Filmmaking Workshop For High School


Aspiring young producers and actors are invited to dive into the creative and exciting world of filmmaking. Film pre-production, production, and post-production will be covered in this two-week program. Skills such as directing, videography, location sound, and editing with professional software will be taught. Students will collaborate in instructor-supervised groups to plan, shoot, and edit short films. Final projects will be premiered on the last day!

Early registration encouraged – spots for this program fill quickly.

Ages: 14-18 (rising grades 9 – 12)

Dates: July 22 – August 2, 2024 (two weeks)
9:00 am – 4:00 pm 

Tuition: $914

Location: Mason Fairfax Campus, Art & Design Building

Program Faculty

Lisa Thrasher

Instructor & Associate Professor of Film Business and Producing

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Lisa Thrasher is a creative Independent Film Producer with 20 years of filmmaking experience in Hollywood and the World beyond. Lisa has focused her producing career to creating authentic Queer and Women’s Arthouse fiction-films with diverse voices and stories that are much-loved by audiences worldwide.

Lisa’s films are creative collaborations with some of Hollywood’s top women and queer film and TV artists/creators, including Jamie Babbit, Cherien Dabis, Tina Mabry, Angela Robinson, Andrea Sperling, Colette Burson, Nefertite Nguvu, Doug Spearman, Jane Lynch, and Melanie Mayron. While Lisa is known for her robust creative vision, adept storytelling, and strong support of her Directors’ visions, she is also a solid practical Producer who strives to create collaborative, diverse, and equitable work environments, working within each film’s time and budget constraints.

Collectively, Lisa’s films have screened at over 1000 film festivals worldwide, including four Sundance, Berlinale, and South by Southwest Film Festival premieres and top-slot programming (Opening Night, Centerpiece, Closing Night) at Queer Film Festivals around the world. Lisa’s films have won over 90 film festival awards, a regional Television Academy Emmy, and a student Academy Award Nomination. Her short and feature films have achieved international and domestic commercial success in distribution via Theatrical, Television, Home Entertainment, and Streaming. Lisa has Produced international film and television productions in Kosovo, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

For over 10 years, Lisa co-headed POWER UP Films, a visionary film production company and non-profit educational organization dedicated to films by-and-for Women and the Queer community. As President of Film Production and Distribution, Lisa led all development, production, and distribution of POWER UP Films’ content and filmed entertainment, including Queer romantic comedy features “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” (Berlinale “Teddy Award” Nominee and the South by Southwest “Best Narrative Feature Jury Award winner) and the rock-musical-comedy “Girltrash: All Night Long” (Cinneffable: Paris Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival, Best Film); and, the Marriage Equality Public Service promotional campaign, “Get to Know Us First.”

Previously, Lisa worked inside the Hollywood Entertainment Studio system, doing International Anti-Piracy litigation, International Anti-Piracy Policy Relations, Trademark Prosecution & Appeals, and Licensing & Merchandising. While in-house at the 20th Century Fox Film Studio, Lisa sat on the Motion Picture of Association of America’s International Anti-Piracy Committee to conduct joint International Anti-Piracy litigations and engage in International Anti-Piracy negotiations with Heads of State in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lisa has taught at a number of universities, including Chung Ang University in Seoul, Korea; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; University at Buffalo, New York; and, the Madrid Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Lisa also participates in many Film Festival industry panel discussions, including “Sex on Screen” South by Southwest panel with John Cameron Mitchell; Frameline’s “We Want our Dykeback Mountain” panel; and, the Belfast International Film Festival in Northern Ireland with Daniela Sea and Julie Christie.

Lisa’s Fine Art Photography has been exhibited in the US and France. Lisa was awarded the prestigious Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Visual Arts Fellowship for her Fine Art Photography.

Ben Steger

Mason Film & Video Studies Professor

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Benjamin Steger has been making films and videos since the 1990’s. He has considerable experience as a director, producer, documentary cinematographer, editor, and sound recordist for documentary, fiction and institutional films. He holds an M.F.A. in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago and a B.A. in Theater and Film from the University of Kansas.  

His latest project, Vibrations, is a documentary series on contemporary world music, the first season focusing on the music cultures of Southeast Asia. The project received a 2018 Summer Impact Grant from George Mason University’s Office of the Provost which enabled four Mason undergraduate Film and Video Studies students to work with Steger in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam on the series.

His documentary, Stage Four: A Love Story, was awarded “Best International Feature Length Documentary” at the 2016 DOCFeed Documentary Festival in the Netherlands and “Best Feature Length Documentary” at the 69th Annual University Film and Video Association International Conference in 2015. 

Left Field, a feature length documentary directed by Steger about an oddball community of artists, musicians and misfits that coalesce around the grade school game of kickball, screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago as well as the Austin, DocuWest and DocuFest film festivals among many others. 

Great Bend, a short fiction film written and directed by Steger was selected as a “Critic’s Pick—Best of Festival” at the 2006 Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee by film critic Robert Butler of the Kansas City Star.

Steger was commissioned by the National Park Service to create two short videos that were made in cooperation with George Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication. Mason students and alumni acted as crew, gaining valuable experience and employment. 

Adapting for the Future: National Parks and Climate Change Resilience screened at the 2016 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital while Stewards of the Parks won Best Film in the Hope Category at the Film Festival for Climate Change in Portland, Oregon.

Steger has been nominated three times for Mason’s Teaching Excellence Award and once for Mason’s OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award. He created and directs the Mason Community Arts Academy Film and Video Summer camp for adolescents.


  • Please note that group classes are subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment is not reached.
  • Be sure to check our policies and procedures regarding registration, withdrawals, refunds, and more for summer group classes.
  • All students will receive a Welcome Letter via email at least 1 week before the class starts with all necessary details.
  • Online registration closes 2 business days before the first class, however space may still be available. Please contact for more information. A $10 late registration fee may apply.
  • For additional information, please contact the Academy at