Short Film Practical Analysis: Directing 1

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311SFP1 ZK 3 2T English winter

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)

Vít Poláček

Learning outcomes of the course unit

What is short film? Is this a specific genre of its own or is it a form we can fill with varied content? What is the difference between telling a story, settting the topic, and giving the audience questions to think about in long duration and short duration? What can we express with a short film? What is the position of short film in the film industry and what is the audience usually expecting from short films? How were the short films presented 30 or 60 years ago and how are they presented now?

Together, we will be looking for the answers to those questions and probably many more. We will be analysing all the aspects of various short films and discuss how to write a short film, how to deal with the dramaturgy of the short film and how to direct it. We will be learning not only about some masterpieces created by the best directors in the history of cinema, but also about contemporary ones.

The course is intended for the students who are preparing their own short films but also for those, who want to understand the short film as a form.

Mode of study

Seminar, discussion

Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

1.Introduction to the course

Introduction of the colourful diversity of short films – from fiction, to animation and documentary

-Searching what a short film is

2.Theme and the basic dramatical situation

-What is the theme? Why we start to think about short film?

-What is and what is not dramatical situation and how we can develop it?

-The short film in relation to dramatic/literature forms


3.How to use the time

-Sculpting in time

-Time proportion of a short film in reference to dramaturgy

-Time dynamics

-Time as topic

4.Rhythm of Short film

-Rhythm of scenes

-Rhythm of editing

-Rhythm of shot types

-Repeating motives

5.The Story

-What it is about?

-Dramaturgy and its tools in reference to short film

-The Art of storytelling

-Dramatic arc

-Exposition, climax, catastrophe, catharsis

-Three act structure (from Aristotle to contemporary Hollywood) vs different types of storytelling

-Letting the audience to reveal the secret


-Development of characters

-Their function, complexity and liveliness in their milieu

-Language of dialogues

-Costumes, props, haircut, gestures

7.Work with actors

-The casting. Professional actors vs. Non-actors

-The rehearsing, working with the text, timing

-How to create relationships between the characters through the actors

-Body language, choreography

-Work with children on set

8.The space of the story

-Orientation/disorientation of the audience in the fictional world

-How to build the set and how to create its continuity

-Map of the fictional world we are building

-The world the characters live in

-How to work with details, credibility, symbols and signs

-Credibility of the space


-The type of material and its selection (Film vs. Digital technologies)

-The movement of camera in reference to topic/the characters

-Search for the right colours, colour grading


-Composition and stylization of the image

10.Sound and music

-How to accent a dramatical situation with sound/music

-How to support character with sound/music

-Rhythm of sound

-Sound as a specific language of cinema

-Music as a specific language of cinema

-Films without music/Films without sound

11.Practical preparation for shooting

-Development phase


-When is script finished?

-Why to use storyboard?


12.The position of short film on the market

-Why we do short films and how we can use them?

-Festival strategies

-Distribution strategies

-The search for the right audience

-How audience watch the short film

-Short film as a first step for the debut feature

-Short film as a test of possibilities

-Short film as independent artistic expression

Recommended or required reading

Assessment methods and criteria




Schedule for winter semester 2021/2022:

room 107
Room No. 1

(Lažanský palác)
Poláček V.
(lecture parallel1)
once in 2 weeks, starts Sept 27
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Mon 19:00–22:15 Vít Poláček Room No. 1
Lažanský palác
once in 2 weeks, starts Sept 27 lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2021/2022:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans