Core Filmmaking

2 & 3 week
  • 2wk .... $2,695
  • 3wk .... $3,895
  • New York, Los Angeles, Vermont
  • 13-19

Curriculum & Schedule:

Core Filmmaking is SOCAPA's most popular intensive. Each SOCAPA student writes, directs and edits one film of their own per week of attendance. Students also work as crew members for one another, providing each young filmmaker the opportunity to work as a Director of Photography, Sound Technician, or Production Assistant each week. Core Filmmaking introduces students to the Hollywood method of dual-system, sync-sound production where the image and the sound are recorded by separate crew members, the cinematographer and the sound recordist, on separate devices. Most students take the course for the full three weeks but there is also a shorter two week option where they do not make the final "Kubrick" project.

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.

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
Summer Film Camps Screenwriting & Directing Movies


Monday and Tuesday, in the mornings, SOCAPA film students take their main Writing and Directing classes. In Writing class, students generate ideas, learn fundamentals of three-act structure, and workshop their scripts. In Directing class, they learn the basics of film language, camera placement, and shot construction.



In the afternoons, students take technical camera and sound classes. In Cinematography class, students are introduced to the digital cameras that they will use. After in-class demonstrations, students conduct exterior shooting exercises and then come back and project the footage in class. In Sound class, students discuss the best strategies for recording high quality production audio and learn to use handheld audio recorders, a variety of microphones, and production slates.



On Thursday, students have their first Editing class. The editing teacher demonstrates the software and then the students cut their first films, under the direct supervision of their instructor, right in class. Extra editing time is available for those who need it. On Friday, there is an in-class critique of all the first films in the morning. In the afternoon, the students are back in their writing and directing classes, preparing for their second week projects. That night, the whole camp gathers in the theater to watch the first week "Showcase Screening" of all the completed student films.

Summer Film Camp Equipment for Video Production


SOCAPA offers the immediate opportunity to learn the most recent advancements in digital technologies. In the Core Fimmaking intensives, students will be using state-of-the art 1080p High Definition video cameras. All students are encouraged to edit on Adobe Premiere digital editing systems (Students with experience editing in other software may consult their film instructor for permission to use an alternative editing system), the current industry standard.

Film Projects:

Each Core Filmmaking student writes, directs and edits one film of their own per week of attendance. Each SOCAPA project is inspired by a film director who exemplifies a mastery of the techniques that we cover that week in class. Please note that two week students do not make the third "Kubrick" film.

Lumiere Film (week 1)

In a single shot of up to two minutes, students tell 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. The focus, here, is on mise-en-scène, an essential concept in the art of filmmaking. Students are challenged to carefully arrange all the elements that appear within the shot itself - camera movement, composition, blocking of actors, props, and lighting - to most effectively and creatively tell their stories.

Watch Sample Student Lumiere Films

Porter Film (week 2)

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.

Watch Sample Student Porter Films

Kubrick Film (week 3)

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.

Watch Sample Student Kubrick Films
11a-3p: Airport Arrivals
1-4p: Dormitory Check-in
5-6p: Welcome Dinner
6-7p 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 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: Filmmaking #2
12-1p: Lunch
1p-3p: Camera Tech #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: Shoot Lumieres (Directors 1 & 2)
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Shoot Lumieres (Directors 3 & 4)
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: Guest Filmmaker - Film Screening / Q&A
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Intro to Premiere Pro Class: Split into 2 groups based on experience
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Edit Lumiere
5:30 – 6:30: Dinner
7-9:30: Live Concert in Park
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Filmmaking #3
12-1p: Lunch
1-3:30p: Writing #3
3:30 - 5:00p: Critique Lumiere Films
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
10-1p: Writing/Rehearsal/Prep for Talent Show
Optional: 16mm Cinematography
1-4p: Afternoon Activity (Park, Beach, Museum, Shopping)
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.