Frequently Asked Questions

The most frequently asked questions about Sneak On The Lot are listed in the drop-downs below.
If you want to ask a different question, please contact us.

What is Sneak On The Lot?

Sneak On The Lot is an all online filmmaking curriculum for high schools, middle schools and homeschoolers everywhere. It is the only program of it’s kind, and offers to students the full set of tools and lessons necessary to not only learn film making skills, but to develop their unique interpersonal and collaborative abilities.

Who can use the Sneak On The Lot program?

Sneak On The Lot is available for homeschoolers, high schools and middle school classrooms.  However, we are currently working on a new curriculum for younger users.

How does the program help instructors?

With each classroom subscription comes the Gradebook. The Gradebook allows teachers to see their students’ individual progress at a glance, review each group’s progress, and adjust assignments as necessary. With Sneak On The Lot, teachers can teach in a paperless, customizable way that keeps pace with their students.

How much does the program cost?

The cost of a Sneak On The Lot login is about the same as a textbook. Schools that purchase more logins can receive discounts on the per-student price. For pricing, please contact a Sales Representative at 877-977-3456.

What is included in a login?

A Sneak On The Lot Login grants you access to all online filmmaking tools, featuring the tutorials, Hollywood interviews, music library, sound effects, stock footage, forums, curriculum, and the chance to participate in the community and student film festivals.

What is the teacher's role in the program?

In the classroom, the teacher acts as a facilitator, consultant, and “studio director”. It is the teachers’ role to guide students to the necessary tools within Sneak On The Lot to realize their film making goals for the class. The teacher also monitors the progress of individuals and group projects to ensure that students remain focused on an achievable goal.

Who can teach a Sneak On The Lot class?

We’ve found that instructors with a background in applied technology are most prepared to teach the course. However, Drama, English, History, or almost any other teacher or homeschooler with an interest can have great success with the program.

Can colleges use Sneak On The Lot?

Sneak On The Lot’s curriculum is extremely flexible and scalable. It can be used from middle schools all they way through college courses and beyond.

How can I learn to use the tools?

Every summer, Sneak On The Lot offers a week long on-location workshop as we film a production. Teachers and students are encouraged to attend and work side-by-side with industry professionals on a Sneak On The Lot production. Throughout the week, teachers are also trained on the SOTL software. In addition to the Summer Workshops, Sneak On The Lot offers a training DVD set to guide teachers through the tools.

What kind of support will I receive when things get difficult?

Here at Sneak On The Lot, we want to help you teach. We will answer any technical questions you may have. We are also always listening for ways to improve the classroom experience for students and instructors.

Where will I get the money to pay for all of this?

Sneak On The Lot is flexible enough to fall under any one of several budget headings for your school or district. Also, private and government grants are available for teachers to introduce further technology into the classroom. It has been our experience that local businesses are often willing to sponsor Sneak On The Lot classrooms in the way of hardware or cash donations.

Do you recommend any filmmaking equipment?

Yes, Sneak On The Lot has a variety of hardware packages available, for the simplest filmmaking class to the advanced student studio. Teachers can also order any individual item from Online Store.

Do you provide any video editing software?

No, but video editing tools are available for both Macs and PCs at affordable low costs to no cost at all.

Mac – All Apple Computers come with preloaded video editing software called iMovie. iMovie is a basic tool for the beginning video editor. For a more advanced user, Apple also has Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro, an industry standard video editing suite.

PC— Any PC running a version of Windows XP or higher can download and use Windows Movie Maker for free. For the more advanced user, Sony Vegas offers a very capable video editing package.

Either Platform – Avid Free DV is a very basic version of industry standard Avid video editing software, and as the name suggests, it is free to download and use. Another popular and powerful option is Adobe Premiere. Premiere is available for a 30-day trial period with no obligation to buy and also offers subscription plans for students. For more information and video editing options, consult the ISM Message Boards Forum.

What do I need to start a course?

A classroom needs at least three things: a camera, a computer, and an Internet connection. Make sure you have the latest versions of Adobe Flash Player.  Additional tools will simply increase the educational and production value of the filmmaking experience.

Is Sneak On The Lot accredited?

Sneak On The Lot is currently working with local, state, and federal government agencies to receive various certifications. The Film industry does not have any training certifications, so Sneak On The Lot has created a set of training standards that teachers can learn at our Summer Workshop. Contact a Sneak On The Lot representative to find out what training certifications are available.

