Contact Us

Contact:
Sarah Menke-Fish
Director

McKinley, Room 237

Discover the World of Communication 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Film, Video, and Photography

Session I: COMM-070-033

June 23 -  July 3
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

In this class, students learn to write short-form narrative film screenplays using the standard three-act Hollywood movie structure. Students transform simple story ideas into eye-grabbing log-lines, thirty-second elevator pitches and professionally structured screenplays with snappy dialog, distinct character profiles and strong visual scenes. Students also learn how to script-out their story beats, create well-defined obstacles for their characters and use conflict and emotional shifts to advance their stories.

Session I: COMM-070-019 

June 23 - July 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Session II: COMM-070-020 

July 7 - 17, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

Write an original short script. Produce a video, including shooting, sound recording and nonlinear editing on Final Cut Pro or Premiere. Collaborate with the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to produce short films. No prior experience required; students grouped by ability. Equipment provided.

Session I: COMM-070-003 

June 23 - July 3, 1 - 4 p.m. 

Fee: $800 

This interactive hands-on class focuses on the core skills for making great documentaries: how to determine a good story that needs to be told visually, how to film compelling interviews, how to capture dynamic real-life on location scenes and how to shoot effective b-roll footage while making the most of a limited budget and time. Students will research, write, produce and edit a final mini-doc and post it to the web.

Session I: COMM-070-017

June 23 - July 3, 1 - 4 p.m.

Fee: $800

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.

Session I: COMM-070-022

June 23 - July 3, 1 - 4 p.m. 

Fee: $800

Develop skills actors need to work in television and film. Learn how to interpret a script, build a character and hit your mark for a scene that is blocked for the camera shots. Explore physical and vocal aspects of character development. Learn how to adapt acting from stage to the camera. Actors are assigned a scene to memorize and prepare for filming. The scenes are double cast so the actors get to see other actors making different choices with their roles. Class meets with Directing for the Camera. 

Session II: COMM-070-024

July 7 - 17, 1 - 4 p.m. 

Fee: $800 

Learn the core concepts of animation production in this experiential course. Each student will have a computer and drawing tablet to practice computer-based and hands-on techniques. Learn the fundamentals of drawing motions, character design, timing and syncing in animation and cleanup. Go to our student work page to view examples.

Session I: COMM-070-013

June 23 - July 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

Fee: $800 

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.

Session I: COMM-070-014

June 23 - July 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

Fee: $800 

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.

Session II: COMM-070-041

July 7 - 17, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

Fee: $800 

While a journalist's tools are their pen and paper, a photojournalist's camera is employed to tell a news story. Along with learning the basics of photography and the ethics of photojournalism, students will capture images that are a fair and accurate representation of the events they depict in both content and tone.

Session I: COMM-070-023

June 23 - 2July 3, 1 - 4 p.m. 

Fee: $800 

How do you get the best from an actor on camera? When do you use the close-up? How should you block the scene for the greatest impact? Refine your basic visual vocabulary, learn how to break down a script and communicate your ideas to those in front and behind the camera in this active directing course. You will have actors to work with, and the scenes you direct will also be produced by another director, allowing you to see different decision-making processes on how to film the scene and direct actors. Class meets with Acting for the Camera. 

Session II: COMM-070-130

July 7 - 17, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

Fee: $800 

This course introduces you to the powerful potential of Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC, 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 to communicate your message through both streamlined graphic art and complex digital photo manipulation.

Session II: COMM-070-034

July 7 - 17, 9 a.m - 12 p.m. 

Fee: $800

Learn intermediate and advanced photography techniques, editing and retouching of photographs in Adobe Lightroom CC. The manipulation of photographs in post-production is an important aspect of both commerical and contemporary art photography. Explore still life, portrait, selfie and action then choose a specialization for your final project.

SESSION II COMM-070-036

July 7 - 17, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Fee: $800

With unsettling levels of ice melt in the northern hemisphere and plastic pollution in our oceans, this course informs how the medium of film can be utilized as educational and high-impact tools in the struggle to protect the environment. Students research issues, create stories, find characters, pitch ideas, and produce their own environmental short films that can be entered in American University's Eco-Comedy Video Competition.

