Professional Development -
Education, Training and Support

Promoting Excellence throughout the Iowa Production Community

One of the services that we offer is continued training and education through training sessions, mentoring and networking. Please send us an email  indicating which kinds of workshops would be most beneficial to your own professional development.

When you join the Iowa Motion Picture Association, you receive immediate discounts on IMPA Awards entries – and all workshops, seminars, and events throughout the year.  The Iowa Motion Picture Association has conducted more than 175 professional workshops and networking events throughout the past 25 years.        


Coming Next:

Check back for more events soon...                 

Here are just a few of our recent workshops: 

Script Adaptation Workshop - with Sally Walker

SATURDAY JUNE 10th, 2017  –  8:30 AM – 4:30 PM


2016 Iowa Motion Picture Assocaition Workshops:

The Iowa Motion Picture Association is pleased to announce 
A Workshop with Lisa Crnic

Saturday, June 4, 2016,   1- 4 PM

Iowa native Lisa Crnic has been working in Los Angeles during the past seven years in film and television, including at Creative Artists Agency with clients such as Stephen King, Robert Towne, Rob Minkoff, and Wolfgang Petersen -- and at Paradigm Agency, where she sought out the best undiscovered writers and directors.  After 3 ½  years working on the representation side of the business, she transitioned to a more creative role at the production company Kerner Entertainment where she works in development, making studio franchise films under veteran TV/Film producer, Jordan Kerner, whose credits include Charlotte's Web, Fried Green Tomatoes, Mighty Ducks 1,2,3, Smurfs 1 & 2, and George of the Jungle.  

Lisa's workshop will address the following.  You may also bring your own questions!

  • Career path through education, and early work opportunities -- breaks you create and prepare for, networking, what is necessary for continued success?  Training, on-the- job learning.  How are clients recruited, evaluated, and worked with?  Wisdom gained from real-life experiences – or not.
  • Current state of the industry and changes over the last seven years
  • Development, creation & execution of web series.  Financing, sponsorships, distribution, advertising, practical insights on social networking, & legal aspects of launching & growing your own web series.  Selected episodes screened & discussed.
  • Living in Los Angeles.  Artistic & professional groups & communities.  Can you live elsewhere and achieve the same access
  • Hands-on pitching.  Lisa wants this workshop to address the professional needs of the participants.  Her jobs at CAA & Paradigm included hearing and evaluating large numbers of pitches, as does her current job at Kerner Entertainment.  She is willing to hear pitches on your screenplays and projects and provide feedback as though she is the agency, studio, or buyer.  This is an exercise in professional development, not a pitch to Kerner Entertainment or Lisa CrnicThe pitches & feedback will take place at the end of the workshop, so that those who do not wish to stay may leave.
  • “I just want all participants to be clear this is not a formal pitch to me representing my company, but rather an exercise to further develop their skill sets professionally and get feedback from someone who works in the industry and has experience hearing many hundreds of pitches.”  
  • Lisa has provided the attached Pitch Guidelines for those who sign up to pitch.  The pitch guidelines do not have to be returned to Lisa.  They are simply aids to help you prepare your pitch. 
  • As with Barry Morrow's workshop which coached pitching, the Iowa Motion Picture Association requires the signing of the attached release form & non-disclosure form for those who choose to take advantage of this opportunity to improve their pitching skills.  If you wish to pitch, please sign the forms, scan and then email them to  If you do not have access to a scanner, please bring the printed, signed forms to the workshop on Saturday.  We will also have forms available to sign at the registration table.  Please call 515-964-4599 with any questions.  
  • Lisa will explain at the workshop that she has heard hundreds and hundreds of pitches and has often heard the same or similar pitches many times.  She feels that knowing the kind of release form you will need to sign in order to pitch in L.A. is an important part of professional development.  The attached release form was provided by the Satorius Law Firm, which specializes in entertainment law, IP, and business law.  This form is used by a major well-known cable network channel and is typical for this type of agreement in the entertainment industry.  Under “The Material” section at the top, simply describe your material as a Verbal Pitch.  Lisa will not be taking any written material from you.
  • (You are not required to pitch to attend this free professional development workshop – although that will be most beneficial to you -- but you can also learn from observing the pitches and feedback of other participants.)

Lisa said, "I know it’s sometimes challenging for Iowans to connect to the industry out here -- and I want to help bridge that gap by sharing my knowledge & insight to Iowans interested in developing a successful career in Los Angeles (or in the film/tv industry anywhere!)."
This workshop is free -- and professionals, students, and members of the public are welcome, but fire code regulations limit the number of seats in public library meeting rooms. 

The Iowa Motion Picture Association
Promoting Excellence throughout the Profession



The IMPA is proud to present a workshop that focuses on the business aspects of the independent film industry.  Benjamin Renzo, Esq. will discuss film financing, development, marketing, and distribution.  He will also talk about the current issues facing the independent film industry and provide an overview of various film transactions he has been involved with.   He will be open to taking questions from the audience.

Mr. Renzo has been on the legal and finance side of many films, both fictional and documentary, including  most recently, Nate Parker’s “The Birth Of A Nation” which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and sold for a Sundance record $17.5 million at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. 

The IMPA thanks our partners for their cooperation with this workshop:       


Iowa Motion Picture Association Workshops 2011 - 2015
Red Camera.  One Red Camera workshop presented by Paul Hickey.  Another Red Camera workshop presented by Fairfield University.  A third contemporary multi-camera workshop is planned.   

3D Animation.  Presented by Benjamin Rosales, animation instructor at Southeastern Community College.  Concepts and techniques of 3D computer animation.   

