Directing Cinema and Digital Media (N0211A310004)

Type of programme Mode of study Profile of the programme Standard study length Language Instruction Department
Continuing Master's Programme full-time academically oriented 3 years English FAMU International

Guarantor of study programme

Pavel MAREK

Programme objectives

The objective of the Directing Cinema and Digital Media (hereinafter “Directing CDM”) post-bachelor programme is the education and development of authors' creative skills in the field of directing audio-visual works. ʹAudio-visual worksʹ means both feature dramatic works and works referred to as non-fiction or documentary. The core of the programme is filmmaking, but it is approached with the knowledge that the development of the recording technologies and distribution channels for the finished content in the twenty-first century, involving digital technologies in both cases, has greatly contributed to a blurring of the lines, formerly strictly perceived, between works referred to as ʼfilmsʼ and works intended for other media – television as well as mostly on-demand and online distribution platforms today.

The programme is focused on obtaining all the requisite theoretical knowledge and hands-on skills related to director’s work at all stages of the process of creating an original audio-visual work. This means primarily working on the idea and concept, adapting one’s own or somebody else’s script, text dramaturgy, image dramaturgy and storyboarding, mise-en-scene concept, sound design, working with actors, audio-visual recording process and creative post-production of the recording. The subjects of the programme include both the actual area of directing feature and non-fiction audio-visual works and the borderline areas of preparing film projects and their post-production, including screenwriting, editing and sound design.

Instruction consists of a hands-on part and a theoretical part. The core of the hands-on instruction, focused around creative workshops (directing tutorials), is developing and shooting individual short dramatic and non-dramatic films (exercises) geared towards the artistic preparation of filmmakers for individual creative work. The objectives are the creative development of the students’ talent with an emphasis on the ability of original creation, and the development of knowledge allowing them to make their own author plans reality, i.e., transform them from a verbal form into a dramatic and image form. Emphasis is placed on close communication between the students and the teacher – workshop tutor as well as between the students – workshop participants, and also on collective collaboration between students during the exercises.

The theoretical part – teaching the theory and history of film and audio-visual media – is linked to the hands-on part in many respects and serves for the graduates to be able to understand the principal trends in the cinema, whether past or present, and to be able to perceive their own original work in their context. As such, the theoretical subjects are a means of ensuring that graduates will turn into self-confident authors with developed critical thinking that will allow them to understand audio-visual works in all their artistic, historic and socio-cultural contexts.

During their studies, students will also learn the methodological basics of scholarly work in film history and theory and with the basics of theoretical writing with a view to writing their theses.

Graduates of the Directing CDM Master’s programme must demonstrate having mastered hands-on technical skills required for the profession of a film director – for the final exam, they must submit a completed film and a literary screenplay. Both will be critically assessed by a panel involving mostly film and TV screenwriters and directors as well as other film experts and scholars. Every student is approached as an ‘author’, with respect to the specifics of their work and cultural differences.

To successfully graduate, students must also pass an exam in film theory and history to demonstrate that they are able to think about their gained knowledge in context and that they understand the historical development of cinema and the links between the individual theoretical trends and the specific historical eras.

Profile of a programme graduate

The graduates of the Directing CDM programme have mastered on a professional level all aspects of the work of an audio-visual work director and can independently create an original film in terms of directing, screenwriting and the subsequent processing of the recorded images (post-production). Ar work, they can independently manage a team of colleagues – other film professionals, communicate with the related technical and working fields in practical terms and understand the content of their work. The graduates are conversant with a wide range of terms and facts from cinema history and theory from the beginning to the present time, can understand the connections between the various periods and tendencies in making audio-visual works and in their critical reflection, is able to realise the differences between them and can put their own work in their context. The graduates are capable of their own independent research in film theory and history and of presenting the results of such research in the form of an academic text.

Expert knowledge:

-Graduates are familiar with the current film and TV works and able to put various tendencies in a broader social and philosophic context and express their own opinion on the matter.

-They know technical literature in the field of general film theory and history.

-They know technical literature reflecting the individual parts of the creative process of making an audio-visual work, in particular in terms of screenwriting, directing actors, directing the cinematography, directing mise-en-scene and creative use of montage.

-They can describe the past and current methods of creating audio-visual works, define the current tendencies and approaches to films and audio-visual works in general.

-They can navigate the matters of producing and distributing audio-visual works.

-They can apply scholarly research principles in art and master the basics of writing technical texts.

