The non-profit California film Institute celebrates and promotes film as art and education, offering film-based classes throughout the year. Melinda and Cynthia have had the pleasure of teaching a variety of classes for John Morrison and CFI for 4 years.


CIMEMANIACS ~ 2016 & 2017

child with clapper

Students will get hands-on with many of these aspects of the film industry in the brand new CINEMANIACS workshop led by Emmy-award winning filmmakers Melinda Darlington-Bach and Cynthia Pepper. This 2-day filmmaking adventure will include the entire process of making a short film from inception to completed 2-3 minute film. Included in the workshop : an audition with professional actors, every student will be assigned an on-set crew position working in makeup, production assistant, wardrobe, sound, script supervision, continuity, gaffer, or first Assistant Director positions. The student crew members will be the assistants to the Director of Photography. The final completed films will be screened as part of the class at The Rafael Film Center on Friday, June 23rd with follow-up discussion.

DANCEFILMDANCE ~ 2014, 2015 & 2016

DancefilmdanceDANCEFILMDANCE 2015

The creative intersection of film and dance over the years has become appreciated and used in diverse mediums, including movies, tv, commercials. online and fashion films. With the ever-expanding reach of social media, Youtube and films for web series, advertisers have turned to match products with movement and dance as an innovative way to promote their visual brand.

As well as working for several seasons producing many dancing iconic letter interstitials for the prestigious series Sesame Street, Melinda and Cynthia recently worked with director James Redford choreographing a music video showcasing the talents of Mavie Marcos and international trance band, Andain.

Now celebrating their 4th year as invited guests and speakers for Summerfilm and Behind The Scenes, Melinda and Cynthia will discuss and screen a range of contemporary and international award-winning examples of films, commercials and videos that all showcase dance and music in new and unusual ways.

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT; Our love for the short film ~ 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2017

CFI SummerfilmThe Long and Short of It 2015

Emmy award-winning filmmakers and choreographers, Melinda Darlington-Bach and Cynthia Pepper, have both had a life long love affair with the short film. Over many years, having produced, directed and shot a variety of short films, Melinda and Cynthia have collected an amazing group of some of the best international short films from every genre, including live action and animation.

Melinda and Cynthia have chosen from their personal collection an array of surreal, humorous and innovative films that represent current trends and different filmic styles to be shown and discussed during the week-long seminars. This is the third year Melinda and Cynthia have had the pleasure of teaching and working with John Morrison and the talented students of Summerfilm.

Casting, Commercials and Choreography ~ 2010 & 2011

CFI - Casting, Commercials and Choreography

IN THE 2010 & 2011 Summerfilm classes, Melinda and Cynthia covered all aspects of how the casting process works for commercials. They discussed how the producers work with casting and talent agents, arranging auditions for talent and dancers. We screened many examples of our choreography used in commercials, films and music videos as examples of many different genres.

CFI Future Professionals

CFI - Future Professionals

The CFI Education Department, headed by John Morrison, is committed to bringing professional filmmakers and related seminars into the school system with their extensive outreach and education department. A big part of the this important classroom program is to bring a variety of media top-notch experts in to the schools to teach these students. Melinda and Cynthia have taught several classes for the Novato school system, including our "Long and Short of it" and DANCEFILMDANCE.