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!


ACMi Summer Hours Begin




The days get longer…

And ACMi’s hours get shorter!

For the months of July and August, ACMi will be open:

Monday – Thursday                 10 am – 7 pm

Friday                                          10 am – 5 pm

Saturday                                     By Appointment Only

And don’t forget!

Summertime ALSO means

it’s time to renew your ACMi membership!

ACMi’s 2015-16 membership year begins July 1st – renew early

to take full advantage of the benefits.

Pocket Filmmaking Workshop

Did you know that you may be carrying everything
you need to make an original video

in your pocket?!

It’s true – your iPhone is powerful and versatile enough to do the job IF you get the right training to unleash its capabilities. That’s where ACMi comes in! Our outstanding Production Coordinator, Jonathan Barbato, will teach you the tips and tricks you need to get the most out of your iPhone video.

Pocket Filmmaking Workshop 101

Tuesdays 6-8 pm, June 30 & July 7

  • Session 1: fully unlock the power of your camera!
  • Session 2: edit a complete video on your phone!


Each participant will require:
  • An Apple smartphone or tablet with charger.
  • A pair of headphones with built-in mic (your iPhone came with a pair). These are also available at any local store.


And that’s all it takes!

ACMi Members – $20

Non-Members – $40

Email to sign up at

Space is Limited – Sign up NOW!! 


Studio Knights June Schedule is Here

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Fresh off celebrating its one-year anniversary last month, ACMi’s premiere production group – the Studio Knights – continues to offer innovative, exciting opportunities to all ACMi members to join them in making TV! June’s remaining calendar of activities and workshops appears below, and we invite anyone who is interested in collaborating with others to produce a wide variety of programming while having a great time doing so. The Studio Knights ride virtually every Wednesday night – come see what all the FUN is about!!

  • June 10 – CANCELLED

    Electricity Show shoot postponed to July

  • June 17 – The Avocado Show Studio Shoot

    Join Kurt Fusaris as he explores the political scene in Arlington in this parody news program.
    Location: Studio A

  • June 24 – The One-Minute Film Pre-Production Workshop

    Learn how to create storyboards and script breakdowns in this pre-production boot-camp-style evening.
    Location: Studio B

APN Launches New Series – “Your Arlington Dollar”

Your Arlington Dollar

In anticipation of the start of Town Meeting, Arlington Public News introduces a comprehensive new series – “Your Arlington Dollar.” The goal is to shed light on the entire budget process in Arlington, and to clarify where the money for town services and operations comes from, and where it’s going. Our approach to doing so will encompass:

  • point-counterpoint style debates with expert panelists;
  • interviews with prominent contributors to the budget process;
  • introductions to the various tools Arlington residents can use to access important information; and
  • analyses of the different committees and agencies that shape our town’s budget.

Segments that have already been completed include:

  • point-counterpoint discussions about the budget cycle and the adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA);
  • a conversation with Arlington’s Town Manager about the various tools available for residents to inform themselves about how their money is being spent; and
  • an investigation into the proposal to create a new Director’s position in town, that of Facilities Maintenance Director.

You can easily access all the installments in this series through this link,, which will take you to the appropriate Category on the APN website.

Our Regular Contributors include…

Annie LaCourt is a software systems consultant who has lived in Arlington for more than 25 years and raised two children here with her husband Mark Burstein. She is a long-time town meeting member and served as a Selectman from 2005 until 2012. Annie believes that budgets reflect values and that every tax dollar should be used effectively to further the community’s priorities.

Walter Fey is the owner of a small business – a public accounting company – who has lived and worked in Arlington for the past 30 years. He has served a couple of stints on the Finance Committee, most recently about 7-8 years ago. He currently serves as a member of the Arlington Zoning Board of Appeals. In matters of public policy, calling him a fiscal conservative would not be a lie, and he likes the idea of small rather than big government.