About Cinematography Department
As one of FAMU’s first three departments, Cinematography has always been most demanding and the professional standard of its graduates has been traditionally high, thanks to their teachers, famous creators of film imagery. The current teaching staff of the Department includes leading specialists and university professionals who have received many domestic as well as international awards.
The Department provides both theoretical and practical instruction for the highest qualification of Director of Photography in movies and TV alike. Specialised art, technical and technological classes are complemented by general academic and aesthetic education. The study program aims to supply professional knowledge and skills the development of which is supported by the assignment of field and interdepartmental practical exercises. The Department Head is Prof. Jaroslav Brabec, the holder of five Czech Lions (most prestigious filmmakers’ award in the Czech Republic) for films he worked on. Apart from filmmaking, he likes humour and contemporary fine art.
Meet the teachers of the Department and get acquainted: STAFF
FAMU: Structure and key facts
AMU = DAMU, HAMU + FAMU
FAMU = ANIMATION + AUDIOVISUAL STUDIES + CINEMATOGRAPHY + DOCUMENTARY + EDITING + FAMU INTERNATIONAL+ DIRECTING FICTION+PRODUCING + SCRIPTWRITING + SOUND + STILL PHOTOGRAPHY
Film and TV School (FAMU) is an integral part of The Academy of Performing Arts (AMU), which was founded after World War II, in 1947. It is the fifth oldest film school in the world. Its graduates include numerous influential filmmakers and scriptwriters, many known within international contexts such as Oscar winners or laureates of international film festivals.
FAMU is divided into 11 departments: Directing fiction, Directing documentary, Scriptwriting, Animation, Cinematography, Sound, Editing, Producing, Still Photography and the interdisciplinary Centre of Audio-visual Studies. FAMU International is a special department focused for teaching a wide range of film disciplines in English.
There are 112 professors and instructors, and a 16-member administrative staff. The FAMU Academic senate has 9 members. The Artistic Board has 14 members, mostly artists and academics from other universities. Our student body consists of 350 students in BA, MA and PhD study programs within the various departments plus approximately 80 international students, enrolled in master degree programs, Academy Preparation Program or other courses, every year.
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5 reasons to choose us
Reason #1: A TOP CLASS FACULTY OF FILM PROFESSIONALS
Film and TV School (FAMU) is an integral part of The Academy of Performing Arts, which was founded after World War II, in 1947. It is the fifth oldest film school in the world. Its graduates include numerous influential filmmakers and scriptwriters, many known within international contexts such as Oscar winners or laureates of international film festivals.
FAMU students are all taught by working professionals who are internationally recognized for their achievements. The cinematography department, among the strongest departments at FAMU, includes the following professors who will be participating in the master’s degree program.
Reason #2: A PROGRAM TO MASTER THE PROFESSIONAL SKILLS FOR A CAREER AS DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
CINKK offers a wide range of courses taught by film professionals with many years’ practical experience. Five or six students from various countries are usually accepted to the program. The applicants enrolled become a part of an international cameramen’s team who inspire one another. Students can choose to shoot their final degree project on 35mm or digital 4K camera, and are guided to leave the program with a professional-level show reel in hand.
We are aware that a Master's Degree often qualifies a person to teach as well as practice a profession, and we design a course of study to enable our students to leave with a thorough knowledge of the cinematography field befitting a future teacher/practitioner. During the various excercises student are shooting on 16mm (Bolex), 35mm or modern digital cameras.
Interesting fact: Did you know that the Czech Oscar-winning film, Closely Watched Trains (1966), is one of Stanley Kubrick’s favourites? The film’s Director of Photography, Jaromír Šofr, is a FAMU graduate and works here as a teacher.
Reason #3: A PERFECT PLACE TO MAKE NEW CONTACTS AND FRIENDS IN THE MOVIEMAKING INDUSTRY
The applicants accepted to the program will meet students of directing, production, editing, sound, animated filmmaking, documentary film, scriptwriting or photography at school, which will enable them to network with a view to potential future collaboration on their works. Contacts facilitate finding interesting internships or jobs, or getting references. In the course of their studies, students may register their films to various festivals with which the School partners. The success of our faculty is demonstrated by the fact that the majority of people working in the Czech Republic’s film and TV industry in artistic or production positions, as well as still-photographers in various media, are FAMU graduates.
Interesting fact: Did you know that the short non-documentary film, Peacock, by a Cinematography student Ondřej Hudeček was awarded the Best Direction Award at Sundance Film Festival 2016?
Reason #4: A STUNNING LOCATION AS A BACKDROP FOR STUDY
FAMU is located in the centre of Prague, one of the most beautiful locations in Europe with a dramatic history and a rich spectrum of its own local colours and architectures. Two years in this cultural capital would be of benefit to any artist and would serve our students well as a base from which to discover other important locations. We encourage our students to make the most of the soulful and stunning environment around them and to capture this impressionable city on unforgettable films.
