The Future of Filmmaking


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Should my student already have some experience making movies when they apply?

Cinematic Arts Academy students should already have shown a passion and have tried making movies on their phones when they apply to the program. They will be given short scenes and films to complete on their own for homework. Between October and January, incoming students must apply for the Academy before entering Millikan Mxiddle School and understand this is a commitment to three years of study in film.

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?

  • The Cinematic Arts Academy includes dedicated academy teachers beyond film.
  • The majority of the students are coordinated to move together.
  • There can be exceptions on a case by case basis.

What perks are available to the Cinematic Arts Academy students?

  • Academy film teacher with credentialed teaching and real-world industry experience
  • Cinematic Arts Academy Film Festivals
  • Guest speakers from the industry
  • Field trips focused on cinematic arts
  • Access to equipment to use with class projects and to borrow
  • Access to an international community and scholarships around the film industry

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

  • In class we are using and teaching on Final Draft screenwriting software, Adobe Premiere editing software and Adobe After Effects visual effects editing software.
  • At home, students are encouraged to use the same as in the classroom: Adobe Premiere and Final Draft. Alternatives can be used at home but are not taught in the classroom and may not be able to do last minute trouble-shooting.
  • We use Canon cameras and professional gear in the classroom. Students don’t need expensive equipment to learn how to tell a good story -without a story, there is no production. With that being said, students will need equipment basics to accomplish at-home assignments. Basics include: camera, microphone and tripod. Many families also acquire other equipment over the three years in the academy, such as: light reflectors, lighting kits, microphone poles/dead-cats, green screens, better cameras, other camera harnesses, dolly wheels, etc.

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 on each project, though can take several days longer if they choose to have several scene changes and hard to schedule actors.

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

Students who do not live within our area of residence must apply using the Affiliated Charter Lottery to be allowed to attend Millikan. The academies cannot take Magnet students.

If my child is in the Magnet, can he/she be in the Cinematic Arts Academy?

Unfortunately, no they cannot be in both the Magnet and the academies.

Can my child be in the Cinematic Arts Academy and the Performing Arts Academy (not the Magnet), S.A.G.E, or the Math Academy?

Typically, no. The full Cinematic Arts Academy experience means keeping as many of the students together in their Academy classes for project collaboration and cross-curriculum opportunities as the Academy Film instructor is also the Honors English teacher.

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

Dance is a Magnet class. If your child is a Magnet student, he/she will be scheduled for dance in place of PE. Non-Magnet students will take P.E. Please contact the Magnet Office and the Schedule Coordinator with any questions you might have.

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 maintains good academic standing with the school, they 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.