In this extensive production course, students will have the opportunity to make a short film that expresses a point of view about local issues that resonate worldwide. Films can be personal or political, serious or funny. This hands-on course supports students’ engagement in their local community by teaching them the principles of merging everyday events and journalism with the art and skill of documentary filmmaking. Students will learn how to research compelling stories, effectively use a camera, write and record narration, and edit the different elements of the story together with graphics and sound effects using non-linear editing tools. At the end of the each session, there will be a screening party where friends and family are invited to view the completed films. Sessions will be held off-site on location during filming, as well as at The Plaza Cinema and Media Arts Center. The class is suitable for adults and kids 14+.


  • Understand how visual and aural information communicate a point of view
  • Utilize creative and structural thinking skills to write a story outline
  • Collaborate in teams and develop effective observation, listening, and interviewing skills
  • Use video and audio equipment technically and creatively
  • Create a compelling visual story using non-linear editing tools while applying organizational, technical,
    and creative skills to various elements of the film (interviews, “b-roll”, music, sound effects, voice over, graphics)



Research shows that out-of-school programs enhance and complement  students’ in-school experience, support healthy social and emotional development, foster cultural diversity, teach crucial 21st century skills, and promote academic success. 

Documentary filmmaking is an art form that allows the filmmakers to work collaboratively and cultivate a unique voice that can be used in both academic settings and the real world, while making projects that positively impact the community. 
Students will complete the course with a refined proficiency in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, and communication, while also engaging in a creative outlet and telling stories that they are passionate about. 

Photos from our Summer 2017 class at Isabella Rossellini's farm in Brookhaven, NY

Student Films - Summer 2017