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Lights, Camera, Action!

Behind the Scenes 2017


 2017 Student Short Films from the Lights, Camera, Action! Program
(click a poster to watch the film)






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The Lights, Camera, Action! program is hosted by the Department of Media and Information at MSU. During this fast-paced short course, students will be trained in basic single camera production techniques for professional projects. Guided by experts, students will move from learning foundation work all the way to professional video processes. Participants will learn how to produce professional projects from conception to delivery.

During the course, students will work in groups and apply knowledge acquired during this course to produce a high quality, 5-minute short film project. These films will be produced at a professional level, not a student level, and the expected level of quality is such that they would be accepted into the program of a US-based film festival. 

Training will cover the following areas:

  • Professional Camera Operation techniques
  • Composition
  • Basic 3-point Lighting
  • Professional Audio for Video
  • Importing, Editing, and Exporting projects
  • Creating powerful visual stories
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Scripting Storyboarding

The Lights, Camera, Action! Short Course is led by MSU Faculty Member Troy Hale, who is an Emmy award-winning television journalist. For specific topics such as sound editing and finishing, he will bring in experts in those areas who also teach at MSU.

You can read Troy's full bio on the College of Communication Arts and Sciences website.

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This course is taught by Full-Time MSU Faculty. Our faculty look forward to teaching ASP courses and often remain connected to students long after the course finishes. 


Students will live on campus at Michigan State University’s Owen Hall

To learn more about Owen Hall and see some photos, click here.

Accommodation Includes:

  • All students will be placed in single rooms, sharing a suite style bathroom with one other person of the same gender
  • Rooms are furnished with a bed, desk, chair, and dresser
  • Bed linens, pillows, and towels are provided by the residence hall and can be exchanged for clean linens weekly
  • Owen Hall has several common spaces including a take-out style restaurant and convenience store, cafeteria style seating, a media room, community kitchen, study rooms, a computer lab, music practice rooms, and a large outdoor patio
  • Air conditioning is not available in individual rooms, but all common spaces are air-conditioned. Students are provided with box fans in their rooms

Internet Access in Owen Hall

  • Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and common spaces throughout Owen Hall.

Owen Hall Security

  • Owen Hall has a service desk staffed 24-7. The staff can answer any questions residents have and can help resolve maintenance issues by contacting maintenance staff.
  • All students are given a key to their room and an access card upon check-in. Only residents can access the floor on which they live in Owen Hall with their access card.


  • Students have access to IM East, the closest fitness facility. Access is only $3 per day.
  • Toilet paper and trash bags are provided free of charge by Owen Hall.
  • Sports equipment can be checked out from the service desk.
  • River Walk Market, a takeaway style restaurant, is located in the lobby and accepts Spartan Cash.

Activities & Excursions

Day trip to Chicago or Cedar Point

Students may explore ‘The Windy City’! Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the US and has one of the tallest skylines in the world with the Willis Tower (110 Story) and the John Hancock Center (100 Story) observation decks offering amazing views of the city. Chicago is home to over 250 theaters, however, our favorite is The Second City a comedy club with over 50 years of history some of the most famous comedians got their start right here including Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Joan Rivers, Steve Carell, and Mike Myers.

Cedar Point is a 364-acre  amusement park located on a Lake Erie peninsula in Sandusky, Ohio. Opened in the late-1800s, it is reported to be the second-oldest operating amusement park in the United States. The park features a world-record 72 rides, including 17 roller coasters – the second-most in the world.

Tour of the Michigan Capitol Building

Lansing is just down the road from MSU, and it is our state capital. Tour the historic building and learn about Michigan’s history and how our government works.

Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Game

The Lansing Lugnuts are Lansing’s own minor league baseball team, and we’ll go to a game and cheer them on! Experience the traditional American sport of baseball, eat hot dogs at the ball park, and try to get a picture with the Lugnuts’ mascot “Big Lug”. Before we go to the game, our interns will lead you in a game of kickball to help you understand the basics of baseball.

Explore Michigan Excursions

Michigan is home to diverse cities and beautiful parks and lakes, and summer is the best time to explore! We will travel to different areas in Michigan to help you explore both our cities and our landscapes. Potential excursions include city tours of Detroit, and beach day on Lake Michigan, or a day trip to Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan.

American Cuisine Demonstration

Learn about American cuisine while watching a demonstration by one of our chefs at Brody Square.

Graduation Ceremony

Celebrate with your new friends the completion of your American Semester Program Short Course! Take part in an American style graduation (after decorating your grad cap!), celebrate with your professors, and eat dinner at out Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel.

Course Objectives & Outcomes

After successfully completing this short course, participants will have gained the following skills and knowledge

  • Learned the basic structure of a film project
  • Understood story development and the processes before you shoot
  • Camera/lighting/audio and editing techniques
  • What to do to “sell” your film to a film festival
  • Post-Production techniques at a Broadcast Standard Level.


In-Class Attendance & Participation (10%)
Script (20%)
Shoot Days (10%)
Rough Cuts (20%)
Final Film (40%


Beaumont Side Pic.pngLOCATION 

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 

Michigan enjoys all four seasons, and in July, MSU is typically very warm with lots of sunshine. Pictured here is an MSU landmark, Beaumont Tower.

Learn more about MSU!

Untitled-3ggsadgsdag.pngPROGRAM DATES

June 27 - July 17, 2020

• June 27: Student Arrival
• June 28: Student Orientation
• June 29: Classes begin
• July 3-5: Day trip to Chicago or Cedar Point
• July 10: Michigan Outing
• July 16: Classes End, Graduation Ceremony
• July 17: Student Departure

Other activities yet to be scheduled include: BBQ at Lake Lansing Park, Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Game, Excursion to Detroit and Outlet Mall


 $3,700 - $3,800 USD
(2020 fee announced November 1)

• Program Orientation and Tuition
• On-Campus Meals
• On-Campus single room housing
• Excursion to Chicago, Illinois
• Lansing Lugnuts baseball game
• Michigan Cultural Excursion
• Outlet Mall Shopping Trip
• Graduation Ceremony


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Apply online to a Short Course program through our online application system (click here). After creating your Traveler Profile, you can find this program and begin your application! Before you begin your application, however, please prepare the following (you will not be able to complete your application without them):

  • 500-word Personal Essay
    • Please explain why you believe you are qualified for this course and why you want to study abroad at Michigan State University in the USA.
  • Academic Transcript
    • Copies and unofficial transcripts are accepted.
    • You transcript must have your full name and your school’s seal/logo/name clearly visible.
  • Recommendation
    • Include the email address of someone who can recommend you as a participant in the program. This could be an academic advisor, study abroad advisor, professor, supervisor, mentor, etc.

The American Semester Program is looking for applicants who are in good standing at their home universities. Your application will be closely reviewed, and if you have several failed courses, you may be asked to submit additional materials to support your application. The faculty instructors of each course have the final admissions decision and they reserve the right to deny admission.

Application available November 1, 2019!