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Course Descriptions

Film Video & Photography

Discover the World of Communnication

“This funding allows us to reach students who have not traditionally been able to participate in DWC," said Menke-Fish, DWC Director.

Digital Storytelling — JUST ADDED FOR SUMMER 2017

Students create a personal digital story, which will document their family backgrounds, transformative moments in their lives and can be used as part of their application for universities.  Students will learn to integrate video, photos, and narration to create short digital stories.

COMM-070-N87 | Session I | June 27-July 7
9 a.m. - noon | Fee: $775

The Film Intensive

This intensive four-week course is designed to take students from script to screen and everything in-between. Using the standard three-act Hollywood movie structure, students learn how to transform their ideas and stories into short-form fiction screenplays and then professionally produce, shoot and edit their films with state of the art film and digital production equipment used by today’s best filmmakers. If you want to be a total filmmaker, this course is for you. More detailed description under course descriptions at

COMM-070-N17 | Session I & II | June 27 – July 21
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (12 - 1 lunch) | Fee: $3,000

Scriptwriting and Video Production
Write an original short script. Produce a video, including shooting, sound recording, and nonlinear editing on Final Cut Pro, all in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. No prior experience required; students grouped by ability. Equipment provided.

COMM-070-N05 | Session I | June 27 – July 7, 9 a.m. – noon
COMM-070-N22 |Session II | July 11 – 21, 9 a.m. – noon
Fee: $775

Documentary Filmmaking
Backpack journalists do it all; and you can too. Learn to pitch an idea, shoot video, write a story and record voiceover. Research, write, produce & edit a final mini-doc and post it on the web. 

COMM-070-N53 | Session I | June 27– July 7, 1 – 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Sports Photography
Capture peak action whether it's on the field, court, water or in a motion portrait session. Utilize your camera's features and learn advanced skills to create dynamic and attention-grabbing photos. Whether you have a DSLR or a camera-phone, master techniques to improve your sports photography for publication, social media and portfolio. 

COMM-070-N40 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 1 – 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Visual Effects 
Special effects are necessary to boost the “wow” factor in any science fiction or action film. Through the powerful 2D and 3D tool Adobe After Effects, learn digital tricks and methods for creating simulations like fire, explosions and rain, and masking for flying, teleportation, and sky replacement.

COMM-070-N76 | Session I | June 27– July 7, 1 – 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Acting for the Camera
Develop skills to interpret a script and build character, and learn acting techniques for the small screen. Explore physical and vocal aspects of character development for camera work. Team up with student directors to create visual portfolios.

COMM-070-N13 | Session I | June 27 – July 7, 1 – 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

This hands-on course for beginning to intermediate students introduces you to the core concepts of animation production. Practice computer-based and hands-on techniques, and build your toolbox. Learn the fundamentals of drawing motion, character design, timing and syncing in animation, and cleanup.

COMM-070-N38 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 1 – 4 p.m. |Fee: $775

Photography I
An introduction to 35mm black-and-white photography and basic darkroom techniques, this hands-on course covers both aesthetic and technical issues. Film and materials provided. Bring your own 35mm camera; we will provide one if requested in advance.

COMM-070-N07 | Session I | June 27 – July 7, 9 a.m. – noon | Fee: $775

Photography II
If you have basic knowledge of 35mm photography or have completed 35mm Photography I, this course offers advanced training in lighting, composition, and black-and-white darkroom techniques. Film and darkroom materials provided. Bring your own 35mm camera; we will provide one if requested in advance.

COMM-070-N08 | Session I | June 27 – July 7, 9 a.m. – noon | Fee: $775

Nature Photography
In conjunction with Nature’s Best Photography magazine and Nature’s Best Photography Students Online, explore techniques for photographing animal, plant, and environmental subjects. Attend discussions with editors and photographers from NBP and NBP Students Online. Go on field trips to museums and nature preserves. Assemble a portfolio and take advantage of the opportunity to publish your images.

COMM-070-N55 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 9 a.m. – noon | Fee: $775

Directing for the Camera
Refine your basic visual vocabulary and learn essential skills to break down a script, tell a visual story, and communicate your ideas to those behind and in front of the camera. Team up with student actors to create visual portfolios.

COMM-070-N16 | Session I June 27 – July 7, 1 – 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Graphic Design
This course introduces you to the powerful potential of Adobe Photoshop, where you will learn the tools for manipulating digital images for book covers or movie posters and for creating vector graphics for powerful branding packages and logos. Learn the basics of color and graphic design theory that will communicate your message through both streamlined graphic art and complex digital photo manipulation.

COMM-070-N21 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 9 a.m. – noon | Fee: $775

Music Entertainment Production
Music has the power to excite and inspire. But how are songs actually put together? In a professional recording studio, learn about multitracking, mixing, and matching music to film or video. No prior experience required; students grouped by ability. Students have the option to work with the Film Intensive students to provide scores for their films.

COMM-070-N73 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 1 – 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Writing, Journalism & Broadcasting

SOC DWC student at Nats stadium

A DWC student covering the Washington Nationals game.

Flash Fiction Writing
Learn to write vibrant, concise stories in this fast paced course. Explore the genre of flash fiction, and tap into your creativity through free-writing exercises. Polish your work through effective word choice, self-editing, and strengthening the emotional core of your story. Finished pieces critiqued in class.

