Written by Megan Massey, (Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts) Student Correspondent Film Production at FAMU, Spring 2019
Studying abroad is more than just taking in the sights of an amazing city, learning about the local delicacies, and taking weekend trips to other great locations (although it is all of those!). It also involves school and, through the CET program, film students have the opportunity to study at one of the best film schools in the world! Here’s a typical day for a CET film student studying at FAMU in Prague.
Most of my weekdays begin around 7:30am in preparation for my first class of the day at 9:00am. I’m out the door with my roommates by 8:30am. All of my classes except my electives are held at Studio FAMU, in Prague 1. Since I live in Prague 1, I take the tram and it’s about a 12-15min ride (however, with the days getting warmer, it will be nice to do the 20min walk instead!).
When accepted to FAMU through CET, we were told there would be a 9 credit master class for film. This is true, however, it is broken up into 6 core classes that repeat each week: Directing, Scriptwriting, Camera Concepts, Editing, Acting, and Camera Film Language. Directing and Camera Concepts are repeated more than once throughout the week and we work most closely with those professors. Each of these classes are crucial to good filmmaking. In addition to the core classes, we are encouraged to take 1-2 electives (or more!). I am taking Script Analysis and Short Film Practical Analysis: Directing and I am thoroughly enjoying them! There are a number of options for electives and I encourage new students to take any class that they are interested in or feel passionate about! There’s a weeklong period where we could try out the electives before officially selecting them which helped make the decision for a lot of students.
My morning is usually class focused. Studio FAMU has a wonderful and inexpensive café on the ground floor and it’s a good place to hang out and have a cup of tea and get work done between classes.
There is usually a larger break in my schedule sometime in the afternoon. The schedule is sent out in the beginning of the semester, however, every Thursday we receive an email with the following week’s schedule and things change frequently. So, some days, when I have a break longer than an hour, I go back to my apartment and make a meal. There are days with short breaks, and since I’m not a chef, I usually find somewhere nearby to eat. The Studio FAMU café is nice, but for a change of venue, sometimes I go to the Palladium mall (about 5min from class), which has a few inexpensive places in it. There is also a wonderful Vietnamese place near class called Bánh Mì Makers. Lunch is usually followed by more class! The classes range from an hour to two and a half hours.
Some days I get home around 5pm (and it’s wonderful!). However, most days I arrive back to my apartment around 8pm (and Mondays at 10pm!). By the time I walk through the door, it’s been a full day, so it’s time to focus on dinner and relaxing. My roommates and I have made a plan this semester to have family style dinner about once a week as well as weekly movie nights. Knowing friends who studied abroad, I thought I would have a lot of time to explore the city and culture; however, I quickly realized that studying at FAMU would be full-time. That can be daunting, however, the experience of working with artists and professionals as well as making a 35mm film is something I feel so lucky to be doing. That being said, it’s important to find time away from our projects to enjoy being with each other and learn about the city! Most weekends, I try to travel or get a group of people to spend some time with where we don’t talk about classes or our films. We all need a break sometimes! I’m so grateful to be studying at an incredible film school while living in Prague. Our projects include hard work and stressful moments, but I look forward to seeing my final film and having fun along the way!