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About the Media Arts Academy for 10th-12th Graders

The Media Arts Academy for Teens is our premier offering for campers entering grades 10 through 12 with a serious interest in applying to film school or who want to experience the challenges of creating an entire dramatic film from scratch. The Academy meets for a total of 64 hours, compared to our other teen camps that meet from between 20 and 30 hours. Mimicking the professional crew experience as closely as possible, including providing “craft services” (catered lunches) to keep the intensity going, the Academy heavily emphasizes original writing and the teamwork it takes to successfully cast, plan, shoot, and edit a film. No previous experience is required. This is an opportunity to learn about yourself, focus your aspirations, learn professional protocols, and experiment with a group of like-minded others.

  • Learn with award-winning film professionals
  • Be part of a film crew
  • Use professional HD digital video equipment
  • Learn industry standard editing software
  • Get involved in scripting, planning, casting, directing, working with actors, shooting, lighting, sound recording, editing, and more!

Bring several script ideas to the first day. You’ll work as a group to determine what is producable and what attributes make a story great. One or more ideas will come together into an original screenplay, and production will begin. Come prepared to work hard and learn an amazing amount! Expect at least one long shooting day during the class. The week will culminate in a screening for family and friends in the Film Center’s state-of-the-art Whitsell Auditorium. Tuition includes catered lunches. No previous experience is required. Completed films will be uploaded to a special class online video album.


Is it required that I have experience in filmmaking?
No previous experience is required. This is an opportunity to learn about yourself, focus your aspirations, learn professional protocols, and experiment with a group of like-minded others.

Are scholarships available for the Media Arts Academy for Teens?
Yes, the Frank Hood Scholarship Program makes possible a limited number of full and partial awards toward Academy tuition/fees. Priority is given to those whose career goals include working in film. Applications forms are available to download online. See our Scholarships page for more info and to apply.

My parents want to see the film I’m going to work on. Can that happen?
There will be a student-hosted film premiere for parents and friends on the last day of the Academy, starting 30 minutes prior to schedule class end time. The premiere is held in the state-of-the-art, 365-seat Whitsell Auditorium, located inside the Portland Art Museum, just up the street. It’s a free event and your guests are welcome.

How can I get a copy of the class film for my portfolio?
The class film and behind-the-scenes footage will be uploaded to a private, online video album set up just for the Academy. Parents/guardians will receive an email from the Summer Camp Coordinator with a password to the album and may download the work or otherwise share access with family and friends. We ask that you share in a manner that is respectful of all members of the class.

Can I get academic credit for participating?
Some high schools may offer a .5 elective credit for this course. If you have questions regarding this, speak with your high school counselor or have them contact

What if I need a letter of participation for my high school?
We can supply this upon request. Simply tell us to whom the letter should be addressed. Some high schools will award high school elective credit based on the letter, but we encourage you to discuss this with school officials ahead of time.

Do you have student housing for out-of-town students?
No. Reasonably priced dormitory housing with private bathrooms and internet access (and optional meal plan), operated by the Portland State University Housing Office, is available in the Ondine Residence Hall, a short walk from the Film Center. Arrangements must be made directly with PSU. For more information, click here. PSU does not provide on-site supervision and is not affiliated with the Film Center.

What’s the quickest way for me to get an answer to a specific question not covered here?
Email or call us at 503-221-1156 during regular business hours (9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday).