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Summer Film Programs

filmmajormomfilmmajormom Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited April 2013 in Summer Programs
I have a son who is a junior and looking into summer film programs. He will have finished his third year of video production in school, has been editing on Final Cut Pro all three years and creates about 5-6 very short films each year. Each year culminates in a short (5 minute) documentary project. This son is interested in looking at colleges with film studies/production programs and I think a good summer program might help him focus on whether he wants a strong studies program or a great production program.

I have been reading up on many programs throughout the country and was wondering which ones might be best suited to his experience. I don't think he will learn anything new in a one-week program with inexperienced filmmakers. But he doesn't seem to want to go away for more than three weeks (NYS School of the Arts and UNC School of the Arts are both longer programs). He would consider specializing (SLR, documentary).

We live in the NYC area. Does anyone have experience with:
- Columbia University's high school summer session film program?
- SOCAPA program in VT or NYC
- Maine Media Workshops (especially the SLR workshop)
- Film program at American Unversity
- Programs especially designed for documentary filmmakers
- Adjudicated programs for high schoolers

I would greatly appreciate any input.
Post edited by filmmajormom on

Replies to: Summer Film Programs

  • melanieumelanieu Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I did the SOCAPA program three times in a row!
    First session for Dance at Burlington VT :
    I feel like we were all pretty young and that there weren't that many older kids, but maybe that was just my dorm... (Only 2 or 3 juniors/seniors in my dance program)
    The campus is really fun and the weather was awesome. The town is pretty cool and oyu get to swim in Lake Champlain which is cool too... The cafeteria was awesome and the gym was ok (i don't remember much it was like 4 years ago haha)

    Second Session in Brooklyn, NY (Acting+Dance) + Third Session in Brooklyn, NY (Acting again)
    Being in the city is amazing, and juniors and seniors get no boundaries or larger ones. I was not upperclassman then so I didn't get to enjoy the freedom but my older friends got orientation, maps, underground maps and all so it was still nicely supervised!
    The photography studio is pretty good they have backdrops and lighting in the dorms (NYU Polytech dorms) and lighting is good. They also had darkrooms but off-campus
    (i know this because I helped some friends with assignments because I love photography too)
    As an "actor" I worked pretty closely with filmmakers who mainly do screenings and critiques as well lectures... They did get hands-on experience when they directed their own shorts... The cameras aren't that great, I mean that the image that shows up on screen is not very hollywoodian in the sense that the colours are mostly faded and the resolution is 720 (i think) but they form their team of students and are assisted by the team for white balance, sound etc. So they all get to try every position in the process of filmmaking. I think one guy brought his own camera and made his movie using it. His short definitely stood out not only by the quality of the image but also by the techniques used (he was more advanced)...
    However, I feel like my friends who returned to socapa to the MANHATTAN program had better resources : cameras, teachers etc. + location ! (each film is shot in one day, location in the city is thus very important because you cannot afford to go too far from the campus/other locations)
    The campus is in Brooklyn Heights and seemed VERY safe to me! I never had one problem walking around in shorts/dress/skirt or whatever and found everything I needed where I was. The runs on the Bridge and around DUMBO were very nice too!

    Socapa is very well organised and the teachers are qualified and friendly, I still talk to some of them, actually! The staff always organised fun activities like Off-broadway shows (we went to see Fuerza Bruta and Rent; the former now closed) and dinner in manhattan, washington square day (walking around, shopping, and visiting in the heart of the city for a day), Coney Island Day (probably the most fun!) as well as on)campus activities like Movie Nights, Hollywood directors coming in to answer questions after a screening of their movies (we had John Hamburg (Meet the Fockers etc) come in and talk after a screening of I Love You, Man) etc.

    It was a great experience and I think being NYC is better for any city-bound or independent teen who wants to experience studying in a big city... You get many opportunities to meet with great people whom you will keep talking to for a long time (I still talk to my camp friends !). A great cultural diversity (I myself am a half french half korean living in London, UK) !

    They also offer college credit which you might want to consider for a Junior (I know I'll be considering college credit courses this summer or challenging/rewarding programs)

    Hope you didn't have too much trouble reading through all of this, tried to explain in the clearest way possible, definitely PM me for more info, I could put you in touch with some people who did the Filmmaking program themselves

    Check out Jake Oleson's website, he went to socapa and I love what he does!
    Oh and also don't get confused between the screenwriting and the filmmaking if you do apply, you might regret that hahahaha

    Last thing, if your son wants a more academic, theoretical approach to film (perhaps if he considers to major in Filmmaking) check out [email protected] ! I took History of American Film which was AWESOME !!
  • YoHoYoHoYoHoYoHo Registered User Posts: 2,001 Senior Member
    What about NYU/Tisch summer program for HS students?
    There is also USC summer program, but VERY pricey.
    Also look into CSSSA/Innerspark (at Cal Arts) if you are willing to send S to CA.
    Also there is a 2 week summer program at Chapman U/Dodge.
    D did US Performing Arts advanced video program at UCLA (but they are offered at other schools as well), and was ok for her and she had approx same experience as your son.
    You also may want to post this question in the college majors/visual arts section. Lots of film production parents there. http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/visual-arts-film-majors/

    They have mentioned SCAD (in GA) and School of Visual Arts (NY), but I don't know anything about those programs.
  • dharmamomdharmamom Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    If you are in the New York City area, you might want to look at the offerings of the Maysles Institute. The Maysles brothers made some of the great documentaries of our times (among them, Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter). The institute, located in Harlem, shows films and teaches filmmaking.

    MAYSLES INSTITUTE : NEWS
  • GonechopinGonechopin Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Is the North Carolina program for film really cutthroat?
  • GonechopinGonechopin Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    is the SOCAPA program tough to get into. My 16 yr old S has an incredible passion for film, directors, cinematography, etc. but no experience.
  • melanieumelanieu Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    No, SOCAPA is not hard to get into AT ALL... or at least it wasn't when I attended
  • hogwartsbound17hogwartsbound17 Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    does socapa have any scholarships??

    Sent from my LG-VS700 using CC
  • melanieumelanieu Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    yes i think so... but im pretty the deadline for scholarships is over... they are merit-based scholarships and happen pretty early in the year... they also dont give a lot out, its pretty you against the others to earn one or two scholarship(s) per field of study
  • nyfilmschoolnyfilmschool Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    If you are looking for a great summer filmmaking course check out the reviews for the International Film Institute of New York:

    Int. Film Institute of New York Reviews | Studentfilms.com - Film School and Filmmaking Forum
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