the inside scoop
50-60 students accepted each year, from almost as many different cultures, from those working in industry to talented students and independent filmmakers; the PFS student body makes for an interesting bunch.
The courses are demanding. Core-courses; Screenwriting, Directing, Cinematography and Editing; structured hand-in-hand to go with production assignments. The first, shooting a silent film in the first week. Everyone takes part. The final edits screened, students get feedback from tutors, from everyone else, and see what others managed to do. Whatever your level, you get better quickly. Production workshops help train those with less professional experience to get up to speed with on-set protocol.
There are many interesting elective courses to choose from. It’s a balance; to take as many as you can while maintaining enough time to work on preproduction. Preparing for your own shoots while helping others with theirs; working on up to around twenty-five productions in a year, keeps you busy.
In-between all this time you’ll find the students in the school café; chugging coffee between classes, sipping it slowly while downloading music for their film, chatting, watching films and music videos, eating one of Lima’s delicious hot sandwiches. Outside in the courtyard; fellow smokers and much more of the same; chatting about the last shoot or the next party.
Almost everyone is in student arranged accommodation. There are many parties, especially after big productions. It’s a lot of mostly hard work at PFS. And at the end of every long day you’ll always find someone to go for a well-deserved beer at one of the many neighbouring bars, if that‘s just exactly what you‘re in the mood for.
There’s a big nightlife scene; from late-night drinking haunts, jazz bars and clubs to quirky cinema retrospectives. There’s a lot going on, just ask Steve or Isaac; ex PFS students now working at the school; they always seem to know what happenings are going on about town.
Because of it’s relatively small size, in PFS everyone knows everyone. Its possible to be as friendly with the staff as the students. It there’s something you need, you’ll be able to find someone able and happy to help.
It’s possible to check out equipment in-between the shoots, for side-line projects outside of the curriculum. For instance, shooting on spec. commercials or music videos, or just to practice and get to know more about the equipment.
A few students have been able to strike up relationships with people working in the Czech film and television industry, getting paid work, while still studying.
In Prague, being on continental Europe, it’s possible to get to a lot of different countries easily and cheaply. Many people take advantage of this. To get out of the city for a bit, visit different countries, shoot on location in a different country or get landscape footage by train.
Everything just depends on how you choose to use your time.
Article provided by Michael Gordon, class 2007-2008