Lights, camera, action!

Get creative. Explore the art of digital moving images. Tell your story through movies.

Menlo School students test new skills in moviemaking class. Photo by Pete Zivkov. Menlo School students test new skills in moviemaking class. Photo by Pete Zivkov.


  • Moviemaking 1: Fundamentals of Filmmaking

    This is a year-long course. 

    In this class, students explore and develop their creativity through making movies. The class is individually oriented, so students of all experience levels can focus on improving their specific skill sets and creating a variety of movie projects. Through many hands-on projects, students learn and practice skills such as using lighting effectively, using various microphones and cameras, using green screens, and editing in Final Cut. Students make a variety of movies, from comedies to experimental pieces to thirty-second ads to documentaries. Students learn and practice the IDEO approach to idea development in many of their projects. Watch a video overview of this course here.

  • Moviemaking 2: Advanced Moviemaking

    This is a year-long course. 

    This advanced class is for students who have mastered the fundamental skills of moviemaking (i.e., sound, light, camera work and editing in Final Cut) and want to put their skills into action creating quality movies. Students will develop original ideas for all their movie projects; each student is encouraged to pursue the kind of movie that interests him or her the most. Students will work with the instructor to develop individual goals for building their skills and completing projects. Students will have access to the full range of equipment and software that Menlo has as they bring to life the movies they imagine.

    Prerequisites: Completion of Moviemaking 1 or permission of the instructor. 

Additional Programs

Film Festivals – All students are encouraged to submit their movies to Menlo’s annual Film Festival, a non-competitive event open to all Menlo students involved in making movies, at Menlo or elsewhere. In addition, students are encouraged to submit their work to other festivals online, locally and nationally. Moviemaking alumni have gone on to study at the following schools: Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, NYU, UCLA and USC, among others.

Photo by Pete Zivkov. Photo by Pete Zivkov.

Tripp Robbins

Tripp Robbins’ career path started in journalism then serendipitously zigged into teaching high school students in 1985, and he’s been loving teaching ever since. He earned an MA from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. He has taught journalism and publications, English, history, theater, digital media, and moviemaking. In 2021, he created a new class in stage combat. He’s a member of the Journalism Education Association and sits on the board of the Journalism Education Association of Northern California and on the Scholastic Press Rights Committee.

 Student Short Films