Over the last decade, the region of Central Germany (Mitteldeutschland) has progressively become an important location for moving images and other media. Its academic sector has established various media-oriented study programmes and professional training schemes, and so now turn out graduates well equipped for a diverse range of careers in film and television. However, given the lack of opportunities in the region for practical on-the-job training and work experience, it remains difficult even for promising, well-qualified graduates to secure a market foothold. This is particularly true in creative disciplines such as screenwriting, directing, camerawork, editing and sound, but equally affects the fields of production and distribution.
The Professional Media Master Class (PMMC) at Werkleitz has provided artists and filmmakers an opportunity to gain experience in creative documentary filmmaking and to qualify themselves for a media career. It seeks to close the gap between the numerous art and media B.A and M. A. courses on offer in Central Germany and the practical skills required day-to-day in professional life. The PMMC focuses on the combination of theoretical training and practical work experience necessary to master any field of work - from project development, research, via camera, sound, and montage to narrative structuring, sound design and mastering.
The PMMC is run by professional producers, film experts and project development consultants. Teachers invited for seminars have included filmmakers Harun Farocki, Birgit Hein, Andres Veiel, and Philip Scheffner, DOPs Sophie Maintigneux, Susanne Schüle and Birgit Gudjonsdottir, sound specialists Volker Zeigermann and Olaf Mehl, and Prof. Hans Beller - outstanding expert on film montage. Film historians such as Erika and Ulrich Gregor and Mikolaj Jazdon, film and art curators, as well as commissioning editors, film funding and festival representatives have been our regular guests in Halle.
Between 2011 and 2014 the PMMC has trained 40 young artists and filmmakers from Central Germany. During the course, they made 21 short films, which were shown on national and international festivals such as Berlinale, Vision du Reel Nyon, FID Marseille, HotDocs Toronto and DOK Leipzig, as well as on public TV in Germany.
Due to the success of these past four years and the high demand of the participants for further collaboration and professional media training, Werkleitz has started its follow-up programme called “Professional Media Master Class Lab” in 2015. The course, planned to run for from late August 2015 - April 2017, builds upon the basic experience of the previous years. It offers to deepen the knowledge on contemporary moving image production, and to improve the personal cinematic and artistic language or “handwriting. The content developed in a „think tank“ lead to the final form of the moving image work - be it a film, an installation or an interactive web format, designed for cinema, public space or exclusively for digital networks. The think tank was once again followed by a parallel timeline of project development and seminars focusing on narrative models, hybrid forms of retelling reality, autobiographical storytelling and oral history, interactive programming, and specific cinematic techniques such as camera improvisation with non-professional “actors”, staging of real situations, as well as advanced concept and implementation of image and sound.
Our international partners included the famous film school in Łódź, Poland (Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. Leona Schillera w Łodzi, kurz: PWSFTviT and - for the PMMC Lab - the renowned Goldsmiths University of London, UK. Through various meetings and ongoing digital communication, as well as a common presentation of works in Halle (Saale) and in the partner countries, a strong exchange between the students of both countries has been established.
As the PMMC is able to accept applications only and exclusively from media artists/ media producers who live in Middle Germany, further information on this topic is available on our website in German only. Please contact us if you want to know more.