The digitalisation of film, the evolution of new displays, and the day-to-day networking of a wide range of devices are creating new professional fields in filmmaking. New portals are opening up everywhere – principally in social networks, but also in public and semi-public contexts such as theatre and on mobile displays, to include mobile phones, tablets and VR headsets. They all use the moving image as a main communication and storytelling medium. At the same time, a massive market for moving images has developed in art, and the once basically rectangular monitor image has yielded to the 360º panorama. These new cinematic forms make possible (and require) new narrative techniques adapted to short attention spans, fragmented reception, new screening contexts, and cross-platform distribution channels. How, for example, does cinematic narration function when a story is simultaneously presented in sound and image on several displays located in the same room? How can animated elements be integrated into a website’s graphic concept? In an interdisciplinary team, who is responsible for creating moving images? How does one work with several media together (image, sound, and script) and how does one integrate content in a medially logical way? How do web-based, non-linear films function? How does one edit a film recorded with a 360º camera as opposed to a traditional camera? In short: How is storytelling changed by technical innovation and by the new reception contexts created by digital film?
The specialisations in Animation, Short Motion and Interaction prepare students for these new challenges in three interlinked core competencies: Animation is not simply a cinematic genre; it is a key skill with a range of applications in the social media, in graphic design, in communicating information through moving images, and even in VR, 3D and 360º applications. It can be used to depict complex relationships quickly and clearly or to design worlds created entirely in our imagination. In the Short Motion specialisation, we teach strategies and techniques that give filmmakers an edge in situations where the audience’s attention is divided or of short duration. These include abbreviating and focussing content, as well as learning intermedial and multimodal strategies for pursuing a story as a series of fragments across a range of platforms. Finally, Interaction involves learning to use new formats and technologies to create moving images that challenge couch potatoes to become active participants in filmic storytelling.
The three specialisations have in common that they teach students visual storytelling techniques that are mostly fragmentary and associative, often experimental, even when their function is documentary or informational. Students in the Master Film programme learn the basics of all three specialisations. But they decide themselves which aspects they want to pursue in depth and develop for their practical and theoretical Master Project.