Let’s go make a scary movie!

“The first monster you have to scare the audience with is yourself.” - Wes Craven (Director of Scream, The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, Nightmare on Elm Street)

What’s your favorite moment from a horror movie? What are the origins of fear? What dark unknown should we explore? What makes you freak out? You will discover the artistry it takes to create tension, fear and jumps for your viewers. We will examine how and why genre films are so compelling for so many people. Then we will put that all into practice as we write a script, scout for the best locations (dark woods and old, creaky farmhouses are down the street), audition actors, crew up and shoot!

This workshop is for teenagers who want to learn the latest skills and techniques in horror filmmaking from accomplished filmmakers in the genre. The workshop is intense and offers hands-on opportunities to film, create scary sound elements, bone chilling, dramatic lighting, and use gory make-up, all while coming up with props and sets. Create through the lens of a horror movie and learn to design shots, plan action, and ultimately use a crew and direct actors and make something that will have people gasping and covering their eyes in fright.

With the help of professional editors, students will make a horror short shot over the two-week session. Students will  leave with an understanding of the filmmaking process and a sense of their individual talents and path they are most suited for.

About the Young Artists Program: Young Artists’ days are comprised of both classroom and field/location work: lectures and critique, demonstrations, shooting, editing, writing, computer workflow and/or darkroom work, depending on the workshop. All instructors are talented industry professionals as well as experienced educators, and each works with a teaching assistant, providing additional support for their class. The students are busy all day and into the mid-evening hours, attending presentations from visiting master faculty. 

All Young Artists reside at a nearby residence (a motel-style building, with four students to a room, gender specific, and private bath) located 3/4 of a mile from campus. The property is controlled by Maine Media Workshops and is used exclusively by students and their counselors. Students are shuttled to the main campus each morning for breakfast and to begin their day, and are driven back at the end of the each day, following their last class or other scheduled activity. All meals are taken together. Parents can indicate any special dietary needs upon registration. Counselors supervise the students 24 hours a day, and help make group decisions about weekend activities like swimming, bowling, and hiking. Coin laundry facilities are available on campus. A lobster dinner is served (there are other choices) on the last Friday night of each workshop, and all Workshops students gather for an evening presentation of highlights from the week’s work. Parents are welcome to attend and meal tickets may be purchased in the Registration Office.

We recommend students have access to $150 over the two-week period for incidentals, snacks, movies, field trips etc.  

Check-in is on Sunday, between 3 and 6 and departure is on Saturday morning.

Tuition Note: includes room and board



Alex Aja

Alex Aja  is a French film director who rose to international stardom for his 2003 horror film Haute Tension (known as High Tension in the US). He has also directed the horror films The Hills Have Eyes, Mirrors, Piranha 3D and Horns. His latest film The 9th Life of Louis Drax will be released later this year. He made his directorial debut at the age of eighteen with the short film Over the Rainbow, which received a Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm Award nomination for best short film. In 1999 he directed Furia, a film based on Julio Cortázar's short story Graffiti. American director Wes Craven asked Aja to come up with a concept for the remake of his 1977 film The Hills Have Eyes after seeing High Tension. Craven subsequently asked Aja to direct the movie. In 2004, Aja was named by Variety on the Ten Directors to Watch list. He is a member of the so-called Splat Pack, a term coined by film historian Alan Jones in Total Film magazine for a new wave of directors making brutally violent horror films.



Alix Taylor

ALIX TAYLOR is a film producer living in Venice, CA with her daughter Daisy. She was born and raised in Los Angeles in the film business growing up on sets with her father Jud Taylor, who was an award winning television director. Most recently she produced The Resurrection of Gavin Stone for WWE and Amityville: The Awakening for Blumhouse and Dimension films. She made her first Western, In a Valley of Violence, starring Ethan Hawke and John Travolta directed by Ti West also for Blumhouse which will premiere at Sundance in January. Her credits include the #1 2013 Horror movie Maniac, starring Elijah Wood, which was chosen for the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, Piranha 3D, and The Hills Have Eyes, which she made with French horror director Alex Aja. She has made two other  movies with director Franck Khalfoun, P2 and i-LIVED. She produced Feast for Wes Craven/Project Greenlight and Hell Ride (the cult Quentin Tarantino biker movie with Dennis Hopper & David Carradine & Michael Madsen) for Dimension Films. Prior to producing, Alix was a development executive for director Wes Craven, producer Doug Wick and at Universal Studios. Her on set experience began working as an assistant for Mike Nichols (Primary Colors with John Travolta & Emma Thompson) and Ulu Grosbard (The Deep End of the Ocean with Michelle Pfeiffer) respectively. For four years, Alix was the Executive Director of the The International Film Workshops in Rockport, Maine.


Course Dates

Jul 17 to Jul 30



Class Size