Prof. Jochen Kuhn
Tel:+49 7141 969 82230
In the foundation courses, the Film Academy’s range of programmes and academic conditions are presented. This includes an introduction to the technology available, the organisation of projects, and basic communication strategies and fundamental content.
The foundation course is divided into quarters (see separate tabs)
Filmgestaltung 1 is part of basic studies.
“Foundation” means both “basic” and “ground”. Because we were initially viewers before we started making films, a “foundation” of our film making was to analyse our role as spectators: how do we understand a film? Does comprehensibility lead to banality? Which creative means should we use to make ourselves understood? In the first four weeks of the 8-9 week module (in the 1st year of the foundation course), we will discuss students’ work and historical examples in detail. The seminars will be supplemented by practical activities involving various film techniques and types of film music.
These reflections lead to the preparation (script, storyboard, costing, technology) and practical realisation of animated, scenic, or documentary film projects. In other words, two or three students work together for a quarter. Through this, experimental and narrative pieces are produced, all of which belong in the wide genre of artistic short films, and are often shown at renowned festivals.
Lecturer: Prof Jochen Kuhn
Filmgestaltung 1 modules (PDF)
Experienced directors teach the basics of directing. In the first year (Directing 1), the focus is on directing actors. Students should discover as accurately and intensively as possible, what “directing” means. As a basis for later independent artistic work, fundamentals such as acting work, a feeling for rhythm, and basic knowledge of using cinematic tools are taught.
At the start of the seminar, the tutor will specify a selection of scenes. The students must select a scene and interpret/edit it to write a short film script. During the seminar, the students work in close collaboration with one another, as well as with students taking Image design/camera 1, to create, realise, present, and analyse a short educational film (lasting approx. 5 minutes).
Teaching staff: Hannes Stöhr, Claudia Prietzel, Andreas Linke
Content of the camera module (the order may vary, depending on the tutor and quarter)
In the first year, the theoretical basics of screenplay writing are taught. Collaboration with producers is supported by participation in general screenplay writing lessons. The acting classes which are part of the Screenplay writing 1 module offers students an insight into the work of an actor, and therefore enables the further development of their writing skills.
In the first year, an intensive seminar away from the Film Academy helps students with the development of their first ideas for feature films, plots and characters. Being able to learn from and deal with honest and constructive criticism is a basic prerequisite. Through teamwork and in the plenary, students learn methodological approaches to the development and discussion of ideas and screenplays, as well as establishing targeted and constructive communication, which enables a film to be created from an idea.
Lecturer: Prof Franziska Buch
CP2/Team Development is an interdisciplinary seminar, focussing on screenplay writing, production and directing in the 2nd year of study. Through case studies and presentations by guest speakers from the industry, students gain a practical insight into the various aspects of development. This varied introduction aims to encourage teams to work together on short film projects over the coming months. Feedback on material development is provided in regular follow-up meetings.
In addition, screenplays must be developed and prepared. These projects will be realised in the following Summer semester of Directing 2.
Lecturer: Prof Christian Wagner
The screenplay development started in CP2 is continued in the Summer semester, and is complemented by discussions about camera resolution and production-related implementation. The teaching places particular emphasis on staging techniques and production management. Combined with workshops in which students specialising in image design, film sound, and editing work together, the realisation of the semester films is prepared practically. In scenic direction, short films lasting about 15 minutes are produced. They are shot of S16mm film in June, and the finished films are presented at the end of the Summer semester in late July.
Lecturer: Christian Wagner
Lecturer: Michael Möller
Students specialising in documentary film directing produce a 20-minute short film, which is filmed on S16mm film. The teaching focusses on the basics of research, concept development, and interview techniques. Students specialising in image production, film sound and editing learn about 16mm technology, and gain experience of teamwork. The development of the concepts is monitored through plenary discussions and individual conversations with the teaching staff. The shoot takes place in December, and the finished short films are presented at the end of the Winter semester, in late February.
Lecturer: Michael Rösel
The teaching provides insights into all promotional film production processes, from planning to writing, to the presentation requirements for a PPM (pre-production meeting). Staging techniques are tested in a workshop, using predetermined scenes. The development of the concepts is monitored through plenary discussions and individual conversations with the teaching staff. In promotional film directing, classic adverts or branded entertainment formats are transferred to digital material. The shoot takes place in January, and the finished short films are presented at the end of the Winter semester, in late February.
In the second year, different film structures (e.g. the hero’s journey, episode structures, plot-oriented or character-oriented narratives) are examined. The psychology of a range of characters is also analysed. Using examples from films, recurring myths are investigated, and archaic basic storylines are identified. Scene development is a focal point. The aim of the module is to create a scenario for a feature-length film.
Editing is taught theoretically and practically. In lessons, this is taught through the presentation of films, scenes and extracts, as well as verbal analysis. The nine-semester course consists of two years of basic study, two years of project-based study, and a diploma semester. In the first year of basic study, knowledge of screenplay writing, directing, camera work, and film making is taught on an inter-disciplinary basis, and an overview of the Avid and Premiere editing systems is also provided.
The teaching in the compulsory elective module Animation 2 provides an insight into alternative film making approaches, and various animation techniques. Each student produces a short animated film using their own artistic skills. Seminars provide basic knowledge and deepen theoretical expertise. Workshops in which set tasks must be completed in a relatively short amount of time count as practical experience, and require teamwork.
All animation and interactive media students take the compulsory module Animation 2, either in the Winter or Summer semester of the 2nd year of study. Animation 2 is available for all 2nd year film + media students.
The basics of the specialist areas are taught in workshops. In Animation 2, academic performance is based on participation in 3rd and 4th year projects, as well as third-party projects, active participation in lessons, involvement in workshops and seminars, and the presentation of work produced during the semester.
The grade for the semester is based on the content and organisation of semester presentations, cooperation during the semester, presence in lessons, and performance in workshops.
Examples of modules/workshops in Animation 2: