Our Approach to Classes

The manifestation of our values is in our unique approach to classes. Traditionally, students enroll in lecture courses and/or attend labs in practical workshops. The pre-production, production, and post-production of the film is considered “homework” – something that is assigned in class and is then executed on the students’ own time. At the end of the semester, the student “turns in” the film and the instructor evaluates the finished work.

Our College operates the opposite way. Based on our values in craft, hands-on experience, peer learning, and industry practices, we structure our classes as part of the process of producing a film. To this end, we have two types of classes:

Lecture classes

These are what you would think of as traditional lecture or laboratory classes, which take place in a classroom with the entire class and an instructor. Our lecture classes differ from traditional lecture classes, however, in that they are designed to be integrated into the College’s larger mission. Lecture classes do not always meet at the same time, same place every week, and often run as targeted modules for portions of a semester to better support student learning and the production of films. Faculty members also often collaborate across different lecture classes to sync up the learning experience for students and show the connections between the different craft areas of filmmaking.

Practicum classes

These are classes that fall outside the traditional lecture class, and extend specifically to the process of creating a film. These include tech scouting, production meetings, the production of projects, crew drills, camera/lighting tests, dailies screenings, principal photography, or any other pre-production, production, or post-production activity that is done in conjunction with creating a film.

In this approach, our film sets are our classrooms and they are equally as important as a traditional lecture class. The practicum classes are done in the field with students acting as crew and faculty supervising as mentors.