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Learn the entire filmmaking process in 10 workshops over 8 months!

Get hands-on mentorship from experts in every field, from screenwriting to production design to cinematography to video editing!

Incubate your film project and get free equipment to shoot it!


CineVic is pleased to present The Incubators -- a comprehensive filmmaking workshop, mentorship, and incubator program for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.

We have assembled a team of skilled and experienced filmmakers and creators from near and far to guide you and your film idea toward production and beyond. If you don't have the time for a full year of film school (or can't afford it), this program is for you!

Simply attend 10 sessions between October and May, then finish the program with some free equipment to help get your project rolling. Workshops are on weekends and mentorship sessions can be arranged at a time that is convenient for you.

Participants will receive:

• All 10 workshops listed below

• A private one-hour working session with each mentor

• $500 equipment rental credit upon completion of program


$1,000 for CineVic Members

$2,000 for non-members

Not a member?
Click here to activate or renew your membership >>

Click the + beside each workshop for more info:


Register before October 5th and get a FREE primer session with Meeshelle Neal.
She'll help whip your film idea into shape and get you ready for... The Incubators!
Screenwriting & Idea Development // Meeshelle Neal // Oct 5

There is a thirst for quality content and diverse voices right now. It all starts with the script. Meeshelle Neal’s easy-to-understand Screenwriting Workshop is the best place for anyone contemplating writing a movie or wanting to learn how to pitch & polish their work. This information-packed workshop will give you the tools and information you need to write a feature-length screenplay or short film to budget. The workshop is part lecture, part discussion, part writing exercises.

You will learn how to develop your voice and create complex, unique and interesting scripts -- all while sticking to the almighty structure and formatting to ensure you are seen as a professional within the industry. Packaging your materials appropriately means people will be more likely to read your work and take you seriously.

This workshop is for new and emerging screenwriters, or seasoned writers from other disciplines, or professionals working in other departments of filmmaking (directors, actors, and crew) who want to learn how to write for the screen. The details depend on what you bring. If you have a script, Meeshelle will help you hone and sharpen it. If you just have an idea but need to get it on paper, she will plant the seed and help you find the story you are meant to tell, sending you off with the tools to write.

A great entry point for writers, directors, producers, actors, filmmakers, film crew, writers from other mediums, and anyone with an interest in how screenplays are written and how they are marketed and sold. Or for writers who want to push through to the next level of their career. You will leave the workshop with the techniques needed to write a feature-length or short screenplay, inspiration for your project, a notebook full of ideas, story notes and new connections.


Mentorship sessions Sept 30th - Oct 3rd

If you are interested in The Incubators, but aren't sure about signing up for the full program just yet, this workshop is the perfect way to dip your toe in the water! Or just brush up on your screenwriting street cred!

*Only a few single-seat tickets have been made available*

Click here to register for this workshop only >>

Meeshelle ‘Meesh’ Neal is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker best known for writing, producing, and acting in the short films Mental & Therapy, as well as directing Sweet Release, Check, and Ladies Don’t Wear Slacks. She adapted Mental to the screen from a one-woman stage play. The film went on to receive BravoFACT funding as well as multiple awards, international recognition, and earned her a WIFTV Spotlight Image Award for an outstanding short work that shows production excellence or a unique, visionary approach. Along with multiple Leo's, Meeshelle’s work has enjoyed both local and international acclaim. Among the various awards: Check & Mental both received Achievement in Filmmaking Best Short Form in the US and Therapy received the Audience Choice Award in France. As part of her professional development, Meeshelle participated in workshops such as the: STORYHIVE Career Accelerator Program, Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Career Advancement Module, and the WIDC’s immersive Story and Leadership program. Following on the heels of a concept short she shot under the same title, Meeshelle is in development on her first feature film Sweet Release. This full-length magical realism story is being brought to life with the help of a two-year WIDC mentorship. The script has received funding and is currently in the second round of consideration for the Sundance Development Track. Meeshelle is proud to have served a full term on the board for Women in Film & Television Vancouver and sat on the jury for the WIDC Feature Film Award. She is often hired to write for film & TV, story edit, career / writing consult, and/or pitch coach. Her mentor is the well-respected director / producer Gary Harvey. In addition to working in film, Meeshelle is an author and (to date) has published two novellas in her series Betwixt. She enjoys telling heightened reality stories that remain grounded in the nuanced complexity of human emotions.

Directing // Lowell Dean // Oct 19

A feature film workshop with Lowell Dean

Writer & Director Lowell Dean will discuss the challenges and rewards of making independent genre films in Canada. Lowell will present a case study of the WolfCop films and tackle far ranging topics such as coming up with the “right” idea, how to finance your project, the rigours of low budget production and what happens when you finally release your feature film into the wild. Lowell will also focus specifically on the director's perspective; how to interpret a script, how to prepare for a shoot day, and some important lessons he learned in post-production.

