Summer Winding Down is…GOOD News?

Yes it is! In one small way, at any rate…


ACMi’s Regular Business hours are back!

Starting in September, ACMi will be open:

Monday – Thursday                 10 am – 8 pm

Friday                                          10 am – 6 pm

Saturday                                     By Appointment Only

And don’t forget!

Whatever the season, it’s always the right time

to renew your ACMi membership!

ACMi’s 2015-16 membership year runs through June 30, 2016, so

there’s plenty of time to take full advantage of the many benefits.

SummerFun Recap

With SummerFun now behind us, we sat down with ACMi Youth Coordinator Jessica Barnthouse to talk about the program and what the students learned.

Be sure to tune into the ACMi Education Channel to watch the full SummerFun 2015 special:

  • Sunday, Tuesday, & Thursday at 1:30PM
  • Monday, Wednesday, & Friday at 8PM

It All Comes Together on Day 5 of Summer Fun!

What’s the best way to integrate all that our TV Production participants have learned throughout the week in typical ACMi fashion? Why, challenge them with making a 1-minute original film on the last day of camp!

The campers were randomly divided into two groups, assigned a genre for their film, and given a specific character, prop, and line that had to be included. With guidance from ACMi staff and select Summer Fun alums, the kids got right to work (or should I say play?), throwing themselves into the project with characteristic creativity and gusto…


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The results? Although they contained many of the same elements, the films each had a distinctive style that reflected the unique collaboration that produced it. But there is at least one way in which the two efforts were nearly identical – both teams had a TON of FUN making their movies!!

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Summer Fun Plays with Reality on Day 4

Today our Summer Fun participants are having a blast image1exploring the magical opportunities offered by Green Screen technology. A number of them have taken on the roles of “field reporters” for an imaginary newscast, filming their on-site dispatches in front of a Green Screen. The trick is that, while the newscast’s anchors know what locations these reports are coming from, the reporters themselves have no idea!

They will attempt to guess from the available clues, and will only find out if they are right when the “scene” that has been projected behind them is magically revealed at the end of the game.

This activity offers excellent insight into the typical approach to teaching and learning here at ACMi, and not just for kids! Direct, hands-on experience with the available technology is offered in a context of creativity, imagination, and just plain fun!

Interested? Find out more by clicking on the Membership tab on this website, or come see us at our main Studio at 85 Park Ave in Arlington Heights. There’s no better way to learn how to make TV!

Day 3 of Summer Fun – Stop-Motion Animation!

image1-3The Summer Fun experience continues today with a crash course in Stop-Motion Animation. All twelve of our charges were punctual as always, and more than ready to take on the week’s newest challenge. ACMi’s characteristic approach to instruction begins with a brief overview provided by Jess, quickly followed by diving right into the process itself. As you can see below, the components required to produce a piece of Stop-Motion Animation include storyboarding, assembling animation materials, and setting camera angles, lighting, etc. As with everything else, these guys learn fast!

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It’s Show and Tell at Summer Fun


ACMi’s resident interior design wizards (and Summer Fun ringmasters) Jonathan Barbato and Jessica Barnthouse turned our studio into a brand-new set just for “Show and Tell,” a new interview show in which our Summer Fun participants share an object that is particularly significant for them. Whether in front of the camera or working behind the scenes as camera operators, audio engineers, and technical directors, each and every one of the youngsters will be doing their part to produce “Show and Tell.”


Their reward – by only the second day of the session (!), they will have created a program that they and their friends and families can watch on TV!


Summer Fun 2015 Starts Up


Just as they do every year, a dozen effervescent middle schoolers arrived today at ACMi to begin their weeklong Workshop in Television Production. We are delighted to take part in this collaboration with Arlington Community Education to provide a fun-filled, action-packed week of hands-on television experience to the youngsters.

As you can tell from the photo above, the students jumped right in with vigor and enthusiasm. As their parents met them outside at the end of the first session, more than one “Awesome!” was heard in response to questions about how the day had gone…it promises to be another great week of Summer Fun!!

Animation Festival and Workshop

ASAFF_Logo001_2015Arlington Community Media Inc. and Friends of Robbins Farm Park announce the third annual Arlington Short Animation Film Festival, an evening outdoor festival showcasing local animated work for all ages.

Date:   Saturday, August 29 (Rain date: August 30)

Time:   Films will begin at Sunset (around 8 pm)

Place:   Robbins Farm Park

Want to show your own film in the festival?
Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2015

For more information about how to submit and the festival itself,
visit the festival page.

And more great news for aspiring animators!

In anticipation of the festival, the Studio Knights (ACMi’s in-house production group) are offering a series of four weekly Animation Workshops on Wednesdays from 7-9 pm, beginning July 8. Learn all you need to know to create your own animated film, then submit it to the festival and come to your own Premiere on August 29th!