Abby Livingston had a great time at Digital Media Academy tech camp last summer. And it was definitely a true learning experience for the 13-year old from Santa Cruz, Calif.

Abby Livingston (left) gets ready to set up a shot for her DMA digital filmmaking class.

Abby discovered two key things. First, that making a quality film is lots more complicated than just buying a videocamera, even now, when videocameras can accomplish a lot more – but only if you know how to use them effectively.

Even more importantly, Abby learned she was able (with the right instruction) to overcome the complex filmmaking process and complete her own movie.

Here’s what she had to say about her experience in teacher Travis Schlafmann’s digital filmmaking courses at Stanford this past July:


What did you actually create at DMA tech camp?
I created a movie. It’s a short film that’s a horror/mystery.

How did it make you feel when you completed your final project?
Happy. It felt like a big accomplishment that I could make a real movie. Especially when I found out it was a lot more complicated than I had realized.

What were the most fun things about attending DMA tech camp?
I liked being independent, and having lunch on our own. Plus, meeting people from around the world. And getting to make my own movie.

Did you make friends at DMA camp this summer?
Yes, from all over the place. There was Anna from Hong Kong, Saf from Singapore and Jay from Oakland. I also went to camp with my friend, Morgan.

Are you using what you learned at DMA now that you’re back at your regular school?
Yes. I’m using it for my school’s elective video production class.

Have any particular skills you learned at DMA come in handy?
My knowledge of storyboarding and the camera, and how to line up the shots I need.

It felt like a big accomplishment that I could make a real movie. Especially when I found out it was a lot more complicated than I had realized.
– DMA Filmmaking Student Abby Livingston

Would you like to come back to a DMA tech camp next summer?
Yes!!! For two weeks this time.

DMA offers outstanding one-week and two-week filmmaking courses for kids (6-12), teens (12-17) and Pros (14 and older).

So, would you suggest DMA tech camps to your best friends and their parents?
Yes! I would, for sure!

And were your parents pleased with your DMA experience?
Yes! They could see how much it meant to me and how much I liked it. They liked that I gained new skills that I’m still using.

Come have a great time with other teens at DMA filmmaking camps at Stanford, like Abby Livingston.


For nearly 15 years, DMA has brought out the best in kids (ages 6-12) and teens (12-17), and next summer’s camp season lies right around the corner.

Now’s the ideal time to register for the course of your choice at one of DMA’s premium tech camp locations.

Why now? We’ve just released DMA’s 2016 Summer Camp schedule. Which means it’s the best time to secure your child’s place in camp, especially with many camps already starting to fill up.

There’s a second reason. Our Holiday Savings Season has begun, bringing with it incredible offers on summer camp tuition. These peak savings of the year only last through Dec. 21st, so smart parents are booking spots now.

It’s the safest way to make sure next summer becomes the ultra-cool learning adventure of a lifetime!

Special thanks to DMA’s Rachelle Harding for coordinating this interview!