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Script to Screen: A One Day Film Intensive

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, in collaboration with the Fine & Performing Arts and Communications Departments of Fayetteville State University and the Fayetteville Cumberland Youth Council of Fayetteville Cumberland Parks & Recreation, are pleased to offer Cumberland County high school students an opportunity to apply for a free one day film intensive.

The purpose of Script to Screen is to provide students who are exploring a career in the film industry an opportunity to experience the many facets of film production under the guidance of a professional active in the industry. In this one-day film production intensive with noted writer, producer and director Jamel "Mel City" Thornton, students in grades 9-12 will learn theory and application in six key areas of film production:

          • Development and scriptwriting
          • Pre-production
          • Production
          • Wrap
          • Post-Production
          • Pitch and shopping distribution

There are 20 slots available and we are inviting any 9-12 grade student in Cumberland County to apply. Guidelines and application are below. Those chosen to participate will also receive a free ticket to True to Yourself and a meet and greet with Tichinia Arnold and Winsome Sinclair, CSA (see sidebar for more information).


            Tuesday, January 2, 2018 – 11:59 pm


            When: Friday, Feb. 16, 2018 (if selected, applicant must be able to attend on this day)
            Where: Campus of Fayetteville State University
            Time: 8:30 am – 5 pm

Mel City
Mel City got his start in the industry on Spike Lee’s infamous He Got Game. His extensive resume includes work on OX’s hit television series New York Undercover; Belly; countless music videos for artists such as DMX, The Lox, Ja Rule, Mobb Deep, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Janet Jackson. Mel City has also worked with highly sought after directors like Chris Robinson, Director X (formerly Little X), Dave Myers and Benny Boom and is currently producing FLINT 6, a fictional-biopic which confronts the Flint Water Crisis head on. An Army veteran, Mel City holds a B.S. in Communication Arts & Mass Communication from St. John’s University, attended Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Houston, Texas) and is currently studying for the New York Uniform Bar Exam.


  • Open to any 9-12th grade Cumberland County Resident
  • Entries are limited to individuals only. Group submissions are not eligible.

Step 1:            Written Application

Click here for application

Make sure to respond to both questions in the written portion of the application.

1. Why is film important to you? (maximum 500 words)

2. What areas are you interested in and why? (maximum 500 words). Choose from the following

All areas of the application must be completed and signed by the applicant and parent/guardian to be considered complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

  • Development and Script Writing
  • ​Pre-Production includes
    • Budgeting
    • Script Breakdown
    • Casting
    • Crewing
    • Scouting
    • Tech
    • Tests
  • Production
  • Wrap
  • Post-Production
    • Edit
    • SFX
    • VFX
    • Music 
    • Sound
  • Pitch and shopping distribution

Step 2:            Video Application

All applicants must submit a video between 2 – 5 minutes. Videos must be in English or subtitled in English. 

Within the allotted time frame (no shorter than 2 minutes and no longer than 5 minutes), applicants must address the following six topics in order:

  1. Are you involved in any film related activities?
  2. How would you benefit from this experience? 
  3. Who/What in the film industry inspires you (role model)
  4. How does your culture impact your interests and inspire you?
  5. How do you think global film industries are influencing your generation?
  6. Which element in a film do you think is the most important?

Applicants must provide a link to their video through a platform such as YouTube or Vimeo. We encourage applicants to set privacy settings to their videos so that only those with a link can view them. Please do not choose platforms that require the evaluators to sign up or subscribe to the platform.

A panel will review all eligible applications. The Panel consists of volunteers with professional experience in the arts and film/videography, and members of the Fayetteville Cumberland Youth Council. At least one member of the Panel will be an Arts Council staff member.

The written application and video are the applicant’s opportunity to present their best case for selection. The panel makes selection recommendations based solely on the information provided by the applicant.

Please note – it is understood that not every applicant will be proficient in every evaluation criteria. The purpose of the project is to provide a learning experience with a working professional. Each application will be evaluated on an overall impression of the applicant’s strengths in the following areas:

Content objective: planning and flow (15 points)
Ideal applicants will:

  • Follow the Guidelines
  • Answer questions in the order they are presented
  • Include only relevant content that relates to the provided questions

Technical: video, audio, lighting (15 points)
Ideal applicants will:

  • Have an in-focus and stable camera at a suitable angle for viewing the subject
  • Eliminate background noise and have the appropriate audio loud and clear
  • Have a well-lit image with elimination of shadows

Creativity/Artistic Merit (60 points)
Ideal applicants will:

  • Provide thoughtful and original responses to the provided questions
  • Display connections between the applicant and the content of the program
  • If special effects are used, they are relevant to the core message of the application

Credibility: copyright adherence (10 points)
Ideal applicants will:

  • If music, photos and/or any external material is used, it is cited properly

Click here for FAQs

The panel will meet the week of January 8, 2018. All applicants will be notified of their status by Jan. 15.

If you have any questions about your project’s eligibility, or questions about these guidelines, we encourage you to contact Adrienne Trego, Education and Outreach Director,, 910-323-1776 ext. 228 by Dec. 14, 2017.

We will be unable to respond to inquiries made after Dec. 14.