Film & Digital Media

Idyllwild Arts Academy

Film & Digital Media

Statement Of Philosophy

The Film & Digital Media program offers pre-professional training in film, television and new media production. As the industry is undergoing constant change, in both production technology and business practices, the program gives special attention to preparing students for a career that is not entirely predictable. Applying traditional skills to new digital environments and global platforms is the key. The ability to write well, create powerful images, articulate ideas, collaborate within a diverse community and adjust to new and surprising situations are the hallmarks of success.

Courses in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, documentary, production design, producing and film scoring form a solid foundation. Non-traditional media and the effective use of the Internet and social media are stressed. Students are trained on industry standard equipment and professional software. Originality, self-confidence and critical thinking are nurtured.

Close proximity to Los Angeles affords a unique opportunity for students to work with Hollywood experts. Master classes and mentoring sessions are held in real-world environments: studios, production offices, location film and television sets — creating relationships between individual students and industry professionals.

Requirements Of The Department

Filmmaking is a collaborative art, but is also a hierarchy requiring strong leadership, therefore students are expected to work well with others regardless of their position on a team. Honesty, respect for others, generosity of spirit and a positive attitude are expected.

Students take four to six, 3-hour courses per week. Students devote evenings and weekends to production. Classes do not necessarily follow a sequential order and students may be placed in a course several times, until mastery is achieved. As filmmaking can be physically grueling, students are expected to be in good health. Proficiency in the English language is required.

All seniors make a senior film. Students are allowed to specialize in one area of interest, e.g., cinematography or editing, and may choose to develop a reel in their area of specialty for senior project, rather than write and direct a film.

Students must provide their own laptop computer, headphones, 2-TB hard drive, and digital SLR camera.

Application Requirements

The Idyllwild Arts Film & Digital Media Department is founded on two basic principles: story and collaboration. We believe the most essential element of any film is the story, and we want our students to become socially relevant storytellers, educated and practiced in both classic and modern cinematic technique. Through the study of these artistic and technical skill sets, students will develop artistic identities and a collaborative creative spirit. Classes and workshops include study and mentoring in screenwriting, producing, directing, production design, cinematography, editing, post-production, film scoring, and professional equipment and software.

All Film & Digital Media applicants must submit three items:

* The Film & Digital Media Department cannot accept beginning English speakers.

  1. An essay (2 to 4 pages) about a life-changing moment: We all experience myriad life-changing moments, some big and some small. Some represent drastic change in our lives, while others represent subtle change, but all are significant. Tell us a story about something that happened to you, or something you witnessed, that had a profound impact on your life. The story must be submitted in prose format and should be 2-4 pages long.
  2. A creative writing sample that you have written in the last year. If you don’t have one already written, write a new piece. This cannot be the same as your story about a life-changing moment; it must be a completely different piece of work. Acceptable formats include screenplay, play, short story, poem, and even stream of consciousness.
  3. A short video. All kinds of people are in the film business—outgoing, shy, loud, soft-spoken, flamboyant, reserved. No single personality or personal style is best suited for the profession. With the multiplicity of career choices in the industry, any type of person can find a niche. Keep this in mind and introduce yourself to us. Record a 3-5 minute monologue or narrative (starring yourself!) on the topic, “Why I Want to be a Filmmaker.” This should tell us why you are motivated to be a filmmaker, but in a creative and fun way. It should be an imaginative reflection of who you are.
  4. Optional: visual art in the form of photography, film, video, performance piece, paintings or sculpture, a creative website (including photographs of your work), a creative Instagram account. . . anything that helps us know more about you as an artist/designer.

For specific questions regarding the Film Admission Process, please contact:
Jara Ruiz-Anchia at 951.659.2171 x2347 or

Film & Digital Media Faculty
Film & Digital Media Chair
Screenwriting Teacher
Film & Digital Media Faculty
Film & Digital Media Faculty
Film & Digital Media Faculty