The host is the Budapest Film Academy (BFA), located on the campus of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), the largest university in Hungary. This presents a unique opportunity to study screenwriting, production, and film studies in English with Hungarian and international students. BFA is also affiliated with Korda Studios (where much of The Martian and The Borgias were shot.), the main equipment rental house, and special effects companies, so that students have access to the latest in equipment and technologies. To learn more about BFA, click here.
Hungary is in the center of Eastern Europe, sharing borders with Austria, Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Croatia. Budapest, straddling the Danube River, is a bustling capital city home to a thriving film community, architectural delights, and world-famous baths. Though the language is difficult, English is widely spoken. Public transportation is cheap and easy to use. Medical care is on a par with any Western European country. Food is tasty and reasonably priced. Housing is inexpensive and convenient. Culturally, Budapest offers a top-notch selection of classical and modern music and a world-class Opera House. There is a large island in the center of the river that is dedicated to sports of all kinds where bicycles can be rented. There’s a permanent circus nestled into a large park and a vibrant nightlife.
All courses will be BFA and ELTE courses with equivalency to LMU courses.
Students are required to enroll in the following TWO courses:
Equivalent to SCWR 320 - Practical experience in writing feature film scripts with analysis of plot, character development, and structure.
Adaptation: One Medium to Another
Equivalent to SCWR 428 - Practical experience in translating books (novels and/or non-fiction) into film scripts.
Students are required to pick at least TWO of the following:
Screenwriter - Dramaturge
The importance of the screenplay in filmmaking cannot be overstated. To paraphrase a popular saying: it’s possible to make a bad film from a good script, but impossible to make a good film from a bad script. In our screenwriting classes, students explore the writing process in depth, from concept through final draft. Using both the students’ writing and films from the masters of cinema, we discuss: story structure, specifics of themes, genre requirements, the techniques of creating tension and conflict, handling exposition, storytelling through dialogue and action, perfecting pace within well-constructed scenes, sequences, and acts. We also cover archetypes, the hero’s journey, and other useful concepts within the world of story.
Great directors must be great storytellers. Our Directing program is based on the idea that one’s vision as a director is developed through practice, encouragement, critical feedback, collaboration, and a lot of practice. During our regular directing course, we teach the students from three different aspects: 1) The director prepares, 2) Technical preparation, choosing actors, co-workers, locations, etc., and 3) Working with actors and getting the best performance from them.
A cinematographer creates the visual world of a film. From the first stage of pre-production, the director of photographer acts as the creative partner of the director. During the production the DP helps to create the proper artistic and technical conditions for the visual realization of the story. Our courses will include the following topics: the basic tools of the cinematographer; camera and lighting tools; the cinematographer’s role during pre-production; the cinematographer’s working relationships during shooting; the cinematographer’s tasks during post-production; basic technical, lighting and camera movement exercises. A further requirement of the regular level course is that the students will have to work with advanced cinematography students, helping them out as crew members in their short films and commercials.
Creative Producer - Line Producer
The aim of the producing course is to provide a comprehensive knowledge of the basics of international film financing and a blueprint for how to create co-productions. Particular attention is paid to the legal and business aspects of independent filmmaking, including the basics of distribution agreements, option deals, copyrights, contract law, and other legal matters. We also examine how different deal structures affect movies.
During the course we will emphasize the entire production process, including pre- and post-production as well. Students will learn how to create financing plans, budgets, shooting schedules, call sheets, etc. They will also familiarize themselves with the duties of line producers, assistant directors, and script supervisors.
Editor - Sound Engineer
Under the mentorship of an experienced editing instructor, BFA’s editing classes cover everything from the basic, practical components of editing to the final desired effects. In this module, we also explore the world of sound in film, and its effect on the audience. Designing the audio elements of the film helps the picture, completes harmony with the editing, the cinematography, and the storytelling style of the director.
Analysis of Film Language from the Filmmaker's Point of View
It is essential for filmmakers to understand story structure, dramaturgical principles, and the reason for both artistic and technical choices. That’s what this course is all about. Via in-class film screenings and follow-up discussions and presentations, this class analyzes different film structures and the trend-setting elements of cinema. Students learn how to convey crucial information visually and how to enhance drama through the structure of cause and effect.
You can find more courses available on this program here: ELTE Study Abroad Classes Fall 2018
HOUSING AND MEALS
Housing is mainly apartment style hostels with up to date European fixtures. Kitchens are usually included, though eating out is quite cheap. ELTE has a dining hall adjacent to the BFA, and there’s a very cool outdoor and indoor café across the street from the university.
There will be several excursions in and around Budapest to various points of interest, including a dinner cruise on the Danube. Other activities like going to the theater, etc. are planned.