See your ideas come to life

T
his department offers a diverse, challenging curriculum in directing and producing for film, television and other media. During two years of study you'll explore the main roles and functions of both professions through a number of practical exercises, including short films, commercials, music videos, documentaries and various television formats. You'll also receive training in screenwriting, film grammar, the directing of actors, as well as in the equipment and technical aspects used in contemporary filmmaking.

The goal of the curriculum is to provide students with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of filmmaking and the skills required in constructing visual narratives. You'll learn how to break down a script, stage it for the camera, and communicate with and block actors. You'll learn what's involved in producing for film and television and about the nature and structure of both industries. You'll learn how a film set is run, and the importance of cooperation, discipline and professional working methods. At the same time, we'll encourage you all the while to take risks, be creative and develop your unique voice as a storyteller.

At the end of two years, you'll have acquired not only a new set of skills but a rich portfolio of your own work, which will serve as your calling card as you enter into the challenging but exciting world of filmmaking.

Preview of Films

Department 1 prepares you for the following jobs

  • Assistant location manager (ALM)
  • Assistant Production Coordinator
  • Associate Producer
  • Casting Director
  • Director
  • Executive Producer
  • First Assistant Director (first AD)
  • Line Producer
  • Location Manager
  • Producer
  • Producer Assistant
  • Production Coordinator
  • Producton Manager
  • Script Supervisor (aka continuity)
  • Second Assistant Director

Courses
Direction 1 | LST 103

The role and position of the film director as an actor’s instructor and collaborator is reviewed; his or her relationship with the actor, the basis of this relationship and how it can be most rewarding. Emphasis is on fundamental training where students are introduced to the technical training process of the actor, exercises and characterization methods, inner life and what forms it assumes in the character’s actions and behavior.

Production 1 | FRL 103

An introduction to the role of the producer and how he or she is the driving force behind motion pictures, how “good” ideas are discovered and put into practice. The course examines the division of labor within the production team and the camera crew and the responsibilities and methods of the producer and production manager. The fundamentals of screenwriting and film scheduling software are taught and the students learn how to create and assemble a production folder. In addition, students will assist 2nd -semester students in the production of a telefilm and and thus gain valuable insights into on-location work methods.

Screenwriting 1 | HAN 101

The course covers various fundamental principles of traditional screenwriting, inter al. dramatic structure, form and style, dialog, plot and endings. The students learn the basics of screenwriting software.

Film grammar 1 | MFA 102

This course examines the form and nature of film grammar. Specific examples from films are viewed and analyzed with regard to proportional representation, perspective, the composition of sequences, symbols and messages. There is also a practical component to the course where students direct inter al. their own scenes. In addition the course examines the preparatory process of the director before shoots, i.e making a shot list.

Music videos | TÓN 103

This course examines the role, history, trends and different types of music videos and analyzes them from a variety of perspectives. The students then work in groups making music videos, honing their skills in editing and image processing along the way.

Commercials | AUG 103

This course covers the making of commercials. A particular emphasis is placed on examining the nature, purpose and unique aspects of commercials as a form of filmmaking where the language of film must be used with great precision to convey a specific message. The students work in teams making commercials.

1st semester thesis project | LOK 106

Under the guidance of a supervisor each student makes a 5-to-8-minute film of his or her own choosing. The goal is that the project will be a polished, finished film of any genre. Emphasis is placed on the students developing their own ideas and drawing on the filmmaking experience he or she has acquired in other courses throughout the semester.

Equipment and technique 1 | TÆK 106

This is a first-semester beginners’ course and the goal is to teach students the basics of film production and the use and application of filmmaking equipment. Furthermore the fundamentals of visual language are reviewed.

Collab. btw departments | SAM 101

Each semester students from all departments must earn one credit in collaboration with other departments. The goals is that each department is ensured access to the other departments and to establish a thriving relationship between the departments.

Film history 1 | KMS 102

Some of the greatest works of film history are introduced, screened and discussed. Ten movies are shown each semester, a total of 40 movies. Each semester represents a section of film history. The movies are screened mostly in a chronological order from the silent era well into the late twentieth century.

Direction 2 | LST 205

This course continues to explore the main principles of film directing with particular emphasis on working with actors. through practical, hands-on training students are introduced to a variety of methods and tools to direct actors. The students learn to plan their work process thoroughly through exercises with both acting students and professional actors.

Production 2 | FRL 203

Special emphasis is placed on exploring the role of the production manager in pre-production, production and post-production, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the assistant director and location manager. Students further acquaint themselves with film-scheduling software by breaking down a script into a shooting schedule and a budget. They also learn how to draw up contracts with actors, crew and others. The course is directly linked with LSJ 106 where the group produces a dramatic TV program in collaboration with the school’s other departments and professional filmmakers from outside the school.

Screenwriting 2 | HAN 203

This course is a continuation of HAN 101 and continues exploring basic screenwriting principles and methods. Students work according to the traditional concepts of dramatic structure and delve further into the creation of characters, twists and plot. Different screenplay formats are examined, such as feature screenplays, short script, scripts for TV drama, etc. Each student begins to develop a script for a 7-to-12-minute short which he or she will produce and direct in STU 106 in the 3rd semester.

Film Grammar 2 | MFA 202

This course continues to examine film grammar methodologically with visual examples and practical exercises. Visual narration, symbols, messages and more complex visual examples are reviewed in addition to delving further into the director’s preparation process. The students complete two projects during the course.

History of Art 1 | LIS 102

An overview course focusing on the relationship between film and painting. What can film learn from painting? The characteristics of different periods of art history are examined. Examples of close relationships between films and certain paintings or artists are cited and how filmmakers have drawn on and been inspired by painting.

TV programs | SJÓ 103

This course cover all the main genres of TV programs: Entertainment series, interview programs, cooking shows, travel series, reality series, quiz shoes, children’s programs, news, news analysis program, TV drama, documentaries, etc. Students are introduced to the main principles of program-making for TV and the relationship between TV genre, broadcasting time and target audience. Recent “format” series are specially analyzed and an attempt is made to define what makes a concept international. The students develop concepts for TV series and prepare, in collaboration with 3rd semester acting students, promotional material to be pitched and sold to representatives of Icelandic television stations.

Dramatic TV Pilot | LSJ 105

The students produce two 15-to-18-minute TV pilots for a dramatic TV series. They split into two parallel teams, each working on its own pilot. The two teams are composed of both students from all school departments as well as outside professionals Each team engages a professional director and director of photography and additional industry professionals provide artistic guidance with the script, production, art direction, sound recording, sound design, editing and post-production. Second-semester directing and producing students man the key positions on the production teams, including production manager, location manager and assistant director. They are responsible for all aspects of production, such as the making of the production and shooting schedules, budgeting and accounting, drawing up contracts with actors and organizing the crew and post-production process. First-semester students from the department assist with other production duties. Second-semester screenwriting students write the scripts for the series. Second-semester students from the technical department are responsible the art direction as well as sound recording and sound design. Third-semester students from the technical department assist the cinematographers as grips and help with the lighting but are also responsible for editing and post-production. Third-semester acting students play major roles but one or two professional actors are also engaged for each episode to act with the students. The goal of the course is that the students acquire experience working with professionals on the making of dramatic TV programs and gain insight into the division of labor and the importance of teamwork on a major production.

Equipment and technique 2 | TÆK 204

This course is in continuation of TÆK 106. The goal is to further strengthen the basic technical knowledge of the students in the main fields of filmmaking. Each student then makes a film showcasing a personal style and the student’s skill in his or her field of interest. The film should be able to serve as a promotional calling card for the student.

Collab. btw departments | SAM 201

Each semester students from all departments must earn one credit in collaboration with other departments. The goals is that each department is ensured access to the other departments and to establish a thriving relationship between the departments.

Film history 2 | KMS 202

Some of the greatest works of film history are introduced, screened and discussed. Ten movies are shown each semester, a total of 40 movies. Each semester represents a section of film history. The movies are screened mostly in a chronological order from the silent era well into the late twentieth century.

Directing 3 | LST 303

This course continues the work from previous directing courses. Students develop their own methods for working with actors further in addition to being introduced to the main trends in film acting and directing actors. The course assignment consists of rehearsing scenes from screenplays, directing actors through the scenes and recording them. The relationship between the actor and the camera is examined as well as the principles that apply to positioning, eye-line matches and the influence the position of the camera has on the performance and movements of the actor. Other key factors of film directing, such as the relationship with the cinematographer and other intimate collaborators, are examined.

Production 3 | FRL 302

This course further examines the role of the producer from the beginning to the end of production with a thorough focus on how to finance projects, make budget plans and control costs for various productions. The course also examines how co-production deals are drawn up, sales agreements, marketing, distribution and sales. Students work in teams on grant applications to the Icelandic Film Center.

Screenwriting 3 | HAN 302

Students continue developing a short script. The focus is on further strengthening characters and dialogue as well as clarifying descriptions and slug lines. The student should have completed a script by the end of the course. The students write a 7-to-12-minute short which will be produced later that semester.

Experimentation | TIL 102

This course is intended to give students freedom to experiment. The students are encouraged to investigate new means of artistic creation and expression and experiment with the narrative form. The students work independently and present their projects at the end of the course. The piece should be 5 to 10 minutes in length and students are free to use all the techniques and methods at their disposal. The work can be a happening, a piece of art, a musical composition, acting and expression, a visual piece or a living event or all of the above at once. Students are encouraged to collaborate on the creation and presentation of the projects for the final presentation at the end of the course.

History of Art 2 | LIS 202

A review course with emphasis on the relationship between film and painting. What can films learn from painting? Emphasis is placed on 20th century art. The students complete a project (posters) with clear references to trends and vogues in 20th century visual arts.

