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40 Week Filmmaking Curriculum
Tools of Production
Tools of Production focuses on developing both the creative and technical hands-on skills that are at the core of the filmmaking process. The groundwork in lighting, composition, story boarding, and editing is set out in the first and second quarters of the program. In the third and fourth quarters of the program, as projects become larger and more complex, students build on their basic skills and develop their craft in all aspects of production with a particular emphasis on cinematography, camera operation, editing and sound design. Over the 40 week program, students are involved in every aspect of pre-production, production, and post-production. In addition to individual projects, each student rotates through all the major crew positions including director, director of photography, camera operator, sound and editing.
Elements of Filmmaking
Foundations of Filmmaking concentrates on areas involved with directing, editing production design, producing, and the practical workings of the film world. It's also in this class that students prepare their resumes and demo reels. Foundations of Filmmaking highlights very specific areas such as casting, audition techniques, working with actors, and art direction. The class also is project oriented as students complete 4 individual HD projects as they reinforce basic skills in lighting, camera operation, and editing. Students also study grant writing and fund raising for documentaries as well as analyze patterns of producing, production, and distribution for projects including short films, independent features and major mainstream productions.
In Screenwriting students develop a fundamental awareness and understanding of script and dramatic structure that is crucial to understanding the filmmaking process. During the course of the program all students complete an original feature-length screenplay. The first quarter focuses on screenplay structure and the development of story ideas. During the second and third quarters, the emphasis is on overall story structure and specific topic areas such as writing dialogue and developing characters. Students complete their screenplay during the fourth quarter. As part of the screenwriting program, students also deal with the business of screenwriting from pitching scripts to finding agents. In addition, it is during this class that students write the short scripts that are produced in the production phase of the program.
Film History and Analysis
Film History and Analysis provides an intensive grounding in film history and introduces students to the core theories of film criticism and analysis. The first quarter traces the history of film from its very beginnings to the end of the silent era. The second and third quarters focus on the 1930's and 1940's and the development of the Hollywood studio system with a particular emphasis on genres such as film noir, musicals, and gangster films. The fourth quarter is devoted to international cinema and alternatives to Hollywood from the 1940's to the present. During the class, students concentrate on the elements of film language that make film a unique medium - editing, cinematography, color, and sound. At the core of the film history program is the fundamental concentration on both the individual film and the underlying structure of film and filmmaking.
Lab Day takes place for four hours each week. During the second and third trimesters, students use this time to complete projects using the school's facilities. The lab time also provides a scheduled period of time when students can meet with each other to work on group projects. Students may also use this time for individual tutorials and faculty may also schedule additional classes during this time when appropriate.
If you have additional questions or would like an even more detailed description of the curriculum, please contact the Carolina Film Institute.
The Best Way to Learn Filmmaking is to Make Films
There's no better way to become a filmmaker than to make films. By the second week of the 40 Week Total Immersion Filmmaking program, students are shooting their first Super-8 film. To refine and develop their personal vision and filmmaking skills, each student completes seven individual projects-three on Super-8 film, four on HD video, and three group projects-one digital video, one on 16mm, and one on Super 16mm.
With the group projects, crews rotate so every student has a different position and works with a different combination of people on each new project.
If you have additional questions or would like an even more detailed description of the curriculum, please contact the Carolina Film Institute at (800) 940-3546 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org