Overview Brussels Semester
The third semester in Brussels has two main focuses. On the one hand it focuses on a comprehensive exercise aiming to explore the creative potential of the soundscape and of the director’s voice. On the other hand, it aims to develop practice-oriented skills in terms of documentary scriptwriting and narration, producing, budgeting, and legal issues (author rights, contracts, etc.).
Classes are taught by local filmmakers, film scholars and guest professional instructors, and as well by international visiting lecturers and experts. Whereas the first two semesters have horizontal schedules (several time slots of different course modules), the third semester has a vertical schedule, in which several days are reserved for one course module only.
Sound occupies a central place in the third term. In the main film exercise, entitled Sound Before Image (in Film Directing | B), students make an individual film in which their voice is of crucial importance. Students, assisted by technical staff and a voice coach, record their voice in their mother tongue. This way, we try to give back the voice to the director, literally. The soundtrack is the foundation of this project and students must complete this before they start thinking about adding images.
We also concentrate in this semester on the (often unspoken) concern of most students: how to survive as a documentary-maker? How to write and present a script, how to make a contract, how to setup a co-production, how to create networks, and how to negotiate with partners and television, in order to work “with” instead of “for” television. To cover these issues we invite directors, producers and legal experts.
Another unique part of the semester’s program is “Events and Visits”. The geographical position of Brussels makes it possible to organize a visit to IDFA in Amsterdam, the largest documentary festival in the world, and to INA in Paris, the world’s leading institute for preservation and archiving of audio-visual documents. Both visits are in collaboration with local film departments: The Dutch Film Academy and the INA producer’s course respectively.