DAI Film School 101


pursue your dream of filmmaking and storytelling!



2024 Application Period is CLOSED

DeSoto Arts Institute has developed a unique, hands-on film certificate program set to begin February 13th, 2024, and culminating October 22nd. In its second year, this unique filmmaking instruction program focuses on professional digital film production, incorporating industry-standard filmmaking processes and techniques inside a professional film studio environment. 

Throughout the program, students collaborate to create a short film using their newly acquired skills. With Tuesday evening classes and monthly Saturday morning workshops held in DAI’s professional film studio, the program covers all facets of filmmaking, starting with story conceptualization, development, and screenwriting, progressing through the practicalities of pre-production, on-set filming, to post-production, and ending with the 4th Annual DeSoto Film Festival where select student film projects will premier and graduates will be recognized.

The primary aim of the program is to train and mentor students, encouraging them to boldly express themselves in the film and media industries, whether locally or elsewhere. The course is offered for only $199/month per student with classes one evening per week allowing the program to fit into even the busiest of schedules. 

Classes are primarily taught by Robb Smith who has worked in film and corporate video for over 15 years. Guest instructors will also be adding their expertise in various aspects of the curriculum.

DAI is seeking sponsors via partnerships with churches, non-profits, and local businesses to offset students’ costs via full scholarships and significant discounts. Through this sponsorship, the institute aims to share its industry knowledge with local ministries and locally owned businesses while supporting their sponsored students.

Classes are scheduled on Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 8:30pm, supplemented by monthly Saturday morning workshops. Throughout the year-long certificate program, students receive more than 130 hours of classroom time and hands-on instruction. 

Currently, there are openings for 30 students ages 16 and up. Enrollment is open until February 8th when the initial tuition payment is due. Your response regarding your interest is eagerly awaited. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age limits for the program?

This one-year program is open to ages 16 and up. Many of our students are older teens and 30 somethings. but there is never an age limit on learning.

When will I hear if I am accepted into the program?

We will contact students about selections by the end of January. Applicants may be asked to attend an in-person or video interview.

What if I am not selected?

Unfortunately, we are limited to how many students we can accept into the Film School 101 program each year. But we have good news! This is just one program that DAI has to offer. There are plenty of other ways to get involved in what we are doing. Make sure to regularly check the calendar to see what’s going on. Saturday Elective classes are open to anyone, whether a student is in the program or not.

Watch the calendar at http://desotoartsinstitute.com/calendar

Can my parents and I come meet you?

Certainly! We would love to meet you and/or your parents. Let’s make an appointment and if we are not out filiming somewhere, we’ll be here.



Story Ideation, Conceptualization and Development, Pitching & Feedback
2 Tuesdays starting 2/13/2024


Professional Screenwriting Techniques & Format
2 Tuesdays starting 2/27/2024 + Workshop on Sat 2/24 9am to Noon


Getting Creative, Team Building & Hiring
2 Tuesdays starting 3/12/2024

Get Set

Gear, Process, Etiquette and Team Collaboration
3 Tuesdays starting 3/26/2024 + Workshop on Saturday 3/30 9am to Noon

Picture Up

Cinematography, Lighting, Art Direction, Wardrobe, Hair & Makeup
4 Tuesdays starting 4/16/2024 

All Ears

Audio Production (Recording, Editing, Foley Production, Sound Design, Music Production)
4 Tuesdays starting 5/14/2024

Crew Call

Finding Your Spot, Crew Roles, and Skills Development
3 Tuesdays starting 6/4/2024

Tool Kits

Computer Applications and Project Organization
2 Tuesdays starting 6/25/2024

Get Ready

Pre-Production of a Film Project, Being Prepared
3 Tuesdays starting 7/9/2024


Directing Actors, Serving the Story, Realizing Your Vision
3 Tuesdays starting 7/30/2024


Casting, Auditions, Call Backs
3 Tuesdays starting 8/20/2024

Finish Strong

Post-Production (Editing, CGI/VFX, Color Correction and Grading)
4 Tuesdays starting 9/3/2024


Tuition Payments

We want your tuition payments to be as flexible as possible for you. Feel free to communicate with us if you have a specific need. We will do our best to work with you.


Tuition for each student is $199/month due on the 8th of each month.

Total tuition is $1791. 

A 5% discount is applied when automatic payments are set up.

A 10% discount is available for students paying in full up front.

Scholarships and discounts may be available as sponsors assist us. 

Questions can be directed to [email protected] 

Click here to sponsor your own students or contribute towards our student scholarship fund.