Through the lens

School for local filmmakers this weekend

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This weekend's three-day Steamboat Mountain Film Festival is a miniature film school. Today is dedicated to pre-production script writing. Saturday is full of workshops focused on filming, and Sunday is a day of postproduction work, including a complete class for first-time users of Final Cut Pro. The class is offered by one of the editing program's developers.

"The last day of classes would be the equivalent of anything you could get at any of the major film festivals," co-organizer Dori Weiss said. "Sunday's lineup is as good as it gets."

¤ Today through Sunday

¤ Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel

¤ Three-day festival passes are $49; one-day passes are $20; $5 tickets for the Northwest Colorado Outdoor Action Film Contest; available at Ski Haus and at the film festival information booth at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel

¤ 870-9676

If you've ever wanted to try your hand at any phase of filmmaking, this is the time to try.

Every class will end with a lengthy question-and-answer session. No equipment or experience is necessary, festival co-organizer Mike Martin said.

Each day of workshops ends with an afternoon and evening of outdoor adventure films.

"The classes incorporate everything that took me 10 years to learn the hard way," Martin said. "It's everything you need to know about making films."

The Steamboat Mountain Film Festival started three years ago as a one-evening local film competition. Attendance spilled out of the large Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel ballroom, where the event was held.

Tickets sold out, and people were turned away.

Martin watched the phenomenon and realized he unexpectedly had hit on a point of interest in the Steamboat community.

With the help of Weiss and the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., Martin put together this year's expanded program to test the waters to see where the interest really lies.

For tonight and Saturday, they brought in a long list of outdoor films that showed at the Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival.

The film festival still will end with the local filmmakers competition featuring three finalists -- Greg Jansen's "The Contrast," Dave Genchi's "'Boat Trippin'" and Mike Martin's "(En)vision."

"If the town turns out and supports this film festival, we can keep doing it and making it bigger and better, tailored to locals who dig film and make film," Weiss said.

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