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Film & TV Producing

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The Accra Film School’s Film and Television Producing Course is designed to illuminate one of the most important, yet misunderstood, jobs in film and television. Students eager to control their own destiny in the business world of film and television will flourish in this intensive hands-on program. It is geared toward students with little or no experience in producing, but who recognize that an intensive and demanding program, much like the job of producing itself, will provide them with the knowledge they seek.

Students are treated as producers throughout the duration of the course, and are challenged each step of the way. Students are encouraged, but not required, to bring a piece of intellectual property which might consist of: a book of fiction, magazine article, newspaper article, biography, autobiography, or original idea (if deemed appropriate) at the beginning of the course which serves as the foundation for their final project. Students take this project through the various stages of development: pitch, treatment, script, talent search, budget, schedule, and plans for marketing and distribution. Students learn the real-word strategies for successful producing and are encouraged to develop the professional network needed within the film and television industry.

Students must be prepared for full days of intensive work throughout the entire course. They must be committed to a fast-paced, intensive learning and production schedules, and willing to work collaboratively with our filmmaking, screenwriting, and acting students.
Classes consist of intensive 3 hour sessions from 10AM – 1PM on Saturdays, with self-study assignments given every week. Modules may be split between two classes, or more than one module may be covered in a single class.

Module Descriptions

Producer’s Craft I
This core introductory module outlines the essential roles, tasks and obstacles faced by film and television producers. Topics include navigating studios, television networks and emerging media and the relationship between the producer and crew and talent agencies.

Producer’s Roundtable I
In this roundtable setting, and from the producer’s perspective, students discuss and analysefilm and television case studies. Current newsworthy events in the entertainment industry will be presented and analysed.

Pitching for Producers
Students are exposed to effective pitching styles and instructed on how to develop basic pitching skills.

Industry Insight
This informative sessions feature discussions with producers and other industry professionals. Each session includes a Q&A, providing each student access to first-hand impressions of real-world circumstances faced by working industry professionals.

Directing for Producers
Effective producers create a collaborative and artistic production environment that enhances each director’s skills and provides them with the support needed to make the best possible film or television show. In this module, producing students learn to use basic production documents and to audition, cast and work with actors. In hands-on sessions students break down a short script into a shooting plan and direct a scene with actors on digital video.

Line Producing Essentials: Scheduling and Budgeting
Students learn production scheduling and budgeting basics and are introduced to the industry-standard templates used to schedule and budget productions.

Cinematography for Producers
Producing students receive instruction in the basic needs of the cinematography department.

Editing for Producers
Students are instructed in the basic requirements of digital editing.

Entertainment Law
Students study legal issues regarding television, films, recordings, live performances and other aspects of the entertainment industry. Topics include contracts, copyright law, compensation, intellectual property, and talent representation. This module addresses legal issues to preserve, protect and actualize the intellectual, entertainment, and technological property of people working in entertainment industry.

Screenwriting for Producers
This module helps students develop their analytic skills in the areas of structure, plot, story, setting, momentum, tone and characterization, and master the tools of story genesis and development for film and television. The module also develops an understanding of genre, theme, imagery, working with writers, and other professional issues as they relate to creative producing. There are discussions about the hiring of a screenwriter to work with producers on the development of an idea or concept for a reality television pilot, feature film, or other creative forms they wish to pursue.

Producing Reality Television
All genres of Reality Television are studied including game shows, talent competitions, dating based competitions, self-improvement makeovers, hidden camera, hoaxes, and episodic documentaries.

Working in small groups, students create their own reality show trailer or teaser. They cast, scout, shoot, and edit their shows for presentation and critique. Students learn brainstorming techniques, casting, how to research topics and characters, pre-interviews, formal interviews and on the fly interviews, how to create a reality “script”, schedules, budgets, insurance and legal issues, and the deliverable process.

Producing Documentaries and News
These workshops focus on schools of documentary thought including cinema verite, direct cinema, biographical documentary, docu-drama, political documentary, and broadcast journalism, among others. The workshops further examine artistic, technical, and ethical approaches in the genre. Documentary styles, shooting approach, methods of interviewing, documentary structure, theme, point of view, and re-enactment are some of the topics that will be discussed and critiqued. They inform students about basic business plans, models and distribution methods used for independent documentary production, as well as the nuts and bolts of television’s successful investigative journalistic models.

Short Film Production
In this module, producing students further develop critical line producing skills. Working with filmmaking students in the AFS Filmmaking Program, Producing students line produce a filmmaker’s short film.

Finance, Marketing and Distribution
Using case studies, this course focuses on successful strategies employed in the finance, marketing and distribution of studio and independent films.

Producer’s Craft II
This course continues the study of the essential roles of, and obstacles faced by, film and television producers. Topics include optioning and developing material, film festivals, networks and ratings, studio and independent marketing and distribution.

Producers Roundtable II
In roundtable discussions, students analyse and discuss development, production, marketing and distribution obstacles of the projects they intend to pitch at the Final Producers Pitch. In workshops, students brainstorm to develop effective solutions.

Business Affairs
Students analyse and discuss legal topics such as such as contract negotiations, marketing projects to financiers and distributors, and audience and research testing.

Developing the Pitch for Final Producers Pitch
Through rigorous in-class exercises, students develop a brief and effective pitch of the material they choose to pitch at the Final Producers Pitch. Each student practices and gains critical and fundamental pitching skills.

Final Producers Pitch
Using a piece of intellectual property as inspiration, students are required to pitch their original film idea to a panel of industry professionals. All areas such as treatment, script, talent search, budget, schedule, and plans for marketing and distribution, should be covered.