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First Academic Year Overview

Winter term first academic year

The foundation of the production design course at the Filmakademie...

Summer Term first academic year

The summer semester is mainly reserved for project work. The students work...

Second Academic Year Overview

Winter term second academic year

In the second year of study, technical skills and the cooperation with...

Summer term second academic year

The summer semester of the second year is also mainly used for project...

Winter term first academic year

The foundation of the production design course at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg is layed by a joined workshop with the students of cinematography.
All students work for a concept on the base of a script excerpt, that leads from the charakterization of the protagonists and the definition of their surrounding to the design of a movie set.
Next are visualizations by sketches, models, collages, patina trials and storyboards. The following ellaboration includes technical drawings, choice of props and costumes, coordination of working scedules and last but not least calculation of the project.
In the end a selected design is realized on the soundstage of the academy. In this set own different scripts will be made into movies.
Every two years at the end of the term a field trip will lead to movie cities like London or Berlin.


Summer Term first academic year

The summer semester is mainly reserved for project work. The students work with fellow students from other departments on their first own project.
In addition, seminars in production design analysis, costume design and presentation methodology, style analysis and case studies by well-known production designers are offered.
Students may also attend lectures on film history and seminars offered by other study courses.


Winter term second academic year

In the second year of study, technical skills and the cooperation with other fields of study are deepened in several workshops.
The students participate in the set extension workshop and, every other year, in a sound stage design workshop.
Among other things, seminars in presentation methodology, style analysis, history of production design, and camera & lighting are offered.


Summer term second academic year

The summer semester of the second year is also mainly used for project work. In addition to the second semester project, the preparations for the diploma project are usually started here.

The workshop "Interactive Environments" and the seminars production design analysis, costume design and presentation methodology and case studies must be attended.


Production Design 1
Winter Term

Lecture and draft correction

Silke Buhr, production designer and senior lecturer at the postgraduate...

Technical drawing / calculation

An important part in the realization of a set is the technical drawing.

Fi...

Machinery course / material lore / patina

Machinery Course:
The students of the production design department complete...

Storyboard

The storyboard seminar is included in the first semester workshop.

After...

Modeling

A correct spatial presentation is very important for the presentation and...

Set construction

After selecting the design, the plans are revised again and materials are...

Shooting

After the set approval, the final lighting, the last costume approval and a...

Excursions

After a semester full of engagement in workshops and projects, at the end...

Lecture and draft correction

Silke Buhr, production designer and senior lecturer at the postgraduate study course, gives lectures that deal with the relevant design-related circumstances.

Based on tasks that are issued and corrected from week to week, the students lead to a conclusive draft. One of the various concepts is selected in the final presentation for implementation in the studio.

 


Technical drawing / calculation

An important part in the realization of a set is the technical drawing.

First, floor plans, views and sections are put on paper by hand. Even with this traditional method of drawing, one can recognize difficulties in construction early on and find solutions. As the workshop progresses, the respective designs are drawn in a CAD program. In addition to the floor plan, view and section, perspectives, animations and interactive plan files are created here.

Each student has to calculate his set and prove that the implementation can be carried out within the budget of the workshop. A calculation tool based on an Excel table is used for this.


Machinery course / material lore / patina

Machinery Course:
The students of the production design department complete a one-week course certified by the BGHM, which entitles them to work on the stationary machines in the workshop.

Materials Lore:
The most important materials used at movie set construction are discussed here. The area of ​​wood, especially panel materials, plays a central role. The use of plastics and textiles is also discussed.

Construction:
Studio buildings are created at the film academy using special system boards. The use from simple wall construction to building a complete studio set is played through. Wall construction with frames and panel materials is also addressed. The course is used to prepare the production design / camera workshop in which the theory is implemented directly.

Surface Workshop:
In connection with the production design / camera workshop, the surfaces of the designs are discussed, sample plates are created and the patina is worked out. The exact procedures and materials used are determined so that an exact cost determination and time planning can be carried out for the implementation.

 


Storyboard

The storyboard seminar is included in the first semester workshop.

After imparting basic knowledge, production design and camera students use their models to examine which setting options the designs offer. The results are recorded in storyboards.


 


Modeling

A correct spatial presentation is very important for the presentation and planning of the design. A good method for clarifying spatial relationships is a model, usually in 1:20 scale.

First built as a working model, proportions, surfaces and patina are tried out. For the final presentation, the models are realistically illuminated and photographed.


Set construction

After selecting the design, the plans are revised again and materials are ordered. Under the direction of the workshop manager, all students involved set up the set in the film academy's studio.

In this phase, the students are further introduced to the secrets of surface design / patina by a theater painter.

Made backdrops or projections of backgrounds for windows and openings.

At the end of the construction, the resulting space is furnished with props from the in-house or the SWR fund in Baden-Baden. Some props are also made in the workshop.

The finished set is illuminated before the final set acceptance by the lecturers shortly before shooting begins.

 


Shooting

After the set approval, the final lighting, the last costume approval and a discussion with the actors, nothing stands in the way of the shooting.

Each story is filmed on a day of shooting, with all workshop participants working in different positions within the team. After each day of shooting, there is a conversion, in which the set is prepared for the next story. At the end of the shooting, the complete set will be dismantled, the props brought back and the various stories will be reworked until short films that are well worth seeing are created.

In the final presentation, the designs are compared with the effect in the finished film and the work of the students is assessed.

 


Excursions

After a semester full of engagement in workshops and projects, at the end of the winter semester, every production design student goes on an excursion to Berlin or to another European film metropolis every two years to be inspired by the atmosphere. Visits to museums on film, art and architecture, sightings of drawings and models in the film archives, studio visits and case studies by professionals from the industry are planned.