COMM-070-N54 | Session II | July 11 - 21, 9 a.m. - noon | Fee: $775

Professional Newswriting
See what it takes to write a news story for print, broadcast, and the web. Get practical instruction in effective writing techniques for your school newspaper, neighborhood newsletter, or website. Learn how to distinguish between news and promotional writing. Hear professional journalists talk about their careers and visit a local newsroom.

COMM-070-N03 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 9 a.m. - noon
COMM-070-N23 | Session II | July 11 - 21, 9 a.m. - noon
Fee: $775

Investigative Reporting
Learn about the emerging news landscape, the history of investigating people in power and powerful organizations, the 10 types of interview, and how to research an interview subject. Speakers will explain how they developed major investigative stories. Tours will show you the latest in data and investigative journalism. In addition, discover comics journalism, sensor journalism and drone journalism.

COMM-070-N81 | Session II | July 11 - 21, 1 - 4 p.m | Fee: $775

Weather Broadcasting
Explore the world of weather forecasting and the principles of meteorology. Learn about solar radiation, global circulation, precipitation processes, and weather systems. Analyze real-time data and broadcast a live weather forecast from AU’s television studio. Meet with meteorologists and weather broadcasters at a local television station and the National Weather Service.

COMM-070-N11 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 1 - 4 p.m | Fee: $775

Broadcast Journalism
This course introduces you to the field of broadcast journalism and related legal, ethical, and technological issues. Develop interviewing, reporting, and writing skills. Produce a brief radio documentary or a television field report for your portfolio.

COMM-070-N30 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 1 - 4 p.m.
COMM-070-N51 | Session II | July 11 - 21, 1 - 4 p.m.
Fee: $775

Sportswriting and Broadcasting
Learn to write for a live broadcast. Discover secrets of play-by-play commentary. Enhance your skills as a sportswriter. Students produce stand-ups at a Major League Baseball game, have press box seats to blog for a WNBA game and visit Comcast Sports NET and ESPN 980.

COMM-070-N06 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 9 a.m. - noon
COMM-070-N25 | Session II | July 11 - 21, 9 a.m. - noon
Fee: $775


SOC DWC students at Newseum

Children's Media Production
Students are introduced to childhood psychology and the relationship between children and media (books, TV, online). Study examples of preeminent children's media, hear from the experts and go on location to explore what "connects" with children. Write, create and complete an animated story, a digital or print book with illustrations or another children's media project of one's choosing. 

COMM-070-N86 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 9 a.m. – noon | Fee: $775

Entertainment Communication
Television, film, theatre, music, sports, fashion, gaming... It’s all entertainment today. Learn from experts in the field and understand the importance of messaging. Why are ratings important in television? How do you promote a film? Could you represent a celebrity—be it an actor or athlete? What is that red carpet all about? Who gets $$ every time you hear a song? Is the gaming industry the next big blockbuster? An inside look and what you need to be successful in the entertainment industry.

COMM-070-N78 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 9 a.m. – noon
COMM-070-N79 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 9 a.m. – noon
Fee: $775

International Communication (This course is full)
We are in a 24/7 world. And with that comes the art of communication. Whether you are a company, a media outlet, a foreign government, or a non-governmental agency (NGO), learning how to communicate and articulate your message is crucial. This class will help you understand the importance of recognizing other’s differences and how to communicate effectively. Students will have the opportunity to visit several embassies, and hear from experts from various global nonprofits including Amnesty International, the UN Foundation, and United Way, to name a few. In the past, the class has visited the Embassies of Italy, Japan, and Britain. Students in this class have developed campaigns as well as small videos about the work international organizations have done.

COMM-070-N15 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 1 - 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Public Relations
Discover what goes into a PR campaign—for example, the Washington Nationals baseball team’s “Let Teddy Win!” concept. Learn how to strategize, develop, and implement a campaign. Explore the art of messaging and talk to media reps about placing your story.

COMM-070-N52 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 1 - 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Films
Is there such thing as the best movie ever made? The worst? And what can we learn from the work of others. Learn to be discerning critics and to see valuable lessons in the good, the bad, and the ugly of cinema. Students in this class will become the film critic of a film of their own choosing and produce a review for radio or television. 

COMM-070-N12 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 1 - 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Media for Change
Learn how to influence people and help change your community for the better. As a collaborative team, students will learn how to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate to effect positive change. Students will create a powerful multi-media campaign.

COMM-070-N74 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 9 a.m. – noon | Fee: $775

The Art of the Interview
Learn how to interview and be interviewed. Meet with professionals and learn techniques for getting subjects to talk. Learn successful strategies for crisis communication, celebrity interviews and telling your own newsworthy story.

COMM-070-N26 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 1 - 4 p.m. | Fee: $775

Public Speaking
Develop confidence and skills for effective presentations. Learn strategies of audience analysis and how to overcome stage fright, manage visual aids, and understand the power of nonverbal messages.

COMM-070-N04 | Session I | June 27 - July 7, 9 a.m. – noon
COMM-070-N24 | Session II | July 11 – 21, 9 a.m. – noon
Fee: $775