DIY Filmmaking

Online Camp

Using the fundamental elements of visual storytelling, this online production course will help students utilize resources they have to make a short film. Each student will shoot practice exercises to hone their skills in writing, directing, shooting, and editing; students will then apply those skills to a 3-5 minute short video project of their very own.

Register for Session 1 by June 14

Register for Session 2 by July 5

More details | What you'll need | Instructor | Session info (click here or see sidebar)


This camp combines scheduled real-time virtual class meetings via Zoom, asynchronous material, and independent work.

  • Ages: 14–18 yrs
  • Number of weeks: 3
  • Session dates: Session 1: 6/29/20–7/17/20; Session 2: 7/20/20–8/7/20
  • Meeting schedule: Meets 5 hrs/wk plus supervision
    • M/W/F: 11 am–12 pm CT and
    • M/F: 3 pm–4pm CT
    • Supervision by appt: T/Th: 10 am–12 pm CT
  • Tuition: $600


Scheduled Meetings:

The course takes place over the course of three weeks with hour-long meetings on M/W/F 11 am–12 pm and M/F 3 pm–4pm CT. There will also be office hours for supervised meetings with instructors on T/Th to discuss individual projects or questions.

Virtual office hours / supervision:

Supervision by appt: T/Th: 10 am–12 pm CT

Camp topics include:

  • Fundamental elements of visual storytelling
  • Writing and developing story
  • Working with actors, including first-time actors
  • Basic camera and audio techniques
  • Editing film with Adobe Premiere
  • Distribution for shorts and starting out as a young filmmaker

Session overview:

Week 1: Writing, developing, cinematography, audio

Week 2: Pre-production planning, Production, Shooting

Week 3: Editing, Workshopping, Re-shoots/ Pick-ups, Distribution

What you'll need at home

Devices – Required:

  • Smartphone with video recording capabilities OR digital video camera (camcorder, DSLR, etc.)

  • Computer: Laptop or PC with

    • 8GB RAM minimum & 16GB RAM or more recommended

    • Wi-Fi / Stable Internet

    • Webcam

    • Built-in Computer Microphone

Devices – Optional:

  • External Hard Drive (optional)

  • Tripod or Camera Stabilizer (such as iphone handlebar or shoulder rig) (optional)

  • Separate Microphone (optional)

Software / Apps

  • Adobe Premiere Pro
    (a month-long subscription= $31.49/mo; can also subscribe to an annual plan or bundle with the Creative Cloud monthly or annual plan) 

  • Zoom (free)

Katherine Propper is an award-winning writer and director from Los Angeles, currently based in Austin, Texas. With an eye for visually compelling imagery, she seeks to find truth and humanity in her filmmaking. She studied Art History at Georgetown University, and followed her undergraduate studies with an MFA in Film Production at the University of Texas at Austin. Here in Texas, she follows a tradition of independent filmmaking, which has inspired her creative process and do-it-yourself mentality. In 2019, she spent the summer working as an editor for director Terrence Malick’s upcoming feature film.

Her own films have been broadcast on PBS, ESPN, and have shown at numerous film festivals around the world. Her latest short in 2019, STREET FLAME (see trailer), screened at Tribeca, Palm Springs Shorts, Aspen Shorts, and was featured at the young creator’s showcase at Urbanworld as well as written up in the Austin Chronicle. Currently, she is developing a feature and is finishing post-production on a narrative short film, BIRDS, for which she won the student pitch competition at the New Orleans Film Festival and an Austin Film Society Grant in 2019.