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Learn the Art of Telling Tales from Hollywood Experts Right in Seattle

Learn the art of storytelling

TheFilmSchool enlists Pixar, Disney and more to teach storytelling.

From brand stories to short films to social media, storytelling is the foundation for developing the most compelling content. Stories connect creators to their audiences by creating emotional resonance – this means that the content leaves an indelible impression.

TheFilmSchool is a non-profit school rooted in progressive, professional storytelling through film, radio, television and cutting-edge new media. The school provides its students with the foundational education and expertise to work in creative environments within business and the arts.

But their mission goes well beyond simply offering training for would-be filmmakers or visual producers. As Executive Director Diana Dotter states, “We also educate government and business leaders that Seattle has a thriving creative economy and that we need to support that growth.”

TheFilmSchool incubates new talent with instruction through the process from concept to production and provides summer camps for teens in script writing and directing.

Their community outreach programs encourage participation from a wide range of storytelling voices, and they provide significant scholarship assistance to students in need. “We embrace diversity and are very inclusive. We need to hear from all voices and help people from all walks of life tell their stories in the most compelling way possible,” says Diana.

TheFilmSchool’s instructors are professionals with active careers in creative industries like actor and director, Tom Skerrit, Friends’ star Lisa Kudrow and Emily Zulauf, script supervisor for Pixar’s Inside Out. They help develop students’ skills and provide hands-on training that opens more opportunities to work in creative roles in both the arts and business.

Starting on July 16, 2017, TheFilmSchool is offering a three-week, immersive program that meets students where they are in their process and takes them to the next level. Story and script consultants from Disney and Pixar help students develop their narrative and scripts. They help students understand the perspective of development executives who might be greenlighting their work.

Tom Skerrit will lead the directing portion of the program which helps students take their story ideas from script to screen. Other elements of the program include character development, production, storyboarding, shot list composition, and production design.

Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker or a digital content producer, TheFilmSchool’s industry-level programs will prepare you with a deep knowledge of what drives creative efforts forward.

Click here to register for the summer screenwriting program.

Click here to register for the teen summer camp.

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Creative kids are better prepared for career success

CreativeKids-Connect2Classes Camps

Preparing your kids for their future may seem daunting, but picking activities that nurture their creativity, imagination, and ingenuity can help set them on their career path.

Automation will replace more and more jobs in the coming years, but new jobs are being created that we couldn’t have imagined. In a rapidly changing marketplace, innovation will become even more critical to career success. According to an IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs, creativity was picked as the best asset for an organization’s success.

But, creativity, it turns out, is on the decline. A 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s found that creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Children are less innovative and imaginative, as well as being less able to articulate their ideas than in previous decades.

There is good news, thankfully. Creativity skills can be nurtured through hands-on, interactive processes. Creativity is often about resourcefulness and being able to work within constraints. Innovation comes from being able to evaluate available resources and combining them in novel ways.

Laura Vida of Seattle’s Frog Leg’s Academy believes the kitchen is the perfect environment for kids to get a taste for creativity. “Cooking is a great way to develop creativity because it can be so many things. I’m amazed at the endless amount of ideas and transformations that we can do with food,” says Laura.

Silvana Junge, owner of Silvana Desserts, agrees that cooking is a great way for kids to develop self-confidence through the combination of creative and technical skills needed to create in the kitchen. “My kitchen is a big lab where kids play with math, science, and chemistry,” says Silvana. “They mix and match flavors, color, and textures using their imagination, senses, and intuition to create something totally unique.”

Creativity skills learned in one area, say visual, culinary, or performance arts, can translate to other areas. Once a child, or adult, develops a creative habit, ingenuity becomes a regular source of motivation and inspiration for them.

Christi Cruz of Wedgwood Drama Studio says that “when young people are encouraged to take risks, try new things, and stretch their growing wings in a supportive environment, they gain experiences they can carry with them as they take their next leaps in life.”

Spring break learning experiences for kids and teens are an excellent way to encourage a deep dive into creativity and innovative thinking while maximizing fun. It might even spark a lifelong creative passion in them!

Find camps from cooking to baseball now at and take advantage of our $10 spring break coupon.