Mentorship sessions Oct 18th-22nd

Lowell Dean is a filmmaker with a talent for the twisted, known for his fresh concepts and visual imagination. He has directed children’s television such as OPIE’S HOME & HI OPIE (Marble Media and the Jim Henson Company), the true crime re-enactment series BLOOD, LIES AND ALIBIS (Discovery ID), the documentary series HOLLYWOOD: SASKATCHEWAN (Minds Eye Entertainment), the zombie feature film 13 EERIE (Don Carmody Productions and Minds Eye Entertainment) and the National Screen Institute developed post-apocalypse action feature SUPERGRID (Echolands Creative Group). In addition to his feature film work, Lowell is currently focused on writing and developing original properties for comic books and television.

... and don't miss the double-bill screening of and  on Friday October 18th at The Vic Theatre! More Info >>

Visual Storytelling & Animation // Amanda Strong // Nov 9

Learn basic 2D and 3D stop-motion techniques from the award winning artist Amanda Strong! In this workshop, participants will explore basic methods of moving objects frame by frame, lighting, and rigging processes for stop-motion animation. Strong will be bringing in-process and completed puppets for participants to get a detailed look at design, render, and scale. As a group, participants will then get a chance to respectfully animate with Strong's puppets to explore their functionality and get better insight to how they move. We encourage that participants bring in objects or puppets they have made, to practice animating and to get feedback as well as to adapt them for animation (but this is not required).

Mentorship sessions Nov 5th-8th

Amanda Strong is an Indigenous (Michif) Media Artist and Stop Motion Director currently working as a guest on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh). She has been practicing professionally in the arts for over 15 years. She holds a degree in Photography and Interpretive Animation from Sheridan College. With a cross-discipline focus, common themes of her work are reclamation of Indigenous histories, lineage, language and culture. Currently she is the Owner and Director of Spotted Fawn Productions, a stop motion animation studio based in Vancouver. Under her direction, the studio utilizes a multi-layered approach and unconventional methods that are centered in collaboration on all aspects of their work. She has created and directed independent animations that have screened worldwide and have also won numerous and prestigious awards: Biidaaban, Ghost Food, Flood, Four Faces of the Moon, X Company, Hipster Headdress, Mia, How to Steal a Canoe, Haida Raid, and Indigo.

Spotted Fawn Productions >>

Production Design // Joyce Kline // Nov 23

It’s entirely possible to create a compelling, professional looking film on a shoestring. Leo Award winning production designer Joyce Kline wants to show you how! A well thought out plan for set, costumes and props can not only enhance the look of your film, it can simultaneously convey tone and mood, and further plot and character development.

On low-budget films the production designer wears many hats. This workshop will take you from initial script breakdown to post production, touching on all aspects of visual storytelling: creating an overall concept that allows for story and character arcs, overcoming location limitations, and integrating set, wardrobe, and props to create a cohesive “visual ecology.” Areas covered will range from larger design principles like shape, texture, perspective and colour palettes, to practical tips on local rental sources, getting set and prop donations, researching, planning and bookkeeping, collaborating with a fluid (and usually overstretched!) team, set dec, clearance and continuity, and what to include in an on set tool kit or look for in an amateur PD.

Film is visual — especially short films where there isn’t time for exposition. This wide-ranging workshop will expand your tool kit beyond cinematography and lighting to open your eyes to how set, costume and props can tell your story.

Mentorship sessions Nov 24th, 27th, 28th, 29th

Joyce Kline is a 2017 Leo Award winning production designer with a passion for visual storytelling. Formally trained as a visual artist, she also draws on wide-ranging experience as a writer, playwright, dancer, teacher, theatre designer, home stager and storyboard artist. Joyce has exhibited across Canada and in Finland, had theatre pieces produced and workshopped in Victoria, Vancouver, and Toronto, received Ontario, Toronto and Canada Council visual arts grants, and danced professionally in Canada, England and France. She teaches drawing and visual narrative at Victoria College of Art and can’t wait to share what she’s learned about creating compelling production design on a shoestring.

LinkedIn >>

Prep & Production // Trevor Cunningham // Jan 11

From Prep to Production

When someone mentions a film unit, most people think of location shooting. But, in fact, most Film and TV projects are made in a series of predictable phases, of which shooting is only one.