SESSION II COMM-070-140

July 7 - 17, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (12 - 1 p.m. break for lunch)

Fee: $1600

Ever wonder how video games work under the hood? Wonder no more! Dive into the world of 3D game developments using the industry level game engine Unity3D. During the program learn the fundamentals of gameplay programming and game design in Unity, culminating with the development of your own prototype with a team of your peers. No prior programming experience required! There is a limit of 25 students for this class.

Writing, Journalism, and Broadcasting

Session II: COMM-070-129

July 7 - 17, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

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 strengthen the emotional core of your story. Meet and interview published Flash Fiction Writers. Finished pieces critiqued in class.

Session I: COMM-070-015

June 23 - July 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

Learn and practice the basic requirements of newswriting and reporting, including interviewing, covering live events and developing your own story ideas. Learn how to distinguish between news and promotional writing. Discussions on ethics in journalism, fact-checking and the ability to identify fake news are included alongside guest speakers and visits to local newsrooms.

Session II: COMM-070-025 

July 7 - 17, 1 - 4 p.m.

Fee: $800

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. The Washington Post and New York Times guest speakers will explain how they developed major investigative stories. Journalists will show you the latest in data and investigative journalism. In addition, discover comics journalism, sensor journalism and drone journalism.

Session I: COMM-070-002

June 23 - July 3, 1 - 4 p.m.

Session II: COMM-070-012

July 7 - 17, 1 - 4 p.m.

Fee: $800

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.

Session I: COMM-070-027

June 23 - July 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

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.

Session II: COMM-070-035

July 7 - 17, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Fee: $800

You're the editor. Now what? Learn how to move your publication or section to the next level, how to manage your staff, how to deal with administrator and what your rights are as a student journalist. This week-long intensive session gives you the tools to take on a challenging job and the confidence to ask the right questions. Whether you're the editor of the entire publication, a section editor or want to be an editor before you graduate, this workshop will teach you how to decide what to cover, how to make assignments, edit staff stories, write effective editorials and determine when the First Amendment applies to your content.

Communication

Session I: COMM-070-128

June 18 - 28, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

Television, film, theatre, music, sports, fashion, gaming... It's all entertainment today. Learn from experts in the field and understand the importance of messaging and why it's so important. Hear from experts in the field who have managed musical talent; have a backstage pass to New York's Fashion Week; arranged red carpet events and produced independent films. Previous on-location experiences have included a private tour of the Kennedy Center, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Smithsonian. Final project is creating a movie trailer for students' short films.

Session I: COMM-070-006

June 18 - 28, 1 - 4 p.m.

Session II: COMM-070-011

July 2 - 12, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

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. In the past, the class has visited the Embassies of Italy, Japan and Britain. Students develop campaigns and short videos about the work of international organizations.

Session II: COMM-070-009

July 7 - 17,  9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

What is Public Relations and why does everyone need it? Understand all aspects of the field and why having a "message" is vital. Hear from great publicists and communication experts from corporations, nonprofits, crisis firms and the political field. Past speakers have included reps from Mars Incorporated, the PR firm-Porter Novelli, Discovery Levick Communications, Neiman Marcus, USA Today, Discovery and National Geography. Final project involves working with a team and creating a video on an issue that is important to teens.

Session II: COMM-070-031

July 7 - 17, 1 - 4 p.m.

Fee: $800

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 a discerning critic and realize 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.

Session II: COMM-070-007

July 7 - 17, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

Love sports? Love taking on challenges? If you answered yes to both questions, sports management is the course for you! As you navigate the business side of sports and recreation, learn skills of analytical thinking, clear communication, business savviness, and  good sportsman ship necessary for any role in the vast field of sports management.

Session I: COMM-070-029

June 23 - July 3, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Fee: $800

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. Students will give several speeches during this course.

Session I: COMM-070-038

June 23 - July 3, 1  -  4  p.m. 

Fee: $800

Learn techniques of great podcasting from NPR and Smithsonian award-winning professionals while also learning how to respect the medium and conduct an artful interview. The result of this two-week experience? Your own pilot episode of a podcast navigating a topic of your own choosing.