Media Arts

Overview & Lesson Plans Production Cinematography Working With Images Working With Sound Post Production Exhibition Film Contest Winners

The three stages of making a movie are:

  • Pre-Production
  • Production
  • Post-Production



Casting - choose a hero to make a movie about. Consider the following in choosing your hero:

  • Do you have access to this person for interviewing?
  • Are there interesting visuals about your hero's story?
  • What do other people have to say about your hero?
  • Is this person interesting to look at and listen to?


  • How does your hero inspire you?
  • What locations will be part of this movie?


Film style - What style of film do you want to make?


Writing a script - keep it simple. 

  • Use a Story Board Template to visually plot out your ideas.
  • Outline the main points you are interested in.
  • Make a list of questions.
  • Structure the beginning, middle, and end.
  • Write, re-write, and re-write some more.
  • Get feedback.


Get a crew - keep it basic (one person can do many positions).

  • Director
  • Producer
  • Camera Person
  • Sound Person (Production and Post-Production)
  • Editor


Make a schedule - plan ahead!

  • Set shooting dates.
  • Work with a deadline and stick to it.
  • Plan plenty of time for editing.


Location scouting

  • Choose an interesting Location - You hear it all the time: Location Location Location! It is true. An interesting background for your scenes and interviews can really make your movie stand apart. Take your time to visit many locations. Be determined to find something unusual and interesting.
  • Listen to the Sound - When location scouting, ALWAYS listen to the ambient noise in the location. Sometimes great locations don't get picked because they are next to a train track, airport, or freeway. Seriously, it won't work. LISTEN at different times of the day to know what to expect.
  • Watch the Light - Visit the location during the time of day you plan to shoot. Be sure to notice the position of the sun and where there are shadows. Spend some time at the location watching and listening.
  • Location is a Character - The best movies find ways to introduce the locations as if they were characters themselves with changing moods that reflect the moods of the characters in the story
  • Beware - Beaches are beautiful, but VERY difficult for any dialogue because of the sound of the ocean. Generally, use beaches for scenes and shots that don't require dialogue.



Production gear - choosing the right equipment. What you will need:  

  • Script
  • Video camera
  • Lights (optional)
  • Sound equipment


Production days

  • Have a shot list and a plan.
  • Make call sheets.
  • Be on time.
  • Plan for setup and take down of equipment.
  • Prepare to feed the cast and crew.
  • Have backup plans for outside locations.




  • Computer with Non Linear Editing Software
  • Two recommended programs are Adobe Premiere and Final Cut 10
  • Online tutorials to learn how to use the software.

Make a Post-Production schedule for picture and sound editing.


Picture Editing

  • First assembly edit
  • First cut
  • Final cut
  • Picture lock


Sound Editing

  • Recommended software - Pro-tools.
  • Can be done in video other sound editing software.
  • MUST have rights to all music.
  • Create original music with various software
  • Mix all the sound elements.



Once you have finished editing then export your video as a .mp4. Now you are ready to submit your film.

Follow the instructions here to submit your film:


For additional support and information about production training workshops for teachers and students contact: [email protected]