Education is a major component of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative. We are committed to fostering an environment where everyone can learn and experience many facets of filmmaking – from making a documentary, to lighting design, to being a grip. Read below to learn more about our current offerings. Feel free to contact us if there’s something you’d like to learn about!

Workforce Development,
This year, BFMC held its first workforce development course, “Get A Grip: An Introduction to Being a Grip on a Film Set.”

class Get a GripLed by a professional key grip, the 2-day training took place on March 15 & 16 at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA and was attended by 22 individuals, including 15 local college students. Covering topics such as set etiquette, safety, and equipment, the workshop gave participants hands-on experience with three different set-ups including tabletop, interview and dolly track. The response from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with many asking when our next training will take place. The course also received a grant and endorsement from IATSE Local 481, the local film workers union. We are currently planning our next course, which will cover being a gaffer (lighting electrician) on a film set.



BFMC Executive Director Diane Pearlman collaborated with Berkshire Community College to develop multidisciplinary film and media-related courses for students.  As a result, non-credit courses on film production and video game design will be offered at BCC next year. These will hopefully become credited courses in the near future.

  • BFMC is collaborating with the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts to offer a documentary filmmaking course. Director of Photography and professional gaffer, Rick Sands, will be leading the hands-on workshop. College credit will be available. Evening workshops with screenings and discussions by leading documentarians will be open to the public.
    Date to be determined. More details to follow.


Rick Sands (left) is a Director of Photography whose roots are in cinema production. He has accomplished the lighting on 35 theatrical motion pictures with directors such as Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola, 47 television movies, over 100 one-hour television episodes and numerous advertisements.
  • BFMC is developing a lighting course with Rick Sands for filmmakers/photographers. Date to be determined. More details to follow.

I always call him “the genius of light.” He puts all of the lighting scenes together. He thinks differently than everyone else I know. He just responds to light. It’s remarkable.
—Renowned Photographer Gregory Crewdson on Rick Sands

  • Documentary Lecture Series: BFMC collaborated with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) to offer a documentary lecture series featuring screenings and discussion with local filmmakers. Berkshire filmmakers discussed the creative process and shared examples of their work. (Fall 2011)
  • Courses for Adults: BFMC and IS183 collaborated on a variety of courses for adults. Held at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires.
  • Make a Movie (Summer 2011): a free 3-part summer lecture series for adults focused on pre-production, production and post-production. These roundtable discussion created interest and excitement for future courses;
  • The Art of Storyboarding (Summer 2011): a four-class series taught by award winning Art Director and Production Designer, Robert Taylor;
  • Screenwriting (Fall 2011; Fall 2012): a 12-week workshop taught by BFMC Board member and award-winning writer, editor and producer, Stephen Glantz. Students produced their own screenplay by the end of the course. Check our website frequently for another opportunity!

  • Lectures: Executive Producer, Diane Pearlman has participated in many community teaching/lecture programs including, The Norman Rockwell Museum, the Greenfield Creative Economy Summit, the New England Foundation’s Creative Communities Exchange, Berkshire Compact’s YOU First, the Massachusetts Production Coalition, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Women in Business luncheon, Monument Mountain High School and Herberg Middle School.