Our 4 week filmmaking beginners course is designed for budding writers, directors, cinematographers and editors eager to learn the fundamentals of audiovisual storytelling, pre-production, working with actors, and post-production.
Write, develop, shoot, edit and screen your own short film, and experience a range of other roles as you crew on the films of your peers.
We maximise ‘hands on’ access to doing what you love. With a professional film studio with green screen, editing suites and a wide selection of equipment and props, we're the perfect playground to start your filmmaking endeavours.
Launch, define and refine your own process and shoot with confidence through hands-on learning facilitated by expert tutors and industry professionals. From applying the basics of storytelling to getting to grips with gear and a film set. From collaborating with a crew to developing your vision. You will come out of the four weeks with an essential understanding of filmmaking – and, most importantly, the fuel to forward your creative journey.
- Camera workshop
- Operating Camera gear and recording
- Operating film lights
- Sound workshop
- Operating Sound gear, recording and basic post production sound (editing)
- Feedback RT
- Giving and receiving Feedback
- Directing workshop
- Directing actors
- Mise En Scène
- Story workshop
- Script writing - mostly based on feedback
- Editing workshop
- Organising your timeline
- Basic cutting
- Basic editing storytelling
- Packaging the project
- Production workshop
- Film production
- Organising your set
- Updates and guidance of your projects
Week 1: Writing & Pre-Production
- Storytelling fundamentals
- Short script writing
- Shot lists and overhead diagrams
- Rehearsal and planning
Week 2: Cinematography & Directing
- Photography fundamentals
- Camera placement and composition
- Mise-en-scene (set and costume design)
- Directing actors
- Visual storytelling
- Sound recording
Week 3: Guided Shooting Week
During this week you’ll shoot your short film, and the films of your peers in a major role, on site at our Funkhaus campus under the guidance and consultation of our tutors.
Week 4: Post-Production & Screening
- Picture editing
- Software: Da Vinci Resolve, Fairlight, After Effects
- Color correction and color timing
- Sound design and editing
- ADR and Foley effects
- Introduction to visual effects, titles, and credits
- Exporting and delivery for screening
- End of course celebration
By the end of all this, you’ll have the skills to take your future filmmaking projects to the next level!
Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- apply the basics of storytelling
- handle the camera safely
- collaborate with other filmmakers (crew) and actors
- work independently, and within a team
- know the basics of camera handling and exposure
- communicate with the crew and with actors effectively
- use 3 point lighting and set light quality and temperature
- set shot sizes & types and create basic compositions
- tell a story through short film
- prepare and organise shooting
- record and edit sound
- organise a timeline, do basic editing, package a project
- Solve a rage of film making problems
- give and receive constructive feedback
This course is designed for two student types.
The first are those looking for a productive way to spend 4 weeks developing their filmmaking skills to support their own projects, launch themselves into the industry and meet like minded people to work with. For these students the likely progression routes are:-
- Returning to their own projects with a new set of skills.
The second is for students wishing to continue their education in filmmaking by applying to a film school. After this short course students can consider progressing onto a degree course which requires some practical experience and an example of work previously produced - which they will achieve during this short course!
- The Catalyst degree courses they would be able to progress onto are:-
- HE Certificate Film Production (1 Year)
- BA Hons Bachelor Degree Film Production (3 Year)
- HE Certificate Visual Effects, Digital Arts & 3D Animation (1 Year)
- BA Hons Bachelor Degree Visual Effects, Digital Arts & 3D Animation (1 Year)
Students who wish to enrol on both a short and long course will receive a discount on total tuition fee - please request this to our Admissions team when applying.
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.
Are you driven to move others with your art? Then you’ll love the approach of Simon Oblescak, for whom it is precisely this desire that fuels his thought-provoking documentary films. Simon worked for many years in TV and advertising before establishing his own film production company, Onion Films, working on both personal and commercial projects. A go-the-extra-mile kind of guy, he’s at his happiest when he’s pushing others to achieve their potential.
Whether he’s working with high-tech equipment or encouraging the vision of his students, Daniel Dietz is passionate about creative innovation. Within his film and visual media career, his core expertise lies in projection mapping, 360-degree photography, editing, directing, shooting and producing. Who better than Daniel to demonstrate the transferable skills of the filmmaking discipline and the diverse opportunities they can bring?
An international creative community
This year our students came from more than 70 different countries.
As an organisation we celebrate that incredible level of diversity. If we had an organisational face it would have a big smile stretched across it. It’s a total privilege to be able to bring this diverse community together in the inspirational space of our Funkhaus campus in the world class creative metropolis of Berlin.
It's a golden opportunity to meet up and collaborate with like minded peers from around the world. A key part of our approach to learning involves working with others whether as peers, mentors, collaborators, audience or fellow travellers. Passion is always better shared!
Sit back and tune-in
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. Watch one of our favourite videos directed, shot and edited by our filmmaking students, starring their fellow acting colleagues and decide for yourselves.
The most important prerequisite for attending any course at Catalyst is that you must be passionate about building and developing your skills as a filmmaker.
Our short courses are designed to be accessible to anyone so we do not require any level of academic certification to apply. To qualify you should usually be aged 18 or over. If you're coming from outside the EU a holiday/travel visa will usually suffice.
We accept applications up to 10 days before the course start date but places are assigned on a first come, first served basis so we recommend you make an application as soon as possible.
For more information please contact a member of the team. We love to chat! Please reach out to us at [email protected] or call us at +49 30 2900 9052.
Course dates and application deadline
Next available dates: Summer 2023
Course length: 4 weeks
Applications open in November
Enrolment fee: €750
Course fee: €1,200
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.
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!
Primer workshop - access to Higher Education
Designed for those wishing to join our main programmes, but lacking the formal education requirements to apply through standard entry.
These free workshops run at the same time as your short course programme and cover writing skills, reading, structuring arguments, debate and understanding context.
They utilise task and project based learning methodology to ensure that you’re prepared and ready for our longer HE certificate or degree level programmes.
HE Certificate Film Production
A 'work hard, play hard' bootcamp for filmmakers with an intensive, nonstop whirlwind of challenges, inspiring project briefs, creative problems, new gear and new skills, all acquired in an international learning community of fellow creatives.
BA Hons Bachelor Degree Film Production
Our unique degree mimics the way we acquire new skills in the real world with a breathless onslaught of practical filmmaking under heavy constraints followed up with an enriching foundation of analysis and theory.
VFX, 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.
Screen Acting Crash Course
This high-energy short course is designed for beginners and budding actors eager to play and experiment with their own bodies and their acting abilities.