top of page
Courtney HermannLARGE.JPG

I am an Associate Professor of Film at Portland State University, co-author of the 7th edition of Directing the Documentary, and a frequent presenter at film events.  I earned an MFA degree in Film and Video Production from Columbia College Chicago.

I have over 20 years of full-time teaching experience instructing bachelor’s degree-seeking students in film and video production at regionally accredited institutions. I have designed and taught over 25 courses covering aspects of film production from story development to marketing & distribution.  My specialty areas in teaching are documentary film production and professional development for the media industry.

My former students are counted among independent filmmakers and media professionals from New York to Los Angeles and points between.

Photo 4.JPG

Branded Media Production

I developed Branded Media Production as an intensive production course for intermediate and advanced students studying film production at Portland State University.

Students work in small production units to produce professional quality, short form branded media videos for real clients.

Past partners include:  Looptworks, Oregon Wild, Explore Nature, Portland Gear, Friends of Family Farmers, Wild Diversity, and the Oregon Ravens.

Completed work has screened at the Hollywood Theatre and at the Hollywood Theatre airport screening room; has been featured at partner organizations' professional meetings, websites, eNewsletters, and social media platforms; is featured on PSU FILM's Vimeo channel, and has shown on PSU FILM's public screen on SW 6th Avenue and in the lobby of Lincoln Hall.



Portfolio and Professional

Annually since Spring 2016, I have facilitated  Portfolio and Professional Development, an experience that culminates in a portfolio show held at Portland State University.

The course asks graduating students to investigate their interests, values, personality, and skills as the basis for discovery and communication of their personal brand as they begin their careers.  To discover career goals and set a path to attaining them, students undertake a series of short research projects, in-class writing exercises, and oral presentations. 


In service to communicating their personal brand, students prepare marketing materials (a portfolio website, a resume, a generic and a tailored cover letter, a business card) and a reel or reels highlighting generalist and/or specialist skill sets in media production.

At the end of the term, students present themselves as emerging professionals to the school community, alumni, peers, friends, family, and to established media professionals.

249805-254035 - Button Williams IMG_1635

Introduction to Digital Filmmaking

Introduction to Digital Filmmaking is a required course that I developed in collaboration with other faculty and first taught as a FILM 199 Special Topics trial in Winter 2018.  

The course clarifies the goals I have for our beginning students:  to understand the dedicated interest that film production requires of a practitioner, the value of telling the stories they are uniquely prepared to tell, the basics of the technical tools and techniques of filmmaking, the steps in the media production process, the importance of professional development, and the culture of collaboration and mutual respect expected of them in the School of Film.


The course culminates in a final project that requires students to work in small groups to produce one mini-documentary and one microfiction film; thus employing accumulated skills and concepts learned during the course and preparing the students for our 200-level production tracks in documentary and narrative film production.

bottom of page