About the Film & Television Conservatory

The Film & Television Conservatory offers students in grades 9 through 12 comprehensive training in film and television production, editing, screenwriting, sound design, cinematography, directing, and producing. Through a rigorous, hands-on curriculum, faculty members challenge and mentor students to be their best selves, both artistically and individually. Students are encouraged to use their work to demonstrate visual invention and curiosity, collaboration and individual expression, solid technical craftsmanship, and captivating storytelling that creates a thoughtful exploration of the human condition. The Film & Television Conservatory is both a pre-collegiate cinematic arts school and an industry prep program, helping students discover their own cinematic voices through practical training with industry equipment, software, and protocols.

Student Experience

The Film & Television Conservatory immerses students in a challenging, innovative, and cutting-edge environment, where they learn to create characters, tell stories, and proficiently manage industry equipment. Every semester, each student creates 1-2 original projects that they screen at Cineplex, the Film & Television Conservatory’s bi-annual film festival. Over the course of the four-year program, students will create a variety of short narrative films, documentaries, PSAs, commercials and television projects. Film & Television students are also given the opportunity to participate in extracurricular filming, professional workshops, and go on local and international field trips.

  • “Cinema is so much more than simply making movies. I've learned so many valuable skills about the art and practice of cinema, as well as leadership and team building.”
    Griffin Meyer – Class of 2016
  • “Film & Television gave me a solid foundation to build on as I continue on at USC. I left OCSA with years of experience and a solid portfolio, which opened more doors for me compared to other freshmen.”
    Gillian Annis – Class of 2015

Preparing Students for the Future

Students in the Film & Television Conservatory take two to three courses each semester. In 9th and 10th grade, students take courses which provide experience in all technical aspects of production. As juniors, students focus on the importance of collaboration and the act of applying foundational knowledge to larger projects. During senior year, students produce or direct a Senior Project in film or television, applying their creativity and experience to a thesis level work. Seniors graduate from the Film & Television Conservatory prepared to attend a college, university or enter the professional film/television industry.

More information on our scope and sequence and curriculum is coming soon!

FAQ

How many projects will I make each semester in the Film & Television Conservatory?

Students will have at least one production course each semester and produce one to two projects in each of those classes (either individually or as a group). Students screen at least one project each semester at Winter or Spring Cineplex, the conservatory’s bi-annual student film festival.

Do I need to have a lot of prior experience to apply to be in the Film & Television Conservatory?

Incoming freshmen are not expected to have a lot of experience prior to applying (although, it’s great if a student has already made some short films). If a student is applying as a new sophomore or junior, editing, camera and narrative storytelling experience is required in order for the student to be able to enter and succeed in classes in his/her grade level.

What kind of editing software does the conservatory use?

Students train on Adobe Premiere Pro and have access to Da Vinci Resolve.

How soon can I use the RED cameras?

We begin training students on our RED cameras in their junior year.

HOW CAN I BEST PREPARE TO APPLY TO THE FILM & TELEVISION CONSERVATORY?

Write stories and make films! The application and placement activity will require you to submit a visual sample, writing sample and attend an interview. Learn the three-act structure of storytelling and practice telling visual stories with your phone or camera. We can train you on the equipment, but look to you for original storytelling and a strong work ethic. You’ll make a lot of fun projects with us!

How big is the Film & Television Conservatory?

There are approximately 80 students in grades 9-12, averaging 20 students in each grade level/class.

How much television versus film will I get to experience? Does the conservatory provide any news broadcasting opportunities?

Most of the courses are film-related, but students take at least one TV production course each year. Students have the opportunity to create their own live news magazine-style show, produce a web series, and tape a live performing arts event. While the television side focuses more on scripted and arts content, rather than news journalism, the school does produce a live daily news show for OCSA students and faculty/staff outside of conservatory called The Art Attack Live.

Do I need to have my own editing equipment and camera gear to be a student in the Film & Television Conservatory?

No. The conservatory will provide all necessary film equipment and software for you. However, if students have their own gear, they are welcome to use it to complete most class projects.

What kinds of cameras are used?

We use RED, Blackmagic and Canon digital cameras for film and Sony and Panasonic cameras for television. 

What other kinds of equipment / facilities does the Film & Television Conservatory have?

The conservatory has lens kits, boom mics, wireless/wired mics, tripods, C-stands, flags, LED light kits, camera rigs, dollies, camera stabilizers, and grip/gaff accessories. We also have a fly pack for remote live television productions.

Conservatory facilities include a full-service TV studio, control room, film studio, Foley studio with audio mixing room, as well as editing suites, an iMac computer lab, and two classrooms.