A creative 18 day residential course – 2020

Who are we ?

Over its 25 years of existence, the Latin American School of Cinema, Television and Theatre (EPLACITE) has conducted thousands of workshops throughout the Latin American continent. Supported by filmmakers such as Alex Cox or intellectuals such as Ignacio Ramonet, this long experience has created a unique, intensive, audiovisual teaching method. Salvadorian filmmaker Sergio Sibrián participated in one of these workshops, and his first work « El Tigre y el venado » (« The Tiger and the Deer« ) was crowned Best Latin American Documentary Award at the 2015 Sunscreen Festival (Florida):   

The Movement of Landless Rural Workers of Brazil took part in our training sessions and created the short film « Tierra es de todos« , « The land is for everyone » (see below) and are mentioned in this report from the French Reporterre site :

In 2019, the documentary « Marcha« , made by young directors from EPLACITE, was selected by the festival « Rencontres du Cinema Latin-American 2019 » (Bordeaux, France), the International Festival of Political Cinema FICIP 2019 (Argentina ) and the International Festival of Human Rights of Guadeloupe 2019:

What is the workshop all about?

This creative 18 day residential workshop is part of a social movement for 15 apprentice filmmakers or absolute beginners. No prior film training is necessary. Participants will have the space and all the tools they need to prepare, produce, edit, present their short films and share their experiences. The workshop is a space for individual and collective creation depending on the interests of each participant. Everyone will work on what he or she thinks is important .. The workshop will be conducted in Spanish, French and English. At the end of the course, EPLACITE will award each participant with a professional diploma.

Summary of contents

  • Understand the moral relation with the social Other as the basis of the documentary. Here, the director is on an equal footing with the Other, far from the thematic market which subtly pushes him or her to erase History to individualize « human objects ».
  • Become aware of « off-camera » as an activator of the viewer’s imagination. Understand the role of inferences
  • Become aware of the « detail » plan as a detachment of time and space, hinge between different spaces / time.
  • Become aware of sound as a creator of mental images.
  • Become aware of parallel editing as a concentration of time. The ellipse as activation of the spectator’s imagination.
  • Learn to move from the concept of the isolated individual to the social individual + triangular relationship beings-things-beings. An example of a frame style: Joris Ivens.
  • Why and how to portray processes rather than products.
  • Why make a camera movement? Passage of the epicenter of an action to another, relation between the points of interest, creation of the « out of field ».
  • Understanding the mutual construction between the universe and the character.
  • Become aware of the observation of the main and secondary axes, how to go from one to the other. An axis (look, dialogue, movement, creation-production of something, movement of relationship, organization, even intellectual editing, etc. ..) is the basis of the construction of a cinematographic space. Working the relationship between its angles, durations, scales, goes beyond the mere descriptive aspect of an action. To write-in-cinema is to gradually create the relationship between the universe and the character, between narrative poles, to prepare, measure, calibrate the impacts of one on the other, between things and beings, and between beings and things. One can thus go from a physical axis to a mental axis and, beyond the mere description of a place or an action, evoke a revelation.
  • Know and practice the three interview techniques to overcome the « radio disguised as television », that is the front interview + TV newspaper cut plans.

Sample exercises (adaptable to participants’ needs)

Listen to the sound of fragments of films, draw imaginary plans associated with these sounds, then see the same fragment with the image, to discover the creative power of mental images that the sound possesses.
Listen to the environment with your eyes closed, then verbalize the sound map.
A day or an afternoon of pure observation to detect the sensations (sound and visual) that everyone perceives from the environment and then work on the development of these sensations.
Exercise shooting totally free. Between the director’s intention and the collective perception that follows, study the successes and possible improvements. Discovered by this means of audio-visual grammar elements.
Exercise of the « Lumière » shot. Understand the strength of the composition in the frame. Some laws of composition. The « Eisenstein Exercise » (« Crime and Punishment »)
Concept shot: take a shot to illustrate an idea such as « love », « loneliness », « time ».
Exercises of light. Exercises of color. Rhythm exercises.
Build an action in three sounds (using each of the 3 « sound shots »)
Construct an action in three planes (using the 3 narrative poles).
With these last two exercises, we’ll also discover some virtues of editing.
Figure-bottom exercises / internal-external movement / exercise of creating an off-space. Exercises: Interview in situation.

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How to register?

Very easy! Just email us at escuelaterratv@gmail.com. The registration fee is 960 euros and covers the entire workshop (transport, accommodation, food, training and provision of tools for production, editing and screening/broadcasting).

Thierry Deronne, coordinator of EPLACITE and TERRA TV international training

Below: trailer for forthcoming release of our documentary « Commune« , fruit of a year’s work in a popular district of Caracas. Directors: Jesus Reyes and Victor Hugo Rivera.

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