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Learning Experiences Are the Very Best Gifts!

Holiday classes

We used to think that human brains are vessels to be filled with things they need to know. But we all know that lecture-based teaching often puts learners to sleep! Thankfully, there has been a renaissance in learning in recent years. For example, project-based learning is now of major interest for both kid and adult learning. Learning, it turns out, is an individual effort that relies on a person’s passion to learn new things. Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

We must be involved and engaged to truly learn, and if you want to learn new things, or want to help a loved one learn, knowing how we learn best will help. It can also help people discover how much they love to learn and create, which as we know, makes us all happier!

What fuels our passion?
Learning happens naturally when the subject matter is something we’re intrigued by. Know someone who loves home improvement shows? Gift them a woodworking or remodelling class!

How do we learn best?
Some of us thrive while reading or writing, but many of us are visual or kinesthetic (learning by doing) learners. Young learners, in particular, can struggle in school where they need to sit still, so show them how much they love to learn with a class or workshop tailored to their interests.

How do we learn tangible skills like cooking, arts, crafts, or DIY?
There has long been a tradition of teaming masters like chefs and artists with apprentices to learn their craft. Many of us need to watch skilled practitioners and learn skills and tips step-by-step.

How do we remember what we learn?
While we might immediately forget a chapter we read in a how-to book or even the content of a video, hands-on learning experiences allow us to learn while getting feedback from experts.

What can we learn that will make a difference to our lives?
Improving career and business skills, as well as life skills like relationships, benefits us enormously. It’s so important to stay current, even if it involves learning about something we’ve never heard of!

We’d love for you to give the gift of experience this holiday season! Gift certificates are available! Great gifts for far-flung loved ones, or even for a class you can take together! One of our grandmothers decided on sushi-making classes for her 12-year old grandson – what can you choose to wow those you love?

Want to learn how to do something life-changing?

Check out thousands of upcoming classes on Connect2Classes.



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Learn Something Together for Valentines Day

valentines day

Roses die and chocolates, sadly, seem to live forever upon our bodies. So this Valentines Day we have a suggestion. Take your loved one to a class and learn something completely new together. A shared experience is something people remember fondly. Learning something together can bring out a playful competition, or a combined effort. Either way, we’ve selected some classes that would make a perfect date night for you and your partner. And, for each class we have recommended a few movies that could make the experience even sweeter.

Gourmet Hamburger Night
Take the time to cook together and make the experience better by grabbing a glass of wine, turning up the tunes for an impromptu dance party, and putting your skills to good use. Make the most of your time in the kitchen and date night will never feel the same!
Gourmet Hamburger Night is a spectacular class on how to properly grind, assemble, form, grill and eat up the most wonderful gourmet hamburgers that you have ever created… and yes.. it will be you.. the students… that do the creating! And because we know this is not enough, you will also learn how to properly prepare some of the best French fries you have ever had to go along with your wonderful burgers!
Movies to watch while eating your burgers and fries:

  • Chef (2014)
  • Ratatouille (2007)
  • Chocolat (2000)

Level 1 Adult Fencing
It is said that couple that plays together stays together. It follows that taking part in sports with your significant other is a good way to spend time together. Not only will you bond over a shared activity or learn something new, you’ll stay fit.
Fencing might not be the first sport that comes to mind when thinking of a romantic outing, but the truth is Fencing is a dance, a duel and a sparring match all rolled into one.
Fencing is romantic, quick and exciting.

A one-month introduction to the Olympic sport of fencing for ages 14 and up. Students learn basic techniques, weapon safety, tactics, and strategy. All equipment is provided.

My favorite movies that include some sword fighting or fencing are:

  • The Princess Bride (1987)
  • Three Musketeers (1973)
  • A Knights Tale (2001)

Introduction to Street photography

Street photography is photography that features the usual everyday scenes of life around us, but with a fresh eye. The reflection in a shop window, the colors in a crowd, strange lighting on a car.
With advances in electronic imaging, it seems the responsibility for authenticity falls more than ever to the conscious photographer. No other backdrop offers itself as honestly to this idea than the street.

