The Future of Filmmaking


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How are Cinematic Arts Academy classes different from other film elective classes?

The Cinematic Arts Academy classes are much more advanced than our Introduction to Film electives and our 6th grade students also travel together for their Honors English, Honors History and Homeroom classes.  Cinematic Arts Academy students already have some experience making movies when they apply to the program and will be given short scenes and films to complete on their own for homework.  Between August and January, incoming students must apply for the Academy before entering Millikan Middle School and commit to three years of study in film.  Introduction to Film electives are one semester only, do not require outside homework, and are offered to students once they arrive at Millikan.

Can we apply for entrance into 7th or 8th grade Cinematic Arts Academy?

YES! Every year there are a few openings in the 7th and 8th grade Cinematic Arts Academy.  The application process is the same for all grade levels, however, students entering the 7th or 8th grade academy must have experience in making narrative film projects and be willing to jump right in!

Will my child have their other classes with Cinematic Arts Academy students?


  • 6th grade Cinematic Arts Academy students have Ms. Bennett for Honors English, Honors History, Honors Science, and Cinematic Arts.  They will also be together for homeroom.  The majority of the Cinematic Arts 6th graders will be placed in math together unless they test into a higher level math class.
  • Cinematic Arts Academy VFX Lab and Advanced Production students have homeroom together and are placed in their academic classes according to ability.

What kinds of activities are available to the Cinematic Arts Academy students?

We hold three film festivals a year featuring our students’ work:  The Phantom Film Festival, Winter Gala Film Festival, and the Spring Awards Film Festival.  On Fridays, our students will learn from some of the most creative people in the industry.  We plan 3-4 field trips a year to various events.  In the spring many families travel together to the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle, Washington.  In the summer, selected CAAM students travel to Giffoni, Italy to serve as jurors in the Giffoni Film Festival.

What kind of equipment and editing software do you use in the Cinematic Arts Academy?

In class we are using Adobe Premiere for editing software and Adobe After Effects for visual effects editing.  At home, students are encouraged to use iMovie, Premiere, Avid, and Final Cut 7 or X.  We use Canon cameras and professional gear in the classroom.  I do not encourage parents to buy expensive cameras and equipment for their kids.  (You do not need expensive equipment to learn how to tell a good story!)

How much homework will be assigned for the Cinematic Arts Academy?

Students write, shoot, and edit short films for homework using the filmmaking techniques we have learned in class.  Each homework assignment is challenged based and strives towards goals for our film festivals.  There are roughly three, 3-5 minute homework projects per semester and students generally spend about 6-7 hours total on each project.

Millikan is not my school of residence, can I still apply?

Students who do not live within our area of residence must apply to Millikan through the Magnet and/or the Affiliated Charter Lottery. The Attendance Office at Millikan can provide further information and exact deadlines.

If my child is in the Magnet, can I be in the Cinematic Arts Academy?

Students CAN be in both the Magnet and the Cinematic Arts Academy. We have several students each year in the program who are in the Magnet.  Please contact the Magnet Office with any questions you might have.

Can my child take dance instead of P.E.?

In previous years it was possible to request dance in place of P.E; however, our Performing Arts Magnet is expanding and therefore we no longer have the space in our dance classes to accommodate students who would prefer Dance in place of PE.   It is not possible anymore simply to request the change.
If your child is a Magnet student, they will be scheduled for Dance in place of PE.
If your child auditioned for and was accepted into the Performing Arts Academy, they would have Dance in place of PE.  (However, since students cannot be in two academies, this is not an option for a student who is in the Cinematic Arts Academy.)
If you have further questions, please feel free to call our Magnet Coordinator, Lisa Nunez, in the Magnet Office:  (818) 528-1600.
Do we need to re-apply for the Cinematic Arts Academy every year?
No.  If your child was accepted into the Cinematic Arts Academy, and they maintain good academic standing with the school, your child will be eligible to remain in the academy for all three years.  However, it is Millikan school policy that any student with a D, F, or U on any 20 week report card or any student who violates the LAUSD Responsible Use Policy will be pulled from an academy program.