Will Online Education Transform Filmmaking?- Summer Steele (Part 2) #eLearner #Pi8 #PTW15 @Summer_Steele

Summer Steele addresses the question–what student needs is the traditional model of film school falling short of addressing?


She begins by explaining the different between the artsy film school and the technical film school. In a two-year program, they don’t have the time to teach the student everything.  The schools have to choose a focus.  The advantage of online education is as a supplement to this single track approach.

No school is perfect in terms of teaching film education. If you go to the traditional artsy school your education is going to lack in terms of the technical part….

Film schools also do not usually address the business piece. For example, they don’t teach you how to set up an LLC or show you how to find a distributor or to get financing. But a lot of this knowledge is available on online learning sources.

Audience Member makes the point:

The artsy schools tend to create scholars, the technical schools make participants, [tradesman]..for both filmmakers and people doing Web 2.0 and make moving pictures.

Another audience member counters that traditional schools offer the opportunity to establish a network and develop a dialog between artists. Traditional education buys students time to experiment and to find their voice.


Maybe the opportunity here is for the school to recognize their limitations, and embrace these supplemental online filmmaking education sources, to partner with them and to promote them to become better and better because the ultimate goal is to develop great filmmakers.

Summer Steele is on the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production faculty at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She earned an MA in Screen from the Drama Centre London. Her production experience includes directing, producing, and writing “Growing up Chevy” (shortlisted, New York Film Festival). She produced and directed “Peachy Delicious” (Film Directing 4 Women Int’l Film Festival, London). Most recently Summer has joined the Clean Slate Project as Co-Producer. A script-to-screen program that works with underprivileged children.

Part 3 will follow shortly and explores how online education for filmmaking falls short.


Notes for #Filmmaking and #eLearning Panel @elearnermedia.com, TODAY! @ 6pm. Follow Live Tweets

As part of the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival & Philadelphia TechWeek, on Tuesday, April 21st, @eLearnermedia, and @PhilaIndie present a Panel Discussion & Collaborative Brainstorm: Will Online Education Transform Filmmaking?

To Follow Live Tweets


  • #Pi8Talk
  • #UFF (Underground Film Forum)
  • #PIFF (Philadelphia Independent Film Festival)
  • #Pi8 (Philadelphia Independent Year 8)
  • #PTW15 (Philly Tech Week 2015)


  • @PhilaIndie
  • @elearnermedia

Some Questions to Prompt Conversation

Panelist Led Questions:

  • As a film educator, what student needs are the traditional model of film school falling short of addressing? (Summer)
  • From your experience using online education to learn about filmmaking, what has been helpful and what ed tech has really missed the mark? (Brittany)
  • Through the use of educational technology, how can the film business be more easily understandable to students? (Ben)

Open Discussion:

  • Without consideration of existing tech limitations, what would be some useful online learning or training tools that can be delivered anywhere on any device and would help film and video students in the field?
  • If all art forms require a deep understanding of what our forbearers accomplished, then how can online education be evolved to better teach the tradition of film and filmmaking?
  • What are benefits and pitfalls of online classes that are designed as massive open online courses (MOOCs)?
  • Considering the unique technical needs of filmmakers, how can educational technology be utilized at home, in the classroom, and in the field to offer more of a mentor and apprentice dynamic?
  • Discuss examples of video and filmmaking process that can’t be adequately addressed online.

Traditional Schools, Degree Programs, and other Schools With or Without Online Courses

Traditional Program

Online and Hybrid Programs

Asynchronous Classes and Massive Open Online Courses 



Additional Online Learning Resources

Articles and Other Resources Worth Exploring