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We love hosting workshops each year. They're free and open to the public, meaning filmmakers and filmgoers will likely be there, but you don't need a festival pass to join in the fun. We're changing things up this year to offer one interactive workshop for all filmmakers and filmgoers, but note that prior registration is required!

2019 Workshop

InstaFilm Bristol
Josh Mancuso

Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 11am-3pm
Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Registration: FREE! on Eventbrite by October 10
Lunch: $5 (optional)

Ready for a challenge? InstaFilm Bristol is a 4-hour crash course and film competition, with films produced solely through Instagram Stories, serving as the kick-off event of the one-day PUSH! Film Festival in Historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA. No matter your skill level, grab some friends and join filmmaker Josh Mancuso as he leads you in a film adventure using Instagram Stories! The event begins with an Instagram crash course and competition overview. Then, Josh will guide you through a brief story development process before you write, shoot, and edit a short film within walking distance of downtown -using only Instagram Stories. Your short film will center around the theme “Why” and must include the required phrase and object you’ll receive on location. You'll submit your stories into our Instagram-only film competition. All levels of experience are welcome, it's free to enter, and the event is open to ages 13+.

Click here to visit our event page on Eventbrite for details and registration. Registration is required by October 10, 2019.

2018 Workshops

Starting Your Film Off Right: Creating Cinematic Titles in After Effects
Brad Magnus
We’ll start with some basics...and then things will escalate quickly in this workshop led by Brad Magnus, Creative Director of Magnus Creative, a boutique motion design studio in Johnson City. We’ll dig into designing and animating a cinematic title sequence that will start your film or project off with some dramatic flair. If you have a laptop with Adobe Creative Cloud, participation and follow-along is encouraged. If you didn’t bring your laptop, watching will prove to be just as educational.

Costume 2.0
Andrea Wakely and Alethea Skeen
Learn some intro hands-on distressing techniques to bring a character's story to life. Dress to make a mess. Interactive Workshop limited to 25 people, first come, first served!

Making Demo Reels and Media Portfolios
Shara Lange and James Livingston
Shara Lange (ETSU Department of Media and Communication) and James Livingston (ETSU Department of Digital Media) discuss the basics of putting together a reel and a media portfolio. The workshop is designed for students applying to film, fine arts, and digital media programs, but could also be useful to young professionals entering the job market. The end of the workshop will be reserved to give one-on-one feedback.

MICRO BUDGETS, MAGNIFIED IMPACT: Strategies For Maximizing Your Film’s Potential
William S. Davis
Every successful film requires a balance of time, money and creativity. Utilizing a blend of practical approaches and artistic considerations, discover how to develop your film and advance your career in this interactive workshop!

2017 Workshops

Fundamentals of Production
In this hands-on workshop, a PUSH! filmmaker will discuss and demonstrate filmmaking 101. Participants will learn camera, tripod, and lighting techniques that can help take your projects to the next level.

Many filmmakers utilize digital cinematography technology in the creation of their movies. In this workshop, participants will learn about new and old film cameras, different film stocks, and film gauges. Super 8mm and 16mm film and cameras will be provided.

Women in Film
Two seasoned female filmmakers show some of their work and lead an open discussion about women working production jobs in the film industry.

Scriptwriting: Building Characters & Worlds
Are you interested in improving your writing skills? This interactive scriptwriting workshop covers all types of creative work, including narratives, documentaries, commercials, music videos, and more.

2016 Workshops

Comedy Improv Podcasting
Ryan Renfro and Cory Dinkel
This workshop will shed light on the ancient entertainment art of “improv comedy.” Gather round as Dr. Cory Dinkel and Father Ryan revive that comedy the Greeks hailed as "glorious" and "exotically locale." Cheers and get ta’ steppin’.

The Challenge of Being a Filmmaker
Jordan Ellis
What does it take to be a successful filmmaker? In this workshop, filmmaker and educator Jordan Ellis will share film production tips for aspiring filmmakers and will discuss how to get your foot in the door in the film industry.

Filming in Bristol, TN/VA
Festival Filmmakers Panel & Discussion
Filmmakers discuss their struggles and successes while making films in Bristol, TN/VA.

Hearing Image, Seeing Sound: Ruminations on Music Video History and DIY Practice
Josh Yates
This workshop will engage music video as a unique and innovative moving-image art form. A brief historical overview will be supplemented with examples of DIY practice stemming from the presenter’s own body of work.

Scriptwriting: From Story to Screen
William S. Davis
In this interactive discussion and workshop led by award-winning writer/director William S. Davis, learn the fundamentals of scriptwriting format, as well as key elements to develop characters, dialogue, and your own scriptwriting voice!

2015 Workshops

Film Studies
Stanton McManus
Stanton McManus is an Assistant Professor and Director of Film Studies at East Tennessee State University. In this workshop, Dr. McManus will discuss how to interpret and critique films.

Now That’s Funny!: Exploring the Comedy Continuum and its Classic Comedic Types to Discover Why We Laugh
Bobby Funk
Bobby Funk is a theater professor at East Tennessee State University. He teaches a variety of performance classes, including Directing for the Stage, Stage Combat, Acting I, Acting for Film, and The Audition Process. In this workshop, Mr. Funk will take his audience through the levels of comedy from its lowest level — obscenity — to its highest level — satire. Along the way, he will share examples of comic scenes and show how ancient comic characters are still alive and well in our plays, television shows and films.

Using Storyboards for Filmmaking
Brian and Marie Bridgeforth
Brian Bridgeforth has designed storyboards for NASCAR, Anheuser-Busch, Sony, Dollywood, and Universal Studios. Brian will lecture on the use of different illustrated storyboard styles, from drawing to digital matte painting, used to conceptualize the movie storytelling process. From moving the story along to setting the look and feel of the movie, storyboards are the filmmaker’s most invaluable tool. Brian and Marie Bridgeforth create as Bridgeforth Design Studio, located at 29 6th Street in Historic Downtown Bristol. They are available for commission work and can be reached at

Sean Harris
Join Sean Harris as he walks us through motion picture camera, lighting and grip equipment. Sean Harris is the owner of Harris Television Productions and HTP Grip. He has 20 years of experience as director of photography on television shows, commercials, and corporate video productions.

Wardrobe Wizardry — Helping Characters and Stories Come Alive
Andrea Wakely
From script to screen, this talk will briefly cover what it is like to design and create costumes for the industry. Andrea Wakely is the costume designer of Twin Roses Designs, a Bristol, VA-based web costume shop in its 15th year of operation. She has designed and produced costumes for independent film projects around the world. She has created pieces for multiple television shows including Community, Rizzoli and Isles, American Horror Story, Sleepy Hollow, and The Walking Dead.

Filmmaking in TN/VA: Struggles and Successes
Festival Filmmakers Panel
Festival filmmakers discuss their struggles and successes while making films in Tennessee and Virginia.