Melodie Zhao, Breakout Rhapsody music video by Catalyst Berlin Film alumni

Creative Production (Film) Masters Degree

Take everything you are and forge it into everything you want to become

Overview

Celebrate, explore, develop, innovate and magnify your capabilities as a filmmaker, director, cinematographer, editor, writer, producer, sound designer or audiovisual artist, whilst building and enhancing an artistic & creative industry profile.

The course provides a clear but flexible framework for negotiated and self-directed learning. Pursue your chosen interest or specialisation through an iterative practice-based research approach supported by seminars, workshops, informal meetings, our excellent film facilities and individual consultation. Our seminars and workshops provide a thorough grounding in practice-led research theory and methodology alongside a wider range of research in audiovisual storytelling and the arts.

The taught component is not intended to give answers to your questions, but to stimulate curiosity, to widen and deepen frames in your field of interest, grow conceptual reference, and most importantly to provide a set of tools with which to explore and develop your personal research ideas and concepts.

During this intensive and challenging year (or 2 years part-time) our team will supervise and guide you through a constant cycle of imagining, creating, critiquing, self discovery and growth.

What Is Creative Production?

Creative production is an intentionally broad term. Film production, cinematography, set design, screenplay, narrative building or an innovative interdisciplinary form including some or all of the above.

Convert vulnerabilities into strengths, barriers into new pathways, pain points into pleasure and fears into exciting new frontiers for exploration. It’s a chance to explore all that you are and all that you are…not yet(!) whilst mapping out your future potential and your possible futures.

Course structure

A hyper flexible and adaptable approach to postgraduate learning is key in developing sustainable and successful futures. The majority of the programme content is defined by the practical project work that our students put forth.

Pursue your chosen interest or specialisation through an iterative practice-based research approach supported by seminars, workshops, informal meetings, our excellent film facilities and individual supervision. Our seminars and workshops provide a thorough grounding in practice-led research theory and methodology alongside a wider range of research in sound, music and the arts.

The taught component is not intended to give answers to your questions, but to stimulate curiosity, to widen and deepen frames of musical and conceptual reference and most importantly: to provide a set of tools with which to explore and develop your personal research ideas and concepts.

During this intensive and challenging year (2 years part-time) our team will supervise and guide you through a constant cycle of creating, critiquing, self discovery and growth. Design and develop your own practice based research programme surrounded by an inspiring community of students from around the world who will act as mentors, peers, collaborators, audience and fellow travellers.

Consider this a turning point, a moment to define or redefine the next chapter of your career whilst asking yourself this essential question:

Who are you and what do you plan to contribute to the world?

Our approach to negotiated learning is split up into 5 stages:

Proposal

Applicants define their research agenda with an expected project outcome that is then negotiated and developed with a project mentor. 

Contract

Once approved, the study plan becomes a contract between the participant and mentor. 

Production

Production work is addressed in group critique sessions and individual tutorials. 

Assessment

Work is assessed against a set of negotiated criteria stated in the initial contract taking as the intended learning outcome as criteria. 

Feedback

Formative feedback is given throughout the semester through tutorials, group critique sessions and specific feedback related to the self-set criteria for the proposed outcome.

During your degree course you will submit five pieces of assessed work.

These investigations represent the body of your research enquiry. Each represents a trajectory of investigation into a different aspect of your overall research field. These will be unique to each student, but the following is assumed:

  1. Investigation Piece 1 is focussed directly on the production of a detailed research proposal and of a research contract and work plan agreed between the student and supervisor.
  2. Investigation Piece 2 will focus on breadth, and will include contextual investigation of some kind, this may take the form of a literature review, an overview of an area, discipline or concept that is important to the research. It could also include more practical investigations, for example of an individual filmmaker, movement, or a genre.   
  3. Investigation Pieces 3 and 4 will go in greater depth into two aspects of your research. This can take many forms, but it might mean, for example, concentrating on particular paths of artistic practice, focussing on the development of particular technical skills, developing an incisive conceptual framework for your work. A level of self-reflectiveness, including a relationship between theory and practice, is also expected. 
  4. Investigation Piece 5 will be your final submission for this degree and will be the culmination of your research and learning. In this module you are expected to submit a substantial piece of original work, working with the full breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and experience you have developed throughout the previous four modules.

