While most teenagers think of summer break as a time to watch films, Denver Film Society, Colorado Film and Video Association, and the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media are hoping to inspire and teach some motivated youngsters how to create films instead, one summer session at a time.
Every summer, the Denver Film Society hosts the Young Filmmakers Workshop at the Denver School of Arts to teach and enhance the filmmaking skills of Colorado teenagers (ages 12 to 18). These two-week workshops range from introductions to the basics of filmmaking and screen acting, to more specific master classes focused on directing, production design, or even animation. Through these courses, teenagers are able to learn more about the art of cinema, and what work exactly is put into every piece of film, no matter how long or simple it may seem to be. Every class also includes professional film education and training, and students are able to enhance their skills and knowledge of the industry with each session.
Students, who travel from all over the state to attend these workshops, are also given the opportunity to refine their skills with actual film industry professionals, an experience that goes beyond a simple film class. At the end of their courses, students then exhibit their films in premieres that are open to the public, truly gaining that filmmaking experience.
In 2016, more than 115 students attended the Young Filmmakers Workshops, with over 28 scholarships awarded, thanks in part to the essential contributions provided by the Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media. These scholarships have helped students gain the skills necessary to become a part of a strongly educated workforce ready for the future of filmmaking.
Each workshop costs $800 a class (about $14 an hour), though discounts are available when you sign up for multiple classes and/or for multiple students in the same household. Classes run on weekdays from June 12 to August 4, from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.