The Weekend Workshop
Graphic Design for Filmmaking

Telegrams, love letters, prison escape maps... it’s not just the movie poster a graphic designer makes, but also any paper props that the actors work with on set. But how do you start designing graphics that can help tell a director’s story, as well as contributing to the genre, period, and visual aesthetic of a film? 

This course combines classroom tuition and practical assignments, including:

  • When we design graphics for film, who are we designing for?
  • How a graphic designer works for the production designer, set decorator, and prop master
  • How to read and break down a film script
  • How graphics are used as storytelling devices
  • Researching graphic design and graphic methods from the past
  • How to avoid ending up on the IMDB Goofs page 
  • How to draw and make graphics by hand
  • How to put together an optimal portfolio for applying for work in an art department
  • How to contact film productions looking for work

 

How do you teach the class?

I teach all the workshops myself, keeping class sizes to a minimum so that I can spend good time with each attendee. As well as script-based exercises, analyzing movie clips, and studying behind-the-scenes artwork, you’ll also be finishing some graphic props – drawing lettering, sealing and stamping, and forging passports – so please don't wear your best clothes! 

Please note that this is not a software course and we will not be using any computers whatsoever over the two days. 


There were many ‘aha’ moments as we went on the journey from raw script to final scene
— Creative Review

This course is for you if...

  • You’re a graphic designer or illustrator looking to translate your skills to filmmaking, or...
  • You’re a filmmaker looking to use graphic design effectively in your storytelling, or...
  • You're a design graduate wondering what to do next.


Will you review my portfolio?

Yes – if you'd like me to look at your portfolio then I will give feedback via email. You will need to send me a lo-res PDF of your work containing no more than 12 images, but I prefer to see this after you've attended the workshop when you've had a chance to make some pieces inspired by what you've learnt. 

 

Where, when, and how much does it cost?

The 2017 price for the two-day workshop is €600 per person. The studio is on Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland – if you're flying in from abroad I recommend you find accommodation in the city centre on the south side of the river. The workshops run from 10am to 5pm on both days, with an hour's break for lunch (not provided) and tea breaks throughout the day (snacks provided). All materials and equipment are provided, but if you have some favourite tools then feel free to bring along your pencil case. 


After the make-and-do sessions Atkins delved into the practical aspects of working in filmmaking: how the hierarchy works and who reports to whom, how employment contracts work within the film industry, what sort of hours you should expect and the legal clearances you will need when you design something.
— Creative Review

Will I get a diploma? 

Everyone who attends the workshop goes home with a completely genuine fake diploma. The catch is you have to make it yourself.

 

Do you sell gift vouchers?

Yes, if you'd like to buy someone a voucher towards the cost of the workshop (or if you want to drop hints about a voucher for yourself) then follow this link. Vouchers are available in values of €100, €300 and €600.


What Atkins successfully does is spark a match and gives participants a sense of what they will need to work in the industry
— Creative Review

When is the next workshop?

The August workshop is almost sold out so I've added another date for September 16-17th. You can secure a place with a booking deposit at the link below. Class sizes have to be kept small (8-10 people) so booking early is advised! 

 


"Thank you so much again for this experience: it was beyond my expectations. I can't believe how much we learned in only two days! This workshop was so well organized and thoughtful."

– Natacha, Switzerland


location