On 24 April, short films by two groups of Filmmaking course students who began their studies in the autumn of 2015 were screened at the Moscow Film School — 40 students presented 9 films. The programme leader of the course, Dmitry Kotov, talks about the results of their work:
Dmitry, does the students' work change from course to course?
Compared to last year, we've doubled the budgets of films! Plus each new group of wants to outdo the achievements of the previous one. As teachers, we try to rein in the process — it's mandatory to conduct workshops on ways to reduce the cost of film production budgets — but the guys often hire extra shooting equipment and pay for other expenses. For example, for the film "Draught", the crew repainted the walls in the apartment, the team of the film "Corporate" re-wallpapered the set and the filmmakers for "Reach the handle" — for the first time in the history of the course — rented a small set and rebuilt it so it was more convenient to film the main chracter's apartment. In addition, the guys in our course are beginning to pay more attention to sound and colour-correction.
Does the study programme tend to vary, depending on the needs of students?
We regularly adjust the programme based on a final survey given to students at the end of each course. For example, we've added a class for directors about working with actors and texts, we've added tuition on shooting documentary/observational footage, and from May we're going to have additional camera operator/DOP tasks. And of course, we very much value the fact that the graduates of the previous course don't disappear from our line of sight — actually, they often help newcomers with their shoots and share their experience. Due to this, the organisation of students' work and its quality is improving all the time. In addition, each set of students that pitches their projects uses more elements of show business and entertainment: a bear might stroll around the classroom, dogs could jump out of bags, or there might be gnomes. In general, we have a lot of fun!
What happens with your graduate-filmmakers?
The main objective of this course is preparation for a successful entry into the long-term MFS programmes. Our graduates from the previous year are now actively studying in MFS courses such as Directing, Cinematography, Producing, Script Writing, Art Direction and Sound Design. Out of the two groups that have just graduated, 67% and 86% of the students are now also going to attend the School's long-term programmes. This is a good result. Especially because the feedback surveys for the six groups that have just graduated show that overall satisfaction with the tuition in our course is no less than 90%. There's a smaller percentage of people who just take some time out after graduating to think things over or even to solve some problems in life, and some people try to immediately look for practical work — often successfully. So that should give you an idea of what the students themselves think about studying in the preparatory courses.
The next Filmmaking preparatory course is due to start on 17 May, 2016. Applications are already being accepted.
We would like to extend our thanks to our official course technical partner — Rentaphoto.