BFM, Estonia - ZONE - Landscapes of Unconciousness

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Landscapes of Unconciousness

Course supervisors: Kersti Uibo and Raigo Saariste 
Dates: August, 27-30
Location: North East Estonia, Jõhvi; accommodation in the Jõhvi Concert Hall
Group: 6-8 people
Language: English
Price: 550 EUR (includes transport, meals and accommodation)

The practical work-shop ZONE is designed for everyone who is interested about film-making. Especially to those people who want to know more about documentary and science fiction genres and are looking now for those "hidden secrets" that the technical manuals and video courses do not talk about. ZONE opens a door to the meaning and contents of making a film. It deals with three important aspects of film-making: observation, focussed attention and being present. The four-day course helps participants to discover the core of their creativity. At the end of the course each participant will shoot and edit a short visual film (5-10 min) using only the original sound without adding any music or text. 

The work-shop takes place in North-East Estonia, Ida Virumaa, where there is a mind-blowing contrast between the natural world and the environmental consequences of pollution. The industrial landscapes of Kohtla-Järve, of old neglected mines nearby, of slag-heaps, and of Soviet-style settlements built for miners in the nineteen fifties, are in stark contrast with the natural beauty of the Ontika limestone cliffs, waterfalls, ancient parks and the northern coast. The striking contrast helps the observer to pay attention to small details. Even a short visit to a working underground mine is enough to bring to attention, the smells, sounds, bright daylight, and things we take for granted in everyday-life. 

Observing various landscapes during the journeys we make, will be underscored by an evening screening and discussion of Andrei Tarkovsky's masterpiece "Stalker". The film workshop training team will lead and guide each participant into the "Zone", as does Stalker in the film. The key to the success of the workshop depends on the balanced co-operation of all the participants. An ability to be open and see the world as if for the first time, is the secret for success, not only in film-making, but in all other spheres of life. 

Technical summary of the work-shop:
The workshop gives a short overview of camera and editing principles and skills. The participants are encouraged to use their own film, sound and editing equipment. If not, equipment will be provided. The same is true of editing programmes. The participants will be working in pairs, helping each other with recording sound and picture.

About Kersti Uibo:
Kersti Uibo is an Estonian documentary film-maker. She graduated from the National Film and Television School in UK with M.A. in documentary directing, where she studied under supervision of Herb Di Gioia. You can see her films and listen to her interviews on 

About Raigo Saariste:
Raigo Saariste has graduated Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (BFM) as a director and works as a superviser in BFM Children's Film School. He is a great fan of the science fiction movie. His filmography can be found here.

Feedback from participants:
"Nowadays people have only a short attention-span for everything, ZONE does the opposite, it offered me time. ZONE gave me lots of time to be able to think, so that, already on the bus journey from Tallinn to Jõhvi, my mind was also able to enter some kind of ZONE.The course also gave me confidence. I have filmed some shots and done some editing after the ZONE and have less worries about doing it well/badly, right/wrong. Filmmaking-wise I learnt that time spent waiting will be rewarded. I test-proofed it during another filming occasion after ZONE... just wait, two, three days and then the movie happened. I also had time to explore the world of cinema during ZONE. I knew Tarkovsky but before ZONE I thought I don't like his films... Now I am a fan of "Stalker" and "Solaris". I also discovered Jane Campion and just love the movie "Angel At My Table". Technically ZONE was also great. I just loved to work with that amazing Sennheiser Boom Mic and hear all those sounds. The opportunity to preview our material, editing cuts and the final edit on a big screen was a great thing. Everything looks different when on a big screen. All the arrangements were excellent - welcome meeting at BFM, bus ride, use of video equipment, a van and a driver, accommodation, itinerary, location shooting and of course - participants and Kersti and Raigo! 

Thank you very much for the course! I was happy to be part of it."
Janis Kirpitis (Latvia)

"I learnt that it was important to look for an interesting point of view: then the film itself will also be much more engaging. ZONE taught me to observe the subject of a film in quite a different way. The work with camera and sound was important. Before the ZONE I didn't know how important the sound was. Now when I teach school-children, I am also teaching them to look for interesting shots. Collaboration, intensity and the joy of discovery characterise the course. I cannot imagine that anything could be done differently. The course, built as it was, on improvisation made the atmosphere very cosy. Now during the dark evenings, I think back to Zone with nostalgia, because it was such a powerful experience." 






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