High School Screenwriting Summer Program

Students in the three-week summer screenwriting program work one-on-one with an experienced writer to develop short scripts and screenplays. By the end of the program, students leave with a completed short script to include in their portfolio. Students also get experience in elements of production, including camera technique, production on location and editing.

  • A masterclass with Mad Men writer and executive producer Janet Leahy.

Program length: 3 weeks
Program dates:
July 13, 2014 to August 4, 2014
Tuition: $5,005
Age range: Grades 9-12

Please note: we are no longer accepting applications for this summer 2014 program. Join our mailing list to receive information about summer 2015 programs.

The screenwriting program offers daily instruction and lab hours to work individually on scripts and screenplay format. Classes include:

  • screenwriting workshop
  • film production survey - provides an overview of production skills in camera technique, location production and editing
  • film history
  • screenwriting lab
  • One visual arts elective class (view list)

Tools and resources: Students may bring their own laptops for practice during their free hours. The MPA program is an all-Apple Macintosh environment using Final Cut Pro for video editing and Final Draft for screenwriting. Students' cameras and laptops will not be used for daily location production or editing motion picture arts projects, but students' equipment allows for individual practice of skills learned in class.

The Motion Picture Arts department is centrally located on Interlochen's campus in the DeRoy Center for Film Studies, the only facility in the country dedicated solely to young filmmakers.

Portfolio Requirements

PDF file: 1-2 page personal essay detailing your interest in filmmaking and what inspired your application to Interlochen.

AND one of the following three items:

  • PDF file: 5-page sample screenplay or fiction short story
  • Image files: 10 photo stills
  • Video file: Short video/film or animation

Watch a short video about how to prepare your portfolio

Guest Artists

Guest filmmakers and an ongoing collaboration with the Traverse City Film Festival bring new learning opportunities to students each year. Past guests of the motion picture arts department include: Janet Leahy, an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer who is now the executive producer of Mad Men; Gordon Radley, former president of George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic; Vanessa Bayer, cast member of Saturday Night Live; Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore; and many others.

Additional Opportunities


Photo Galleries

  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts' photo