Class work: theory phase
In the class work phases you will deepen your knowledge in the different areas of the film industry. That means attending seminars and workshops and broadening your skills and experience with the help of case studies.
During your time in Ludwigsburg, Paris and London you will attend seminars in the respective film schools. Selected instructors from the film industry will give classes and share their expertise in many different fields. The syllabus includes script development, financing, cost calculation, contract law, shooting planning, on-site shooting, promotion, distribution and international sales.
A further important component of the training year is specialised workshops at the different locations of the Atelier. For example, during the Berlinale workshops running over several days will offer valuable insights into the US film business. Under the guidance of instructors from the United States you will learn about the fundamental differences in the American film market. The aim is to broaden your horizons – and look at the film industry in Europe with new eyes.
It is important to take a closer look at good practice. Consequently you will constantly be confronted with case studies, to analyse together with your instructors. For example, your two weeks at the NFTS in London will include an initiation to the real-life issues encountered in the British production system.
Alternating theory and practice
Besides the classroom work outlined above, you will constantly broaden your mind through practice. The different destinations offer their own special opportunities for first-hand experience.
In Ludwigsburg you will take part in two several-day excursions – to Strasbourg and Munich. In France you will gain closer insights into everyday production routines at the broadcaster ARTE and also get to know the work of European film promotion at EURIMAGES. In Munich you will benefit from a visit to ARRI Postproduktion and ARRI Kino as well as meetings with commissioning editors from the fiction department of the TV channel Bayrischer Rundfunk.
Film festival visits
During the session in Paris you will attend the Festival Premiers Plans and the Cannes International Film Festival. A visit to the Berlinale is on the programme for February. At the film festivals you can attend all showings as an accredited trade visitor. You can have a peak behind the scenes of the film market and enjoy the many side events and tours. In Cannes you will also be able to gain at least two days of work experience in a firm for international sales. During the various visits you will constantly increase your knowledge about the organization, offerings and potential of a premier, ‘A’ festival.
In April up to seven weeks are reserved for an internship with a European film distributor or international sales company. In everyday business you will learn how to cope with different challenges and how to reach targets. Afterwards you can apply your new knowledge in a written study on the topic of distribution.
Producing your final short film
Besides all the theory, the practical planning and production of a short film is essential to the course. That is why you will have to think about this project from the very beginning. The first steps will be in October. Then, little by little, you will continually feed your new-found expertise into the short film project, until the final product is due at the end of the training year.
Since 2003 each year has developed short films on a given topic, in close cooperation with ARTE and SWR. Atelier participants slip into the role of producer. Students at our partner film schools in Ludwigsburg and Paris take on the direction, camera, editing, production design and music. Participants here have the opportunity to integrate from the start – to network and make valuable contacts for their future career. The short film project is broken down into different phases:
Script and cooperation selection At the start of the training year in autumn, you and the members of your year will view films by interested and potential directors. In parallel, the script students at the film schools in Ludwigsburg and Paris begin developing script proposals on a given topic. Each of the nine planned short films will be produced by two Atelier participants with different nationalities and native languages. So in autumn you will decide on the person you want to do your production with. At the following script pitch you and your partner will choose the scripts you are interested in. The final selection will be made with a drama expert, the heads of the programme of the Atelier and the editors Brigitte Dithard (SWR) and Barbara Häbe (ARTE). In Ludwigsburg the decision is taken at the end of the year – in Paris in the New Year.
Team-building and completing the shooting
After choosing the script, participants start building their team for the short film production. By March the authors and producers will put together a new version of the script. If possible they should involve the director in this. The team discusses the new script version with the editors, the drama expert and the Atelier programme directors. The aim is to submit the final version for shooting in June.
After the last classroom phases at the beginning of June you will concentrate on the short film project. Participants will divide into two groups: one producing the film in Paris and the other in Ludwigsburg. You and your team will plan, shoot and complete your film under the guidance of a line producer. In August the cut will be approved by the editors and Atelier managers. Then you will have two weeks to finalise the sound, music and mixing, and make any colour corrections. Finally you will deliver the finished master to the broadcaster. The deadline is the beginning of September
The year of continuous education is addressed to up-and-coming producers and distributors aged up to 30. It offers in-depth training with a European bias. If you have graduated from a film university or other relevant course, and have gained some professional experience in the film industry, we look forward to your application.
German and German-speaking candidates should send their applications to Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg. The same applies to English-speaking applicants without adequate French or German knowledge. Applications from French-speaking candidates go to the La Fémis film school in Paris. For more details, see www.femis.fr.
Please find additional information on how to apply here.