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"What an amazing hands-on experience in filmmaking! The teachers and counselors were excellent. They made learning fun and made me feel comfortable even though I was new to film. They were always there to help. Excellent program!"
-Robbie H., Utah



SOCAPA mixes the best of elite film programs and exciting summer camps. Nowhere else will you find this level of filmmaking intensity combined with this much fun. Each SOCAPA student writes, directs and edits one film per week of attendance in the introductory filmmaking program (1, 2, and 3 week sessions are offered). Students in the Advanced Filmmaking intensive (3 weeks only) write, direct and edit two films during the three week program. Students in the six-week program take the three week introductory program and continue on to form the Advanced Filmmaking class, making five films in all.

Our return students or students who have previous narrative filmmaking experience may apply directly to the Advanced Filmmaking, Cinematography or Advanced Projects intensives. Please note that formal instruction and practice in screenwriting, directing, and editing on FinalCut Pro is required for acceptance into our advanced film intensives. As part of the application, students will be required to submit sample work - completed narrative films and a writing sample. More about Advanced Filmmaking...

The first two days of the week are spent learning the fundamentals of filmmaking with separate classes in screenwriting, directing technique, producing, cinematography and sound recording.  By midweek, students are "in production" making their first films in small crews of three to four filmmakers along with several actors from the acting program.  Each crew is supervised by an accomplished production instructor who helps guide the director and crew to ensure a safe and successful day of shooting. Once the films are "in the can," the week ends with post-production classes in editing and sound design. Students edit their films and are critiqued in class by their instructors. That night, all the movies are screened in the theater at the weekly Friday night showcase for the entire camp.

In addition to the daily morning directing classes and the afternoon specialty classes, SOCAPA film students have master classes with visiting lecturers from the New York or Hollywood film world. Accomplished industry professionals give lectures on Producing, Acting for Film & TV, Cinematography, and Directing.

SOCAPA offers the immediate opportunity to learn the most recent advancements in digital technologies. Like the pros, SOCAPA students shoot using a dual system - recording sound and picture separately. Video is recorded on the best in the state-of-the art 1080p High Definition video cameras. Sound is recorded via portable audio recorders and shotgun microphones, offering the Sound Artist practical lessons in one of the most overlooked, yet one of the most important, aspects of film production. All students are encouraged to edit on Adobe Premiere, non-linear, digital editing systems. This professional editing application enables the creation of an elaborate multi-track sound design for each of their films, incorporating music, voice-over, sound effects and dialogue. (Students with experience in FCP X may consult their film instructor for permission to use an alternative editing system.) 

In our Core Filmmaking intensive, each SOCAPA student writes, directs and edits a film of their own per week of attendance. In addition, students are expected to work in small crews for one another, giving each student the opportunity not only to write, direct and edit his/her own film each week, but also to learn the role of director of photography, sound technician, and production assistant each week.

lumiere film

1) The Lumière Film (Week One)*
In a single shot of up to one minute, the student tells a simple story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. The project takes its name from the first films by the 19th-century pioneers of early cinema, Pierre and August Lumière. Students have two hours to shoot this film.

porter film


2) The Porter Film (Week Two)
Edwin Porter was one of the first filmmakers to consider the possibilities of editing shots together in a continuous fashion. He led the way in creating the illusion of "continuity," where material shot over the course of days or weeks looks, once it is cut together in sequence, as if it all flows together over the course of minutes. His famous film, The Great Train Robbery, is the inspiration for this second film, where students explore the same issues Porter faced, and make a 3-4 minute film that focuses on continuity. Students have four hours to shoot this film and one day to edit.

kubrick film 2


3) The Kubrick Film (Week Three)
Perhaps the greatest and most innovative filmmaker that America has produced, Stanley Kubrick made one masterpiece after another over his five decade career. He set the standard for cinematic excellence in a multitude of genres, combining staging, lighting, set design, acting, and editing to create a radical new vision of what film can do. With films such as "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Dr. Strangelove," "Barry Lyndon," "Lolita," "The Shining," and "Full Metal Jacket," Kubrick proved himself again and again to be a master of his craft. For their third film, a 4-5 minute project, we challenge SOCAPA students to take everything they have learned in the previous weeks and to forge their own masterpiece. Students have a full day to shoot this film and two days to edit.

*In the One Week Intensive, students shoot The Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez, known for his unorthodox shot progression, both when shooting and editing, is often a "one-man film crew". Though students will have a crew, the task of writing, directing and editing this two minute film in such a short time frame requires students to solve constraints of time and money (as all filmmakers experience!) using the camera and their editing acquiesce, for which Rodriguez is known.


Students in our Six-Week Filmmaking Program go on to form the Advanced Filmmaking Program after the first three weeks. Returning students from prior summers join the group and they each make two longer projects, the Hitchcock and Kurosawa films, in the final three weeks. See our Advanced Filmmaking page for more details.

"My son attended your film program last summer and due very much to SOCAPA will be attending NYU Film School starting in a few weeks. He went to SOCAPA with some interest in the movies but with no real experience. He came home after three weeks with a love of film, the desire to make it his life's work, and an 8-minute film that became the basis of his NYU application.

His high school does have a film program, but they were unable to get the kids to produce in four years what you were able to do in three weeks. Needless to say, his film teacher was really impressed by your program. His grades and scores did not make him a shoo-in for NYU, so we have to believe his film was an essential part of his application. We certainly can't thank you enough!"

-Bonnie S., Florida