Year Program: 2 October - 25 June 2021
Semester Program: 2 October - 23 December 2020
The Documentary Film Program at Prague Film School aims at creating the independent documentary filmmaker. Through intensive practical and theoretical work, each student learns how to adapt the narrative tools of drama to tell truthful stories about the real world that simultaneously entertain, educate and inspire audiences. The course is designed to develop professional-level production and post production skill.
DOCUMENTARY FILM PRODUCTION
Students in the Prague Film School documentary program are immersed in an extremely rigorous production program shooting documentary pieces weekly. Living in Prague, a city with a tumultuous past (WWII, communism, etc.) students have access to a wealth of local historical, social and cultural subjects.
Prague Film School documentary students have also capitalized on their position in the geographical center of Europe to shoot such varied topics as the refugee crises in Lesbos to surfing sub-cultures in France.
Students completing the Prague Film School program have been uniquely successful in launching their careers (Caitlin Burke, We Could Be King – Emmy 2015; Anne Lunde, The Russian Woodpecker – Sundance Grand Jury Award, 2015, Noemi Renevey, Solar Impulse project).
Production-based but academically rigorous, Prague Film School programs are approved for university credit by many top tier colleges, including Vassar, Bowdoin, Oberlin, Sarah Lawrence, Bard, Barnard, Northwestern, to name a few.
Prague Film School is one of Europe’s leading institutions providing practical training in the core disciplines of filmmaking.
Lunchbreak with Luma - Cinematographer
FIRST SEMESTER - DOCUMENTARY
First Semester duration: 15 weeks
In the first semester Documentary Production course, students complete numerous shooting assignments designed to develop critical skills in documentary film language, camera technique and editing. Lectures, demonstrations, screenings, and analytical exercises provide the foundation for the fieldwork.
Topics covered include
• Documentary camera and coverage techniques
• Interviewing techniques
• Documentary themes and genres
• Documentary story structure and analysis
• Standard production practices and organization
• Documentary Ethics
• Authorship/Voice in Documentary
Exercises are shot both in and out of class on almost a weekly basis. Each student will also produce and direct a 5-minute documentary short film on a subject of his/her own choosing.
Specialized courses in Editing and Cinematography are the other key components of the program. Students learn to edit on Avid Xpress Media Composer and learn shooting and lighting theory across a range of formats, including Sony XDCAM, Blackmagic and Arri.
Supplementing the practical component of the course, the documentary program will draw upon a rich pool of international and historical documentaries crossing themes and genres providing the student with a varied palette of documentary styles, techniques and approaches they can apply to their own work.
Rider On The Storm - Documentary The Hill - Documentary
SECOND SEMESTER - DOCUMENTARY
In Advanced Documentary Production, Prague Film School students focus on in-depth development and pre-production of their diploma films. This includes completing weekly assignments for instructors and peer review and learning to research and write a compelling proposal and treatment. By the end of the semester, each student will have both produced and directed their own diploma film -- a 15-minute documentary -- and crewed on their classmates’ projects. Through extensive brainstorming and pitching sessions, students also leave the course armed with a portfolio of critiqued project ideas to further develop and make a reality after completion of the program.
The second semester program includes the Documentary Workshop, a practical course in which students further develop their technical skills through weekly shooting and editing exercises. Topics covered may include: Advanced Interview Techniques, Documentary Reenactments, Archival Research, Portrait of a Person or Place, Music for Documentary, and various Cinema Vérité-style shooting scenarios.
The most important component of the second semester, and indeed the entire year documentary course, is the diploma film - which should be of broadcast quality.