The Heritage Film Program gives students an introduction into the exciting creative process of film production and gives them opportunities to learn by doing. Students start by reading about, and viewing, filming techniques and principles in text and class video samples. They then move to watching the components of film as a class intern, before advancing to helping as an assistant, and finally to taking on the main jobs of producer, director, production assistant, writer, camera operator, sound engineer, set and wardrobe designer, lighting technician, and editor.

Each student is “paid” an hourly rate of production credit which accounts for half of the overall course grade. Interns and assistants earn a good grade “wage” if they are willing to put the participation time into pre-production planning meetings, production filming, or post production editing. The pace of the projects is three weeks for each phase of pre-production, production, and post-production with group projects due every nine weeks. At the close of each project period, students with new ideas “pitch” them to the class to see which ones have ample interest to pursue together. Once a project has a producer, the other students are hired to get started making plans for the film.

Watching films together, to see how they are constructed, and sharing favorite tips in the online virtual classroom, combine with test grades to form the rest of the class assessment. We enthusiastically welcome guest lecturers, and workshop teachers, to come and share industry expertise or invitations to come to studio and production spaces.