Online High School Workshops: Community, Flexibility, and Self-Paced Learning

Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

Taking a class for college credit while in high school can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure there is the time commitment and extra assignments, but what if you could set your own schedule? What if that class is where you found peers who share your passions?

When we speak with alumni from the Tisch Online High School Filmmakers and Screenwriters Workshops, there are three things that stand out to them most about their experience: Community, Flexibility, and Self-Paced Learning.

Image of the Smashcut platform with the word 'ONLINE' overlaid in white text


Our high school students are able to meet others who share the same artistic interests that may not be available to them otherwise. They collaborate and nurture each other in their work, creating opportunities to grow ideas and provide support in their projects and in stories they want to tell.

“I have always been interested in taking film courses, but I felt that my local options only focused on a small portion of what filmmaking is all about. As a rising senior, who will soon apply to film schools, this course afforded me a taste of what filmmaking truly is and connected me with people who share my passion.”
–Evelyn Telloni, Online High School Filmmakers Workshop

“The level of passion I was able to witness from my fellow students put into perspective how necessary collaboration was to my creative process. I remember staying up late and being on a Zoom call for 3 hours while editing a video with my group, and honestly, it was amazing. Getting feedback from others my age helped me explore how I was relating to people. We were able to have long brainstorming sessions which allowed our ideas to evolve into something we could all be proud of.”
–Kaonna Hyacinthe, Online High School Filmmakers Workshop

“Everyone in the class was motivated by their passion and wanted to create the most unique storylines, capture the most emotionally powerful scenes, and eventually produce the most impressive project they could. Being surrounded by students who wanted to succeed made me even more excited to attend class each day, and I became all the more motivated to produce dynamic films.”
–Jack DeVirgilio, Online High School Filmmakers Workshop

Photo of three students seated together, looking at pages of a script with the word 'DIRECTING' overlaid in white text


Students spend about 6 to 10 hours per week on each workshop but they decide how to divide up that time with course requirements. Students allow themselves to grow and be challenged; they have a readiness and are self-reliant, giving them space to manage their regular high school work, any extra curricular activities, or a part-time job. 

“I've always had a passion for film and wanted to expand my understanding of the medium. For me it felt like there wasn’t anyone able to push me further, so this class seemed to be just what I needed to start the next step in my filmmaking journey. It being online and asynchronous was so helpful in giving me time to sit and absorb the content while putting it into practice.”
–Kaonna Hyacinthe, Online High School Filmmakers Workshop

“I often say as a joke that TV is my favorite hobby but in all honesty it is, so when I realized I could take a screenwriting course while working this summer because it was virtual I was immediately obsessed!”
–Siobhan Lucey, Online High School Screenwriters Workshop

“I was interested in the flexible schedule that an online program allows, but also how it leaves more of the responsibility up to the student to get their work in on time and forces us to take the initiative to reach out to our film crews via online collaboration tools. The flexible schedule allowed for me to have time to participate in other activities and travel while still being an active member of class. I was also able to use the resources around me in terms of nature and actors that I would not have been able to use had it not been online.”
–Evelyn Telloni, Online High School Filmmakers Workshop

Close-up photo of someone holding a script plus a pen in their left hand

Self-Paced Learning

Pre-recorded video modules provide an opportunity to learn anytime and anywhere. Watch them once and if you missed something, you can go back and watch it again. If you’re not sure about the lesson, you can always schedule a live video meeting with the instructor. There are daily deliverables and/or weekly assignments but there is no set class time.

“The best part of learning online is freedom in the environment I choose to be in. Being in a classroom while listening to lectures doesn’t help me absorb knowledge in the same way. Being able to move at my own pace while having the resources to sit down and reach out so the ability to take what I knew into locations I was familiar with was beneficial in my growth throughout the program.
–Kaonna Hyacinthe, Online High School Filmmakers Workshop

“The workshop stood out to me because it was online. It meant I would have freedom and be able to do things at my own pace while still being able to learn the fundamentals of screenwriting.
–Siobhan Lucey, Online High School Screenwriters Workshop

“A massive benefit of online learning is the amount of asynchronous time that a student has. I believe I was successful because I had ample time to create a developed story, fill out the production book, and then shoot, edit, and submit a rough cut, ideally on par with the course’s temporal expectations. Simultaneously, the meetings were highly effective and allocated enough time for me to re-shoot and re-edit my work as needed to provide a more cohesive version of my film.”
–Jack DeVirgilio, Online High School Filmmakers Workshop

Image of the Smashcut platform with the word 'EDITING' overlaid in white text

The Tisch Online High School Filmmakers and Screenwriters Workshops are offered in the spring, summer, and fall. The workshops are open to high school first years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors from around the world. Students in the screenwriters workshop learn to write for film and television and students in the filmmakers workshop create documentary, experimental, and narrative short films. The spring 2024 application is now open - learn more!