Why Cinema Sarah Lawrence?


Program Producer, Sarah Lawrence Filmmaking Faculty

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Why should you choose this intensive film semester? Here's what past participants have to say about their experiences and the impact the program had on their education and career path:

Having worked in production I was able to understand the nuances in the making of a movie. Due to the tasks assigned to me I was able to hone my people skills, my time management capabilities and all aspects of project management. This program has completely changed my perspective on so many things. Personally, it has given me SO much confidence.Saniya Mirwani, Sarah Lawrence College
Spending the first week at Sundance was an amazing way to start the program. It was not only inspired me as a filmmaker, but made me feel like a part of the Cinema Sarah Lawrence community right away. I would do Cinema Sarah Lawrence again without a question. It was simply one of the best learning experiences I have ever had.Lukas Olson, Augsburg University
I learned so much! I learned a lot of technical skills from being in the camera department/grip/electric that will carry me into the field after I graduate. I’ve also learned on the side how to handle self-care with the intense schedule of production. This program, if anything, has affirmed my life goals and that being on set is what I want to do.Joey Haley, Mount Holyoke College
Everything about being on set and working smoothly with a team will stay with me. I developed an understanding of how a film set operates and a vocabulary to participate in that environment. My student peer group was fantastic and hard-working and really invested in making the final product as high quality as we could. I would do the program again in a heartbeat if given the opportunity.Taylor Balfour, Wellesley College

Crew on film set

If you had told me this past summer that I would be spending spring semester of my sophomore year in Vermont working on a period film, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you had told me how involved and respected I would be as a student, and that I would ultimately be given the position of Second Assistant Director on set, there is absolutely no way I would have believed you. The satisfaction gained from knowing you helped create something larger than yourself is truly invaluable, and I am very grateful for the experience.Katherine Harrison, Sarah Lawrence College
The program provided me and my peers with a unique level of exposure to the inner workings of filmmaking, and for that the program was truly invaluable… This program did an exceptional job of coupling film discussion with actual filmmaking assignments. The community that was cultivated, where there was a constant stream of student-produced content under the microscope, was extremely helpful to developing a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, the visiting professionals each brought invaluable insight into the context of our learning experience.McLean Mills, Wheaton College
Every day of production I learned at least one new thing and I learned more in the first week than I thought was possible. I even learned things that I can use in my life and not just on a movie set.Saskia Giramma, Marlboro College
My learning experience was phenomenal. I felt I was constantly learning -- set etiquette, how to communicate with an actor to get the performance you desire, how a film cuts together and how the crew interacts with each other to make the film.Anna Pinchuk, Wellesley College

Crew on film set

Through the Art department I was able to hone my skills as an artist and implement many of my ideas that were featured on screen. What I will take away from this experience is how a well-working team can bring a project like this together. There was not one person that was not needed in critical ways at multiple points during this production.Chris Guthrie, Augsburg College
This program was exactly what I expected – and what I needed – for my upcoming career… As a result of my time in this program, I gained the immediate opportunity to work on a professional set for the Amazon Prime series, Mozart in the Jungle. Without my experience in the film intensive, I would not have been prepared or even offered the chance to work on that project.Lauren Ritter, Sarah Lawrence College
I learned about how to work with people from many different walks in life who offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to the creative process. I learned how to negotiate, communicate, defend my ideas and, most importantly, listen to others. I learned that everyone, even our adult professionals, are constantly learning from this kind of work (and I think that’s a large part of why they love doing it). I could write many very fond memories of my experiences this semester. But getting to work in the costume department, with an Emmy-winning designer, and as an actor playing a substantial role on a feature film is certainly not something I ever imagined I’d do before even graduating college.Louise Crossan, Sarah Lawrence College
No amount of reading, or even film school for that matter, would have informed me on the filmmaking process more than this program. It was truly amazing to have experienced, in real time, the actual marathon that is making a film. The program was innovative and set a real precedent for effective, hands-on, and original ways of teaching filmmaking. I think it significantly raises the bar for traditional methods of film education. I would recommend this program to others who are ready to fully immerse themselves in this all-engaging and experiential learning opportunity. This was one of the most educational experiences of my entire life.Indra Tracy, Marlboro College

Students on film set

This film intensive opened up so many doors for me. This program allows students to observe, collaborate, and work with professionals in various departments. It gives us the freedom to rotate through various departments and test out various responsibilities, an opportunity that is never offered on real film sets, or so I have been told. I had the privilege of shadowing different department heads throughout the program to get an idea of what responsibilities their jobs required.Kimberly Arthurs, University of Maine
The experience went far beyond all of my expectations and I think it is one of the best experiences of my life. A normal semester at school has its own value in terms of understanding the theory behind filmmaking, whereas this semester for me was about learning how to navigate my way around making an actual and ambitious film production. Now when I go back to school my experience will be even more valuable for having had this opportunity.Emmet Daly, Wesleyan University