Middle School Offerings

List of 2 items.

  • 7th Grade Technology Course

    In the spring trimester all seventh graders are required to take Computer Basics 7. There students learn about the three phases of film production (pre-production, production and post-production) and are introduced to basic camera techniques as well as editing using iMovie. Projects have included making public service announcements, generating a video tour of the school and creating movie trailers.
  • 8th Grade Performance Studies

    In the spring trimester of this course, students analyze film composition, plot structure, dialogue and characterization. They act as screenwriters, directors, actors, cinematographers and editors for their own short films.

Upper School Offerings

List of 4 items.

  • Filmmaking Activity

    This activity is designed to allow students the opportunity to write, direct and edit their own short films using HD video cameras, shotgun microphones, and Final Cut Pro editing software. Films are shot on location throughout the greater Hartford area.
  • Filmmaking Independent Study

    For the student who is highly motivated to make movies, independent study is an option. Students work with a faculty mentor who assists with all phases of production and facilitates a public screening.
  • Advanced Theater & Film

    This junior/senior level course focuses on film production from the perspective of the director, cinematographer and actor. Students study film theory and film history to broaden their understanding of the cinematic experience and inform their projects. Using screenwriting programs, HD video cameras and Final Cut Pro editing software, they write, design, shoot and edit several short films. Projects include short silent films shot in the style of the Lumiere brothers, music videos, and reinterpretations of classic film scenes.
  • Creative Arts Diploma Program with concentration in film

    Creative Arts Program (CAP) students earn a second diploma in their discipline by spending an additional 7-10 hours per week developing their art. Film students work one-on-one with a mentor through regular meetings throughout the school year, participate in an interdisciplinary arts seminar, attend a series of master classes and field trips (more than 20 per year), and develop independent projects in collaboration with their peers that are shared with the community.
Students and Alumni
The Watkinson film program began in 2011.  Watkinson students who have actively participated in the program have been accepted to and/or gone on to study film at Bard, Pratt, Emerson College, Oberlin, Wesleyan, University of Hartford, DigiPen Institute of Technology and Yale.  Our students won the grand jury prize at the Greater Hartford Youth Film Festival in 2013 and 2014, and their films have been selected by the City of Hartford to be screened as part of their Free Movies After Dark Program.  
Field Trips and Guest Speakers
Students have had the privilege of meeting Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO; having master classes with Hillary Cohen ’03, assistant director on Mad Men and Damian Volpe, sound designer on numerous films including Winter’s Bone, St. Vincent, and Drive; and skyping with David Hemingson ‘82,  veteran TV producer perhaps best known for Kitchen Confidential and Just Shoot Me.