ESSEMBLE is a strategic partnership project in the area of Film and Media Arts education focusing on the development of creative and technical skills in digital film and animation production. Essemble involves four European HEI's in the area of film education that have jointly developed Essemble since 2011 with the support of the EU's MEDIA Program and that now seek to deepen and reinforce their partnership.
Essemble addresses the need of European Film and Media Schools for training and mobility activities focusing on media and film related technologies that push the traditional barriers of the medium and call for new pedagogical and didactic approaches. In particular, the project involves the delivery of a set of intensive training activities dealing with the acquisition of skills and competences in new film technologies, such as stereoscopic imaging, augmented reality and visual effects, and their application in the context of the creative production of new film formats that cross live action, animation and virtual moving images. Complementary, the project also involves the development of new learning methods and didactic materials focusing on new film production technologies; the reinforcement of digital skills amongst arts students and teachers, and the implementation of a new interdisciplinary program. Together, these activities should address the clear need for much more stronger and interdisciplinary training on the creative use of new technological tools for film, animation and media related content creation and production.
Essemble core objectives are:
- The creation of a network of competences on stereoscopic digital film development amongst all schools, trainers and local stakeholders involved in the project;
- The development and implementation of an interdisciplinary training program based on a series of workshops that build on the successful experience of the previous Media’s funded training and mobility activities;
- The production and dissemination of training materials on digital filmmaking and stereoscopic images;
- The organization of a conference to discuss the state of the art;
- The co-production between all schools involved in the consortium of a total of 4 short-fiction films depicted the creative use of the taught technologies;
- The development of theoretical and critical reflections on the intersections between animation and film training in a digital environment and strategies to bring together didactic and pedagogical approaches from both these fields.
The target group for the project is each school final year undergraduate students and Master students. A selected group of each school students will be divided accordingly with their areas of expertise in four different groups: one for scriptwriting and production; one for digital cinematography; one for MOCAP/animation/modelling/visualization production and one for post-production and visual effects. These four groups will all work together in accordance with their area at different stages of the production.
Target group also includes other students and teachers from the schools involved in the course that will indirectly benefit from the project and both professionals and local stakeholders in the areas of film and animation production who will in the three years period benefit from the project, namely via access to the know-how that is disseminated from it. Essemble cannot be carried out in any other form that a transnational one, since, not only training activities replicate the actual co-production model we find in “real world” film international co-productions, as the mobility scheme is designed along each HEI areas of competences, though supplementing at a transnational level existing local competences.
Essemble results from the combined efforts of a European consortium of higher education institutions in the area of film and media education. The current proposal is a follow-up to a very successful project that, under previous funding from the EU Media program, as focused on the improvement of film and media arts education in Europe, by focusing on the acquisition of the skills and competences essential to future professionals wishing to integrate a very complex and competitive international production and creation environment, where the mastering of technological and creative advanced skills is a must.
All of the schools that integrate the consortium are members of the European Network of Excellence in Film and Audiovisual, a network promoted by the EU’s Media and Creative Europe programs. One of the challenges of these organizations is precisely to reinforce Europe’s film schools ability to compete in the international education and training arena, a goal Essemble has actively contributed to in the past and intends to keep on contributing in the future, namely via the mobility activities foreseen at the core of this proposal.
Though, Essemble’s core activities both include mobility and cross-border cooperation in the context of the training activities to be carried out and of the design of the educational content and materials to be developed throughout the project. The fact the delivery of the project replicates “real world” film co-production workflows and international dimension and the fact the design of the training activities results from existing cross-border cooperation and is completely dependable on mobility, adds a lot to the fulfillment by the project of both these two dimensions.
ESSEMBLE revolves around a two folded approach: intensive live training sessions and production workshops that follow the production path that goes from conception to post-production and finishing, namely when stereoscopic compositing is involved. The two main achievements foreseen for the project are the competences to be acquired by students and the films they will complete. Both these achievements are closely interlinked and one depends on the other. On each central stage of the production value chain, a selected group of students is both the object of the training activity and the main responsible for the development of the production process.
Our focus is on the training of both the students’ abilities to express and communicate their “views” to others and their capacity to integrate original visual aesthetical elements coming from new technological arenas into to their discourse.
Effects and Animatics in Filmproduction: the Future of Film
Train the Trainers Workshop
June 3-5, 2016
Module I - Visual Effects
Oct 17-21, 2016
During this module, happening on Lisbon, students will be taken through intensive 3d animation training, but also compositing and digital intermediate, specifically focusing on the integration between MOCAP and live footage. A special attention will be given throughout this module to visual compositing and the integration of stereoscopy into film, but also to capture techniques using MOCAP infrastructures. A thorough explanation will be given on the role and possibilities MOCAP can have both for film and animation production and examples will be presented on the ways we can mix live and virtual imaging to produce original concepts. Also initial pitch of ideas will be happening on this first module, allowing a first discussing on the themes to be developed into the short-film script
Module II - Story Development
Nov 7-11, 2016
During this module in Cologne the students will be introduced to the main scripting techniques, namely those facilitated by digital techniques, and start working on their final scripts, after a final pitching. . During this module the final version of the concept will be discussed and finalised the script, al teams will be set for the shooting in a true co-production style.
Module III - Digital Cinematography
Nov 21-25, 2016
Will take place in Brussels and encompass advance hands-on training on digital cinematography, namely the specifications of 2k and 4k shooting and image processing, besides development on the visual aesthetics of each of the films, namely on what concerns their art direction. In this module, students will also be taught on production techniques for a new digital environment. The main deliverables for this module will be the definition of the “visual look” of each one of the films and the specifications of that in technical terms, the definition of all artistic elements, namely wardrobes and costumes. During this module both trainers and teams of students will discuss on the feasibility of each one of the foreseen option in terms of the integration between live and virtual imaging, but also decide on approaches to 3d shooting. Training will be provided on the use of rigs and other associated supports for 3d shooting. A second pitching on their ideas for a short-film will start the module.
Module IV - Previsualization : Visual Style and Storyboarding
Dec 5-9, 2016
In this module in Budapest, students will actively prepare their shooting by working on previsualization, storyboarding and visual concept. Pre-visualization is today one of the areas where film and animation clearly come together and promote visual thinking and storytelling as an essential feature of today’s cinema.
Module V - Shooting – how does a shooting in cooperation between 4 HEI's works?
Jan 23 - Feb 10, 2017
Students will all come together in Lisbon and shoot their films in teams.
Module VI - From previsualization to distribution
This final module will be an evaluation module of the all process, students will preview their 4 co-productions to an audience that will bring together teachers, students and professionals from the film industry.