Film Production HE Certificate

A 'work hard, play hard' bootcamp for filmmakers

Overview

You want to be a filmmaker, right? So make films. And that’s exactly what you'll do in our Film Production HE Certificate course, day after day, week after week, month after month. It’s not easy, and it’s not always comfortable, but it works. You’ll come out with the experience of producing up to 17 films under your belt. Or more. How ambitious are you? 

The course is an intensive, nonstop whirlwind of challenges, creative solutions and inspiring project briefs in an international learning community of fellow creatives.

Course structure

Overview

This course is designed to intensively train you in production, professionalism, and technical skills. Week after week, you’ll be put into teams and given a challenging, so-called “Impossible Brief” to complete, rotating each time through one of the major filmmaking roles (director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, production designer, editor, sound designer, etc), rounding out your team with students from the Screen Acting and Visual Effects courses.

You’ll write, shoot, edit and screen your work within a short timeframe and strict limitations designed to teach you to iterate and create under pressure. You’ll get critical feedback, then rotate and do it again. And again. And again!

The semester-end assessments are practical and relevant, framed through the industry lens to give you as much of a real-world experience as possible, and the weekly workshops facilitated by our industry-professional tutors are there to support these projects and assessments.

Workshops

The following is the slate of workshops from 2020. Because we believe in constantly iterating and improving our course, this may not perfectly reflect this year’s design. Though the details may change, what will never change is our commitment to hands-on, project-based, real-world learning to make films by making films. If you have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Roundtable

Where your scripts and films are presented and subjected to our unique feedback structure. Learn both to give and receive powerful, honest, constructive criticism. 

Development

Taking a step back, viewing filmmaking and the course itself from a meta, birds-eye view. Watch and discuss the work of professionals, exercise your team building muscles, and report and reflect on your progress.

Production Studio

A hands-on introduction to the basics of on-set technology and shooting workflows. Cinematography, lighting, sound recording, and organisation are the key subject areas. 

Directing & Acting

Developing the empathy, language and communication skills in working with actors. The workshop covers basic acting techniques, methods of giving feedback, blocking, and trains the director’s ability to hold and lead a group.

Sound Design & Editing

Covers post-production sound, from recording tools and techniques to sound editing, mixing and design in post-production. 

Editing & Post-Production

A practical introduction to picture editing, from the nitty gritty of project creation, workflows, ingestion and export to the theories of narrative flow and shot assembly. 

Writing & Storytelling

All about storytelling, from concept and structure on the page to realizing a vision on set. Break down stories to their fundamental shapes and build them up so they resonate.

Production & Industry

From the scheduling, budgeting, crew management and all-important paperwork involved with producing to copyright, legalities, industry expectations and self-promotion. 

Production Design

Practical tools for developing the look of your film. From costumes to miniatures, learn how visuals play an important role in telling your story.

Progression

Ready for a degree?

Your initial progression choice will be whether to make your first foray into the film industry or to continue your self development and opt for completing our Film Production BA Hons degree.

There is no right and wrong answer here. It will depend on the skillset you have already developed and what you are planning to do in the film industry.

Your success in either depends entirely on you – what you bring, your approach, and the grit, passion and sheer determination with which you take the next course or start your first project in the film industry.

Degree
Building success

However you measure it and whatever artistic realm you are working in, most creatives would like to achieve success with their creative endeavour. There are many types of success an individual may want to achieve. From successful completion of an artistic exploration all the way through to financial security and a global audience

There are many skills required to develop these dreams into real and practical futures. Our optional course in self-development and leadership is the ‘rocket fuel’ which will provide you with the frameworks, the focus and the drive to help realise your future.

Self development to better understand how to take decisive action, to communicate powerfully with others and take an honest look at how you limit yourself. Leadership to complete your creative project, to bring your work into the external world and to attract an audience to share, appreciate and follow your work. 

Leadership
Employment model

The employment model in the film industry has transformed over the last 10 years. Roles with permanent contracts do still exist but it is much more likely that you will work either as a freelancer or as part of a small startup on your way to professional creative autonomy.

Film industry

The film industry never ceases to evolve and reinvent itself. We aim to provide you with an education that enables you to either be a change maker or to be capable of adapting and staying at the forefront of this change.

A safe space to dream big

Maximise your hands-on access to state-of-the-art filmmaking facilities and equipment.

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.

Student work

In the end it doesn’t matter what we say or do. What matters is what our students are doing during their time with us. Take a look at a selection of our favourite work by our filmmakers and screen actors.

Essential info

Entry requirements

Academic qualifications equivalent to ‘A’ level, Baccalaureate or Abitur are normally required to enter our HE certificate programme. These may be waived if students are able to provide proof of capability via a portfolio of work. More details can be found here.

For those students who have the capability but no proof of appropriate qualifications or portfolio we have also designed a new accelerated access course (primer workshops) which runs as part of our short course programme.

The most important prerequisite for attending any course at Catalyst is that you must be passionate about building and developing your skills as a creative practitioner.

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

Info hub
Course dates and application deadlines

Dates: 12.09.2022 - 12.05.2023

Application deadline: Follow the Priority Application deadline and submit by April 29

More info
Tuition fees

We offer two ways to pay:

  • a single payment
  • a payment plan with 10 instalments

If you decide to enrol in both a short and long course with us, you will receive a discount of 500€ on the total tuition.

More detail
How to apply

Our admissions team has prepared a handy little map of your journey to studenthood with us. Take a look and be in touch if you have any questions.

Admissions map PDF
Open days and taster workshops

Get a feel for our school from the comfort of your home with our Virtual Open Days and skill-focussed Taster Workshops.

Hosted by our team and students, these online events will give you a sense of what it's like to come and study with us in Berlin.

We look forward to meeting you online soon!

Learn more

Not for the faint of heart

Our courses will toss you into some of the longest hours, hardest work, and most difficult interpersonal and intercultural situations you’ve ever had to face. But that’s filmmaking. It wouldn’t be authentic any other way. And we won’t drag you through it, either; you’ll be expected to meet the bar we keep raising with forward momentum and high spirits. If you can do that, we promise you accelerated personal and professional growth, not to mention an unforgettable experience, lifelong friends and career contacts, and a portfolio that’s full to burst.

More courses

Access to Higher Education

For those wishing to join our main film courses, but lacking either practical experience in film or the formal education requirements to apply through standard entry, we offer an additional short primer workshop to run alongside any 4 week summer short course.

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Visual Effects, Digital Arts & 3D Animation

Gain a powerful insight into the fast paced world of visual effects production, digital arts and 3D animation with all the tools, techniques and practical experience required to succeed as one of tomorrow's industry professionals. 

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Visual Effects - Green Screen Room - VFX

Film Production BA Hons Degree

Our 3 year film production degree course is an intense practical and grounded learning programme for filmmakers

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Filmmaking Short Course

A 4 week filmmaking course for beginners. Learn the basic foundations of practical filmmaking.

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Creative Production Film M.A. Masters

Celebrate, explore, develop, innovate and magnify your capabilities as a filmmaker, director, cinematographer, editor, writer, producer, sound designer or audiovisual artist.

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