Film Innovation Lab

Film Innovation Lab promo image

Facets Academy's Film Innovation Lab is a professional development course that gives teachers 21st century tools to integrate film viewing, filmmaking, and other media literacy activities into their classrooms.

What will teachers learn?
Built on our four decades of experience, the Film Innovation Lab will transform your classroom to enable all students to compete in an increasingly sophisticated educational landscape. We give teachers the knowledge, materials, and tools to enhance their educational opportunities with film-based learning modules.

Who should enroll?
Teachers of any subject and grade will benefit from the course, not just humanities and media teachers.

How much does it cost?
$395 per teacher or $350 if you are a Facets Member.

We urge you to look into financial assistance from your school, district, or other financial aid sources. We will work with you to provide any documentation needed to assist the financial aid process.

Course details

2018 dates coming soon!

Enroll now


Full Schedule

Day 1: 21st Century Learning. We start out by focusing on the role of media in the classroom and how active viewing, film analysis, and filmmaking can be used to teach top-level critical thinking skills.

Key concepts:

  • The exciting possibilities of media-based learning
  • Why it is important to teach film and media literacy
  • How understanding film analysis can teach critical thinking
  • Film as the intersection of pop-culture, history, politics, and industry

Day 2: The Impact of Filmmaking. We then dive deeper into film and how to integrate it into subject-based curriculum by exploring film language, vocabulary, story composition, and media literacy concepts.

Key concepts:

  • How film language, narrative, and composition effects meaning
  • The filmmaking process, including preproduction, production, and postproduction
  • Using film as a bridge to explore different cultures, view points, and core subjects

Day 3: Making Films pt. 1: Lights, Camera, Action! Now it's time to break a sweat with a hands-on filmmaking workshop to learn how films are made. In the first part of this 2 day workshop, we lay the groundwork for film production and focus on how to make documentaries in the classroom.

Key concepts:

  • Setting up a project, storyboarding, and scriptwriting
  • Film production techniques
  • Different styles of documentary filmmaking
  • How to create a scene and conduct an interview

Day 4: Making Films pt. 2: The Right Tools. For the second part of the Making Films workshop, we focus on post-production techniques, how to use minimal, low-cost media equipment, and how to empower students to be active participants in and outside of the classroom.

Key concepts:

  • The impact of film editing and how to use B-roll and archival footage
  • What equipment is best for the classroom, including free, open source solutions
  • How to create hands-on exercises with different equipment, including tablets and smart phones
  • Understanding the creative process and how to give and receive constructive criticism

Day 5: Innovation in the Classroom. We finish the course by discussing implementation strategies, curriculum development, and how to adapt media-based activities to different subjects.

Key concepts:

  • What age-appropriate films work best for classroom screenings
  • Specific activities that teach and expand film and media literacy
  • How to encourage students to be critical viewers and producers outside of the classroom
  • How Facets can continue to be a resource after the course ends
Enroll now

For more information, contact our Education Director Kathleen Beckman at or 773.281.9075 ext. 3047.


  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation