This summer, the Pelham Island Pictures Film School will bring the joys and excitement of professional filmmaking to the Boston-area suburbs. 



This summer, the Pelham Island Pictures Film School will bring the joys and excitement of professional filmmaking to the Boston-area suburbs. 

Being a filmmaker is exhilarating, magical and immensely rewarding.

This summer, the Pelham Island Pictures Film School will bring the joys and excitement of professional filmmaking to the Wayland-area suburbs. Students in our program will write, direct and act in their own short films, equipped with professional quality gear and led by the filmmakers behind Pelham Island Pictures.

With the advent of modern digital film technology, making movies has become more accessible to aspiring filmmakers. Take advantage of this opportunity for your child to experience a new art form and build a skill set for today's video-oriented world.

In all other camps, you have boundaries, and I feel like you don’t have them here. It lets you use creativity in ways other camps don’t.
— Summer Film School Student

Read an article about the Pelham Island Pictures Summer Film School published in the Wayland Town Crier here.


Our two-week program will move at a brisk pace, thoroughly preparing each student to create his or her own short narrative film. Students will learn how to write screenplays, plan visual storyboards and production outlines, operate professional digital camera gear and edit video in Final Cut Pro X.

The highlight of the program will be on the final day when we have our very own Opening Night at the Movies -- conveniently held on a Friday afternoon, the final day of classes.

Session date: August 14th to 25th


  • Two-week program (Monday through Friday)

  • 10 weekday sessions from 9am to 3pm

  • Classes hosted at the LexMedia television studio
  • Tuition is $750

  • Recommended for ages 11-14 (Students about to enter Grades 6 through 9)

  • Students will bring their own lunches daily

  • Enrollment limited to 8 students

lexmedia Studio

The Pelham Island Pictures film school will be held at the LexMedia Television Studio in Lexington, Massachusetts. Students will have access to LexMedia's state of the art television studio, equipped with an editing lab of iMacs, broadcast quality HD cameras, an assortment of professional sound and camera gear, and LexMedia's own green screen.


Day 1: Welcome to the Film School!

Students arrive at the studio and get to know each other. We discuss our favorite movies and what types of films students would like to make. Classic film scenes are screened to demonstrate visual storytelling techniques.

Day 2: Technical Bootcamp Day

An intense day of technical instruction. Students learn to operate cameras, record sound, and navigate the intricacies of Apple's professional video editing software Final Cut Pro X.

Day 3: Shooting Workshop

Students start to shoot short test scenes. After lunch, we reconvene to edit the new footage. Students brainstorm story ideas for homework.

Day 4:  Writing Workshop

Group discussion and brainstorming about screenplays. We discuss basic story structures and devices. Students begin writing independently, and are encouraged to work on their screenplays at home. 

Day 5:  Writing/Production Workshop

Writing continues throughout the day. The day closes with a production workshop, as students prepare for filming by choosing shooting locations and drawing storyboards.

Day 6:  Shooting Day 1

When students return after the weekend, they begin shooting their own short films. The class splits into two production teams, each guided by one of the Pelham Island Pictures filmmakers.

Day 7:  Shooting Day 2

Students continue shooting their short films.

Day 8: Editing Day 1

Students import their footage into Final Cut Pro X and begin editing. The film school staff closely monitors the students to provide technical and artistic guidance.

Day 9: Editing Day 2

Students continue to edit their films, preparing a rough cut for delivery by the end of the day.

Day 10: Editing Day 3 and Opening Night (in the afternoon)

Students put the final touches on their films. After lunch, parents are invited to the Film School for a celebratory screening of the students' work.


We love to teach

We love to teach

The Instructors

We are Zander Cowen and Jacob Sussman. We fell in love with filmmaking because we had teachers who loved what they did. These mentors gave us the skills we needed to become filmmakers and found Pelham Island Pictures. We want to replicate this nurturing experience for our students.

Our film school was inspired by the filmmaking programs that we attended at Boston University, Brandeis University, Philips Academy, Wesleyan University, and Bard College. We want to offer our students the best parts of these programs while also providing a fresh perspective on narrative filmmaking. 

Pelham Island Pictures

Pelham Island Pictures is a local film production company, founded in the spring of 2013 by Zander Cowen and Jacob Sussman, which specializes in documentary and narrative films. Our most notable projects include a 20-minute documentary about the history of Wayland and a series of promotional videos for Wesleyan University. We are passionate about our craft and are excited to share our knowledge with others.


The film school has limited space, so register your child now by clicking on the "Register Online" button.

After completing the registration form, pay online by clicking on the "Pay Now" button and then enter your credit card or bank account information. We accept all major credit cards. Full tuition is due with application. Please note that a service fee will be charged for payments made with a credit card.

If you are mailing the payment, please send it to: Pelham Island Pictures, 19 Green Way, Wayland MA 01778.

All withdrawals or cancellations must be made in writing. There are no refunds after May 31st, 2017.