Montclair Public Schools
Montclair High School
Principal: James N. Earle
100 Chestnut Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
8:00 AM - 2:33 PM
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MPS Home ➤ Schools ➤ Montclair High School ➤ Arts ➤ Visual and Performing Arts ➤ Filmmaking


Level: Academic Semester or Full Year(Spring semester may not be taken alone)

Grades: 10-12

Credits: 2.5 Visual (Fall) 2.5 (Spring) Visual/Performing Arts

Course Description: Filmmaking is designed to provide opportunities for students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to respond to and create film and television works. In Filmmaking, students gain practical experience in some of the major areas of the industry, including acting, scriptwriting, storyboarding, and production. This experience introduces students to the standards of the film and television industry. Students also examine the important roles that film plays in society. As they explore and critically analyze the industry within various social, cultural, and historical contexts, students gain understanding of how these contexts influence and are influenced by film.


  • Standard 1.1: The Creative Process – All students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles that govern the creation of works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
  • Standard 1.2: History of the Arts and Culture – All students will understand the role, development, and influence of the arts throughout history and across cultures
  • Standard 1.3: Performing – All students will synthesize skills, media, methods, and technologies that are appropriate to creating, performing, and/or presenting works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
  • Standard 1.4: Aesthetic Responses & Critique Methodologies – All students will demonstrate and apply an understanding of arts philosophies, judgment, and analysis to works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.

Supplementary Materials

  • Setting Up Your Shots: Great Camera Moves Every Filmmaker Should Know, Jeremy Vineyard
  • Understanding Movies, Louis Giannetti
  • Current Film Publications, Biographies, and Art Novels
  • Internet and Technology Resources
  • Film-related DVDs, videos, CDs, and art books from the resource library

Units of Study

  • Watching, Interpreting, and Analyzing Classic Films through Written Critique
  • Exploring and Manipulating Components to Create Meaningful Films
  • Examining the Role and Influence of Film in a Variety of Social, Cultural, and Historical Context
  • Developing Scriptwriting, Storyboarding, Editing, and Production
  • Exploring and Pursuing Career Options Related to Film
  • Understanding Film and Filmmaking Terminology in Spoken and Written Form

Proficiencies: By the end of this course, students will:

  • Have an understanding of film in a historic context and an appreciation for artistic accomplishments throughout the ages.
  • Think, write, and speak about film critically and fluently.
  • Demonstrate an introductory level of knowledge of Film History.
  • Identify and apply the basic principles of filmmaking, including scripts, storyboards, cameras, lights, grip, and editing equipment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of composing a shot and understand camera movement.
  • Understand the logistical aspects of working with actors, crew, and the public.
  • Understand timing in relation to directing and editing a scene.
  • Understand how to use sound effects in post-production.
  • Produce a minimum of two short films using appropriate planning, tools, technology, and materials.

Evaluation & Assessment

  • Projects (30%) – projects are assigned as both instructional tools and instruments for assessment. Projects are assessed on an individual basis and evaluated based on the following criteria: following instructions, skill and development, creativity and originality, craftsmanship, and completion of the project.
  • Class Work (20%) – an integral aspect of the learning process, allowing students to demonstrate their ongoing understanding of content and concepts taught.   Class work includes demonstration of a cooperative attitude and contribution to the learning process of the class, proper utilization of class time, attendance and punctuality, proper use of materials and supplies, studio set-up and clean-up, and participation in class discussions and critiques.
  • Tests/Quizzes (30%) – an assessment of cumulative knowledge and understanding of a unit of study/evaluation of short-term knowledge and understanding of homework assignments and class lessons.
  • Homework (10%) – enables students to exercise and reinforce their knowledge and understanding of skills taught in class, as well as preparation and/or research for projects to be executed in class.
  • Final Exam (10%) – a culminating assessment of skills and knowledge administered at the end of the semester’s coursework.


Updated: 9/26/2017