Process,” an art series that aims to demystify creative process by providing a space for emerging artists to engage in interdisciplinary conversations about art. Willow is currently editing her own literary fiction manuscript.

May
11
Mon
Audio Documentary Storytelling
May 11 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Audio Documentary Storytelling @ Sur Place Media | Montréal | QC | CA
Do you have an idea for an audio documentary piece or podcast you’d like to produce? Welcome to audio documentary bootcamp.

Do you have an idea for an audio documentary piece or podcast you’d like to produce? In this workshop, we’ll take your idea and put it through a variety of exercises that will help you find your main focus, craft your story effectively, plan your production, figure out your workflow, and solve the technical aspects in between. On top of that, throughout the weeks, we’ll be practicing the art of interviewing and narrating. So, think of it like a bootcamp for you to become an audio documentary producer.

Workshop Schedule

  • Monday, May 11, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Monday, May 18, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Monday, May 25, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Monday, June 1, 6:30 – 9:00 pm

Information and Requirements

  • You should have at least one idea for a podcast before registering for the class. Expect that your idea may transform during workshop.
  • The class is designed for documentary storytelling, not so much for talk shows.
  • If you already have experience in documentary film making, this course might be redundant to you.
  • Expect weekly homework (minimum 2hr)
  • At the end of the 4 weeks, you will be presenting a short sound creation.

Class 1: FOUNDATIONS

  • In-class hands-on exercises: finding your mission statement and target audience
  • Theory: how to pitch, writing for audio

HOMEWORK: Complete mission statement and practice pitch

Class 2: CREATING A STORY

  • In-class hands-on exercises: pitch your story, and how to use recording gear
  • Theory: transcribing workflow, how to open a story, how to plan scenes

HOMEWORK: Prepare questions and schedule an interview

Class 3: THE ART OF INTERVIEWING AND NARRATING

  • In-class hands-on exercises: interviewing the intimate
  • Theory: preparing for an interview, preparing questions to an interview, narration

HOMEWORK: Record an interview

Class 4: SCRIPT EDITING + MUSIC AND SOUND EDITING

  • In-class hands-on exercises: working with Adobe Audition CC, editing a sound snippet
  • Theory: script editing methodology, how to use music in audio stories

Pascal Huynh first got into podcasting by having a topic he was passionate about. With the storytelling skills he learnt at film school, he created an 8-episode show Out of the Fog which aired on CKUT 90.3FM in 2016. Since then he had made an audio documentary piece produced by CBC and is currently working on a feature-length film documentary. He teaches animation at Concordia University, at Champlain College and at ESMA College where he enjoys designing courses in which students are engaged by hands-on learning and analysing.

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