FILMMAKING: Creating a Brilliant Film With Your Smartphone




With little more than your smartphone and a laptop you can create an effective, engaging film that people will want to watch.  In this fun, highly practical and empowering filmmaking experience you will learn how.  This workshop is for people of all ages and levels of experience.

While there is some emphasis on the documentary form, you will also explore different ways of using video to express yourself. You may want to tell a story, record history, promote an idea or product, move your social mission forward, change political discourse, or simply explore the worlds of visual imagery or visual storytelling.  You will learn how to get the most from your smartphone or video camera, learn to interview, compose, frame, light, record sound and do basic editing.

Individually or in small groups, you will create a short film to share and take home.

Nearly any modern smartphone or tablet, HD video camera, DSLR or other camera is welcomed in this workshop.


  1. Bring any modern smartphone or tablet, video camera or still camera with video capability, that can do the following:  A) Record sound clearly;  B) Record the picture in HD;  C) Transfer (export) video files to an editing program.  This can requires a removable SD card or the appropriate cable that goes from your camera device to your computer or editing device. Bring the cable and your battery charger.
  3.  If you have a separate microphone that plugs into your smartphone or video camera please bring it.  
  4.  Bring a thumb drive if you want to save footage or the class film.  
  5.  If you like, bring a laptop, tablet or other computer-like device for editingwith at least 10  gigs of free space (internally or connected to an external hard drive.) We will mostly work in small groups and devices can be shared, but it’s helpful if you wish to save what you create during the workshop. We will be running Adobe Premiere for Mac as the editing program for our group’s editing computer.  

Unfortunately, because folks may be bringing different cameras and editing programs, we will not have much time in the workshop to teach each person about their own equipment. That’s why we ask that you kindly learn the very basics of operation and test it out before you come.  Ask a teen for help if you are stumped!    Thanks.

Questions about the workshop are welcomed. Simply email the instructor, Jim Lemkin at:

Maximum: 10 students

Workshop leader:  Jim Lemkin

Jim Lemkin studied photography with Minor White, William Giles, Nathan Lyons and Harold Edgerton. He has taught photography and filmmaking at Harvard and other colleges and schools. He now works mainly as a documentary filmmaker and holistic physician. His present film project explores the consequences of unquestioned beliefs and what awaits us beyond the realm of beliefs. He is presently also directing a film contest for students (Whole Picture Film Contest) that explores holistic thinking as a way to problem solve anything.  His work has been aired nationally on PBS and elsewhere.

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