Model AME Pathways: Film
Culver City High School
Culver City Unified School District is a diverse urban high school, located in central Los Angeles in close proximity to many studios and creative industry companies. Holly Gable is the Creative Director and Film Teacher.
Introductory: Exploration of Film (Middle or High)
Concentrator: CTE Film Production 1 (High School)
Capstone: CTE Film Production 2 (High School)
Special note- Students can take film all four years by enrolling in AVPA (Academy of Visual and Performing Arts) Film Production after school.
Our main industry partner is Sony Pictures Entertainment- located down the street from our school. We were all set up to start working with Film Independent in early 2020 but covid struck and shut that down. Happily, we have just reconnected with them and they will be giving us some master classes in the late spring and early summer. Local productions will reach out to us from time to time, and we continue to foster those relationships.
Industry Partner Engagement
Sony has provided us with cameras, lenses, scholarships, internships (just one per year), and guest speakers. The Sony internship is posted through our college and career center. Students apply and are interviewed on campus by Sony staff. The student must be at least 18 years of age at the start of employment, a CCHS graduate and must have committed to an accredited university/college program for the Fall to qualify. The position is paid and is a combination of in-person/in-office and virtual.
Work Based Learning
The core of my film high school program is work-based learning. As someone who learned entirely on the job, I am a firm believer in learning by doing. Therefore my students are making short films within the first two months of the school year and each student will work on 4-5 short films (1- 3 min) and one longer-format film (approx 10-min) in one school year. It is in these film crews that they are working in “real work” environments, albeit on a small scale. Each student is expected to try out different crew positions so that they are exposed to as many as possible.
Throughout the year we have several guest speakers from various sectors of production. These speakers come from my personal contacts from working in production, or family members of our students who work in production. Pre-covid we had a film festival which had a panel of industry professionals judges who gave fantastic feedback. We have had screenwriting bootcamps led by an award-winning screenwriter who gave us phenomenal feedback. We have also had field trips to Digital Domain, YouTube, and an upcoming trip to the Academy Museum. Lastly, we have had several Academy Award nominated and/ or winning guest speakers give us advice and share their experiences with us.
Students from our program have been hired by local companies and individuals to work in art departments, sound, editing, and camera. Some have also attended the Hollywood CPR program at WLAC.