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Steven Jacobson

Steven Jacobson

From the beginning of his industry career as a child actor in Australia, Steven Jacobson has had a passion for the entertainment business. An accomplished director, Steven also has extensive experience in all aspects of motion picture production and cinematic storytelling. In addition, he has served as a film festival programmer, a screenplay dialect researcher, and has performed in a variety of film industry administrative roles.


A film production graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and a member of the Directors Guild of America, Mr. Jacobson was the Second Unit Director on the DreamWorks/Paramount blockbuster musical Dreamgirls and directed the Sony Pictures dance movie Center Stage: Turn It Up. A passionate film educator, Steven is currently teaching introductory, intermediate, and advanced film production, film theory, and screenwriting to students at New Roads School in Santa Monica, California.

Mr. Jacobson has a B.A. from USC.

My Courses

Experimental Filmmaking (Grades: Upper)

No art medium has captured the public imagination quite like the movies! Since the earliest filmmaking pioneers first projected moving images on to the big screen, audiences have been enthralled. This course introduces fundamental filmmaking techniques as students plan, shoot, and edit their own experimental short films. Students are encouraged to take creative risks and innovate as they find unique ways to convey their ideas visually, while also gaining an appreciation for the history and diversity of experimental filmmaking.


Note: Students will require an iPhone with a working video camera and an Apple Mac laptop with iMovie installed to participate in this course.

The Screenwriter’s Craft: Action Screenwriting (Grades: Upper)

It all starts with a script! Screenplays are at the heart of almost every film production, from summer blockbusters to long-running TV series. Screenwriting is also an exciting practice for anyone interested in honing their storytelling skills. This course introduces the fundamental tools and elements every adept screenwriter uses, including the three-act structure, professional screenplay format, brainstorming and character development techniques, and dialogue writing. These skills will be put into practice during the writing of short action sequences, giving students the experience of crafting high-octane cinematic thrills via the written word.

Personal Filmmaking (Grades: Upper)

This course explores the potential of personal, authentic filmmaking as students create short films drawn from their own experiences, dreams, and insights. The phrase “making it personal” will be our mantra as students are encouraged to “dig deep” creatively, instilling in their films a personal voice and unique vision. In the process, students will be empowered with fundamental technical and aesthetic skills such as composition strategies and the effective use of creative sound design.


Note: Students will require an iPhone with a working video camera and an Apple Mac laptop with iMovie installed to participate in this course.

The Screenwriter’s Craft: World Building (Grades: Upper)

Movies are visual experiences by definition, but they all start with the written word. Effective screenplays leap off the page, bursting with memorable imagery, vivid descriptions, and snappy dialogue. What better way to practice this craft of the imagination than by wiring short screenplays set in imaginary worlds? Dreaming up alternate realities and fantastical lands, students will stretch their creative muscles as they write correctly formatted, well-structured short science fiction and fantasy screenplays.

The Film Crew: Adventures in Collaborative Filmmaking (Grades: Upper)

Unlike many other art forms, film is a predominantly collaborative medium. But how does a film crew of multiple personalities work cooperatively to produce a compelling movie? This course will give students the opportunity to work in small groups to develop, plan, shoot, and edit short films. Each student will be given a specific responsibility, whether that be camera operator, actor, or director. In the process, they will learn the delicate art of compromise while ensuring their combined creative vision is not lost in the process. They will receive training and guidance along the way as they learn how responsibilities are divided and allocated in a professional film crew.

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