DIY lighting for young filmmakers!

Good lighting is achieved by mastering the craft of controlling and shaping light. Quality results can be achieved on a modest budget, without depending on the most advanced equipment. This one-week course is for Young Artists who are interested in exploring the concepts of lighting, with a focus on the "Why" as well as the "How." 

Students learn the basic concepts of electricity, as well as electrical wiring and safety, before going out to local home improvement stores to purchase the components necessary to craft their own working film-quality lights from the ground up. Students build a lighting and light-shaping kit using resources that are readily available and affordable on even the most modest budget. This workshop challenges students to harness their creative potential and use only what resources they have at hand to create original quality images.

Through lectures, demonstrations, and instructor guided hands-on construction of lights, dimmers and diffusion packets, students will explore advanced concepts in lighting, mis-en-scene, while experimenting with concepts in color, depth, and contrast. Students end the week by adding an entirely new drawer in their creative toolbox as well as helping bring their filmmaking to a whole new level.

About the Young Artists Program

Young Artists’ days are comprised of both classroom and field/location work: lectures and critiques, 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 recommned that students have access to $75 for incidentals, field trips, movies, snacks, etc

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

Students may request a transcript be sent to their high school for possible credit.

Tuition Note: includes room and board



Travis Trudell

If Travis Trudell were here with you today, he would tell you that life is enjoyed best when you remember to share it. He would tell you about how magic is real and it can be found in the small hours when we are closer to sleep. If Travis were here today, he would want you to spend some time learning about light, watching it, studying it, following it around until the light is very uncomfortable and asks us to stop, forcing us to have to create and shape our own light. He would tell you a funny story about Nikola Tesla, and we would all have a good laugh. He would laugh too hard and make everyone uncomfortable, but you would think about it later and would be ok with it. If Travis were here today he would tell you about his love for film, the photochemical dance between light and shadow. He would encourage you to play in the dark, to express uncomfortable feelings, to challenge yourself and the world around you. If Travis were here today. If he were here. Today... 

Travis Trudell has continued to work in the film industry for over ten years. He has worked as a Best Boy and electrician on such films as: Shutter Island, The Social Network, Black Mass, Ghostbusters (2016), Stronger, and Cadaver. When he is not laying cable and pushing lights, he likes to write pretentious sounding autobiographical statements and read them back to himself out loud with an affected British accent. Sometimes Russian.


Course Dates

Jul 23 to Jul 29



Class Size