Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hands on Deck at Film and Broadcast Academy

In the ever-changing world of the motion picture industry, it is essential for a filmmaker to keep abreast of evolutions in new technology trends to predict climate changes so quickly that often times, revolutionary ideas of telling stories with moving images from silent films to digital age and to use all tool at their disposal Chinyere Okoye writes

As burgeoning film professionals, Film and Broadcast academy is set to impact learning, balancing of artistic inclinations with a thorough understanding of the business of filmmaking and the industry as a whole. Topics such as option agreements, financing, sound licensing, film festivals, representation, distribution and marketing will be covered.
Production design plays an important role in the success of any production, as it provides the audience with the visual clues that establish and enhance the production content. The production designer works to create a design style or concept that visually interprets and communicates a story, script or environment appropriate to the production content and action. Film and Broadcast Academy is intended to help students prepare for the design requirements of their film projects, construction, makeup design, costume design, and basic aesthetics.
To demonstrate commitment to development of the movie industry, the Ejiro brothers, with the support from a movie industry guru, Chief Charles Akeni, a retired Public Relations (PR) manager in Shell Company and chairman of the academy have set up a film academy called Film and Broadcast Academy in Ozoro, Delta state, as 8,000 candidates have passed the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board examinations to gain admission into the school.

Speaking at the event, Chief Charles Akeni, said the academy will offers courses that will guarantee students National Vocation Certificate and National Innovation Diploma at the end of their stay and admission is open to those who have completed junior secondary school, senior secondary school, unemployed or under employed graduates, among others.
The school, he said, has in place a dormitory for students who live far from Delta state, studio for movies, music studio and mini studio for broadcast and will apply for radio and television license as the academy is for both those who want to be professionals in movie making and broadcasting, as the school commences classes in 14th January 2010.
“I got interested in the academy because there were greater heights the industry could not aspire to. Acting, broadcasting, film directing, scriptwriting and all aspects of the entertainment industry needed to move to a higher level, with over 30 streams of income. We also intend to make this school a public income school after 3years and international accredits the school like Microsoft. We will not compromise” he said.
Akeni also disclosed that Delta state government through the assistance of the Special Assistant to the governor on Culture, Richard Mofe-Damijo gave them a temporary site for the school while the communities in Ozoro gave them land at a subsidized rate to build the structures for the school.
Vice chairman of the academy and filmmaker Zeb Ejiro, said the academy would train the students to be independent professionals that would raise the standard in the industry.

He said the students would be involved in the practical and theoretical aspects of the lectures while in the school and they would have the opportunity to sell their music, films and other presentations on the Internet.
According to Ejiro, the academy is interested to sharpen skills, teach them fundamentals of visual and dramatic storytelling through the production of films.
Film and broadcast academy encourages students to take creative risks and find their own voices as visual artists. Students receive a certificate upon successful completion as well as filmmaking skills, an enormous amount of production experience, a body of their own work, and a feature film project. The network of working relationships they develop with their classmates will help carry them forward as they pursue their own careers in filmmaking.
The goal of this is to fully immerse each student in an intensive and focused course of study, providing a solid structure for writing and meeting deadlines. Students learn the craft of writing by gaining an understanding of story, structure, character, conflict and dialogue, he said.
With strict adherence to the rituals of writing and learning, students complete a first draft of a feature length screenplay of 90 to 120 pages. This class is designed as a creative and academic safe haven to develop, rewrite, and polish their scripts, Ejiro said.

In order for a student to successfully pass this class, each project must be “script–locked” by the end of the semester, and ready for Pre- Production.
By the school curriculum, students analyze budgets and schedules of feature films in order to gain an understanding of these two key elements in preparing a project for production.

The students will also gain valuable experience of shooting on a sound stage. Working with dollies, cranes, flats, standing sets, green screens, and the many other elements inherent to filmmaking on a closed stage, students will be exposed to a professional filming environment to shoot several in-class group projects including a music video, he said.

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