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Prague Film School - any recent experiences?


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#1 Karin Bleiweiss

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 08:10 AM

Hi,
I just got accepted by the Prague Film School (1 year, documentary program). I found some controversial ratings about this school on different pages on the web. Some say it is really good, with highly qualified professors, others that it is just a rip-off and not well organised. Did anyone attend the school recently and can give me some insights how the program looks like and about the quality of the education there.
thanx
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#2 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:37 AM

Hi,
I just got accepted by the Prague Film School (1 year, documentary program). I found some controversial ratings about this school on different pages on the web. Some say it is really good, with highly qualified professors, others that it is just a rip-off and not well organised. Did anyone attend the school recently and can give me some insights how the program looks like and about the quality of the education there.
thanx



Just about any school is going to be only as good as what you put into it. The key is to find out exactly what it is YOU want to do, figure out what things you need to learn about in order to get you there, and then to find the resources that will teach you how to do those things. Once you figure the first two things out, the last is when you look for schools, books, websites, etc. to learn.

So, given that you want to invest a year and a lot of money into a documentary program, first ask yourself what you already know about making documentaries. If you feel you have gaps in the things you should know, write them down. Anything from the technical requirements to financing your projects should be taught.

Take your list to the school(s) you're interested in and ask very direct questions of those in charge of the program. Don't be shy. You're buying their product so it's up to you to make sure they will deliver the education that you think you're buying. If you don't know all the questions to ask yourself and them, there are already many existing books and websites that describe the various elements of making documentaries. You can buy those and read them for far less money and time than a year of filmschool will take.

Asking alumni about their experiences is a good idea, but it is only part of the process because their experiences are just that... their experiences. If someone had a terrible time at the school, it could have been for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with how you would do there today.

Good luck!
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#3 Karin Bleiweiss

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 12:46 PM

@Brian: Thanks a lot for the good suggestions - I anyhow did most of what you suggested, before applying to the school. The reason why I asked the question here, was a experience I made in my former university. I asked some people during the interview, that was part of the application, very precisely about the content and course of the studies. They promised a lot of things, that actually never came true. So I'm a bit more cautious this time.
If I would have asked students back then I would have saved some energy and nerves.
But of course I agree with you, that a big part of the experience is related to the student himself, his own motivation and former work experience,...
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 11:32 PM

@Brian: Thanks a lot for the good suggestions - I anyhow did most of what you suggested, before applying to the school. The reason why I asked the question here, was a experience I made in my former university. I asked some people during the interview, that was part of the application, very precisely about the content and course of the studies. They promised a lot of things, that actually never came true. So I'm a bit more cautious this time.
If I would have asked students back then I would have saved some energy and nerves.
But of course I agree with you, that a big part of the experience is related to the student himself, his own motivation and former work experience,...


From my experience with documentaries, the biggest thing to learn is finding grants and financing. It can be a very piecemeal process as many grants are small and have specific time limits and other constraints. So, knowing how to find available money and knowing how to apply for a grant is crucial. Of course being familiar with actually acquiring material (interviews, b-roll) is pretty important too, but money will also have to be allocated for travel, lodging, food, insurance, postage, etc. Hopefully your school will address all of those "non-shooting" elements too.
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#5 Malik Sajid

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 08:11 AM

Hey Karin Bleiweiss, it seems to be quite costly. What is the total fee for the 1 year documentry program?

What about the language?

Edited by Malik Sajid, 27 June 2009 - 08:11 AM.

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Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

The Slider