Movies that feature Photographers include:

  • Annie Liebowitz, Life through a Lens (2008)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

Flameworking 101
Danger, creativity and heat – that sounds like a romantic evening for couple. You can playing with melted glass and create something to keep forever. This class focuses on taking inspiration from the sea.
Students will be guided through the fundamentals of flameworking with borosilicate glass. Basic solid-sculpting techniques will be taught, providing students with a strong foundation for making work– wearable and sculptural. Discussions on finishing and display will provide insight for taking creations to the next level. Students will be encouraged to move beyond technique and find their personal voice and aesthetic.
Being in Seattle we have the great fortune to be near the Chihuly Garden and Glass, which I would recommend to anybody who can get there. If you are far away here are a couple of inspiring films.

  • Pilchuck: A Dance with Fire (2014)
  • Chihuly: River of Glass (1998)

More heat, fire and sparks!
Create a stunning hanging candelabra or chandelier using beginning welding skills. Select a candleabra design from several options or customize your own. Your instructor guides you through the project step-by-step to complete your original piece. And, it’s easier than you think!

Movies that feature welding or blacksmithing:

  • Flashdance (1983)
  • The African Queen (1951)
  • No Country for Old Men (2007)

American Tango
This special, exciting dance features a masculine leader and a sensuous partner. The American style Tango provides dancers freedom to interpret the music. Show off your creative talents and enjoy the Tango.
American style tango’s evolutionary path is derived from Argentina to the United States, when it was popularized by silent film star Rudolph Valentino in 1921, who demonstrated a highly stylized form of Argentine tango in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. As a result, the Hollywood style steps mixed in with other social dance steps of the times began this branch away from the Argentine style.
Dance movies you might enjoy include:

  • Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
  • Scent of a Woman (1992)
  • Shall We Dance (2004)

Couples Massage Workshop

A romantic couple’s massage makes a wonderful gift, whether both partners enjoy the same type of massage or each prefers their own favorite.
In this high tech, low touch world we all need to learn how to slow down and really appreciate our life partner or even our best friend. Learn how to give each other an exceptional massage as well as just be able to touch one another in a mutually enjoyable and affirming way.
We promise you that you will have a wonderful time and learn a number of skills and techniques that will keep you both happier and healthier as well as transform your relationship on many different levels or we will refund the tuition we received for your workshop. We believe in the workshop and the power of touch that much.

These movies have nothing to do with massage – I just couldn’t find any that were appropriate for this list. Perhaps that is your task for the evening!

  • Breakfast at tiffany’s (1961)
  • Moulon Rouge (2001)
  • Serendipidy (2001)
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Five Reasons to Try Online Learning

Business Finance Classes

Have you tried any online learning?

I personally love a classroom full of people. Different objectives, personalities, and points of view make for an engaging learning experience. However, when I need to learn something fast and just want to get right to the point, I often choose an online class.Tweet: When I need to learn something fast and just want to get right to the point, I often choose an online class

Community colleges have been at the forefront of online learning and in today’s job market, taking online courses help workers remain competitive and maintain professional certifications without having to leave their jobs. It is equally important to note that not everyone has the self-discipline for online studies, so students need to determine if online learning is the right avenue for them.

A few benefits of online learning include:

• ONLINE CLASSES GIVE ACCESS TO A BROAD SPECTRUM OF CLASSES – Online courses give students the opportunity to choose from various schools, programs and courses that may not be available where they live. This is especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas, which typically offer limited course and program options for students.

• ONLINE CLASSES OFFER FLEXIBILITY – For a busy mom or a working student, taking online courses helps you manage your schedule more efficiently, giving you more time with your family or the time necessary to work a series of jobs to pay for your education. Online courses can be taken whenever and wherever there is a computer and access to the Internet. Because of the flexibility offered by online learning, not only undergraduate students, but also individuals who already have full-time jobs or other commitments are able to take supplementary course work.

• ONLINE CLASSES STILL ENCOURAGE GROUP PARTICIPATION – In an online setting, a student is marked present if the student has actually participated in the classroom discussion. This encourages students to interact, increasing the diversity of opinion as everyone, and not just one or two students, is given the opportunity to share their thoughts.

