Each student writes, directs, and edits one short film and/or one documentary film
The final short and/or documentary will be submitted to the Cinema at the Edge Film Festival.

The first six weeks are devoted to the study of four primary elements of filmmaking: writing, directing, cinematography, and editing. To apply the concepts they learn in class, students write, produce, direct, and edit two short film exercises, using DSLR cameras, Low lighting packages, and digital editing software.

In the second six weeks, each student writes, directs, shoots, and edits a short film of up to six minutes with multiple tracks of sound including ambience, sound effects, and voiceover.

Throughout the program, students meet with instructors for one-on-one consultation.

The course culminates in a screening of the students’ final films, which is open to cast, crew, family, and friends. Upon the successful completion of the course, students take home a digital master copy of all their projects.


  • Learn the basics of visual non-fiction and fiction storytelling.
  • Train in the underlying skills necessary for documentary production: producing, research, story development, interviewing, writing, cinematography, sound recording and editing.
  • Learn the fundamentals of digital video shooting, sound recording and editing.
  • Study the history and stylistic range of the documentary genre with a focus on film language, techniques, aesthetics, structure and other elements of cinematic storytelling.
  • Master the craft of visual non-fiction and fiction storytelling.
  • Study the underlying skills necessary for documentary production: producing, research, story development, interviewing, writing, cinematography, sound recording and editing.
  • Expand and enrich knowledge of digital video production and digital editing.
  • Master the art of the pitch, and learn to produce high integrity, commercial non-fiction television programming.
  • Students will be instructed in how to package and submit films for festival consideration and distribution.


  • Edit, color correct, sound mix and screen one short film, one documentary television series, one “sizzle reel” 5-10 minute long
  • Conceive, develop and pitch one short film, one documentary television series, one “sizzle reel” 5-10 minute long
  • Collaborate in the production, editing and pitch presentation of a 5-10 minute “sizzle reel” of a documentary television series
  • Conceive, research, pitch, produce, direct, digitally edit and finish a thesis documentary of up to 30 minutes, to be presented at Cinema at the Edge Film Festival, travel the festival circuit.
Sound Cinematography and Lighting Producing and Directing the Documentary
Editing New Media/Self-Distribution Writing/Non-Fiction Storytelling
Producing Documentary Craft Documentary Traditions and Aesthetics
Production Sound Post-Production Sound Graphics, Special Effects and Color Correction

contact los angeles acting school

top acting schools
la acting school
la acting school


Special topics in advanced issues of digital productions, including but not limited to pre-production, digital cinematography, directing, and editing. Students should have a complete understanding of issues relating to exposure, f-stops, focal length, composition, digital cinema workflows, and color correction at the end of this course.

Take a nuanced approach to their scripts and focus on works which are subtler and thought-provoking. Particulate attention is paid to the literary techniques used by screen- and stage writers to make their works memorable. Identify ways of conveying emotion and character art without exposition. Compare and evaluate differences between the shooting script and what ends up on screen. When is it appropriate to adhere tightly to the script? When is it appropriate to deviate? Prepare students to apply skills learned in class to scripts they will be receiving in the real world

Editing is a fundamental component of film making. It is an art of composing space (as totality or fragment, continuous or discontinuous) and time (linear or non-linear) through the arrangement, assembly and interaction of images (static or dynamic) and sounds (on screen or off screen). Editing includes storytelling, rhythm, tempo, and emotion. A good editing sense is absolutely necessary to creatively structure a cinematic work. Creative works on film, video and image-related media all acquire meaning and impact through montage: the juxtaposition of images and sounds.

The genre film is inextricably linked with the Hollywood style of production. Yet our assumption will be that popular movie genres are not simply entertainment; they also present, challenge, and negotiate particular cultural values, assumptions, and conflicts. The Western is probably the most studied genre since it is closely tied in complex ways to American history itself. Until the mid-1970s, the Western was also the most perennially popular American movie genre; at this point it virtually disappeared. Why?

Structured in both a lecture and workshop format, Directing I will cover all the principles, procedures, and practices of directing for the stage. We will explore approaches to play selection, practical concerns, text analysis, the audition process, casting, design & collaboration, principles of stage composition, blocking & motivation, and more, all in pursuit of the art of storytelling. Exercises, reading assignments, video viewings and lectures will help us through a series of manageable directing projects designed to help young directors learn the basics of the craft of directing.

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of fundraising and development for nonprofit arts organizations. Learn the fundamentals of fundraising online, prospect research, grant seeking and proposal development, corporate partnerships, special events. Students also develop, research, and write their own funding proposals.

Production Design is an examination of the role of the production designer and art director in motion pictures, television or new media. Students will learn what art direction brings to the narrative storytelling process and how to identify this while watching a film or television show. They will work on projects that will give them hands on experience at the design process solving real world problems with skills they learn in class.


Through classroom discussion of student writing and study of assigned screenplays, films and textbook readings, students will strengthen their familiarity with the structural elements of the feature length motion picture screenplay with well-developed plot, characters, setting. Students will become familiar with the general guiding elements of dramatic structure and character development in a variety of styles of storytelling.


A good story is not enough. It must be well told. In this seminar, we will break down the basic elements of story-telling, elucidate the power of the verbal as well as the visual, and discuss how story-telling helps build brands and organizations. For the final project, you will create tell a story about (a) your organization, (b) your brand, or (c) you. By creating powerful stories and then communicating them in your own uniquely human way, you’ll see how causes, careers and businesses can gain momentum.

In this class, we will explore the world of the short narrative script. Through screenings, writing exercises and assignments, and work shopping we will develop your skill in talking about short films and scripts, and in creating sounds and images that enrich your dialogue and story. You may be exposed to images and ideas that you find disturbing; they are a part of the learning process of the class. Please decide early on if you are willing to open yourself to these images and ideas, and are prepared to experience and discuss them in class.

The syllabus follows the common practices and protocols of the Industry from Pre-Production, through Production and Post-Production, including discussion of the tangential marketing and distribution business sectors as they relate to Production Management.  In addition to lecture and discussion format, the class will include participation by guest speakers to cover specific areas of domain expertise.  Finally, the course will cover some of the best practices and personal development guidelines that relate to the unique business culture of entertainment, including some historical perspective.

contact los angeles acting school