The Future of Filmmaking


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

Yes. Cinematic Arts Academy students should already have shown a passion and have tried making movies when they apply to the program. They will be given short scenes and films to complete on their own for homework. Between September 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 CAAM students are coordinated to move together.
  • And, 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
  • CAAM 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
  • Amazing booster club support

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

  • In class we are using and teaching how to use Adobe Premiere for editing software and Adobe After Effects for visual effects editing. Final draft is the screenwriting 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 be trouble-shooted at the 11th hour.
  • We use Canon cameras and professional gear in the classroom. However, parents do not need to buy expensive equipment. Students don’t need expensive equipment to learn how to tell a good story! That said, students will need equipment basics to accomplish at-home assignments. While students may check-out selected types of equipment, quantities are limited. Basics include: camera and microphone, 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. These things are just what we have seen over time and are not required.

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 normal channels to be allowed to attend Millikan. The Affiliated Charter Lottery or work permits are the preference. If students choose to enter through the Magnet, they will be subject first to Magnet rules which will conflict with the scheduling of the CAAM students in non-film classes and may also conflict with the film class. The attendance office at Millikan can provide additional information and exact deadlines.

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

If the schedules permit it, yes. However, Magnet students will be subject first to Magnet rules which may conflict with the scheduling of the CAAM students in non-film classes and may also conflict with the film class. Please contact the Magnet Office and counselor with any questions you might have.

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

Typically no. The full CAAM experience means keeping as many of the CAAM students together in their Academy classes for project collaboration & cross-curriculum opportunities (screenwriting in Honors English, for xample). With so many Academies, scheduling is complex when students want exceptions. Exceptions mean CAAM students may not be in the same non-film or film classes any more.

Please note: CAAM academy classes are all HONORS classes. And, if it is more appropriate for a student to have an exception, these are explored with the counselor on a one-on-one basis and are subject to scheduling availability. For example, many CAAM students ALSO have accelerated math (higher than honors). Please contact the counselor with any questions you might have.

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, he/she 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.