Overview

Duration - 6+2 Months- Weekdays, 15 Months- Weekend

The Film Making course is specially designed for those students who not only want to learn film direction but additionally also want to acquire a specialised knowledge of all the technical skills that are used in film making viz — Cinematography, Sound, Editing, Acting, Production Design & Production.

While giving theoretical & aesthetic inputs in Film Direction, we add something very important in the Film Making Course, which is hands on, practical training in all the technical departments of Filmmaking. The aim is to help create a very unique kind of Film Director — one who has received an all round holistic training in all the technical aspects of film making - so that s/he can right-fully claim to be not just Film Directors but COMPLETE FILMMAKERS.

With these hand on, practical training in the technical departments of Film making, a prospective director becomes much more than a generalist, S/he becomes a specialist with an inside knowledge of each and every technical process of film making. Such knowledge is critical to the survival & success of new directors, since film making itself is becoming much more technical nowadays & workflows are becoming more & more complicated.

Course Structure

Instruction Module

Screenplay Analysis

Considering the fact that the screenplay is the greatest challenge in film making, our course emphasizes the central importance of screenplay. Films are analysed in class, in terms of screenplay structure and its basic concepts are clearly laid out, encouraging students to draw from their personal experience so that their stories carry a greater degree of social and psychological authenticity: They learn about the Three Act Structure and also alternative narrative structures. They learn how to articulate the premise and identify the central conflict in a story. In the specific context of Indian mainstream cinema, students also learn how to use songs and dances effectively in a film so that they grow organically out of the plot.

Understanding Film Language

The course assigns a huge importance to understanding film grammar with key emphasis on visual storytelling. This is achieved through a shot by shot analysis of films, where the students learn about the basic principles of cinema and the uniqueness of the Cinematic medium. They learn about narrative structure, management of time and space, dividing stories into sequences and scenes, shot-break down, continuity, mise-en-scene, transitions and narrative flow. Major films from across the world are shown in order to open up the mind to the vast possibilities inherent in cinema Students also learn about the history of Cinema which gives them a deeper appreciation of movies. Irrespective of the kind of films a student wants to make in his/her professional life it is considered necessary that s/he first get exposed to all kinds of world cinema.

Mise-En-Scene

The French term 'Mise-en-Scene' came from French theatre where it literally meant all the elements 'put-in-a-scene'. Transposing that idea for Cinema, Mise-en-Scene is a set of all the creative decisions that go into the making of a shot. It therefore includes lensing, lighting, frame composition, camera movement, actor placement, action props, passive props, foreground action and background action. Mise-en-Scene is the ability to use all the above dynamic variables in order to create 'meaning' which is pertinent to the theme and philosophy of the narrative. At Digital Academy-The Film School, students are taught the art of 'Shot making' with the aim of achieving the right dramatic emphasis, the optimum use of space and the correct handling of screen time.

Cinematography

If celluloid is the paper on which the Director writes, then the camera is his/her pen. No education in film direction is complete without the ability to transpose conceptual ideas into visuals. In fact, the language of cinema is primarily a visual language and cannot be learnt without a fair knowledge of cinematography. Starting off with a study of film composition, lighting pattern and different types of camera movements that powerfully bring out the story, students get hands-on experience with DV Cams, Digital cameras i.e. Red, D55 and more as well as exposure to film cameras.

Theory & Practical Sessions:

Image formation and Introduction to still photography.

  • Visual Grammar, composition, camera angles, camera movements
  • Principle of Motion Picture Camera, its parts and functions
  • Film Production process and role of a cinematographer
  • Lenses and their effective use
  • Filters. Study of Natural Iight, Tools of Lighting, Indoor and Outdoor lighting
  • Basic theory of Videography
  • Single and multi-camera shoots, Chroma key and visual effects.

Editing

Editing is the final process in the film making workflow. Most directors discover that their films almost always get rewritten on the editing table. Editing is not just about understanding continuity or creating a 'seamless' narrative, editing begins with a larger understanding of the texture and tenor of reality that a film is proposing to create. Every shot, every cut, and every transition are governed by this tenor and texture of reality. When directors learn how to edit, they learn the secret recipe of creating reality, by manipulating time and space. At Digital Academy-The Film School, students learn how to use the principles of editing to be able to make excellent films.

Theory & Practical Sessions:

  • History of Editing to Modern Day Workflow
  • Basic Syntax, Image Collision & Types of Shots
  • Editing Exercises & Introduction to Basic Software
  • Editing Scenes & Sequences
  • Editing Exercises — Silent Continuity, Introduction to Basic Software
  • Editing for I 0-Shot Continuity
  • Editing the Final Sound Post for the Final Diploma Film

Production Design

Production design involves the selection of locations, erection of sets, designing of interior and exterior spaces and choosing all the physical elements that go into creating the look of the film? Students are taught to communicate accurately about their ideas so as to achieve a verisimilitude between concept and execution. Films are analysed in class in order to understand the production design behind some key films in Hollywood as well as in India in recent years.