Creative Acting & Set Etiquette.  Presented by Dr. Jim Brockhohn with 21 years’ experience in 75 projects, including with the Coen Brothers in A Serious Man and Inside Llewyn Davis, John Goodman, Nicholas Cage, director Joan Darling & many others.

Getting a Jump Start on Your Project with Social Media & Crowd Funding.  What it takes to market your project in a digitally-connected world.  Raising funds, building your audience, & protecting your future.  Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Facebook, and more – including finding money in unexpected locations.  Presented by Kevin Brubaker, Executive Producer at Media Adventures, LLC.

Careers in the Real World of Television, Film, & Other Media – including hands-on pitching and auditioning with critiques.  Presented by Gary Kroeger, who co-founded the Chicago Practical Theater Company with Julia Louis-Dreyfus & was a cast member on Saturday Night Live for 3 years (56 episodes).  In L.A. Gary starred in the CBS series Spies with George Hamilton, appeared in numerous TV series, including HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm,  L.A. Law,  Murder She Wrote, Columbo, and acted in a number of movies.

Speed Pitching of Projects with Barry Morrow, who won the Oscar with Ron Bass for writing Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.  What happens in different auditions and cold readings in various genres from the points of view of the producer, show runner, director – and the persons auditioning.

Screenwriting & Career Planning with Oscar-winning Barry Morrow

Producing Outstanding Documentaries   

Film Financing, Marketing & Distribution

Casting/Auditioning Workshop for Actors and Filmmakers

Film Festivals of Iowa Showcase

Special Effects – The Magic – and Pyrotechnics – The Practicality.  Presented by Paul Steffensen, an Emmy-nominee for Hallmark’s Harvest of Fire.

Business of Filmmaking from the Perspective of an Entertainment Attorney.
Intellectual Property Rights with an Entertainment Attorney.

Reel Magic – A Seminar on Art Direction.  Presented by Paul Steffensen, an Emmy-nominated Art Director and IMPA Board Member with decades of experience providing excellent art direction, special effects, pyrotechnics, and prop master skills for feature films, including Hallmark's Harvest of Fire, Cora Unashamed, The Return of Captain Kidd (in production), The Experiment, South Dakota, Ticket Out, 16 to Life, Boone Style –and many others

Once you’ve gone behind the scenes to explore the magic of art direction, your movie life is forever enriched – because now  you experience and appreciate a film on so many different levels – the look and feel of a movie ( including how it affects perception of the characters), the texture of its time period, the color of its emotion.

When filmmakers and moviegoers grasp the tremendous possibilities in Art Direction, they go back and watch their favorite movies again and again – and are blown away by the experience.  And then the way THEY MAKE MOVIES is changed forever.

In fact, Art Direction is so much fun that some people have switched careers once they were hooked on it !

Who benefits from this workshop?

  • Professionals and students
  • Art Directors
  • Directors
  • Set dressers
  • Prop Masters
  • Make-up & Costuming Artists
  • Lighting Designers
  • Directors of Photography
  • Creative Directors in advertising agencies
  • Visual artists in a variety of fields
  • Exhibit designers
  • Screenwriters
  • Anyone considering a career in the above fields
  • AND – people who love movies.


In addition to the magic, here are some of the very practical elements Paul includes in his seminar

  • Outline of a JOB!
  • Here’s the script
  • What comes next?
  • The Production Environment.
  • Scenic Building Blocks
  • Lighting
    And Finally………!
  • You’ll also get a chance for discussion, questions, and answers.


Television Broadcasting in the Digital Age Workshop
An Iowa Motion Picture Association Event

For Students and Professionals –
The actual transition from analog to digital television broadcasting began in February through June & July, 2009.  All analog television transmitters had to be shut down by September 1, 2015.

David Rehr, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, has described this as "the most significant advancement of television technology since color TV."

How has this changed television broadcasting?   What does it mean for your career – whether you will work in television or deliver material to television at some point in your career?

Find out at a workshop hosted by the Iowa Motion Picture Association – Television Broadcasting in the Digital Age – on Saturday, November 2, at KDSM, Channel 17, 4023 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321.   The first workshop begins at 10 AM.   The workshop will be repeated at 1 PM.   Because each workshop combines lecture-tour, demonstration, and hands-on, each of the two sessions is limited to 15 persons each. 

Topics include –

  • Various sources of broadcast television programming and commercials
  • How spots are ingested – and systems involved in the process
  • Master control room
  • Editing suites
  • Production Studio
  • Equipment trailer
  • Formats and specifications for Deliverables to Digital Broadcasting
  • Satellite dishes
  • Each session will also include a special video presentation by Doug Hammond, Chief Engineer at KDSM, on the specifics of television engineering, including satellite receivers.

Each workshop on November 2 is hosted by Mike Banks, Assistant Operations Manager for KDSM Channel17, and board member of the Iowa Motion Picture Association.   Mike has worked for 30 years in television engineering, beginning when Channel 17 was the first UHF station in central Iowa.   He is also a professional photographer and actor with experience in community theater, independent movie productions, and commercials – so he is familiar with life in front of the camera.   Mike recalls that the last analog program aired by KDSM Channel 17 was a Seinfeld episode right before midnight.

This valuable workshop is $10 for IMPA Members and $25 for non-members.  Student memberships in the Iowa Motion Picture Association are $25, Professional Memberships $55, and Corporate Memberships $250.  To reserve your spot in the workshop, go to Information about the workshop appears on the Home Page.   If you have questions,. email IMPA Treasurer Deb O'Bryan


IMPA is an educational and professional 501(c)3 organization whose members include the state’s media production community, related industries, and the public – coming together to promote excellence throughout the Iowa production community – and to provide professional development and support to all who are developing careers in media creation in all its forms.


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