Multi-Camera TV Production | FJÖ 106

In this course “multi-camera” shoots for television are further examined. Local and foreign programs recorded in this manner are examined and the making of such programs examined thoroughly. Subsequently the students make a 20-25-minute program under the guidance of an instructor. The team works together on all production aspects, from concept to broadcast according to a predetermined division of labor. The program is broadcast from a studio through a production control room and the program is expected to be fully prepared with graphics, segments and ready for broadcast. (Note: The material in question is non-fictional).

Short films | STU 106

Students produce and direct a 7-to-12-minute short from their own script. They prepare shooting schedules, shot lists, budgets, contracts, shoot, edit and make a short film ready for screening and then direct and edit their films. Students are expected to show up on the first day of class ready to pitch their projects. Throughout this course students are encouraged to continue to review and develop their own unique methodology and style as both directors and producers.

Visual language and its use | MYN 104

A look at visual language and composition by viewing and analyzing film scenes from various periods. The students stage a film scene in consultation with instructors and examine the visual language impacts narrative progression and the audience’s experience of the film.

Collab. btw departments | SAM 301

Each semester students from all departments must earn one credit in collaboration with other departments. The goals is that each department is ensured access to the other departments and to establish a thriving relationship between the departments.

Film history 3 | KMS 302

Some of the greatest works of film history are introduced, screened and discussed. Ten movies are shown each semester, a total of 40 movies. Each semester represents a section of film history. The movies are screened mostly in a chronological order from the silent era well into the late twentieth century.

Directing 4 | LST 404

The course is linked to the semester’s final project where the directorial strategies of each individual project are examined and reviewed from the standpoint of the screenplay and the director’s personal take. Students are expected to draw on the methods they have learned and developed in relation to their collaboration with the actor and visual narratives.

Production 4 | FRL 402

This course is a review of the curricula from previous production courses and is meant to assist students in the preparation of their graduation projects according to acknowledged processes of the producer and production manager. Students are also meant to work with scheduling software, production sheets and other tools which have been introduced to them. The instructor reviews each individual project thoroughly and assists with organization.

Screenwriting 4 | HAN 402

This course is intended to support students with their graduation projects. The student can either write the screenplay him- or herself or engage a screenwriter but he or she is expected to play a creative part in the development of the script. Students develop and present treatments and drafts of their scripts, focusing on story, narrative methods, plot and structure, fleshed-out characters and dialog. Emphasis is placed on the students further developing their own personal style.

Supplementary course | STO 103

The course is a supplementary course to complement the students’ thesis projects LOK 208. At the beginning of semester the tutor reviews along with the graduating students where they believe they need additional support for their thesis project. This can be connected to anything in the whole process from screenplay development to the final post-production stages. Support can be on an individual basis but the best use of the course is attained if the team can agree on where they believe they need further specialized assistance and instruction.

Documentaries | HEM 104

The course examines a variety of documentary forms, their origins and history. Special emphasis is placed on exploring various ways of tackling a subject. The course also covers the development of ideas and the script, different methods of filming, post-production and marketing with the various options available in mind. The projects themselves form an important part of the course and entail shorter projects and one documentary short which test the students’ meticulousness and powers of concentration.

4th semester final project | LOK 208

Each student develops, produces and directs an 8-to-15-minute film of his or her own choosing. This project will be the student’s graduation project and great emphasis is therefore placed on refining and polishing skills and procedures in all aspects of production. Each student oversees his or her own project him- or herself and serves as main producer and director, but is encouraged to recruit a skilled production team and film crew to ensure all aspects of the production are executed in a professional manner. Students work under the supervision of an instructor.

Contemporary filmmaking | SAT 102

This course covers contemporary filmmaking What trends and vogues have been prevalent during the last decade? What is happening right now and what does the near future hold in store? The course emphasizes student participation in finding answers to these questions. Each student makes a presentation with film samples where he or she discusses contemporary influences and artists.

Collab. btw departments | SAM 401

Each semester students from all departments must earn one credit in collaboration with other departments. The goals is that each department is ensured access to the other departments and to establish a thriving relationship between the departments.

Film history 4 | KMS 402

Some of the greatest works of film history are introduced, screened and discussed. Ten movies are shown each semester, a total of 40 movies. Each semester represents a section of film history. The movies are screened mostly in a chronological order from the silent era well into the late twentieth century.

Contracts and rates | VER 102

This course is intended to prepare students for entering the work force. The establishment of companies, the most common types of job contracts are examined as well as the responsibilities they entail for contractors and clients or employees and employers. Fees and taxes which have to be accounted for are studied, such as VAT, pension funds, union memberships, etc. The students work in groups and develop their own business plans. The course also covers project management, project planning and applications to competitive funds. Examples from the Icelandic audio/visual industry will be considered specifically.

“Professionals from all directions make sure you constantly broaden your horizon and learn new things with each project”
Atli Þór Einarsson, Graduated spring 2015
“The two years I studied at The Icelandic Film were fantastic. This is where I first realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life”

Þórður K. Pálsson, Graduated spring 2012