 


First & Second Year Summer Term

Content Lab Interactive Environments

The aim of the interdisciplinary workshop is to deal with the control of...

Production design analysis

On the basis of different focal points, the production design is brought...

Presentation methodology II

This seminar deepens the basics of the design presentation and at the same...

Study cases

Every academic year we invite experienced set designers who give us an...

Costume design

Production- and costume design form a close partnership when equipping a...

Projects

The focus of the production design students is on the projects of the...

Content Lab Interactive Environments

The aim of the interdisciplinary workshop is to deal with the control of sensors and their functional integration into media experiences. Based on this, the implementation can follow  e.g. in an interactive installation.

 


Production design analysis

On the basis of different focal points, the production design is brought together and compared using various examples in film excerpts, film styles and design drawings.

The respective technical possibilities are included, the design is located within the film history and individual professionals are highlighted.


Presentation methodology II

This seminar deepens the basics of the design presentation and at the same time serves as a final preparation for the presentation of the diploma candidates.


Study cases

Every academic year we invite experienced set designers who give us an insight into their current projects and answer questions from our students.

Selection of previous case studies:

Eve Stewart (The danish girl),
Marco Bittner Rosser (Only lovers left alive),
Hucky Hornberger (The Other Home),
Matthias Müsse (The fourth power),
Thomas Stammer (Our Mothers, Our Fathers),
Uli Hanisch (Cloud Atlas, The Perfume),
Sebastian Krawinkel (Anonymous),
Udo Kramer (The Medicus),
Susanne Hopf (Whiskey with vodka),
Christoph Kanter (The White Ribbon),
Christian Goldbeck (Krabat),
Götz Weidner (complete works),
Susann Bieling (Nowhere in Africa)


Costume design

Production- and costume design form a close partnership when equipping a film, which is why we offer an insight into the profession in a workshop. Renowned costume designers explain the workflows of the department and give advice on discussions with the director, dealing with actors, effects of colors and patterns, but also calculation and cost monitoring.

The students use a script to design the costumes of the main characters and visualize them using drawings or collages. Patina on fabrics is practically tried out and the students receive a small historical introduction to the history of costumes during a visit to the Ludwigsburg Fashion Museum.

 


Projects

The focus of the production design students is on the projects of the academy. As the head of the art department, the set designer is an important part of the film team.

For these films, the students receive supervision from professional production designers who prepare an assessment after the work has been completed. The projects are graded after a presentation to the lecturers of the department.

You can find project examples here.

 


Production Design 2 Winter Term

Studio design workshop

Another field of activity in production design is the design of a look for...

Presentation methodology

The presentation methodology seminar gives students the opportunity to...

Setextensionworkshop

In the winter term of the second year, the setextensionworkshop takes...

Style analysis or visual research

The seminar deals with "research" - more precisely with the analysis of...

Produciton design history

THE FILM BUILDINGS IN CLASSIC GERMAN SILENT FILM

After a brief...

Camera & light

In addition to the director, the cameraman is the most important partner in...

Studio design workshop

Another field of activity in production design is the design of a look for studio broadcasts, spanning from talk shows to large family shows on Saturday evenings to stages for international events. A three-week workshop is therefore held every two years in cooperation with the Motion Design department.

The focus lies on the unity in the design of the studio building and the partially animated graphics.

While the motion designers developed the logo, opening of the program and title design for the individual categories, the set designers created a homogeneous studio set with various venues and integration of multimedia areas, audience and image content.


Presentation methodology

The presentation methodology seminar gives students the opportunity to improve their drawing skills. The contents of this seminar range from the basics of drawing, to composition, to teaching certain drawing styles.

Perspective knowledge is conveyed here as well as film formats, storyboard drawing or quick sketching.


Setextensionworkshop

In the winter term of the second year, the setextensionworkshop takes place, in which the three departments of animation, cinematography / camera and production design are networked. In groups, students from all three departments develop a draft that is presented on the basis of a pre-visualization.

One of the three designs will be realized in the studio of the film academy, shot and then digitally edited by students from the animation institute. In the preliminary discussions, the case studies of the participating lecturers and the final summary, the focus lies on the constant flow of communication, which is essential for cooperation and thus for a good result.

 


Style analysis or visual research

The seminar deals with "research" - more precisely with the analysis of originals in the museum. The central question is: What information can we read in pictures - regardless of whether they belong to the so-called high culture (works of art) or, for example, advertising, politics etc.? This process of research is fundamental to the work in production design.

On the basis of detailed presentations and precisely elaborated homework, it is examined how images and their respective contexts can be deciphered and conveyed. The aim of the seminar is accordingly to analyze works of art in such a way that their results would be useful or conceivable for translation in fictional film equipment.


Produciton design history

THE FILM BUILDINGS IN CLASSIC GERMAN SILENT FILM

After a brief introduction to the socio-political and cultural situation in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century, an overview of German film production at that time is examined in more detail.

Using three individual examples (DAS CABINETT DES DR. CALIGARI, Robert Wiene, 1920, METROPOLIS, Fritz Lang, 1927 and DER LETZTE MANN, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1924), the task and meaning of the (film) architectural language used are shown and reflected upon.

At the end, film excerpts are shown, which point to the continued use of certain style features from that period up to the present day.


Camera & light

In addition to the director, the cameraman is the most important partner in creating the visual concept of a film. Different camera guides and lighting change the sets built by the production designer.

The seminar teaches the basics of camera and lighting technology as well as their technical terms. Using prepared sample plates, students can try out the effect of light on the surfaces they have designed.