Business of Film Series

SWAMP’s Business of Film + New Media Conference will now be a series of workshops!

The Business of Film Series is dedicated to strengthening the business, administrative, legal and marketing skills of independent filmmakers and the production team. With the independent film world changing daily, it’s vital to be informed about current trends in the production and distribution of film.

Whether you are an emerging filmmaker or an experienced producer, the Business of Film Series is for you. Filmmaking is a business and film production, documentary or narrative, is a journey that you can’t make effectively or efficiently without dealing with the reality of the business. Learn about the back office aspects of production, such as copyright, contracts, budgeting, insurance, and other essentials. Award-winning experts in the field will talk about current trends as well as the future of independent filmmaking.

Sign up for individual classes or the entire series!


Not a member? Sign up! (after signing up, please check your email for a discount code)

Members will receive an email containing a discount code to be used at checkout. If you would like to check the status of your membership, please email

COST PER WORKSHOP:  $15 current SWAMP members | $25 non-members

Paying by check or cash? Please email to let us know you’re attending. You can pay at the door.

Refunds: refunds will be available, minus credit card processing fees. You may also transfer your fee to another class. Please request refund at least 24 hours before start of class.

Cancelled classes: classes will be cancelled or moved to a new date if we have less than 10 people signed up. You will be notified via email at least 24 hours before a change in class status. You may opt for a full refund, transfer fee to new date, or transfer fee towards a different class.

Register for individual workshops:

Lighting 101 with Larry McKee
March 16, 2019 | 10:30am – 1:00pm
Art Institute Houston
4140 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

What equipment do you really need? How do you light in the real world on location? Emmy Award winning cinematographer Larry McKee brings his decades of experience to teach you some tricks of the trade for real world lighting.

Instructor: Larry McKee

Emmy Award winning cinematographer began his visual arts career over thirty years ago as a still photographer, training under the direction of master photographer Dean Collins and five-time Academy Award nominated cinematographer Allen Daviau (ASC), McKee mastered the art of capturing life through still and moving images. McKee  has worked with the likes of Willie Nelson, B.B. King, Woody Harrelson, Danny Trejo, Owen Wilson, Antonio Banderas, and many others. McKee’s television credits include productions for PBS, The Discovery Channel, TNN, and The Outlaw Music Channel. He worked as Producer and Director of Photography on the popular FOX 26 series, Bailamos, which consistently received six times as many viewers as other programs in its time slot. McKee has worked on several documentaries, including a piece chronicling the life of serial killer Elmer Wayne Henley, Jr. and another centered around guitar legend Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins. He has served as Director of Photography on a number of motion pictures, including Through the Valley, In the Mirror Dimly, Escape of the Wild Thing and Suicide Notes.

For over a decade, McKee has written and been interviewed for technical articles published in several film and video trade publications and websites.

Register for Lighting 101:

Crowdfunding it’s promise and pitfalls
April 27, 2019 | 2:00pm – 4300pm
Art Institute Houston
4140 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Instructor: Jenny Waldo

A native of Washington, DC, Jenny graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a MFA in Film Production where she won a coveted directing scholarship and focused on writing, directing, and producing scripted and documentary films.  She was a producer on the feature The Preacher’s Daughter (2013) and the feature documentary The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) along with writing/directing Sisters (2016 WIFTI Short Film Showcase) and producing Meggan’s Journey (2017 Boomtown Festival) and Next Exit (2017 Maryland Film Festival). Jenny also teaches scripted and documentary production at Houston Community College’s Filmmaking Program and Screenwriting at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). Jenny’s latest short film she wrote and directed, Acid Test,  is currently in festivals including BendFilm Festival in Oregon, Austin Film Festival, Snowdance in Germany, Bechdel Film Festival, and was recently selected for the 2018 Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) Short Film Showcase. To date, the short has won Best Short film and a Special Jury Prize and been nominated for Best Actress in a Short during its festival run. Jenny is currently adapting it into a feature film about Jenny’s tumble through self-discovery in the early 1990’s.

Register for Crowdfunding: