Course Description

The External Programs Office will register Prague summer film students for two classes: VM 400-01 Czech Film History and VM 420-01 Prague Film Program Cinematic Language Course. These 8 VMA credits will fulfill 4 credits of elective and 4 credits toward the media studies requirement. Both courses run simultaneously. 

Students who participate in the program should be highly motivated and able to manage their expectations while working collaboratively with other students. For the purpose of this program, the best films are always the simplest. Students should be prepared to work at a fast pace while managing production training, class lectures, group excursions, and everyday life in the city of Prague. Students who are most successful in this program are independent, hard-working, open-minded, and willing to change course on a minute's notice. 

The cinematic language course is an intensive experience in production, scripting, and editing at the Academy. The first week of the program, students will work on cinematography and lighting excercises on a sound stage at FAMU. Afterward, they will transfer the film negatives to telecine. Students will be guided through a technical process relating to color timing, temperature, and correction. Once the transfer is complete, the final master tape will be viewed and discussed in the classroom.  

Each student will pair with another student to write a script inspired by the places and people they meet in Prague. The script should be long enough for a 5- to 7-minute HD production. Students will meet multiple times with FAMU faculty to discuss and develop their scripts. A Czech film student from FAMU with a producing background will produce their films. Equipment will be provided by FAMU. Students will then work in pairs to scout locations and look through books of actors for "hire" (who may or may not speak English). Students will have a couple of days to develop script, scout locations, and finalize their props list. They will meet with FAMU faculty for a directing consultation. 

Fellow students will crew for others on their film shoots. Shooting of the DV will occur in one day during the third week of the program. The editing of the film will occur at the end of the third week. The final day of the program is devoted to screening and evaluations of the student DVD projects.  

Prague - FAMU Lighting
During the first week, students will work on FAMU's sound stage, practicing cinematography and lighting technique.

The film studies course follows the history and development of Czech and Slovak cinema, with emphasis on the Czech New Wave. Students will attend lectures on Czech film history at FAMU. Special tours and lectures are planned at Barrandov Studios, Jiri Trnka’s Animation Studios (“the Walt Disney of the East”), and a two-night excursion is planned to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF). Lectures and discussions will feature Czech film directors. Past guest speakers have included Jiri Menzel, Jaromil Jires, Alice Nellis, Jiri Barta, and Jan Nemec.