This program is designed to help aspiring filmmakers explore the craft of non-fiction visual storytelling. Guided by a faculty of professional filmmakers, you will receive instruction and hands-on training to help you realize your vision and voice as a documentarian.
- Run-and-gun camera work
- Video editing
- Researching your subject
- Effective interview technique
- Grabbing an audience
- Resourceful lighting
Guest filmmakers and an ongoing collaboration with the Traverse City Film Festival bring new learning opportunities to students each year. Past guests of the motion picture arts department include: Janet Leahy, an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer who is now the executive producer of Mad Men; Gordon Radley, former president of George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic; Vanessa Bayer, cast member of Saturday Night Live; Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore; and many others.
Tools and Resources
The Motion Picture Arts (MPA) department is centrally located on Interlochen's campus in the 26,000-square-foot DeRoy Center for Film Studies. Its features include four editing suites, a sound stage, a 180-seat 2K HD projection space, and classrooms equipped with cutting-edge technology. View 360-degree virtual tour.
Students may bring their own laptops for practice during their free hours. The MPA program is an all-Apple Macintosh environment using Final Cut Pro for video editing and Final Draft for screenwriting. Your personal cameras and laptops will not be used for daily location production or editing class projects, but your equipment allows for individual practice of skills learned in class.
PDF file: 1-2 page personal essay detailing your interest in filmmaking and what inspired your application to Interlochen.
AND one of the following:
- PDF file: one page proposal for an original documentary idea.
- Image files: 10 photo stills
- Video file: short film or video
Interlochen also offers the following summer programs, which may be of interest:
Interlochen is home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a motion picture arts major for grades 9-12, as well as a post-graduate year.