Sound

Although cinema is primarily a visual medium, sound is an extremely important element in the art of cinematic storytelling. In the hands of a good Director, Sound design is an intrinsic part of his or her narrativity design. In Digital Academy-The Film School, directors are taught the importance of sound design. They are shown how different audio elements are manipulated in order to achieve the desired effect of telling the story more powerfully. Sync-sound and its advantages and disadvantages viz-a-viz dubbed sound in the Indian context are carefully discussed.

Theory & Practical Sessions:

  • Sound for Film & Television — definition
  • Aesthetic Role of sound in Cinema
  • Importance of Sound Design
  • Physical Properties of Sound
  • Pitch, Timbre, Frequency Range, Dynamic Range etc.
  • Subjective properties of human hearing
  • The effect of space on sound
  • Analogue & Digital audio signal
  • Types of Microphones & Microphone Techniques
  • Audio Mixers
  • Digital Audio parameters
  • Headroom, noise, distortion
  • Production sound mixing
  • File transfer from one format to other of DAW
  • Analogue-to-Digital and Digital-to-analogue systems
  • Filtering, Equalization, Echo effects, Reverberation
  • Theatre Acoustics
  • Home Theatre reproduction & multiplex sound reproduction
  • Final mixed output in various formats including optical sound negative

Handling Actors

To be able to direct actors, one ought to be proficient in the medium since actors bring out the Director's vision on screen. This course helps students learn how to effectively communicate with their actors. It teaches the finer nuances of teamwork and how to narrate a script to the actor pertaining to his/her character and helps them enhance their performance. The Director being the captain of the ship, it remains his forte largely how to take optimum performances from his team.

Animation And Special Effects In Films

Digital Academy also teaches directors about the technology involved in special effects and animation. This is because directors need to be technically conversant with the technology and the processes involved in creating special effects and animation. Without a proper grounding in this know-how directors would find themselves technically inadequate at the time of shooting or production of such films that require special effects and animation. Our aim is to give the direction students enough knowledge so that they can incorporate the specific workflows related to Special effects and Animation into their scripting, planning, and execution.

Film Production:

Pre-Production To Post Production

Students learn about the importance of planning during pre-production in terms of casting, storyboard, location hunting, budgeting and scheduling. Students also learn about the entire production process of film making from concept to screen including the logistics of recces, cast and crew building, set making, shooting, editing, sound post and Digital Intermediate process.

Career

The Film Making course is specially designed for those students who not only want to learn film direction but additionally also want to acquire a specialized knowledge of all the technical skills that are used in film making is — Cinematography, Sound, Editing, Acting, Production Design & Production.

While giving theoretical & aesthetic inputs in Film Direction, we add something very important in the Film Making Course, which is - hands on, practical training in all the technical departments of Filmmaking.

The aim is to help create a very unique kind of Film Director — one who has received an all-round holistic training in all the technical aspects of film making - so that s/he can right-fully claim to be not just Film Directors but COMPLETE FILMMAKERS.

With these hands on, practical training in the technical departments of Film making, a prospective director becomes much more than a generalist, S/he becomes a specialist with an inside knowledge of each and every technical process of film making. Such knowledge is critical to the survival & success of new directors, since film making itself is becoming much more technical nowadays & workflows are becoming more & more complicated.

It is now common knowledge that the audio-visual medium is the fastest growing medium of communication in the world. Films are made not only in the fiction format but also as documentaries, training films corporate films, advertisements and the booming online channels. The world of films is like a mushroom cloud that keeps getting bigger and bigger.

Every Film must have a Director with a complete knowledge of Film Making. It stands to reason therefore that higher the number of films, higher will be the demand for directors. A Film Maker is an artist-technician who is also an expert manager, logistics person, coordinator and chief executive officer- all rolled into one. A Film Maker is like a master puppeteer who holds all the strings and makes illusions look like reality. It is a difficult job that requires tremendous creative energy, enthusiasm along with loads of patience and humility. A career in Film Direction is one of extreme creative satisfaction, apart from side benefits of fame and money. But only those who are ready to go through the grind and put in hard labour as well as application can succeed.

Most of the students of Digital Academy-The Film School join the industry initially as Assistant Directors and work them up towards the Directors post. But there is no hard and fast rule about this and if you have the capability you might well straight away become a Director as soon as you pass out from Digital Academy-The Film School. While careers of Film Makers are the same as Film Directors it is our analysis that Film Makers who have a complete knowledge of Film Making are generally more in-demand and sought after.

Note: - Course Curriculum & Courseware subject to change.

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