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Spotlight on Filmbase Training Courses
29 Sep 2011 :
Filmbase has been open for 25 years and Irish talent that have cut their teeth at the Temple Bar based centre include Kirsten Sheridan (Disco Pigs, August Rush), John Wallace (co-producer Rewind, Runners), Thomas Hefferon (Writer, The Pool), Martina Niland (Snap, Sarah & Steve) and John Moore (Max Payne). With an ample scope of training subjects and wide range of course formats, IFTN takes a closer look at the upcoming training programme at Filmbase.


Upcoming production courses include weekend sound course Hands on – Sound for TV & Film with Emmy nominated Sound Recordist Noel Quinn (Michael Collins, Reign of Fire, The Butcher Boy) on 5th and 6th November (Waged: €280, Unwaged: €260). Production Training Officer at Filmbase Tristan Hutchinson told IFTN this is one area of filmmaking that is often overlooked ”A lot of people don’t realise how integral sound is to film. When they do this course, it really opens their eyes to how vital it is.”

For those interested in learning about Film theory, there is a film appreciation course with Robert Furze of DCU, which covers the fascinating history of film from Hitchcock to Eisenstein, from cinema’s earliest days to the arrival of digital technology via New European cinema and the Horror film. The course begins October 17th, and takes place on Monday Evenings 7-10pm (cost €180 waged and €150 unwaged).

Screenwriting courses and directing courses are ongoing, and range from the eight week writing for screen course (beginning 10th October) with Cecilia McAllister (Missing Link, Doctors, Féileachán), teacher at TCD and Project supervisor at Ulster University; to a series of one-day seminars on Saturdays in November. The one-day seminars, which cover Introduction to Screenwriting, Writing Character and Visual Storytelling are tutored by Stephen Walsh (How Harry Became a Tree, John Ford: Dreaming the Quiet Man), who has taught screenwriting at Trinity College, Griffith College and Filmbase.

Autumn courses in Directing include eight week Directing for Screen course with tutor Michael Kinirons (Lowland Fell, Treeclimber, The Elephant and the Seagull) beginning October 12th . Camera training in October comes in the form of a DSLR weekend course (October 22nd and 23rd), where tutor Aidan Maguire (The Knife, Needle Exchange) will guide beginners through how to get best results out of DSLR cameras, from explaining all the camera functions, ISO and Shutter Speed, Lens and image control, composition right through to shooting exercises and post-production workflow.

The impressive list of tutors reflects the hands on approach to training at Filmbase, which covers everything from directing, writing, camera and lighting, filmmaking, animation, acting, producing, sound, multimedia training, editing and apple training. Tristan explains that ”all out tutors are industry professionals and people who are actively working in production in the moment.”

But who are the Filmbase training courses for? ”Because our courses range from short to long - we have day long seminars, weekend courses, longer courses, eight weeks and from beginner to more advanced, I think they cater for a mix of people,” says Tristan. ”I think that is what makes Filmbase work. We would have people starting off in the industry. We have students and graduates. We have people coming from different industries – things like retail, accountancy – looking to gain an insight into TV and Film Production. We’d have professionals wanting experience in a particular kind of area or a different area.”

Further courses in development, which is done through ”brainstorming with the tutors, in-house meetings and keeping an eye on people’s feedback and what people who are coming into Filmbase”, include courses dealing with Cinematography, Green Screen and a comprehensive 16mm course.

Filmbase is also running its first Masters Course this year, in association with Staffordshire University. Beginning in autumn, Tristan says it ”is the only Masters course of its kind in Ireland, that takes a really hands on approach to feature film production. Students get to work with industry professionals.” Due to high demand, application for this years course is now closed, although it is something Filmbase hope to continue next year.

Post Production

On the post-production side of things, Filmbase’s Post Production Training Manager Paul Schwer explains that Filmbase are currently in ”a transition period in post production training. Apple released Final Cut Pro X and that has shaken things up. It has been targeted as an editing application for a wider range of people, from beginners all the way up to professionals." Filmbase are offering courses in both Final Cut Pro and alternative editing systems such as Adobe Premiere Pro. ”Adobe Premiere Pro is really up and coming video editing software. So we are starting more courses on this.

Weekend and Evening Courses focusing on the Adobe Production Premium Suite include Production Premium 101, a 10 evening course staring in November which focuses on Premier Pro After Effects and other applications in the suite such as Photoshop, Encore and Audition. ”The idea of this is to show the integration of the entire suite which is really important.”

Filmbase have also recently upgraded their systems and now have a dedicated MAC lab with all the latest IMacs so they can deal with new technologies. Final Cut Pro X courses will start in October, with a series of one day workshops which will give people an overview of how Final Cut Pro X works. From November and December the new Apple Certified Training Courses will begin at Filmbase and people can then start getting their FCPX Level One and Two certifications.

FCP7 courses will continue to run through 2012.

For more information on Filmbase courses, visit www.filmbase.ie.

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