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Hands-On Film and Acting Camps in Grand Rapids

Creative teens can learn professional filmmaking and acting techniques and make a movie in a week during Compass College of Cinematic Arts’ summer Film and Acting Camps.  These fast-paced, hands-on camps give high school students a glimpse into the real world of multimedia production and on-camera acting. 

Four high school students making a movie at the 2016 summer film and acting camps. There is a camera, slate board, briefcase, and two girls in front of the camera getting ready to act. Both camps run June 19-23, and registration is open to teens ages 13-18.  In Film Camp, students work with industry professionals and state-of-the-art film equipment to write, direct, and edit their own short film.  Meanwhile, students in the Acting Camp are cast in these films and spend the week refining their on-camera acting techniques.  At the end of the week, students walk the red carpet and their films premiere for friends and family in the theater at Compass College.

“Film Camp was a great first look at the industry,” said John LeFan, former film camper and 2013 Compass College alumnus.  “It’s a great starter program to get your feet wet.  I was immediately hooked.”

The camps are designed for students with little to no film and acting experience. The instructors at Compass College make the process fun and as similar to a real-life production set as possible.

“Learning how to act on camera and having a role in a real short film was the most fun I’ve ever had at a camp,” said 2016 camper Rian Turner. “I enjoyed it so much that I’m coming back again this summer!”

High School Students work with a camera as the make their own video at the film summer camp in Grand RapidsThe film campers go behind-the-scenes of the movie-making process to learn screenwriting, cinematography, lighting, camera, audio engineering, editing and much more—all while working with the actors in the acting camp!  The acting students walk through the same process a real celebrity would use to learn their role for a new movie.  They practice improvisation, master different acting techniques, audition for roles, rehearse their script, and discuss costume design.  Then it all comes together in front of the camera.

“It’s a great opportunity for the campers to learn the filmmaking process in a creative and fun way,” said Joshua Courtade, Film Camp instructor and award-winning screenwriter, “The film students get to collaborate with the acting students and the results are some very fun short films.”

Over the years, campers have had the opportunity to Skype with Hollywood actors and producers like Beau Wirick, Mark Clayman, and Ralph Winter who have worked on the sets of shows like NCIS, The Office, and Arrested Development, and produced feature films such as, Pursuit of Happyness, X-Men, and X-Men Origins.

Space in the camps is limited so early registration is recommended.  For more information, call Compass College at 616-988-1000, or visit online at www.compass.edu