Film School details

Degrees Offered
  1. Summer Programs
  2. Short Term Courses
  1. Directing
Yearly Tuition
$5k to $10k
Tuition Detail
Based on an exercise originally devised by FAMU (the Czech National Film School) this 3-week workshop explores the fundamentals of filmmaking from script to screen.

Using an apparently straightforward event as its starting point – 'A' drops a handkerchief and 'B' picks it up – the workshop exposes, through a systematic and rigorous process of scrutiny, the complexities inherent in this, and indeed any scenario.
It goes on to examine the variations and possibilities which must be considered before the event can be translated first into a script, and then - via all the stages of prep, shoot and post production - onto the screen.
The primary areas covered are:
  • Script writing
  • Visual language
  • Choosing locations
  • Mise en scene
  • Performance/working with actors
  • Shooting
  • Editing and post production
This is a highly practical programme aimed at anyone who is serious about a career in film; from those about to apply to a major film school, to anyone wishing to improve their understanding of the craft before embarking on their own short films. At the end of the course each participant will receive a certificate of attendance, plus a USB of their scenes which may be used for showreel purposes or as part of an application portfolio.

Priority for this course will be given to applicants aged 23+ years.
Those with little (or no) practical filmmaking experience are encouraged to consider the 2-week programme with Jonas Grimås (First Film Summer School with Jonas Grimås). For applicants aged 18-22 years, this will almost certainly be the most appropriate course, but not necessarily.
School URL
Letters of Reference Req.
No Letters Required
Class Size
Internship Opportunities

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Latest reviews

Great Filmmaking Intensive, Though Pricey
Reviewed by
  • Excellent instructors
  • Much more practice than other summer programs
  • Good for many experience levels
  • Price
I attended this summer program in 2019. I wanted to try out directing in an environment where I would get feedback on my work and where I could feel safe trying out things -- ie: a school environment. But I wasn't ready to commit to an MFA, having only ever co-directed one short film once.

On the other hand, I did have quite a bit of film experience already, having worked camera on small shoots, script supervised a feature and a few shorts, and worked as a Post PA and Assistant Editor on big budget, union shows. I knew my way around a set, I just had not directed.

Most summer programs take you through the filmmaking process once through, from script to final edit, but this programs lets you do it three times: once with a group-developed, almost improvised scene/short; once with your own silent scene/short; and finally with your own dialog scene/short. That's a huge advantage, because you get to learn from your mistakes and put the new knowledge into action immediately. And you get to try different things.

The lead instructor -- Udayan Prasad -- is fantastic. He's a great working director who clearly loves teaching and has lots of experience as a teacher and on set. He doesn't condescend, he gives you honest feedback, he is never rude, he doesn't play favorites.

The class has 12 students and you all crew each others simple shoots and exercises at first, with additional help of TAs. Editors are provided for all exercises, mostly MA students -- I thought our editors were great. For your final project, professional actors, a DP, and a sound recordist come in to work on your piece. And they are indeed pros, I was delighted by the quality of the people who agreed to be in our little school projects. A real treat.

You'll have multiple classes on acting and directing actors. You'll also have a class on coverage and camera angles; classes on storytelling, on POV.

You will also have sessions with other professionals: Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Editor, Production Designer, Composer/Sound Mixer. Everyone was really solid, caring, knew their stuff backwards and forwards, was seasoned. The Screenwriting, Cinematography, and Editing instructors stick around for your film projects to give insight as you work on them and feedback once you present the final. Their involvement is really great.

Our class was maybe 1/3 people working in the film industry already, many others currently or recently in film school, and a few who had not studied film or worked in it, but were interested in pivoting into film / directing. Ages from 21 to 42 I think. Many different backgrounds and experience levels and I think we all got a lot out of it. This may be the rare class that serves experienced people as well as novices.

Having said that, if you have already directed a few short films, feel comfortable working with actors, and understand the process from idea to script to casting to shoot to edit, then this may not be as useful. Are Udayan's insights about story really good? Yeah they are! But if you have made a bunch of shorts already, those insights alone may not be worth the price.

Which brings me to the one con: It is an expensive course. I had plenty of savings and I decided to dedicated a calculated chunk of them to this. When you add cost of airfare to/from London, housing, and food (none of which are included in tuition), it gets extra expensive. Tuition, airfare & local transport, lodging (with an extra week), food (extra week), and incidentals came just under US$9,000. You could take the same budget and make a short film on your own. I wanted the instruction, so I chose this, but I think finances should be taken into account before committing to an expensive 3-week course like this one.

I'm glad I took this class. I learned I do love directing, I love being on set with actors, and I have a long way to go before I'm really really good. I also learned to look at film in a different way, to question its visual and aural choices more. Finally, I learned how much I love the scripting part of it and am now applying to Screenwriting MFAs. For me, this course served its purpose and then some.
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One member found this helpful.
This is an incredible assessment of their program. Incredibly detailed, thorough, considered -- and also really well-written.

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