Film Production 101

Transition your screenplay from written words into actionable, playable moments that can be rehearsed, physically blocked, and captured on camera.

This four-week course explores the key elements of film production, including breaking down a script, designing a visual strategy, creating shot lists and storyboards, casting your actors, and blocking and rehearsals. You'll also learn what goes into fundraising, hiring crew positions, location scouting, budgeting, building equipment lists, and equipment preparation. By the end of the course, you will be able to lead your own production, feeling confident in your ability to create a game plan and creative roadmap for a successful cinematic production.

The course begins by teaching you how to pitch your idea effectively, distilling your story into a compelling elevator pitch and crafting a marketing and distribution plan to attract investors and collaborators. You'll then dive into the nitty-gritty of pre-production and producing, as you break down your script, create a budget, and cast your actors. You'll develop a full shooting schedule and production call sheet to ensure a smooth and efficient shoot. 

From there, the course explores the art of designing a visual strategy. You'll analyze the distinct visual styles of your favorite films and create storyboards and shot lists to bring your vision to life on screen. The course then dives into the world of on-set production. You'll learn how to choose audio and camera equipment, prepare your equipment, and scout locations for your shoot. You'll create a detailed production plan so that you are fully ready to execute your film. Whether you're a budding filmmaker or seasoned screenwriter, this course will empower you to bring your cinematic vision to life.

What you will learn:

✔ Effectively plan and organize all aspects of a cinematic production, including script breakdowns, budgeting, casting, scheduling, and hiring crew 
✔ Design a visual strategy that enhances and supports your screenplay, including motifs, color palettes, camera movements, and lighting styles 
✔ Create storyboards, shot lists, and overhead diagrams to visualize your production and lead production meetings to communicate your creative vision to your team 
✔ Create a detailed production plan for a full shooting day and execute a smooth and efficient on-set production 
✔ Lead your own film productions confidently and efficiently, ensuring a successful cinematic outcome 

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Prerequisite skills:

What you need to participate:

  • Computer or mobile device with Internet. Internet speed must be at least 1.5Mbps download and 800Kbps upload. For students using a mobile device, download the Canvas mobile app and select “Interlochen Online” as your school.

How the course works:

Interlochen Online courses are designed to be inspiring and flexible with weekly learning units that combine video segments and guided instruction that you can complete on your own schedule during the week. You will interact regularly with your teacher and peers inside the learning environment. 

You can also participate in an optional weekly hour-long video class meeting, where you can learn from the teacher and interact with your classmates in real-time. At the beginning of the course, you will complete a survey indicating your preferred times for the class meeting. The teacher will make every best effort to identify a meeting time that works for everyone. The teacher will also post recordings of the meetings and you can view them when it is convenient. 

The goal is that you walk away not only with practical skills and friendships but that you are inspired and motivated to pursue your art and realize your potential.

Program Snapshot

Upcoming Course Dates

June 10 - July 5, 2024 | Teen and adult sections

July 15 - Aug. 9, 2024 | Teen and adult sections




Teens: Grades 6-12

Adult Learners: 18+

Future Sessions

Academic Calendar

Meet the Faculty

Drew McClellan

Instructor of Film

Questions? Speak with an Advisor.


Phone: 231.276.5990 

You can also schedule an appointment.