Advanced Filmmaking

3 week
  • $3595
  • $3895
  • Vermont
  • New York, Los Angeles
  • 13-19


SOCAPA’s Advanced Filmmaking intensive is the next step after our Core Filmmaking program and is geared towards students with prior filmmaking experience. The program is competitive and requires applicants to submit at least one completed film or video project and a short film treatment (story idea) for review during our selection process. Students applying to Advanced Filmmaking should be familiar with writing, directing, and editing their own work, and be comfortable with dual-system sync-sound production and other fundamental skills taught in our Core Filmmaking program.

Students accepted into the Advanced Filmmaking intensive focus on making two longer, more polished films that they can use as part of their college applications and submit to film festivals. In addition to advanced classes in cinematography, sound, and digital editing, students attend writing and directing classes where they learn advanced techniques for developing scripts and working with actors. Students receive extensive one-on-one advisements from our seasoned staff of instructor/filmmakers — all of whom have experience at festivals and with agents.

earn college credit
Get a headstart on college and earn three college credits in this three week program!  U.S. Citizens currently enrolled as High School Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are eligible. Learn more about college credit
High School Film Students Filmmaking Camps


Film Festivals and agents like short films to be just that - short. Festivals, which like to showcase as much talent as possible, prefer shorter films because they can program more of them into a given time slot, thus exposing their audiences to more stories by more filmmakers. Agents like shorter films because they can watch more of them in a given day and thus expose themselves to more talent per second than by watching longer films. Agents would even prefer two good eight-minute films by the same director than one good twenty-minute film because in two separate films, a director can show a broader range of styles.

Thus, it is our steadfast belief that our students should keep their films under ten minutes in length. The idea is this: if you can show that you can write creatively, cover scenes visually, and elicit strong performances from actors in an eight-minute short film, then you can do it in a twenty-minute film or even a feature-length film. Short films are more economical to make and are more likely to be watched by agents, festival programmers and even your friends and family.

Cinematography Video and Film Production Camps and Summer Programs


In the afternoons, students take advanced technical camera and sound classes. In Cinematography Class, students are introduced to lenses, jibs, sliders and basic lighting. After conducting exterior shooting exercises, students come back and project the footage in class for critique. In Sound Class, students get a quick refresher on how to use handheld audio recorders, shotgun and lavalier microphones, production slates and discuss the best strategies for recording high quality production audio.

Film Projects:

Each Advanced Filmmaking student writes, directs and edits two films of their own during the three week program. Each SOCAPA project is inspired by a film director who exemplifies a mastery of the techniques that we cover that week in class.

Hitchcock Film

Alfred Hitchcock was a master of visual storytelling. He would often convey information using a single silent shot that it would take a lesser filmmaker pages and pages of cumbersome dialogue to get across. In this film, students are encouraged to take a visual approach to telling their stories. Dialogue should be used sparsely, if at all. Instead, we urge students to use composition, camera movement, shot selection, blocking, lighting, color and nonsynchronous sound to convey meaning.

Watch Sample Student Hitchcock Films

Kurosawa Film

Renowned globally as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Akira Kurosawa was a master of all genres; The Seven Samurai, Ikiru, and The Hidden Fortress (one of the main inspirations for Star Wars) are just a few of his many masterpieces. Along with his supremely artistic visual style, which became an inspiration for many of America’s most famous directors of the seventies, Kurosawa was also especially attentive to performance, eliciting bravura acting from all those with whom he worked. In this culmination film, we challenge our Advanced Students to elicit the best and most truthful performances they can from their cast without losing sight of all they have learned about visual storytelling.

Watch Sample Student Kurosawa Films
11a-3p: Airport Arrivals
1-4p: Dormitory Check-in
5-6p: Welcome Dinner
6-7p Advanced Film Program Orientation - Meet & Greet with Teachers
7-8:30p: All Programs Orientation
9:30p: Dormitory Floor Meetings & Orientation
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Filmmaking #1
12-1p: Lunch
1-3p: Camera and Sound Tech #1
3-5p: Writing #1
5-6p: Get ready for dinner
7-9p: Dinner on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Camera and Sound Tech #2
12-1p: Lunch
1p-3p: Filmmaking #2
3-5p: Writing #2
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: Walking Tour of Downtown/Group Photo
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Writing Lab (One-on-One Meetings)
12-1p: Lunch
1-3p: Producing and Continuity
3-5p: Final Prep For Shoot
5:00 – 6:00p: Dinner
6:00 – 6:45p: Production Meeting With Actors
7-9:30p: Guest Filmmaker - Film Screening / Q&A
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:30a-12:30p: Director #1 Shoots Hitchcock
12:30p-1:30p: Lunch
1:30-5:30 Director #2 Shoots Hitchcock
5:30 – 6:30: Dinner
7-9:30: Live Concert in Park
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:30a-12:30p Director #3 Shoots Hitchcock
12:30-1:30p Lunch
1:30-5p: Workflow - Audio/Syncing Class and Edit Hitchcocks
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9p: Week One Showcase
  Karaoke Fest
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
8:30 – 9:30a: Breakfast
10a: Leave for day’s outings
(NY-Washington Square/Village/Soho)
(CA-Universal Studios/Venice Beach)
(VT-Farmer’s market/Church Street/Stowe Mt./Ben&Jerry’s)
Lunch and Dinner – Student’s Choice
7-10p: Evening Show on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
8:30-9:30a Breakfast
9a-5p: Hitchcock Final Edits and Export
6–9:30p: SOCAPA Talent Show
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in

Filmmaking Faculty

SOCAPA offers small classes and an accomplished teaching staff comprised of industry professionals with recent and ongoing production experience. Drawn from some of the top universities and film schools, including the Ivy League, USC, the American Film Institute, NYU, and Columbia, the instructors at SOCAPA guide the students through the program with delicacy and skill.