Filmmaking Workshops

The International Youth Media Summit Presents

The Five Threads of Visual Filmmaking

Weaving Your Picture with Magic Instead of Money

I think cinema, movies and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians.”
– Francis Ford Coppola

Long before movie budgets soared to $400 million and film crews expanded into the thousands, lonely filmmakers with no budgets found ways to tell stories that moved people to laugh, cry – and even run out of the theatre. In this online series, we will explore the five building blocks of visual storytelling.  Our instructors will share what they have learned on their adventures in cinema.

I. The Magic of the Living Lens

Camera Use & Composition
Sunday, February 26

II.  The Magical Illusion of Light

Lighting Hacks
Sunday, March 26

III.  The Magician’s Path to the Actor’s Heart

Directing actors
Sunday, April 23

IV. Creating Your Magical Worlds

Production design
Sunday, May 28

V. The Girl in the Read Coat: Enchanting your Audience

Visual metaphors
Sunday, June 25

Workshop Details

  • The workshop instructors are professionals from the USA, Sweden and Pakistan
  • Fourth Sunday of the month
  • February, March, April, May, June
  • 90-minute interactive workshops
  • On Zoom


  • You must register to receive the Zoom link.
    • Class size is limited – first come, first served.
  • Starting Times
    • Sunday, February 26, 2023
      o USA (PST) – 8:00 AM
      o Ghana, Senegal – 4:00 PM
      o France, Sweden, Nigeria, Poland – 5:00 PM
      o Egypt, Estonia – 6:00 PM
      o Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda – 7:00 PM
      o Afghanistan – 8:30 PM
      o Pakistan – 9:00 PM
      o India – 9:30 PM
      o Nepal – 9:45 PM

      Please Note Time Change starting March

      Sunday, March 26, 023
      o USA (PST) – 8:00 AM
      o Ghana, Senegal – 3:00 PM
      o Nigeria – 4:00 PM
      o Egypt, France, Sweden, Poland – 5:00 PM
      o Estonia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda – 6:00 PM
      o Afghanistan – 7:30 PM
      o Pakistan – 8:00 PM
      o India – 8:30 PM
      o Nepal – 8:45 PM

Meet Your Instructors!

The Magic of the Living Lens – Sunday, February 26
(Camera Use & Composition)

This first workshop will focus on using the camera as the servant of the story. Together we will view photos and video clips, and explore how the distance of the camera from the subject, camera angles and movement tell the story, reveal character and create an emotion. Students will learn how to compose a shot that pulls the audience into the world of the film.

Workshop Leader:  James Gleason 

James Gleason has been a filmmaker and film instructor for more than 40 years. He has worked on numerous films including “Common Bonds,” a feature length film produced by teenagers which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Recently he has directed and edited a series of international short films dealing with the pandemic for SANATIONE: A Time For Healing. He is one of the co-founders of IYMS.

The Magical Illusion of Light – Sunday, March 26
(Lighting Hacks for No-budget Filmmaking)

The camera doesn’t pick up light the same way our eyes do. There may be enough lighting, but it may not appear even in the frame or certain parts of the composition may not appear the way you want. Lighting also helps to create the mood of the film. In this workshop, we will learn how to light your frame with available resources and some hacks that can help you get a better shot with no-budget filmmaking.

Workshop Leader: Kainat Thebo

Kainat Thebo is a filmmaker, photographer, and academic, born in Pakistan. She has been working on both fiction and non-fiction films and has been associated with teaching filmmaking at different institutes. Her work has been screened and awarded in various countries. She has been part of national and international film residency programs. Also, she is a practicing fine art photographer who has exhibited her work in many art galleries.

The Magician’s Path to the Actor’s Heart – Sunday, April 23
(Directing Actors)

In this workshop we will explore how the director creates the conditions that allow the actor to work creatively and authentically. By examining the story’s circumstances, we can create a moment-to-moment behavior for the actor, so they believe in and live through the story. “Directing is turning psychological events into behavior; to turn the inner events of the psyche to a choreography of external life.” ~ Elia Kazan

Workshop Leader:  Victoria Nilsson 

Victoria Nilsson, director/actor, holds an MFA in directing from the Actors Studio Drama School in NY. For four years she was a member of the Actors Studio: Playwright Directors Workshop. She has done extensive research on Stanislavsky’s System and has assisted in Method workshops in Athens and Paris. Through IYMS she has co-directed two PSAs and produced and mentored seven films in collaboration with Wicked Wales.

Creating Your Magical Worlds – Sunday, May 28
(Production Design)

In this workshop we will dig deep into how a character is built using elements of production design; the personality of a character, how they live or behave, what motivates them to take the paths they take and push the narrative forward. We will learn how to visually express our thought process in pre-production through moodboards. Above all this workshop will discuss how the audience is made to feel through what they see.

Workshop Leader:  Hira Mansoor

Hira Mansoor is a production designer from Pakistan, working in fashion, music, short films, soap operas and sitcoms. She was the production designer for the short film Sandstorm which premiered at the Venice Biennale. Screening at over 70 international film festivals, with 16 awards, it is BIFA-nominated for Best British Short 2022 and won two Oscar-qualifying awards. Currently, she is designing a thriller mini-series in Pakistan.

The Girl in the Read Coat: Enchanting your Audience – Sunday, June 25
(Visual Metaphors)

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is perhaps as clichéd a saying as they come. But in the world of cinema, nothing could be truer! In this workshop we explore how we as filmmakers can use visual metaphors to communicate meanings, ideas and messages in ways that are often far more efficient and powerful than what words are able to convey.

Workshop Leader:  Jimi Vall Peterson

Jimi Vall Peterson is a director and screenwriter. He runs the production company Färgfilm together with Johanna Andersson. His short film Sleepover has been shown at countless film festivals around the world, and in 2018 was nominated for the Iris Prize – the world’s largest short film award for LGBTQ cinema. He tells personal stories about longing and fear.