Filmmaking Schools in Tempe AZ

Not in Tempe? Check out our lists of Filmmaking Schools in Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale, and across Arizona.

Top Filmmaking Schools in Tempe, AZ

Filmmaking Schools in Tempe, AZ offer outstanding programs for aspiring filmmakers.

  • Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts: Exceptional courses and state-of-the-art facilities.
  • Scottsdale Community College: Hands-on learning with real-world applications.
  • Local Adult Learning Programs: Certification opportunities and workshops.

Explore the best filmmaking schools in Tempe, AZ to kickstart your career.

Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Arizona State University’s (ASU) Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is home to The Sidney Poitier New American Film School. This school offers numerous opportunities for aspiring filmmakers, integrating cutting-edge facilities, accomplished faculty, and a rich curriculum to provide students with a comprehensive education in filmmaking.

Courses and Degree Options

For those pursuing a career in filmmaking, ASU’s film school offers various degree programs:

  • BA in Filmmaking Practices: Emphasizes the blend of theory and hands-on practice.
  • BFA in Film and Media Production: Focuses on producing, directing, and technical aspects of film.
  • Minor in Film and Media Production: Complements other academic pursuits.

These programs aim to cover everything from fundamental principles to advanced production techniques.

Facilities and Resources

ASU hosts state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center in downtown Mesa. The MIX Center includes:

  • Production studios: High-tech spaces for filming and editing.
  • Immersive labs: For virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) projects.
  • Post-production suites: Fully equipped for sound and video editing.

These facilities support diverse creative projects, making ASU a premier destination for students.

Faculty and Mentorship

Students benefit from the guidance of experienced faculty who are industry veterans. The curriculum is enriched by their real-world experience, offering insights into the film industry:

  • Industry connections: Faculty often have ties to major production studios.
  • Guest lectures and workshops: Opportunities to learn from renowned filmmakers.

This mentorship is invaluable for students looking to navigate the complexities of the film industry.

Maricopa Community Colleges: Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale Community College (SCC) offers a dynamic and practical approach to filmmaking through its Motion Picture and Television Program. As one of the Maricopa Community Colleges, it provides an affordable, hands-on education aimed at preparing students for the real world.

Program Overview

SCC provides two primary academic paths:

  • Associate Degree in Motion Picture and Television: A comprehensive course covering production, direction, and post-production.
  • Certificate Programs: Specializations in film editing, motion picture production, and screenwriting.

These programs are designed to equip students with practical skills and industry knowledge.

Hands-On Experience

Students at SCC gain valuable experience through practical coursework:

  • Production projects: Students partake in actual film shoots.
  • Editing labs: Equipped with advanced software tools.
  • Screenwriting workshops: aiding students in perfecting their scripts.

This hands-on approach ensures that graduates are job-ready.

Transfer Opportunities

For those aiming to pursue further education, SCC facilitates seamless transfers to universities such as ASU:

  • Transfer agreements: Ensure credits are transferable.
  • Advising services: Help students navigate their academic paths.

This makes SCC a strategic starting point for a career in filmmaking.

Tempe-Accountable Adult Learning Programs

For adult learners in Tempe looking to dive into filmmaking without committing to a full degree, local adult learning programs offer flexible and practical alternatives.

Short Courses and Workshops

Tempe offers several avenues for gaining filmmaking skills:

  • Workshops: These often focus on specific aspects like cinematography or screenwriting.
  • Certificate programs: Offer condensed, practical training on filmmaking basics.
  • Community Events: Film festivals and lectures that provide additional learning opportunities.

These programs are designed with flexibility in mind, allowing adults to balance learning with other commitments.

Unique Opportunities

Various local institutions and organizations provide these learning programs:

  • Community centers: Often host film-making workshops.
  • Local colleges: May offer evening or weekend courses.

Adult learners can thus find numerous ways to get involved in the local film community.

Technical and Trade Schools for Filmmaking Skills

Technical and trade schools in Tempe provide specialized training for those looking to master specific filmmaking skills. These institutions are ideal for developing targeted expertise.