In each phase of a film’s production a group of people collaborate to form a miniature work organization which has characteristic problems of motivation, leadership, and structure. Each phase is a temporary system, limited in duration and membership, in which people come together, interact, create something, and then disband. And in each phase, the filmmaker has to stimulate and manage different kinds of creative work under intense budget and time pressures. The filmmaker’s principal job is managing the creative process.

In this workshop we will explore workflow from Prep to Production, with emphasis on Pre-Production in order for your project to reduce the risk and pitfalls that can plague a project.

Mentorship sessions Jan 12th-15th

Trevor Cunningham has worked professionally in the Film and Television Industry for over 20 years as an Assistant Director, Screenwriter and Director. He is a Full Member of DGC-British Columbia District Council. His specialties are scheduling, time management, logistics, and creative solutions for Film and TV productions.

Cinematography // Amy Belling // Feb 8

Director and Cinematographer Creative Collaboration

Cinematographer Amy Belling, csc will discuss the Director/Cinematographer relationship from finding the right creative partnership during the interview process to communication and how to discuss visuals during pre-production, production and post.

Script breakdown, the visual concept, shot listing, storyboarding, the Director/DOP/Production Designer trinity, location scouting, liaising with HOD’s, tech scouting and the cinematographer’s technical breakdown will be covered in pre-production. To ensure the creative team are all discussing the same visual world, the creation of the look book and the importance of camera tests will be emphasized. During production, the communication and working methodology between the Director/AD/DOP is key to getting the day, and achieving what everyone wants. How to plan for the priority shots and scenes, including timing, location moves, splinter units, blocking, lighting, rehearsing, shooting, and whether to go again or move on, as well as considerations regarding stunts, VFX and SFX. The cinematographers’ role in post-production will cover reviewing dailies, dailies stills, color correction and pickups. If it’s relevant to the audience, documentary cinematography will be touched on in regards to similarities/differences to narrative cinematography, as well as gear, crew, storytelling and approaches to the visual medium.

At the end of the day, the cinematographer works to realize the director’s vision through storytelling, creative collaboration, leadership, time management, the marriage of both the creative/technical and inspires each collaborator to bring their best ideas, ethics and talent to the table to create the visual language best suited to tell the story.

Mentorship sessions Feb 9th to 12th

Amy Belling, csc, is a Canadian Society of Cinematographers nominee and multiple Leo Award winning director of photography with a Master of Fine Arts in Cinematography from the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles. Belling’s latest feature, YOU CAN’T SAY NO, is a US romantic comedy starring Peter Fonda, Marguerite Moreau and Hamish Linklater, which shot in Sonoma, Northern California. Belling’s documentaries with the National Film Board of Canada include BEAUTY, by Christina Willings, (Vancouver/Montreal) and the 2018 CSC nominee for Best Cinematography in a Docudrama, HOLY ANGELS, (Northern Alberta/Vancouver) by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve. One of Belling's features, SONGS SHE WROTE ABOUT PEOPLE SHE KNOWS, was profiled in the American Cinematographer Magazine, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards 2016. Belling just wrapped GHOSTING, a TV movie for Freeform and Disney, starring Aisha Dee, Kimiko Glenn and Kendrick Sampson. The US indie feature A REMARKABLE LIFE, starring Daphne Zuniga, Helen Slater, Eric Roberts, John O’Hurley and Mark Margolis, shot in Denver and was released on 40 screens across the US. Belling has worked extensively in both film and video across features, documentaries, music videos, television and commercials since lensing her very first critically acclaimed short films, WHY THE ANDERSON CHILDREN DIDN’T COME TO DINNER (2003) and THE SADDEST BOY IN THE WORLD (2006) by Jamie Travis, which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, Slamdance, Rotterdam and Karlovy Vary. As a 2nd unit DOP, Belling worked with the legendary John Bailey, ASC on Greg Kinnear’s directorial debut, PHIL (2016), starring himself, Emily Mortimer, Luke Wilson, Jay Duplass, Bradley Whitford, Robert Forster and Taylor Schilling. Belling resides between Los Angeles and Vancouver, has an O-1 working visa in the US, is a Canadian and holds an EU passport from Finland. She is a Director of Photography/Camera Operator in IATSE 669.

Audio Production // Gilles Maillet // Feb 23

Join Sound Recordist, Sound Designer and Composer Gilles Maillet to discuss strategies to successfully incorporate sound and audio design into the production of your film. In this workshop, we will look at the nuts and bolts of getting your dialogue recorded properly on set, and thinking about what it takes to get your sound the way you want from script to screen. We will also endeavour to dissect the audio components of some larger scale film and television productions in order to help you think about how to achieve top tier sound design with your own projects. Some of the topics covered include; microphones, mixers, recorders, wireless audio devices, sound recording techniques, and working with sync audio to video equipment. The goals of this workshop are to get you thinking about sound as an integral part of storytelling, and to help you think about your film's production audio before you roll camera. Questions and show and tell with equipment available at CineVic!

