Filmmaking 1

Instructor Image

Teacher: Duran Smith
Date/Time: Monday - 12:45 PM to 2:15 PM
Recommended Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
Department: Fine Arts Electives
Grade Level: High School (9th-12th)

Filmmaking is the combination of many art forms, and this class is a basic overview of everything it takes to make a movie! We will look at the fascinating history of motion pictures, discuss the role of media in our lives, and (of course) learn how to write and produce a great film! We'll study great scenes by great directors. Our course will focus on screenwriting, storyboarding, acting, cinematography, sound production, video editing, and the important roles of an efficient film crew. The goals for this class are to give high school students a preview of a college film education and to equip and inspire the next generation of media content creators to create with purpose!


  • A reliable digital video camera (of any kind: phone, tablet, DSLR, camcorder, etc.) for personal use only.
  • A reliable computer with internet (laptop or desktop at home) for writing and potential video editing.
  • A USB flash drive with at least 10 gigabytes of storage.

32 Weeks Total

Fall Semester: 4 months

Spring Semester: 5 months

$90 per month or $810 for a full year

Please pre-pay or make a monthly payment arrangement before each semester.

To pay for courses, please use PayPal or Venmo. Please include the student's name in the description:

Or email to make other payment arrangements.

God Bless! 

Students can submit assignments on Google Drive here: 

Class YouTube Playlist: Film Class: 

Tentative Syllabus 

Fall Semester: 15 Weeks

  1. August 14th: Introductions / Interests / History of Storytelling

  2. August 21st: Visual Aesthetics in Art

  3. August 28th: Duran Absent

  4. September 11th: Visual Aesthetics in Film

  5. September 18th: Theatre and Mise-En-Scene / Assignment: Visual Aesthetic Pictures (due October 2nd)

  6. September 25th: Mise-En-Scene in Film 

  7. October 2nd: Present Visual Aesthetics Pictures / Introduction to Storytelling and Screenwriting

  8. October 9th: The Director / Assignment: Watch Casablanca (due October 23rd) 

  9. October 16th: Principles of Cinematography 

  10. October 23rd: Cinematography continued / Introduction to Screen Acting / Assignment: Shot Reproduction (due November 6th)

  11. October 30th: The Actor - Classical, Modern, Method / Exercises

  12. November 6th: Present Shot Reproductions / Editing as Film / Assignment: Remake Project (due December 4th)

  13. November 13th: Sound Recording and Design

  14. November 27th: Film Music

  15. December 4th: Present Remake Projects

Spring Semester: 17 Weeks
  1. Jan. 4th: Art Meets Industry
  2. Jan. 11th: Film Industry Breakdown
  3. Jan. 18th: The Writer's Room
  4. Jan. 25th: Pre-Production Basics (story logline due)
  5. Feb. 1st: Director and Producer (script outline due)
  6. Feb. 8th: Screen Acting
  7. -
  8. Feb. 22nd: Screenplay Due
  9. Mar. 1st: Script Breakdown
  10. Mar. 8th: Scheduling
  11. Mar. 15th: Grip and Electric
  12. Mar. 22nd: Camera and Sound
  13. Mar. 29th: Action!
  14. -
  15. Apr. 12th: Production Footage Due / Post-Production Breakdown
  16. Apr. 19th: Editing
  17. Apr. 26th: Post-Sound
  18. May 3rd: Film Scoring
  19. May 10th: Assignment Due: Present Finished Short Films