Filmmaking Institute

Learn about Filmmaking!

Lights. Camera. Action. Tell the story.

Do you have an interest in filmmaking? Are you passionate about storytelling? Do you love shooting vlogs and dream about creating the next great movie, Do you have an interest in filmmaking? Are you passionate about storytelling? Do you love shooting vlogs and dream about creating the next great movie, documentary, or television series? If so, then the Film Institute is for you. The Film Institute is a week-long program designed for high school students to gain an understanding of visual storytelling and the fundamentals of film production. Students will learn about various film forms, including documentary filmmaking and narrative storytelling. Students will create two short films by the end of the week.

At a Glance


2023 Dates: June 25-30

Program Length: Sunday – Friday

Who Can Apply?: Current 9th – 12th grade students

Overnight Tuition: $2,800

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Campus

Overnight or Day: Overnight Program

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University Certificate of Completion will be awarded to all Filmmaking Institute participants.


What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered:

  • Fundamentals of Filmmaking
  • Camera and Sound Basics
  • Storyboarding and Basics of Screenwriting
  • How to Interview for Documentaries
  • Video Editing – Using Premiere Pro

Hands-On Experiences:

  • Work to create two short films
  • Watch and analyze different styles of filmmaking
  • Engage in discussion with film professionals
  • Hear about trends and see behind the scenes

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.


Filmmaking Institute Cost

Overnight | $2,800

Students Preparing to film on the quad at WFU

A Day in the Life

  • 8:00 am – Morning Meeting and Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – Welcome and Program Introduction
  • 9:30 am – Special Guest Lecture: Jobs in the film industry
  • 10:00 am – Technical Skills: Fundamentals of Using Adobe Premiere Pro for Film Editing
  • 12:00 pm – Lunch and Learn: Watch a Documentary Film
  • 1:00 pm – Create your own documentary!
  • 4:30 pm – Debrief for the Next Day
  • 5:30 pm – Dinner
  • 6:30 pm – Evening Activities
  • 7:30 pm – Free Time
  • 9:00 pm – Prepare for Bed
  • 10:00 pm – Lights Out

*The “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is subject to change.


Meet Your Academic Leader

Thomas Southerland

Academic Leader, Filmmaking Institute

Thomas Southerland is a graduate of the American Film Institute and an Assistant Professor of the Practice at Wake Forest University where he teaches Screenwriting, Introduction to Film, and Media Production classes. He’s written and directed two award-winning narrative features, Proud Citizen and Fort Maria, several feature documentaries, and numerous short documentaries. His work has screened at film festivals nationwide. He’s currently working on his third narrative feature.