• ONLINE COURSES ARE BECOMING MORE COMMON AT MAJOR UNIVERSITIES – More and more schools and universities are starting to offer online education to students. This gives students additional options as far as online education programs and courses are concerned, and students will benefit from having the name of a well-known educational institution on their resume. Online classes are also a huge benefit for students who cannot commit the time necessary to attend a four-year University to start, as credit hours taken online (particularly at a community college) are often less expensive and can usually be used as transfer credits for students wanting to enter major universities.

• ONLINE COURSES IMPROVE YOUR TECH SKILLS – An indirect benefit of attending online classes is that you learn and develop technology skills. Additionally, college classes often use forums and discussion boards for class interaction. These programs mirror virtual team software and company intranet forums that are often used by businesses to enable communication among employees separated by distance. These real-world tools are useful in sharing ideas back-and-forth over time.

Whether you are a teacher getting your Master’s Degree online in the evenings while you teach during the day, a student with a long list of responsibilities, or you are taking courses online to maintain your certifications, getting an online education may be the solution for you. While it is important to weigh the pros and cons of an online class as it relates to your end goal, when it comes to convenience and flexibility, online might just fit the bill.

Search for a class in Seattle that meets yo needs. Good luck!


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Starting a New Business? Need Some Help?

Thinking about starting a business

Are you thinking about starting a new business? You’ve got your idea in place and you’re ready to take the plunge. What next? Getting started is, as they say, the hardest part. There are numerous details that need to be carefully mapped out. Decisions must sometimes be made quickly and with confidence. At times, even the best ideas fall short due to lack of planning.

Find Small Business Classes

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit but maybe not all the business skills you need, have no fear — there’s a class for that! Any self-made millionaire will be the first to say, you don’t need an MBA from Harvard Business School to succeed. That’s very true. You do, however, need a basic understanding of how things work in today’s economic climate. The Seattle area has many resources for people who are looking to break into the small business market. This spirit of this community is very progressive – we all should be taking full advantage of the informative classes and workshops readily available to us.

For nearly 50 years SCORE has provided classes, workshops and mentoring, to people interested in starting a small business. Seattle has its own chapter of SCORE and they have become an instrumental resource to our community. We’re thrilled to feature Seattle SCORE’s class offerings here at C2C.

If you’ve decided to make the commitment to be a small business owner you’ll need a solid business plan. The ‘Building a Business Plan’ workshop is a full day packed with meaningful, interactive instruction. The instructors have more than 20 years of experience in creating innovative plans for success.

If you’re ready to take the leap, we applaud you! Taking a class can inspire your entrepreneurial spirit and boost your confidence. You’ll be put in touch with fellow entrepreneurs who are embarking on their dreams too! Being connected with people who are in a cycle of learning, just like you! Set your goals, reach for your dreams and fuel your passions.

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Five Classes to Improve Your Resume

Classes to Improve Your Resume

Is it time to spruce up your resume, learn a new skill, and get noticed at work?

Taking a professional development class looks great on your resume! Whether you’re currently employed or looking for a job, gaining knowledge through courses either online or in person is a great way to add to your skill set.

Forbes reports, Sixty-one percent of the hiring managers surveyed recommended taking a class during a period of unemployment.

“You never stop learning in your career, so the more technical competence you have, the better,” says Andy Teach, the author of From Graduation to Corporation: The Practical Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder One Rung at a Time.

We suggest taking any of the following five classes to improve your resume:

  • Technology is ever changing and can even be a little intimating to keep up with. But, it doesn’t have to be! There are a number of classes designed to keep you up to speed on what’s new in the tech world. From novice to expert, there are classes that are right for you. Spearhead a new marketing campaign at work or in your own business by learning how to effectively use social media to build a loyal customer base and gain exposure! Marketing classes can make you the idea person at work!
  • A writing class can help you achieve the edge in something simple like a well-crafted email or give you the confidence to put together that perfect cover letter and resume. Times are changing and the right communication is an important key component in helping you stand out, get noticed, and taken seriously!
  • Have you had challenges with relationships both personally and professionally? We’ve all been there! Taking a class in Relationship Building can make the all the difference in connecting with a difficult boss or even challenging interactions with your family members. Learn how to reach out and be heard!
  • Team Building classes are offered to help you create a successful supportive group of individuals to accomplish a common goal. There is an art to building a successful team. Learn the nuances of interpersonal relationships that inspire great work from your team. Learn problem solving skills and communication techniques for a triumphant group of like-minded individuals! Go team!
  • Have you been passed over for management positions at work? What if you did something about it? Leadership classes provide you with the ability to gain the respect of your peers and pique the interest of your superiors! Some of us are natural born leaders while most of us have to take that extra step to learn how to navigate the world of leadership. These kinds of skills translate into all areas in life. Go for it!


