American Film Institute- CSUMB

“Lights, Camera, Action!” reverberated through the halls of the Foreign Language Lab at CSUMB Saturday, September 22. Eighteen budding filmmakers (educators all!) from across Central California learned filming concepts, and then shot and critiqued three short videos over an eight hour seminar with Frank Gutter of the American Film Institute Screen Education program. A partnership between Computer Using Educators (CUE), Discovery Education and CSUMB brought educators and their cameras together for this great seminar.

“The AFI workshop allowed me to learn as my students would, giving me a better grasp of the process using a “hands-on” approach,” commented DEN member Jackie Berger.

Indeed, teachers and administrators became the students, walking through a well-crafted program developed by AFI. We learned planning and shooting basics, focusing on the details vital for clear communication using video. AFI’s method is based on learning through doing, with well-designed discovery steps complete with hands-on activities and critiquing sessions that focus on increasing detail throughout the day.

“We learned how to really plan and to differentiate between documenting an event and telling a story,” noted DEN member and CUE host Karl Forest, “The amount of attention to camera and shooting detail tremendously impacts the impact and quality of a story students will tell.”

The free curriculum is available at, where you can download AFI’s 21st Century Educator’s Handbook. Registration requires a special code: DEN members should use US222 for a free, one-year membership to AFI resources and materials.

Also look for professional development videos at DiscoveryStreaming introducing the AFI concepts to teachers and students featuring Sean Astin. They are available by searching for “AFI.”

Take this valuable seminar if you can! Frank will again present at the International Student Media Festival

~by Guest Blogger- Karl Forest


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  1. Frank G. said:

    Hi DEN-sters!
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The members of the Discovery Educator Network are among the best, most enthusiastic learners I encounter.
    In addition to the upcoming AFI Screen Ed workshop at the International Student Media Festival ( we’ll also be offering the training at next year’s CUE conference ( The workshops are a great companion experience to using the AFI Lights, Camera, Education! videos at DiscoveryStreaming.

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