The Language of Cinema

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311LOC credit 3 3 hours (45 min) of instruction per week, 48 to 63 hours of self-study English winter

Subject guarantor


Name of lecturer(s)



This course will focus on mastering the basics of film grammar, with an emphasis on visually translating scripted ideas into short, narrative films. Working in small groups, students must complete weekly film exercises, with strict guidelines. Through workshops, film exercises, classroom discussions, additional assignments, and watching short clips, this class will explore the role of the director and supporting crew members through concept, pre-production, and production.

Learning outcomes

General Expectations: learn to...

work collaboratively

develop clear communication skills, using appropriate film terms

constructively critique your peers

work respectfully, responsibly, and safely

manage emotionally demanding situations (your own and others)

Pre-Production: learn the basics of…

script break down and interpreting dramatic material (scene study and analysis)

creating storyboards and shot lists (visual storytelling skills)

staging, blocking, and camera movement


location scouting

creating shot lists and schedules

Production: learn to...

communicate your vision to all collaborators, including the subtext of each scene

manage a set by assigning tasks to each crew member

edit while you shoot (using dailies to build on performances)

Prerequisites and other requirements



Film Directing Fundamentals (3rd Edition, 2001), by Nicholas Proferes

On Directing Film (1991), by David Mamet

On Directing (2009), Elia Kazan

Making Movies (1995) Sidney Lumet

Film Directing Shot by Shot (1991), Steven D. Katz

Grammar of the Film Language (1976), Daniel Arijon

Moviemakers' Master Class (2002), Laurent Tirard

Evaluation methods and criteria

Students should attend all classes and complete all necessary assignments and homework.

Basis for Final Grade:

Attendance and participation 30%

Film Exercises 50%

Additional assignments 20%


The in-class directing exercises will be done in class, using smart phones or cameras, and then

dicussed as a group. Students will be asked to participate fully in this classroom / studio setting.

Sometimes this will mean performing live edits or serving in other production capacities; other times this

will mean acting on camera or simply sitting in for an exercise.

Attendance / Deadlines:

If a student misses a class, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain any handouts or lecture notes from

the class’s online resource: a password protected blog that will be updated, weekly, with all relevant

materials, including digital copies of all handouts. If students still have questions, they must wait until

after class to schedule a meeting or discuss. Class time is reserved strictly for lectures, in class

exercises, screenings, and discussion.


Lecturer: Mika Johnson

Schedule for winter semester 2023/2024:

room 241
Room No. 3

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Tue 19:00–21:25 Marek JÍCHA Room No. 3
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2023/2024:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans