HOLLYWOOD – AS THE SYNTHESIS OF ART AND BUSINESS


Program 2

COURSE DURATION: 4 WEEKS
LEARNING HOURS: 160
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH WITH SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION INTO YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE
OPTION: MASTER CLASSES CONDUCTED BY HOLLYWOOD STARS ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
PRICE: $4995 APPLY FOR A COURSE

MAIN OBJECTIVE

Teaching the skills of applying each specific filmmaking occupation as a tool for business, collaboration with allied film disciplines, building a consistent and effective career of a filmmaker. As well as acquiring and upgrading professional skills based on the American methodology standards.

COURSE METHODOLOGY

A 4-week training course ‘Hollywood as the synthesis of art and business’ is focused on teaching foreign students the American approach to film production. The course is designed to provide students with the premise of total immersion in vocational training in the short period of their stay in Hollywood. For this purpose the HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL MOVIE CENTER (HIMC) in collaboration with Columbia College Hollywood (CCH), Emerson College LA (ELA) and Musicians Institute (MI) provides students access to fully equipped classrooms and sets/stages for training, and comfortable dwelling quarters not far from the Academy. This allows to achieve three essential goals:

  • Provide aspiring filmmakers with the opportunity to assess the level of their professional skills, and fundamentally upgrade that level through an extensive course of theoretical classroom learning on four basic filmmaking disciplines (screenwriting, directing, editing and producing), based on the principle ‘one ensues from the other’, and hands-on training to reinforce theory with producing an original student film of their own;
  • Help would-be filmmakers to acquire the skills and experience of collaborative work in each of the filmmaking disciplines, that will give the students the confidence in their future professional activities;
  • Teach the students to represent themselves correctly in their profession and in the Industry, and use their professional skills as a business-tool;

These goals are achieved through daily intensive learning using an original teaching method, namely a universally designed general Program for the course ‘Hollywood as the synthesis of art and business’, in modern well-equipped classrooms, and directly at the sets, where students can apply what they learn to a variety of different offered settings.

The innovation of the given Program is primarily due to the structure of the lecture and hands-on course, based on the principle ‘one ensues from the other’: producing-screenwriting-directing-editing-producing.

Working in collaboration with representatives of other film disciplines, taking part in the joint creative search, students acquire the necessary knowledge and experience in each of the aspects of filmmaking, which gives them overall confidence and professional understanding of production and realize specific tasks in the contemporary film production industry.

The theoretical course in each of the 4 disciplines will result in its practical application, the students will shoot their original student films at the sound stage or on location, and then edit them. Hands-on training will be controlled by filmmaking professionals and coordinated by HIMC staff. All faculty of the Film School are the highest-level professionals working in the American film Industry.

ACQUIRED SKILLS

To teach someone a profession, be it a filmmaking occupation or any other, in 4 weeks is impossible. However, it is absolutely realizable to upgrade the already existing qualification, understand and familiarize oneself with allied film disciplines, get an insight into filmmaking as a profession, and even master its main techniques.

Since the Program ‘Hollywood as the synthesis of art and business’ comprises all the essential film disciplines, students will acquire relative skills in screenwriting, directing, editing and producing. That is, regardless of his or her basic film occupation, the student will be taught the skills of allied disciplines. Apart from strictly professional disciplines, students will be taught the course ‘Filmmaking as a business’. This course is essential. It gives an insight into the structure of Hollywood, teaches how one can get a job in Hollywood in any given film discipline, how to use one’s professional skills in the film business, explains how to build a successful filmmaking career.

Upon completion of the training course, students will be able to:

  • Acquire/upgrade/improve their professional skills in major filmmaking disciplines in theory and in practice;
  • Remain highly creative specialists in the conditions of a tight time schedule of production and budget;
  • Be a part of a collaborative creative team, tight-knit and integral, committed to achieving a shared objective;
  • Feel confident in the film business;
  • Understand the inner mechanism and structure of Hollywood and the global Film industry;
  • Work and conduct oneself in a professional way, and in accordance with Hollywood standards;
  • Build one’s career effectively and consistently in one’s home country and in Hollywood;
  • Have a portfolio of one original short film and 4 scenes - student films;

LEARNING PLAN

The comprehensive training course ‘Hollywood as the synthesis of art and business’ embraces theoretical and hands-on training in screenwriting, directing, editing and producing based on Hollywood standards and with special emphasis on the business aspect of each of the disciplines. The Program also includes a special course ‘Filmmaking as a business’.

Classes are conducted by four teaching professors, each a specialist in one of the four disciplines. During the first three weeks, on every first academic day of the week classes are conducted by all four teachers simultaneously, and on the last week the joint class is held on the last day of the training course. That ensures the interaction of the taught disciplines. The rest of the academic days of the week start with 4-hour-long lectures in fundamental disciplines: screenwriting, directing, editing and producing.

All lectures, seminars and practical sessions are provided with simultaneous translation into your native language!

TRAINING CURRICULUM

Each academic day begins with two double periods (90 min x 2) of fundamental lectures in one of the disciplines, with a 5-minute break.

Day 1,
Monday
9:00-13:00 Fundamental lecture (lecture conducted by all four teachers)
(In the concluding week the Fundamental lecture is conducted by teachers on Friday, the last day of the course)
Day 2
Tuesday
9:00-13:00 Screenwriting skill (screenwriting teacher).
Day 3
Wednesday
9:00-13:00 Directing (directing teacher).
Day 4
Thursday
9:00-13:00 Editing (editing teacher).
Day 5
Friday
9:00-13:00 Producing (producing teacher).

THEORETICAL TRAINING COURSE

Program 2

The structure of the theoretical course:

  • SCREENWRITING
    • The role and place of a screenwriter in the Film Industry
      • Who are the writers/screenwriters in Hollywood?
      • The principles of work of a writer/screenwriter in Hollywood
      • Independent work and work on commission
      • Organizing your screenwriting work
      • Original screenplay and a book adaptation
      • Screenplay based on a ‘hot’ event
      • Screenplay based on a true story
      • Who is a successful writer?
      • What does a screenwriter need an agent or manager for?
      • Functions of the Writers Guild of America (WGA)
    • Fundamentals of modern screenwriting
      • The standard American screenwriting format
      • A script – a visual journey of images
      • Basic components of a script
      • Composition in the dramaturgy of a film
      • What is the idea for a film?
      • Peculiarities of genres and styles
    • Creating an image
      • Visual and visceral image
      • Detail and its importance
      • Dialogue and monologue
      • Off-screen voice (VO)
      • Types and functions of the off-screen voice
      • What is type classification?
      • Motivation for act/action
      • Modeling a situation
      • Adapting images of classical literature to contemporary film and TV
    • Story and plot
      • Story motives and situations
      • Kinds of stories
      • Key elements of a story
      • Conflict
      • Scene, episode, shot
      • Modern set-up
      • Stage direction in a screenplay
    • Screenwriting business
      • How to choose the genre and the theme?
      • Market requirements
      • Market tendencies
      • How to sell a script/story?
      • Studio and screenwriter
      • How do you get a script commissioned?
      • To keep track of events in the Industry
      • Independent cinema and the screenwriter
    • Similarities and differences between a movie and a TV screenplay
      • How does the modern Industry work?
      • Peculiarities of cinema and TV and their requirements to a screenplay
      • The modern ‘TV boom’
      • Similarities and differences of screenplay formats for cinema and TV
      • Dividing a TV screenplay into acts, and why this does not exist in cinema screenplays?
      • What is an act, and which is the right way to write acts
      • Story/plot in a cinema- and TV screenplay
      • The image and its development in a cinema- and TV screenplay
      • Knowing the capacities of modern cinema (special effects at the stage of writing the screenplay)
      • A TV product. How to write:
        - pilot;
        - series;
        - TV movie;
        - miniseries;
    • The art of the PITCH
      • A pitch – is an integral part of a screenwriter’s job
      • How to create a powerful pitch?
      • "You have just 10 minutes for everything!"
      • A step-by-step guide:
        1). Arrive well in advance… 15). Where to go after the pitching?
    • Screenwriter and production
      • Your hirer and client – is the producer
      • How does a screenwriter efficiently prepare for and conduct him/herself in an interview with the producer/Studio
      • Standard scriptwriter’s Agreement; rights and obligations
      • Someone has already written what you are writing today, so your goal is to make it better
      • How to write a compelling synopsis
      • What is the Screenwriter’s Bible and what is it for?
      • Gathering and researching the material
      • Screenwriter and director: develop a solid relationship
      • The first draft of a screenplay, the second draft, polishing
      • Work of a scriptwriter in the development period: preproduction, production, postproduction
  • DIRECTING
    • What is a director in Hollywood?
      • Who and with what background takes up the career of film directing: actors, producers, editors, theatre specialists, clip-makers, artists
      • What is a director’s profitability
      • Box office revenue determines the success
      • Director-the creator in conflict with money
      • How to get a big-studio to green light your project
      • What does a director need an agent, manager, publicist and membership in DGA for?
    • he ABCs of film directing
      • The 180 degree rule
      • Set-up
      • Composition
      • Shot breakdown
      • Learn to read the screenplay correctly
    • How to get your film green lighted
      • Should a film director be unscrupulous? Sticking to principles in choosing a project
      • Organizing meetings with the right people
      • How to get priorities straight (highlight the key points), and what to focus the attention of your hirer (Studio/producer) on.
      • Books and screenplays rights
      • Getting your film green lighted
      • Who enjoys the final cut privilege
      • Attaching artistic individuals (‘talents’) to a film
    • Similarities and differences between directing a feature and a TV film
      • TV – is the producer’s ‘home territory’
      • Elements of an auteur film on TV (in a TV series)
      • Peculiarities of ‘marathon’ directing on TV
      • Working on a screenplay with the screenwriter, producer and Studio /TV channel
      • Director as an artistic director of a multi season series
      • How to quickly shoot a TV series
      • Difference between editing a series and a feature film
    • Stages of directing a film in Hollywood
      • Pre Production
        • Working on the screenplay in collaboration with the producer and screenwriter
        • Visualization of the material
        • Shot breakdown
        • Creativity on the budget
        • Effectively arranging the shooting schedule
        • Breaking down the screenplay – the most effective way of correct production planning
        • What is an AD line board
        • Minimizing the number of shooting days
        • Solving the problem of budgeting limitation
        • The second unit
        • The art of reaching a compromise in everything
        • ‘Two captains’ – director/producer relationship
        • How to effectively arrange a production meeting, the purpose of production meetings
      • Casting
        • What is a casting director in Hollywood
        • The ‘power’ of stars – how to work with big actors
        • The principles of choosing the right actors
        • Reading the text from the script by actors
        • Rehearsing with the actor
        • Drawing up the shooting schedule with regard to the actors availability
      • Picking department heads of the film crew
        • Director of photography
          • discussing visual stylistics;
          • discussing the set construction;
          • balance of the depth of shot, mood and light;
          • optics and equipment;
          • number of cameras, lighting, etc.
        • Production designer
          • set and location;
          • dressing objects and decorations;
          • defining the artistic stylistics of the film in accordance with the genre, etc.
        • Assistants, helpers, their responsibilities and importance:
          • Who is the First assistant?
          • The Second assistant
          • Production assistants (PA)
          • The Script Person
          • The Personal Assistant to film director and his/her functions
          • Location manager and his team, functions
        • Costume designer
        • Editor
        • Sound Recordist
      • Production
        • Planning your day
        • How to prepare for a shooting day (a director’s homework)
        • Playing with actors; how should a director conduct himself with actors on the set
        • Conduct of the director with the crew on the set
        • Remember about the time limit; how to save the time on the set
        • How to move on from one scene to another
        • How to choose the best take
        • How to create an integral effective organism of the film crew
        • How to boost morale of the film crew
        • How to stay on budget
        • Be prepared for possible eventualities, and be able to anticipate them
      • Post Production
        • How to work with the Editor
        • How to explain your vision of the film to the Editor
        • The ability to accept the Editor’s opinion and use it to the benefit of the film
        • How to use the Editor’s art to enhance the film
        • The ability to abandon certain scenes for the overall benefit of the film
        • The composer’s choice, and collaborating with the composer
        • Music as the film’s subtext, an illustration of the visual imagery, and emphasis on the sensual response to the picture
        • Choosing and collaborating with the Sound Crew
        • The Sound Design for film
        • What is Additional Dialogue Recording (ADR), using ADR for action/scene enhancement
        • Color timing, working with color in collaboration with the DOP
        • The director’s final cut
    • The Director and his film. From beginning to end.
      • Working and collaborating with the team
      • Directing – is art
      • Directing – is business
      • Choosing the strategy for success
      • Corporate principles and alienation in the film director’s profession
      • The art of delegating one’s creative ideas to members of the film crew
      • ‘Will I be able to work again?’. A director’s post-production depression.
  • THE ART OF EDITING
    • Film as a language
      • Laws and rules of the film language
      • Film language as the international form of intercourse and communicating information
      • A historical survey of cinematography from its discovery until today
      • Film analysis: Edwin S. Porter’s ‘The Great Train Robbery’, Sergei Eisenstein’s ‘Battleship Potemkin’, Dziga Vertov’s ‘Man With a Movie Camera’, Arthur Penn’s ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘A Bout de Souffle’ (‘Breathless’), Mike Nichols’ ‘The Graduate’
    • Editing – is the heart of movie-making
      • Editing - is the film industry secret weapon
      • Editors, who are they? Anonymous unremarkable techies or great manipulators?
      • Analysis and critique of Wendy Apple’s documentary ‘The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing’
    • A contemporary digital cutting room
      • Comparing editing systems
      • Functional capacities of a cutting room
      • The role of assistant editor
      • How to preserve creativity in the conditions of squeezed time limits
      • Interaction with accompanying services
    • Editing of picture/film
      • First assembly
      • An editor’s cut
      • A director’s cut
      • The final cut of the film
      • Sound editing
      • Who is a sound editor?
      • What is sound (audio) editing, SFXs
      • Background noise (sounds) editing
      • Foleys
      • ADR
      • What is M&E
      • How to use the sound effects library
      • Music editing
    • Organizational skills and interaction with other departments
      • Allied departments for a film editor
      • Mix
      • Sound and image mix
      • SFXs
      • Modern film production technologies and editing
      • Credits editing and their order
      • Using the ‘green screen’, graphics, editing moving backgrounds,
      • Making a film trailer (picking the right production company, selecting material and final elements)
      • An editor’s contract obligations
  • PRODUCING
    • Producer as a profession. The role of producer in Film production
      • Producer – artist or manager?
      • Is there a need for the profession of producer?
      • How do they become producers?
      • Who is more important: the producer or the director?
      • Time and the producer – cinema from the 1950s until today
      • The producer’s team
    • Stages of a producer’s work on the project
      • Creating the idea for the film
      • Genre preferences of the market
      • Project development stage, project financing
      • Working with Agencies
      • Casting the screenwriter
      • Casting the director
      • How to deliver an effective pitch, presentation of the new Project
    • Project financing
      • Financing of a film for theatrical release
      • Financing of a TV series
      • How to attract private financing
      • How to use the existing soft-term financing in the USA and in world territories
      • What is the pre-sale of distribution (screening) rights
      • How to get GAP financing
    • Film budgeting
      • Movie Magic Budgeting
      • Above-the-line
      • Below-the-line
      • Minimizing production budget
      • Risks
      • Insurances
      • Main goal – to stay within the time schedule and not overshoot budget
    • Structure of the film crew in Hollywood
      • How to assemble an efficient film crew
      • Responsibilities of film crew members in Hollywood
      • Technical equipment of a film crew
      • Contracts with crew members
      • Contracts with movie stars
      • Pre-production period
      • Production period
    • Professional relationship between producer and department heads in Hollywood
      • Producer and actor
      • Producer and director
      • Producer and DOP
      • Producer and production designer
      • Producer and line producer
      • Producer and editor
      • Producer on the set
    • Post Production in Hollywood
      • The art of Post Production and the role of the producer in it
      • The cluster: producer-director-editor
      • Music in a film, collaborating with the composer and music supervisor
      • The director’s cut, the producer’s cut, the final cut
      • Mix
    • Home and foreign film distribution
      • Who is a Sales Agent, Distributor
      • Home distribution and international distribution
      • Finding the right distributor, and how to work with him/her
      • The mechanism of return on investment
      • Profit making
    • That’s it, guys! You’re a producer! Welcome to Hell!
      • Seminar
  • SPECIAL COURSE ‘FILMMAKING AS A BUSINESS’
    • Professional ethics, Hollywood/Industry style
    • The structure of Hollywood
      • LA – a huge film set
      • The role of labor unions in Hollywood
      • Agents and managers
      • Lawyers and the legal base as the basis for labor relations
    • Financing of feature and TV projects
      • What is a successful project packaging
      • Film/series pre-sales
      • Receiving incentives
      • Financing of a series by the TV channel
      • Private financing
    • Box office earnings – the success of the film
      • Who are sales agents and distributors
      • What is P&A
      • Sequence of investment returns
    • Building a successful career
      • How to get a job at a major film studio
      • How to conduct yourself in a job interview
      • How to organize and conduct a business meeting effectively
      • How to reach compromise decisions
    • Cinema – is art, but also a business
      • Concluding seminar

Having listened to the lectures, after the lunch break, students take up hands-on training and do their ‘homework’.

HANDS-ON TRAINING AND THE METHODS USED

Program 2

On the first day of the training course students are split up into ‘fours’ – mini film crews. Every day there is a professions rotation within every team of four: on the first day one of the four students performs the functions of director, the second one – of the first assistant, the third one – of the D.O.P., the fourth one – helps everyone do their job. On the second day the students shift ‘professions’, and the ‘director’ edits the material shot the day before. This way the students acquire experience in each of the major filmmaking disciplines, and work both independently and as a part of a collaborative team, that accumulates professional experience of a film crew.

The program envisages 12 ‘homework’ assignments, making student films-scenes of 3-5 min duration during a period of 3 weeks. Each group of four ‘produces’ 1 film-scene in two days (I day – shooting, I day – editing). On the third day they will present their films to the whole class for analyzing and discussion. Theoretical classes, lectures will have as their end purpose this hands-on part of the training. In the fourth week all the groups of four receive a task to make a short film on a set abstract impersonal theme, for example: ‘The First Snow’, or ‘Looking for a Job’, etc. This film will be considered a student’s ‘diploma work’. All ‘homework’ assignments will be analyzed and studied individually in the course of the training, and the last 13th one will be discussed on the last day of the training course.

Students of the Academy acting department and students enrolled in the program ‘Acting career as a business’ will be engaged as actors for shooting student films.

‘Homework assignments: shooting student films/scenes

  • Week 1 – Silent film. Visualization
    • Shooting a scene that shows the encounter of two people, without using a dialogue.
    • Shooting a scene that demonstrates a competent use of the 180-degree rule and eye-line match, without using sound.
    • Shooting a scene showing danger, irritation, or love, without using sound.
    • Shooting objects with illustrating their form and design, without using sound.
  • Week 2 – Turning on the sound
    • Shooting a scene with simultaneous action.
    • Shooting with the editing sequence.
    • Shooting a scene showing the response to an action.
    • The sequence of shooting a fight scene.
  • Week 3 – Let’s be more ambitious
    • Shooting a chase scene (stimulation).
    • Shooting a night scene (using light for catching the right mood)
    • Shooting a promo trailer (style)
    • Shooting in the style of political propaganda (manipulation).
  • Week 4 – That’s all, guys!
    • Shooting a short film on a set theme.

Entertainment program

As an option students are offered an extensive entertainment program for the week-ends: tours of LA, visiting the legendary concert hall ‘Hollywood Bowl’, concerts, exhibitions, museums, film premiers, etc.

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