Since 2001, Beacon’s students have been making short films. Several films have been featured in student film festivals across the country, and many students go on to study and/ or make films in film schools such as NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, California Arts, University of Southern California, Purchase College, Chapman, Emerson, Columbia, Syracuse, and Florida State. In recent years, Beacon has collaborated with Dance Films Association and the Lincoln Center Film Society as part of their Capturing Motion film competition for high school students, garnered three first-place finishes, and several honorable mentions in recent years. Beacon Film is committed to providing students with a safe, diverse, equitable, and inclusive space to create films.

9th Grade Film

Part of the 9th Grade Arts Rotation, 9th Grade Film is an 8-9 week introduction to practical film-making. Students initially focus on the language and techniques of audio and moving images, studying a number of short stop-frame animation films as examples. We then move straight into camera/photography skills, where students experiment with stop-frame motion, tripods, and basic movement of inanimate objects. Students develop and pitch ideas for a short stop-frame motion film, working solo or in pairs to create a 30 -60 second film. Students are expected to design the film from start to finish, writing an outline of action, storyboarding key composition, and using Final Cut Pro and/or Adobe Premiere as primary editing software. 

Sample Films for 9th Grade Film:




Digital Film

We begin the Digital Film class by analyzing a range of film techniques and styles. Students learn to use new vocabulary to describe the filmmaking process as they begin to practice camera and editing skills. Individually or in pairs, students plan, storyboard, and make a short film lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 4 minutes long. Using DSLR cameras, sound, and lighting equipment, students take their footage and digitally edit their work using Final Cut Pro and/or Adobe Premiere. Previous film projects have included narrative film, documentary, trailers, adverts, music video and montage, claymation, and animation.


Sample Films for Digital Film:



Advanced Film Production

This class is designed for students who have a deep interest in filmmaking. Most students have already taken the Digital Film class and start the course by continuing to analyze a range of film techniques and styles. The Advanced Film class allows students to further hone their skills, making more complex and sophisticated films, and experimenting more with audio and lighting equipment. Scripting and storyboarding in the pre-production stages of a film are emphasized throughout the semester. Classes involve a lot of practical work, necessitating students to work effectively in small production groups as well as on individual projects. Collaboration and critiques are always at the heart of our process. Advanced Film students present their end-of-year work during our annual Beacon Film Festival in June.

Sample Films for Advanced Film Production:


The Beacon Film Festival is an annual event held each year in June to showcase many of the films produced throughout the year. We play films throughout areas of the school on both small and large screen presentations while the Arts department also celebrates Arts Week with an array of artwork, installations, photography, and performance. It is a wonderful night of creative celebrations, attended by alumni, parents, families, staff, and students. Many of those films can be found on our Beacon School Vimeo site