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FILM: Lights, Camera, Action!

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Student Short Films from the Lights, Camera, Action! Program






The Lights, Camera, Action! program is hosted by the Digital Storytelling program in the School of Journalism 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 Details

  • 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.


  • 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 Detroit

Students will explore Michigan's largest city through its automotive and Motown music industries. 

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”. 

Other Local 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 a visit to a state park and a beach day on Lake Michigan.

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) and celebrate with your professors.

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 29 - July 21, 2024

• June 29: Student Arrival
• June 30: Student Orientation
• July 1: Classes begin
• July 20: Classes End, Graduation Ceremony
• July 21: Student Departure

Other activities yet to be scheduled include: Day trip to Detroit, Lansing Lugnuts Baseball Game, Holland State Park Beach Day, Game Night at a Local Arcade, Tour of Lansing State Capitol


$3,800 USD

• Program orientation and tuition
• 50 on-campus meals
• On-campus single room housing
• Excursion to Detroit
• Excursion to Holland State Park
• Lansing Lugnuts baseball game
• Tour of Lansing State Capitol
• Game night at local arcade
• Graduation ceremony
• $20 Lyft Voucher to get to campus


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Apply online to a Short Course program through our online application system. 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.

The American Semester Program is looking for applicants who are in good standing (academically and behaviorally) at their home universities. Although ASP reviews your application, the faculty instructors of each course will have the final admissions decision and they reserve the right to deny admission.

Application Deadline: May 1, 2024