Be in control of your own destiny. Take a class to further your skills and confidence. Once you are in a cycle of learning you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t get started earlier! Why wait? Browse career advancement classes today!

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Five Tips for Better Photos

Five tips for better photography

Everyone wants great photos. Whether it is pictures of your kids, your travels, scenery, or even your cat. A great photograph tells a great story. Photos can be an expression of yourself, can capture a moment, and transport you to another place.

Tony Puerzer of Bright Idea Photography has written 5 Tips for Better Photos. Download here: FiveTipsForBetterPhotos

1 – Be Prepared…

Having a camera ready to go – including a charged battery and proper settings for shooting on a sunny day – allowed me to capture this paraglider when he suddenly appeared overhead.

Always carry your camera with you, and know how to use its basic controls. Learn to expect the unexpected, since photo opportunities can happen at any moment. If you have your camera with you – and it’s already set for the current lighting conditions – you will have a much better chance of catching that fleeting image. Before you pack your camera away at the end of the day always recharge its battery and reset its controls to their standard settings. That way, when the next photo opportunity presents itself, your camera will be ready to go instantly.

2 – Get Close… Then Get Closer…

The photographer Robert Capa once said “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” The next time you take someone’s photograph move in just a little bit closer before you press the shutter button. And then do it again. Getting closer to your subject is the best way to make your portraits more compelling and intimate. Getting in close helps isolate the subject from the background and reveals subtle details in your subject’s expression, clothing and pose.

“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” – ROBERT CAPA

3 – Simplify, simplify…


In photography, what you leave out of an image is often more important than what you include. There are a number of ways to simplify your photos. Often, simply taking a different perspective – either higher or lower – than you normally shoot will eliminate distractions in the background and simplify your image. If the background is still too busy try walking around to the other side of your subject. There is always a vantage point that offers a simpler background – so seek it out. Simplifying your image helps the viewer understand what you feel is the most important part of your photograph.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY

4 – Good Things Come in Thirds…


Imagine the evenly spaced lines of a tic-tac-toe board superimposed on your camera’s viewfinder – two vertical lines, and two horizontal. Try placing your subject on one of these four lines. This will naturally move your subject away from the center of your photograph and it often creates a more compelling composition. In the case of a portrait subject, try positioning the center-line of their face on one of the two vertical lines, and try placing their eyes on the top horizontal line. For a landscape photograph, try placing the horizon in the top or bottom third of the photo, rather than having it run through the center of the image.

“The rule of thirds, like any ‘rule’ of composition is made to be broken… but it makes a great starting point for your compositions…”

5 – Take a Class or Workshop…

One of the first photo workshop I took was with the legendary New York photographer Jay Maisel.

If you’re feeling the need to better understand your camera, or to try a new style of photography, then a class or workshop might be just the ticket to achieve better photos. Certainly, it will introduce new ways of thinking about your photos and help you hone your photographic skills – by getting you to think outside your current comfort zone and to try new techniques and subject matter. If you’re a budding photographer, a multi-day workshop is also a great way to quickly build your online portfolio of images.

“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.” – JAPANESE PROVERB

If you would like to look at taking some courses, Hudson’s Photo Workshops offer a variety of basic to advanced photography classes and digital photo classes near Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma. The founder of Hudson’s Photo Workshops, Bruce Hudson, is a nationally recognized master craftsman photographer, author, and educator who has crafted a collection of workshops designed for all skill levels with topics relevant to today’s photo enthusiast. Check them out!