Expert skills:

-They can explicate the theme and develop it into the form of a story and a dramatic text – screenplay.

-They can analyse both dramatic and other texts and suggest a method for adapting it to the audio-visual form.

-They can work with both analogue and digital film recording technologies.

-They can make audio-visual recordings in the natural environment (on location) and in the studio.

-They can creatively process the obtained audio-visual recordings.

-They master the methods of expression of audio-visual media.

-They master the making and using of the individual audio-visual tools of expression and applying them in the process of creative self-expression.

-They are capable of comprehensive critical thinking, using the knowledge gained as part of the theory instruction as a springboard for application in their own work.

-They are capable of teamwork in preparing and making a work of art.

-They master the production and post-production processes for making audio-visual works.

-They can reflect on their artistic output in writing within a broader context of their own creative careers and social connotations.

General competence:

-They are capable of a constructive creative dialogue.

-They are capable of actively seeking creative solutions to their artistic expression within the scope of available material means.

-They can reflect social reality around them in their work.

-They can integrate their practice in the international artistic and social context.

Rules and requirements for creating study plans

The principal outlines for creating programmes at AMU are defined by the AMU Rules of Internal Evaluation that specify the basic principles of the accreditation processes, and the existing practice will also be formalised in the AMU Accreditation Rules currently in preparation: the Rules will lay down parameters common to all programmes taught at AMU while giving part of the responsibility for genre specifications (theatre, music, dancing, film/TV) to the faculties.

The programmes are made in accordance with the Attendance and Examination Rules of AMU, which specifies the main compulsory subject as part of the subject typology on the basis of the specificities of higher education in art: this is the key artistic (talent-based) subject of the profile; examination is always undertaken by a panel and there is no option of retaking the exam. For many programmes, the commission exam (klauzura) plays an important role in the grading system – it is the presentation of an artistic work to a panel. The principle is a comprehensive rating of the student’s knowledge and skills obtained as part of several individual subjects and applied in a collectively made work. The next specificity of the programmes is the permitted flexibility in credit distribution (60 ECTS per academic year) between the winter and summer semesters, based on grater study and creative workload related to completing artistic work in the summer semester in certain programmes.

Theoretical-historical basics in the field are a compulsory part of all curricula; with academic programmes, it has the form of compulsory profile subjects that co-define the graduate profile and are part of the state final examination.

Grades are assigned on the basis of the credit system (ECTS – European Credit Transfer System), implemented on the basis of the Bologna Process of 1999 with a view to unifying and integrating the higher education system in the European Union.

Subjects completed with an exam are classified on an A – E scale (F = failed); for other subjects, the pass/fail grading is used; a combination of both types of classification is not possible.

The standard duration of a class is 45 minutes. The principal forms of instruction are lecture, seminar, exercise and workshop; the three latter forms of instruction include generating artistic output to a varying degree. Instruction takes place either on a weekly basis or in the form of intensive blocks or workshops.

The curriculum automatically assumes prerequisites in the form of subject sequences labelled with a growing numeral following the subject name. This type of prerequisites is not specified in Schedule BIII to the individual subjects. If a subject has a non-sequential prerequisite, it is listed explicitly in Schedule BIII for the subject. By the same token, we are not listing co-requisites; those are defined by the compulsory inclusion of a subject in a specific year or semester of study along with other subjects. The curriculum does not use equivalence.

The curriculum contains groups of compulsory subjects: A (profile basis) a B (outside profile) without requirement for a specific year of study. The subjects further develop students’ knowledge obtained in compulsory subjects, in film practice – in particular screenwriting and work with sound and image, and in film theory that academically reflects on film work.

The curriculum contains three groups of compulsory subjects:

1. “Theory” – a group of type A compulsory subjects – principal theory subjects of the profile basis, for which the student must obtain at least 27 credits during the studies

2. “Theory and Practice” – a group of type B compulsory subjects – complementary theory and practice subjects, for which the student must obtain at least 14 credits during the studies

3. “Cinemadance” – a group of type B compulsory subjects – complementary practice subjects, for which the student must obtain at least 3 credits during the first year of studies.

Students furthermore select elective theory and practice subjects offered by the FAMU International department amounting to at least 17 credits for the duration of studies.

Examples of elective theory subjects:

History of Animation; Introduction to Intl/TV producing; Soundtrack Aesthetics; Surrealism; Realm of Montage; Uses of Philosophies 1 & 2; Tools of Directing Documentary 1 & 2.