Mentorship sessions Feb 24th-27th

Born and raised in British Columbia, sound designer, recordist and composer Gilles Maillet has been lucky enough to have worked on film and television projects ranging from local Vancouver Island productions, to theatrical feature films and Netflix favorites. Although music is a first love, Gilles also works as a dialogue and sound effects editor, and can be found recording sound on sets of various films, documentaries and television shows. His work as a Production Sound Mixer has garnered a few nods at the Leo Awards over the years, and a 2019 Daytime Emmy Nomination for Best Sound Mixing on the Series ReBoot: The Guardian Code which debuted on Netflix. Graduating from Concordia University with distinction majoring in Electroacoustic Studies, his own musical interests range a great deal from producing pop to orchestral and classical music, but all centering around creating new experiences in sound.

Video Post-Production // Jason Karman // Mar 28

Editing is the final step in the creation of a story. The choices made at the beginning of post-production can further uplift or limit a story that has been carefully crafted through screenwriting and production. The work of an editor, in consultation with the director, revolves around film grammar, objectives, and considerations beyond the picture assembly. Using Final Cut Pro X, this two-day workshop introduces participants to the role of editing, and offers exercises on how to build a better story while managing common media assets and workflow.

Mentorship sessions Mar 30 - Apr 1

Jason Karman graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Joint Master of Fine Arts in Film Production and Creative Writing. His films have been selected in over 150 film festivals internationally. In 2011, Jason received the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award at Vancouver Queer Film Festival for I’M IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, and in 2015 was recipient of the Jury Choice Award at Reel Pride Winnipeg for KIMCHI FRIED DUMPLINGS. His short film, LIONS IN WAITING, was selected by Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent at Clermont-Ferrand in 2018. The sequel, LIONHOOD, won Best awards for Editing and Cinematography at the 2019 Vancouver Short Film Festival. Jason is a member of the Canadian Cinema Editors Association. He is currently working on his first feature film, GOLDEN DELICIOUS.

Documentary Storytelling // Apr TBA

APRIL 2020
Dates and times TBA

Exhibition, Distribution & Promotion // Annelise Larson // May 3


A jam-packed day full of learning which should help you prepare a digital strategy for your film, television, web series or other screen media story that is important when applying for funding or going the DIY distribution route. This workshop will cover:

Understanding Your Goals & the Digital Audience
Knowing what success looks like gives goal(s) to your digital strategy. This first session will provide this foundation and a general overview of the digital audience, how they behave and what they are looking for. It will go through the various roles audience can play in the life of a project and body of work and also provide insights into the power of niche audiences and why they are key to unlocking digital success.

Getting Found
The digital world offers many ways for a potential audience to discover content and stories. This session will familiarize participants with various digital tactics and strategies to help people not only find your work but begin the long term relationship with your audience that you need to be successful.

Increasing Engagement
This session will help participants better understand how to engage and grow an audience through digital channels. It will look at the best practices for digital audience engagement and how to use these to affect the audience journey and fulfill the desired goals.

Deciphering the Online Data & Putting it All Together
Online data can provide rich insights into who has found a project, what kinds of content and experiences they like, what is working and what is not, and how to increase engagement and revenue. This session will walk participants through the basics of online data and how to leverage this information for digital success. It will also include best practices for building out a specific digital strategy for your projects

You should bring a short synopsis of your projecta device to connect to the internet for doing the applied exercises. You can also start thinking about the audiences you would like to attract (be specific – it is NOT everyone between 18 and 35), and your goals, not only for this project but for yourself professionally.

SUNDAY MAY 3rd, 2020
Mentorship sessions May 4th-7th

Annelise Larson comes from a background as an independent film producer, with training at such prestigious institutions as UBC, the Canadian Film Centre and Banff Centre for the Arts. Since 1995 she has been working in the field of online marketing and is an avid gamer and consumer of digital content. She works extensively with government organizations, educational institutions, creative industry associations and media production companies throughout North America & Europe. Her focus is helping creatives and storytellers use the digital opportunity to define, find, attract and engage their audiences and work toward strategic and sustainable business models.

Cinevic-Incubators-Title web

CineVic Society of Independent Filmmakers acknowledges and respects the long history of the Lekwungen speaking people, now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, on whose traditional and unceded territory we carry out our activities.




CineVic gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance and support of Canada Council for the Arts, Province of British Columbia, British Columbia Arts Council, and the CRD Arts Commission.