• Summer Film Academy student filming on the Chapman University campus
  • summer film academy students
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

Summer Film Academy

» Experiment, explore, and create in world class facilities

Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers a two-week comprehensive, collaborative and creative high school film program during the summer.

This two-week intensive program is meant to teach high school students about all aspects of filmmaking, including directing, cinematography, sound design, editing, and working with actors. The program is modeled after the introductory course that all Dodge College freshman take called “Intro to Visual Storytelling”. We emphasize the art of storytelling, and how to use the many tools we have to make a complete, well-told story. The program is meant for students with all levels of filmmaking experience.

The students have the advantage of getting a true college experience by getting to work with the equipment and facilities at our film school, as well as live in our dorms. The students work in small groups to create three short films during the program, with a showcase screening of their final film at the end of the program. We limit the academy to 30 people per session, to ensure personalized instruction, and to allow the students to really have a hands-on experience in everything they do.

The academy is led by one of our premier faculty instructors, Tom Ptasinski, who has years of experience in both the film industry and running summer programs. There are also other instructors with the program that are either current students or alumni of Dodge College. This allows students to get a great picture of what the “real world” looks like, and also hear about the life of a film student from people who live it.

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Here is a breakdown of some of the activities the students do during the camp:

  • Learn how to edit on AVID software
  • Work with HMC-150 cameras
  • Check out props from our Finley Prop House
  • Lectures on films screened in our 500-seat Folino theater
  • Field Trip to Los Angeles that includes
    • VIP Warner Brothers Studio Tour
    • Watch a film at the historic El Captain Theatre
  • Lecture on admissions to film school with Dodge College Admissions Staff
  • Write, film and edit three short films in groups of 5
  • Workshops in Television, Sound Design/Foley


The cost of the 2020 Summer Film Academy is $3,100. Cost will include housing in the dorms, all meals in cafeteria, field trips and all equipment used for the program. Travel plans are not included in the cost. (It is required for all students to stay overnight on campus for this program).


Students stay in our newest dormitory, Sandhu Residence Hall. Students usually have one roommate and have their own bathrooms.

Dates of 2020 Sessions

Session 1: June 12, 2020 - June 25, 2020

Session 2: June 28, 2020 - July 11, 2020

Have a question? 

Contact us at:
(714) 997-6996

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