Specialized Training Programs

The focus of technical schools is often on hands-on training in areas such as:

  • Editing: Techniques for both traditional and digital editing platforms.
  • Sound design: Comprehensive courses on audio production and engineering.
  • Cinematography: Instruction on camera work and lighting techniques.

These programs are tailored to equip students with the precise skills needed in the filmmaking industry.

Practical Learning Environment

Technical schools emphasize a learning-by-doing approach:

  • Industry-standard equipment: Familiarizes students with the tools they will use professionally.
  • Project-based work: Encourages students to develop a portfolio.

This approach ensures that students are proficient and confident in their specialties.

Alternative and Independent Film Schools in Tempe

For those seeking a unique approach to filmmaking education, alternative and independent film schools in Tempe offer distinctive methodologies and specialized focuses.

Independent Filmmaker Project

Organizations like the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) provide resources tailored to nurturing creative independence:

  • Funding assistance: Support for project financing.
  • Community events: Opportunities for networking and idea exchange.
  • Distribution strategy advice: Professional guidance on releasing films.

These resources are ideal for those who wish to maintain creative control over their projects.

Film Independent

Another notable organization is Film Independent, which supports innovative voices in film. This organization offers:

  • Access to grants: Financial assistance for projects.
  • Workshops: Training sessions on various aspects of filmmaking.
  • Mentorship programs: One-on-one guidance from industry professionals.

Film Independent fosters a community of filmmakers who push the boundaries of traditional filmmaking.

Online Filmmaking Courses Accessible from Tempe

In today’s digital age, many prestigious platforms offer exceptional online filmmaking courses that residents in Tempe can access. These courses provide flexibility and the opportunity to learn from industry experts around the world, making them ideal for those who need a customizable learning schedule.

Reputable Online Platforms

Several platforms have gained recognition for their comprehensive and professionally curated film courses:

  • Coursera: Known for its diverse offerings, Coursera provides a plethora of film-making courses and specializations, from basic production techniques to advanced storytelling and special effects. Coursera’s film courses are designed by top universities and industry leaders.
  • Udemy: This platform offers a variety of budget-friendly courses tailored to beginners and advanced learners. With lifetime access, Udemy allows you to learn at your own pace.
  • MasterClass: Famous for celebrity instructors, MasterClass offers classes taught by renowned filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron. This unique learning experience provides students with insider knowledge and techniques used in Hollywood.

Course Topics

Online courses cover a wide range of subjects, providing foundational and advanced skills:

  • Introduction to Filmmaking: Basics of directing, shooting, and editing films.
  • Screenwriting: Techniques for creating compelling scripts and character development.
  • Cinematography: Focuses on camera operation, lighting, and visual storytelling.
  • Post-Production: Editing, sound design, and special effects.

Advantages of Online Learning

Studying filmmaking online comes with distinct advantages:

  • Flexibility: Learn at your own pace and on your schedule.
  • Accessibility: Access high-quality education from anywhere in the world.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Many online courses are more affordable compared to traditional classes.

Online courses are an excellent supplement to local programs, allowing you to enhance your skills and keep up with the latest industry trends.

Internship and Networking Opportunities for Filmmaking Students

Real-world experience and professional connections are crucial components of a successful filmmaking career. Tempe offers several internship and networking opportunities tailored to filmmaking students.

Local Internships

Numerous organizations in and around Tempe offer internships for film students:

  • Production Studios: Many local production companies offer internships, allowing students to gain hands-on experience.
  • Media Companies: Intern at news outlets and digital media companies to acquire a broader skill set.
  • ASU Collaborations: Arizona State University’s Sidney Poitier New American Film School collaborates with industry giants, providing students with internships at Hollywood studios.

Networking Events

Building a professional network is essential for aspiring filmmakers:

  • Film Festivals: Participating in events such as the annual Phoenix Film Festival provides opportunities to meet industry professionals.
  • Workshops and Seminars: Attending workshops often facilitated by the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Media Professionals can help students expand their professional network.

