1st day - Screenwriting

We spent this entire day covering a series of aspects about screenwriting, the foundation of filmmaking, with our tutor Paul Kite, in a very informal and interactive environment. 

Paul Kite (screenplay tutor), Beatrice (Course Leader) and Anna Macdonald (LFA's Joint Principal)

The course only has 24 students which makes it easy to create a very comfortable, friendly atmosphere.

Interviewing some of the people I'll be working with for the next 2 weeks, before the lecture starts

We had some really interesting discussions and I could clarify a lot of things that I didn't understand well about the way this industry works by talking with this experienced professional.

Throughout the day I had the opportunity to talk with some of the supporting staff members of the course, mostly graduates of LFA who are now making their own way into the industry. It was a very inspiring and enriching experience to get to know them, and to know that they are consistently achieving what they were aiming for. Also to see how spontaneously creative they are. Their minds are trained to imagine, to wonder, to transform creative limitations in pure inspiration. It's great!

Me talking with Nélson "NJ", a Portuguese graduate from LFA.

After lunch we started discussing a short film screenplay in groups of 4, analysing scenes and scrutinizing their hidden meanings, their flaws, their purpose in the plotline and in the development of characters.

Analysing and discussing a screenplay.

Then we were briefed about the film we'll be directing early on next week.

We were paired up in director/cameraman teams (I’ll be director, fortunately) and extremely incentivized to do team work, which is crucial on filmmaking, a collaborative art more than any other.

We were told which actors we're going to direct (famous Portuguese actors, by the way), what equipment we're going to have available, in which location we're going to film and what should the film be about.

 This is the location were my film will have to be set.

They also told us we'll have a total of 1,5 hours to set up the all scene for each angle and shoot everything – and by the way, you can only shoot 6 minutes maximum, even though we’re using a digital camera (an unbelievably huuuge digital camera with an unbelievably huge lens)!

When I say huge, I mean huge...

And we were told we have to deliver a first draft of our script, Wednesday morning.

We've just started and by now I have less than 36 hours to write a screenplay!

Talk about INTENSIVE course!...

All of these rigid constrictions, creative limitations and tight schedules are designed to train us on discipline. On having to deliver something with what we are given, and only with that and nothing more. On having to be wise and responsible filmmakers. On being capable to work with deadlines. On being able to be creative even when it seems there’s no room for creativity. On being able to work under stress. On working like professionals have to.

You want your school to prepare you for the real world, for the wilderness that awaits you out there.

Well, at LFA it seems you can be sure that’s what’s going to happen.

Now, if you excuse me, I have a lot of things to read and a lot of brainstorming to do.

See you tomorrow!

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