Does Sneak On The Lot meet state requirements?

Most states are eagerly trying to expand their use of technology in the classroom and Sneak On The Lot hopes to work with each state hand in hand, providing the tools necessary for a 21st century education. Consult the Sneak On The Lot website or contact a Sneak On The Lot sales representative for more information about any particular state. Sneak On The Lot is also currently working with state boards of education to create student benefits for the Summer Workshops. In addition, we are in talks with several higher educational facilities about possible scholarships. We should have more news about this as the year progresses.

What is the reading level of the curriculum

The curriculum is written in easy to understand terms. Each lesson is laid out in plain language, so most young teenagers will readily understand it. The structure of the program can be used to create a simple 30-second television ad for beginning students, or a full length, feature production for the advanced user.

How does this program help "at-risk" students?

Students often labeled “at-risk” are drawn to the Sneak On The Lot program as an outlet for their creative energy. Students are eager to work on their projects and produce high quality films, because of the “disguised learning” nature of the program. In the process, they learn to work with their peers, manage a schedule, solve problems, and focus their ideas in a constructive manner.

How does this fit into my existing film class?

The program can perfectly supplement any existing film classes you might have. The tools available (sound effects, music, interviews and more) through Sneak On The Lot will magnify your efforts and enable your students to more fully apply concepts from the classroom. Even if you already have a well-developed filmmaking course, chances are the Sneak On The Lot program offers some valuable planning and organizational tools you don’t already have.

What can the program do for students with interests other than film?

The Sneak On The Lot program is very cross-curricular. The diverse skills necessary to coordinate even a short film could readily utilize any student’s interest in history, science, music, finance, marketing, art, fabrication, writing, technology, photography, and many other areas. The program can utilize the schools existing resources for any one of these subjects, to enhance the students’ involvement in other subjects, and take advantage of tools that may not otherwise be used to full advantage.

Are you training the next generation of Hollywood Filmmakers?

The goal of the our team is to train students in planning, critical thinking, teamwork, scheduling, budgeting, writing, as well as all of the technical aspects of film, like camerawork and lighting. We want students to come away with an array of life skills. If they happen to be exceptional filmmakers at the end of the process, then that is a happy side-effect.

How long should the course be?

Our experience shows that classrooms have the most success when the program is used for a full school year. Students become proficient with the tools and understand the filmmaking process when they have a longer period of time to work on their projects.

Can schools have multiple students use the same login?

We have found that the program severely suffers when schools try to use more than one student on the same login. It becomes almost impossible for students to use the tools to full capacity, and for teachers to track progress. We recommend schools use one login for one student at a time, i.e. one student per semester or school year.

How many students should be in an classroom?

Classrooms can range in size from a handful to upwards of fifty. The more students involved, the more beneficial it becomes to have additional class periods with smaller class sizes.

Can I use this program in a broadcasting class?

Many of the concepts and principles for filmmaking are also used in broadcasting. Our program can be used to help organize a broadcasting class, but the tools are tailored for use on short feature film productions.

How do I sell this program to my superiors so that I can assure that I get the support in terms of backing and funding that I will need in order to make the program successful?

Here at Sneak On The Lot, we want to help you teach. We are more than happy to provide materials about the benefits of the Sneak On The Lot program, as well as success stories or presentations on the strength of the tools themselves. We also offer a free trial on our site so you can use the tools yourself and show them to others.

Suppose students use branded material in their films, like a NikeTM t-shirt or a BMW TM car? Does that infringe on trademarks or copyrights?

Fair use law is a tricky subject even for professionals. Most usage, such as the appearance of a NikeTM t- shirt or a BMW TM car, would most likely be considered fair use in that they are for nonprofit educational purposes. However, the use of copyrighted music and other audio is heavily restricted, and would require the express permission of the copyright holder. The same holds true for any video not originally captured by the student film makers. For this reason, we have made the music and sound effects libraries on Sneak On The Lot as extensive as possible so students can easily find legal audio components they need for their project.

How does this class tie into the school's vision for improvement through incorporating new programs such as School Within a School, and Smaller Learning Communities?

The Sneak On The Lot curriculum is designed to bring multiple classes together to collaborate on a larger project. The principles behind School Within a School and Smaller Learning Communities are fundamentally in line with the Sneak On The Lot program.

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