Industry Connections

Forming robust industry connections can significantly impact career opportunities:

  • Guest Speakers: Schools like ASU regularly invite industry veterans to speak, offering students direct insight and potential mentorship.
  • Alumni Networks: Leveraging connections from successful alumni can open doors to various opportunities.

These experiences are invaluable, bridging the gap between academic learning and the professional world.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Filmmaking Students in Tempe

Pursuing a degree in filmmaking can be costly, but numerous financial aid options and scholarships are available to Tempe students to reduce the financial burden.

Types of Financial Aid

Several forms of financial aid can help you fund your education:

  • Grants: These are typically need-based and do not require repayment.
  • Scholarships: Awarded based on merit, talent, or specific criteria; several are dedicated to film students.
  • Student Loans: Federal and private loans that have to be repaid with interest.

Scholarship Opportunities

Various scholarships are available to aspiring filmmakers:

  • ASU Scholarships: ASU offers numerous scholarships for its students, including those enrolled in the Sidney Poitier New American Film School.
  • External Scholarships: External sources such as foundations and industry organizations often provide scholarships specifically for film students.

Application Process

Applying for financial aid and scholarships often involves:

  1. Filling out the FAFSA: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is crucial for accessing federal grants, work-study, and loans.
  2. Researching Scholarships: Look for scholarships that match your profile and field of study.
  3. Preparing Application Materials: Gather transcripts, recommendation letters, and any required essays or portfolios.

Securing financial aid and scholarships can significantly alleviate the cost of a film education, making it more accessible.

Career Outcomes and Industry Connections for Tempe Graduates

Graduating from a filmmaking school in Tempe positions you for diverse career opportunities in the film and media industry.

Potential Career Paths

Film graduates can explore various roles:

  • Director: Oversee all aspects of film production.
  • Producer: Manage the film’s financial, scheduling, and logistical aspects.
  • Screenwriter: Craft scripts and dialogues for films.
  • Editor: Edit raw footage into polished final products.
  • Cinematographer: Operate cameras and work on visual elements.

Industry Connections from Schools

The connections you make during your studies can lead to valuable career opportunities:

  • Internships and Mentors: ASU’s career support services and industry mentors play a significant role in job placement.
  • Alumni Network: Leveraging a strong alumni network can open doors within the industry.

Employment Projections

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects favorable growth for roles like film and video editors and camera operators. Industry growth translates to more job openings, ensuring a vibrant job market for graduates.

A solid education and valuable connections can propel you into a rewarding filmmaking career.

Student Testimonials and Success Stories

Hearing from past students can provide you with inspiration and practical insights about the filmmaking programs in Tempe.

Alumni Success Stories

Many graduates from ASU’s New American Film School have achieved remarkable success:

  • Award-winning Projects: Graduates have developed short films that have won industry accolades.
  • Major Studio Roles: Some alumni have secured significant roles in renowned production companies and studios.

Real-world Impact

Student testimonials generally highlight:

  • Comprehensive Training: Prepared them for various roles in the filmmaking industry.
  • Networking Opportunities: Helped them connect with key professionals.
  • Hands-on Experience: Gave them practical skills needed to thrive in real-world settings.

Scottsdale Community College Achievements

SCC graduates also share impactful stories of their journeys:

  • Project-Based Learning: Emphasize the value of hands-on projects.
  • Career Readiness: Appreciate the practical readiness the program provided.
  • Industry Mentorship: Benefit from ongoing guidance and support.

Learning from the successes of alumni can help you understand the real-world benefits of these programs.


In conclusion, exploring filmmaking schools in Tempe, AZ reveals diverse options for aspiring filmmakers. From comprehensive university programs and community colleges to flexible online courses and enriching internships, there is a wealth of opportunities for you to learn, grow, and succeed in the filmmaking industry. Use the information provided to choose a program that best fits your goals and begin your journey towards a rewarding career in filmmaking.

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