The course is divided into seven sections: Research Skills, Storytelling, Directing for Film, Modern Cinematic Perspectives, Comparative Auteurs, Cinematography & New Media Practices, and Supervision.

Research Skills

We begin with defining your project and considering such questions as, “What is Artistic Research?” and “What is Practice-based Research?”  In this section, you will become familiar with Negotiated Learning Interdisciplinary Research Methods and Research Design.

Storytelling & Directing for Film

These sessions will hone in on the craft of filmmakers as both storytellers and researchers through in-class prompts, scene-work, and analysis.

Modern Cinematic Perspectives  & Comparative Auteurs

After the initial introduction to Research Skills, you will attend two theoretical courses that are discursive  whose content is designed to expose you to wider social debates and movements within cinema. The topics covered are not meant to directly influence your research, but rather to encourage you to reflect upon your own work and that of others with a more refined sensitivity.

Cinematography & New Media Practices 

The other half of the Practice-led stream in the course explores practical and advanced cinematographic processes, along with exploring contemporary techniques in video art and expanded cinema.

Supervision

Both one-one and group meetings with your supervisor are an essential part of the course. The individual meetings will serve to support successful research whereas the group sessions will serve as forums for project development, production management, and engaging in critical peer feedback rounds.

Here are a few reasons why people decide to take our MA programme:-

  • developing and growing your own individual project, creative concept or film idea
  • strengthening and refining your creative vision and approach
  • deepening the relationship with your work within and beyond your own parameters
  • establishing your own distinct approach to creative production with research
  • expanding your understanding of other creative pathways
  • navigating between different aspects of film inquiry and concepts
  • engaging in independent practice led research
  • developing new and innovative film production techniques
  • receiving mentorship from field and industry experts
  • realising the full potential of your creative work
  • joining a progressive learning community supported by a dedicated team of experienced facilitators
  • living and working in Berlin, the most exciting city on the planet for music makers
  • collaborating with an artistic community of like minded people from 55 different countries

It's not about the gear...

...it's what you do with it....but the gear still helps!

Our team

Our tutors are industry experienced with a passion for passing on their knowledge to others. Here are a few of the experienced and friendly tutors that will be supporting you throughout your learning process.

Essential info

An academic qualification equivalent to a bachelor degree is normally required to enter our Creative Production Masters degree programme. These may be waived if students are able to provide proof of capability via a portfolio of work.

The most important prerequisite for attending any course at Catalyst is that you must be passionate about building and developing your skills as a practising electronic music artist, producer or performer.

For more information please contact a member of the team. We love to chat!

Info hub

Full-time Term: 13.09.2021 - 06.08.2022
Part-time Term: 13.09.2021 - 08.2023

Application deadline: 30th of April 2021 for priority/ VISA applications

More info

From € 975 a month

More detail

International learning community

Our international creative campus is located at the historic Funkhaus in Berlin – it’s hard to imagine a better location for creative endeavour and learning! Through the lense of an international cohort of students we aim to promote and support the exchange and debate of philosophical, political, social and ethical issues from a range of different cultures and backgrounds. Our engaged postgraduate community are then well placed to spearhead these conversations and create work that addresses the challenges of a multi cultural but ever more connected world. To see our shared concerns as human beings whilst celebrating our diversity and our mutually enrichening differences.

Meet Multifaceted Film M.A. Programme Lead Jon-Carlos Evans

An interview with filmmaker, musician and Catalyst Film M.A programme lead.

Interview with Education Lead Jamie Thomas

Learn more about the structure of our innovative film masters degree programme.

Memory Lane, short film by Catalyst Berlin Film Production student Andrea Riba
Filmmakers showcase

A selection of our favourite work by Catalyst filmmakers and screen actors.

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