Examples of elective practical subjects:

AD's @ motion picture scheduling training course; Avid Media Composer Workshop; Editing seminar; Moving Camera Seminar with Gil Bettman; Professional Sound Production 1 & 2; Storyboarding; Post Production Workflow Module 1 & 2.

General information about admission process

The programme is intended for the graduates of bachelor’s programmes with a focus on audio-visual work.

-Admission is subject to a successful passing of the talent admission test and assessment of talent based on the submitted documents.

-The admission procedure has two rounds.

Detailed admission procedure description:

https://www.famu.cz/en/departments/famu-international-fi/master-studies/directing/

Applicability to other types of academic programmes

The programme follows up on bachelor’s programmes in art, humanities and technical learning with a focus on audio-visual works.

Parts of the state final examination and their contents

The master’s state final exam includes the following parts, classified individually:

1. Graduate’s creative output and defence

a) Graduation film

b) Graduation script

2. Written master’s thesis (VŠKP) and its oral defence

3. Oral exam in film history and theory

1) Graduate’s creative output and defence

a. Graduation film – PZ subjects, the content of which is reflected in this part of the SFE: Directing Tutorial 1 - 6, Film Language 1 - 3, Working with Actors 1 - 2, Practical Analysis 1 - 2, Script Analysis 1 - 2

b. Graduation script – PZ subjects, the content of which is reflected in this part of the SFE: Feature Screenwriting 1 - 2, Script Analysis 1 - 2, Fundamentals of Narrative 1 - 2

2) Written master’s thesis (VŠKP) and its oral defence

3) Oral exam in film history and theory – PZ subjects, the content of which is reflected in this part of the SFE: Focus on Film History and Theory 1 - 2, Film Style and Form 1 - 2, History of Avant-garde Film, Czech New Wave, Czech Avant-garde Film, Chapters from Contemporary Cinema, History of Film Space, Central European Cinemas within the Context of the World Cinema, Circulating within The Modern Cinematic Image and Circulating within The Postmodern Cinematic Image

Topics for the theoretical oral examination:

Film history and theory

  1. Silent cinema and establishment of film language
  2. The concept of classical, modern, and postmodern cinema
  3. Soviet montage school and various approaches towards editing
  4. “Isms“ in cinema (German expressionism, French Impressionism, Surrealism)
  5. Classical Hollywood Cinema and the stabilization of genres
  6. New Waves and modern cinema
  7. New Hollywood: its historical context and consequences
  8. “Auteur” cinema: its establishment and development; the culture of film festivals from the 60s on
  9. “Realistic” trends in cinema: kino-pravda, Italian neorealism, cinema vérité, Dogma, etc.
  10. Trends in contemporary cinema (post-2000)
  11. Principles of Narrative Construction (plot, story, narration, cause-effect, three-act vs. five-act structure)
  12. Certain facets of film screenplay (What is more important, plot or character, and why?)
  13. Basic principles of acting and rehearsal techniques
  14. Cinematography: Aspects of the cinematic image before and today
  15. Types of Montage (Eisenstein typology; Christian Metz; continuity vs. discontinuity editing)
  16. Sound: types and functions
  17. The concept of avant-garde cinema: past, present, and future
  18. Documentary cinema: major trends, key names, modes of documentary
  19. Various modes of production and distribution in history and nowadays
  20. Television, its development, and formats

Other academic duties

Characterisation of professional practice

Anticipated job placement for graduates (typical employment)

Directing Cinema and Digital Media graduates can easily join the ranks of their colleagues and put their knowledge in the audio-visual field to good use anywhere in the world.

Graduates can find jobs in in particular creating narrative and documentary audio-visual content for film, TV and other audio-visual media such as on-demand platforms and on-line broadcasting. In professional terms, the graduates can also work in film and TV advertising.

The typical professions are film director, assistant director, director or co-director of TV or on-demand series, director of short serialised dramatic audio-visual works for online TV, author of original documentary films, director of news & analysis programmes, director of advertising clips and video clips, director of language versions of films (dubbing/voice-over), dramaturge for films or series, screenwriter and co-screenwriter for films and series.

The graduates can also work as teachers of film directing and related professional areas.

Accreditation validity

Study programme valid from Study programme valid to
2020-03-13 2030-03-13

List of qualifications/specializations