For nearly a century Prague has been one of the world's filmmaking capitals, home to top craftsman, technicians and audio-visual professionals who also partner with FAMU teachers and students.
Interesting fact: Did you know that two installments of Mission: Impossible, Personal Shopper (2016, competed in Cannes) or the Oscar-winning Amadeus (1984) by Miloš Forman were shot in Prague? Look in the film brochure and explore the film locations yourselves.
Reason #5: The CZECH REPUBLIC
The Cinematography Department is located in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, which has everything a modern metropolis could offer. One advantage is the fact that the cost of living is much lower here than in Scandinavia, Great Britain or France. The Czech Republic is peaceful country rich in history which boasts numerous castles, chateaus or churches. You can find hundreds of theatres, galleries, museums, libraries and – naturally – cinemas.
The country has a population of 10.5 million and is located in the temperate climate zone which means you can swim in the summer and enjoy skiing in the mountains in winter! Yes, we have several mountain ranges and national parks where you can find beautiful lakes, rocks and various animals. Although there are lions in the Czech Republic’s national emblem, there is no need to be afraid in the outdoor although bears sometimes wander over the border with the Slovak Republic – a state which formed Czechoslovakia with the Czech Republic until end of 1992.
Almost all of your peers have studied English in primary and secondary schools so there will be no problem with a language barrier. Young people most often speak German, French and Spanish as their second language. In contrast to that, the older generation tends to have a knowledge of Russian as it was mandatory under the socialist regime. Still, if you learn a few Czech words before you arrive, people are sure to smile at you even more.
The beauty of the Czech Republic as captured by Buzzfeed are presented at: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonvingiano/pictures-of-czech-republic
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About Master’s Program in Cinematography "CINKK"
The Cinematography Master’s degree program at FAMU's Cinematography Department is designed to run for two years*. Our students will spend two full years mastering the art of narrative cinematography, immersing themselves in the craft of studio lighting, colour conceptions and photographic design.
We expect applicants to have experience in cinematography, usually with a Bachelor’s degree in film. Students should have their own light meters, spot meters and colour meters for serious advanced exponometric and colorimetric exercises. The program language is English; the program is a full-time paid course.
*We expect to have the program re-accredited to take three years.
Profile of Cinematography MA Program Graduates
The graduates of the two-year MA program at the FAMU Cinematography Department is a professionally and intellectually mature cameraman for fiction and non-fiction films, as well as for projects exploiting special technology and advertising spots. Their professional expertise forms an inseparable part of the individual approach to specific projects, including the ability to find and create adequate methods of production and work. That makes them reliable partners for the producers, costume designers, scenographers, but first and foremost, for the directors. The cameramen are capable of precisely distinguishing the rights and obligations in all of the camera team and move and lighting equipment team.
Theme analysis and the following inspiration of individually classified models enables the cameraman to create an image concept which fundamentally supports the literary dramaturgy of the script theme, with options of alternative designs of imagery concepts. The cameraman has mastered all of the components available to expressive imagery, not only during the filming but also during film project preparation and finish. The demands of the specialised study program along with the graduate’s moral and communicative properties are directly linked to the encouragement to human development of the cameraman’s individuality, making the cameraman a significant member of the creative team for both Czech and international film productions with no limit on the depth and demands of the film piece.
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FAMU locations and production facilities
1) Main FAMU building – Palace Lažanských
Smetanovo nábřeží 2
11665 Prague 1
FAMU´s departments and most of its classrooms are found in the historic Lažanský Palace, located across from the National Theatre, and offering breath-taking riverfront views of Prague Castle, Malá Strana, and Charles Bridge. On its ground floor the building also houses the famous Café Slavia, and includes a student´s club in the cellar space.
2) FAMU Studio
11000 Prague 1
Film and television production and postproduction studio, which includes two large indoor studios, several editing rooms, sound mixing halls, decoration and costume storage etc. FAMU Studio on Klimentská Street has traditionally provided students with the facilities they require for instruction and creative work. The historical building, which originally housed the entire faculty, has witnessed the development of artists, film technique and Czech filmmaking in general. With time, film was joined by television, and both these phenomena have found a home within the studio, coexisting successfully within the school’s curriculum.
NOTICE: The studio is currently undergoing a general refurbishment. There will be an opening ceremony in summer 2018. Students can look forward to a modern and well-equipped facility.
3) Study and training centre Poněšice
Poněšice is a village situated about 150 km South of Prague
373 41 Hluboká nad Vltavou
Equipment: Cabins, seminar rooms, cinema, leisure centre (swimming pool, sauna, boats, tennis court etc.) Intensive workshops are held at this resort outside Prague.
4) Student Dormitories
11000 Prague 1
The facility offers limited accommodation for students from various AMU faculties who live outside Prague. The Resident Hall is also home to the AMU students’ club. In case you want to live there in academic year 2019/2020 do not hesitate to contact Adéla Kalná (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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