Video Cinema Arts

Video Cinema Arts Audition Requirements for 2020-2021 Admissions

All applicants must thoroughly read and follow the 4 step application/audition process on the Admissions homepage.

David Higgins and Amy McGrath

Click Here

November 1, 2019 – January 3, 2020 at 9:00 am

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
6:00 pm

DSA does not have a shadow program. Instead, we have 5 Preview Mornings. Preview is from 7:40 am – 9:30 am. It is for both parents and students. Everyone will spend the first half of the time in one large group hearing from the DSA principal. After the large group session, students and parents will receive a tour of the school from a DSA parent who is in the same major you’re interested in auditioning for.

To sign up for a Preview Morning, click HERE

Your specific audition time will be given to you at the preaudition meeting. Audition dates are:

January 21, 2020 – high school (originally middle school)
January 25, 2020 – middle school (originally high school)

If your student needs accommodations for the audition, as written in a 504 or IEP, please provide a copy of the 504 or IEP to Assistant Principal Aspen Burkett ONE WEEK before your student’s audition date.


Please make sure you apply online between November 1, 2019 and January 3, 2020 by 9:00 am.

Admissions Info Here 2020

VCA Audition Handout 2020

You are then required to attend the Video Cinema Arts Preaudition Meeting on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.


VCA Recommendation Form 2020


Please email the link to your video project to by 3:00 pm, January 17, 2020.

If you would like to see a sample of audition videos made by two students who were accepted into DSA check out:
Example Middle School Video
Example High School Video

1. VCA applicants will create a 2 minute video project, which can be documentary or fiction form. The project must tell some kind of a story. Our preference is to view your project on youtube or vimeo. Please email the link to your video project to by 3pm, January 17, 2020.

If you cannot upload your project, hard copies of the projects on DVD can be delivered to the DSA office, care of Mr. Higgins.

2. If you do not have access to video equipment, you may prepare a PowerPoint presentation or photo display board, featuring at least 12 original photos. Your photo presentation must tell some kind of story (including a text component), as well as show evidence of your composition skills. This project must be delivered to the DSA office, c/o Mr. HIggins by 3pm, January 17, 2020.

3. It is the expectation of the DSA Video Cinema department that all video/photo projects presented for auditions represent primarily the work of the applicant. We are interested in seeing the writing, shooting, and editing capabilities of each applicant.

4. As a companion to the video or photo piece, all applicants must write a “treatment”- a written explanation of the story of their video project. This treatment will be featured in the student’s portfolio, to be presented at the time of their audition. Additionally, applicants may want to include storyboards, shot lists, or any other planning documents in their portfolio.

Bring this with you to your audition. Use this list as a checklist, and please make sure that your portfolio includes all of the following elements. We will be holding on to these portfolios to help us make our decisions. They will be available for pickup during DSA office hours (7am-3:30 pm, M-F) from February 18 – Feb 21, 2020 only. After that time, portfolios will go into recycling.

1. The first section of all VCA applicant portfolios should be the student’s resume. Please see the attached Sample Resume for a suggested format:

Sample Resumé

2. The second section of your Portfolio should contain the written story or “treatment” that you developed for your audition video or photo project. If you designed storyboards, shot lists or any other planning documents for your project, put them here.

3. The third section of your portfolio should include photos, drawings, short stories or other writing, cartoons, designs, or any other relevant work that will help us see how you think about telling stories and expressing them visually.

4. Finally, if you have awards or documentation regarding other activities that you want us to know about, you can include these in the back of your portfolio.


All students should show up for their audition 45 minutes prior to their interview time to begin the written portion of their audition.

1. The first element of your audition is a written exercise. Students will be asked to develop a story idea for a film based on a visual prompt. Students will also watch a brief film clip and answer some questions about what they saw. The writing component will take between 30-45 minutes.

2. After you complete your written audition, you will have a meeting with the VCA audition panel. This panel is generally comprised of both VCA teachers, as well as a community member or VCA grad with knowledge of our program. During your interview, you will first present your video or photo project to the panel, and then be asked to explain your project and its story. The panel will then ask a number of questions regarding your interests and experience related to film and video production. Applicants will be ranked according to the outcomes of their interviews, written assignments, portfolios, and video or photo projects. All students who audition will be notified by email on February 11, 2020 as to whether or not they have been accepted.

Parents: You will not be allowed to accompany your student into the audition.