2013 Guide to Austin Summer Film Camps


Summer @ Austin Studios Presented by H-E-B

Updated on 5/30 with RTF Summer Camp information

Kids aren't the only ones who look forward to summer. With sky-high temperatures and the last day of school approaching, Slackerwood brings you some suggestions of great summer film camps in the Austin area -- perfect for parents searching for fun summer activites for the kids.

A film or movie camp is a great tool for kids interested in the filmmaking or creative process. Many of the workshops start with the basics, taking your child through the pre-production, shooting, and post-production stages of a film set. Classes are also geared towards other crafts such as acting, editing, animation and writing for the screen. At the end of many of these camps, friends and family are invited to attend a screening of the movie(s) that campers helped make, or campers can bring home a DVD to hold their own private screening party.

We've listed the camps below according to age, meaning the classes accepting the youngest students are listed from the top to bottom of the page. Many camp sessions begin in early June, so act quickly to sign up for classes. They typically run for one to two weeks at a time, although a few are longer. A few camps around town (such as the Austin Film Society's Summer Filmmaking Camp) already have sessions that are sold out, but do have waiting lists available.

Some of these descriptions are pretty much verbatim from press releases or websites, but as always check websites for official details and availability.

UT Austin: Digital Media Academy

During Digital Media Academy summer camps at The University of Texas at Austin, kids and teens get to explore their interests, have fun with other kids and create a project that is uniquely theirs. These tech camps, for one or multiple weeks with options for day camp or overnight/sleepaway camp, will give young people a chance to try their hand at a wide range of projects under the direction of experienced industry professionals who love teaching kids. Whether they choose to explore filmmaking, game development, music and video production, web design, or cartoon creation, your kids will enjoy Texas-sized fun in a safe and supportive environment.

Ages: 6-18
Dates: July 1 - August 2, 2013
Cost: $695 - $3750 depending on course length and student's age

Austin Film and Arts Academy

From developing the idea and writing the script through the production process, Austin Film and Arts Academy workshops are designed to teach film in a fun, hands-on environment. Students have the opportunity to produce and perform in short narrative films in one- to two-week workshops. Classes include claymation, stop-gap Animation, acting, digital filmmaking, beginning photography, SFX makeup and stunt work for film.

Ages: 7-17
Dates: June 10 - August 1, 2013
Cost: $225 - $975 depending on course length

Austin School of Film: Youth Summer Film Camp

The Austin School of Film's awardwinning Youth Summer Film Camp is made up of intensive two-week courses that cover the fundamentals and creative aspects of filmmaking, animation, acting & directing, and editing. Students ages 9 to 17 work with experienced filmmakers and animators to realize their creative visions and produce their own films by the end of each course. From developing the idea to planning the production process to screening the finished masterpiece, ASoF fully and quickly immerses the student into the wonderful world of filmmaking.

Ages: 9-17
Dates: June 17 - July 19, 2013
Cost: $395 for two-week, half day classes; $670 for two-week, full-day classes

Austin Film Festival: Summer Film Camp

Summer Film Camp, presented by AFF's Young Filmmakers Program, returns in June for its 11th annual program of screenwriting, filmmaking and claymation workshops for aspiring filmmakers ages 9-18. Workshops offer students unparalleled access to in-depth, personal instruction from industry professionals. Campers are provided with opportunities to participate in panel discussions with special guest speakers, and all completed films premiere at the AFF Summer Film Camp Showcase.

Ages: 9-18
Dates: June 17 - August 2, 2013
Cost: $195 for one-week classes, $390 for two-week classes (discounts offered for AFF members and SFC alumni)

Texas Arts Project

Through outstanding teaching, professional instruction and practical experience, Texas Arts Project (TAP Camp) has quickly become a proven leader in the world of performing arts education. TAP camp aims to enhance skills, encourage cooperative work, and nurture self-confidence. Classes focus on filmmaking, dance, acting and musical theatre. There are various levels for students, and several camps have a showcase to perform their newly learned skills at the end of the session.

Ages: 9-18
Dates: June 9 - July 7, 2013
Cost: $1175 - $3075 (Tuition varies from one- to three-week camps as well as beginner to advanced camp sessions.)

Channel Austin: iYouth Media Camps

In iYouth Media Camps kids and teens are completely immersed in the production process from the moment they walk in the door. From script to screen and everything in between -- they are in control. Each Friday the camp ends with a red carpet premiere of a finished movie for family and friends to enjoy. Camps are offered in three different sessions in June and July, and all camps run Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Ages: 11-18
Dates: June 24 - July 19, 2013
Cost: $300 per session

UT Film and Game Arts Camps for Teens

The Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF) at UT Austin offers summer film production programs for kids and teens.  Taught by some of the best filmmakers in Austin, their summer media camps take place on the UT campus, in the same building where the famous "Austin City Limits" television show was filmed for over 25 years.  Camps range from one to two weeks and focus on various aspects of video production such as making music for your film, screenwriting, production and video game art.

Ages: 8 - 18
Dates: June 10 - August 16, 2013
Cost: $345 - $1100 (Tuition varies based on length and age group of camp sessions.)


Austin also has a few workshops and sessions for adults over the age of 18:

  • UT Austin: Pro Series Courses -- UT offers five different courses for students ages 15 and up with little to no experience required. Topics are a little more advanced, covering tutorials in documentary filmmaking, motion graphics, visual effects, and Final Cut Pro. A few classes are already sold out, but classes are repeated from July 1 - August 2.
  • RTF Workshops -- Classes are offered for adults and mature teens in the evenings after their summer camp sessions.  Topics of focus include screenwriting, editing on Avid, motion graphics, film studies, and many more.
  • Austin School of Film -- Throughout the months of May and June, weekend classes will be offered for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge on directing, editing, sound recording, producing, and programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro.
  • Digital Video Certificate Programs -- Prepare students to work in the film industry. These classes not only give you the tools and knowledge you need to succeed, but can also help get you started in the Austin filmmaking scene.
  • Film and Video Production classes -- Perfect for anyone wanting to strenghten or brush up on a certain filmmaking craft.
  • Workforce Training -- Are you a business needing to give your employees a tutorial or refresher course on Photoshop? ASoF also offers classes and training seminars for businesses either at their offices or at yours.

Finally, AFF hosts their Conversation in Film series once a month, bringing in writers, directors and filmmakers to discuss their craft and their writing process. Many of these sessions are paired with a screening of the guest's film, followed by a post-screening Q&A. Tickets are usually $12, with discounts offered for AFF members. Their next CIF will feature David Magee, who scripted Finding Neverland and Life of Pi.

If I've missed anything, let us know in the comments section below. We will be making updates as we become aware of them.

[Photo credit: "Summer @ Austin Studios," courtesy of Austin Film Society]