1 Year Filmmaking Program

Cinematography Course

Our 1 Year Cinematography Course is hands-on, full-time, suitable also for beginners with no experience and taught on our campus in Prague, the Czech Republic. The program ends with qualification BTEC Level 4 HNC in Creative Media Production (film) which is equivalent to the first year of bachelor’s study. After completing this one-year program, you can seamlessly transition into our 1 Year Advanced Course to obtain BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma. This study program consists of two semesters and will teach you everything you need to know to shoot festival-worthy films of high production value. It includes internship on a film set, taking part in shooting up to 20 short films and scenes of different styles, as well as shooting of your own 2 festival-quality short films with high-quality filmmaking equipment (RED Gemini, RED Dragon, Alexa Amira or Sony F55). You will be required to learn all the basics of general filmmaking to make you understand the entire process from pre-production to post-production, which is crucial for kick starting your career in the film industry. The emphasis on cinematography specialisation is given mostly during practical workshops and shootings.

our value proposition

course highlights

Up to 20 short films

During the course, you will practice your skills in cinematography on up to 20 short films and scenes of different styles, create industry- standard showreel and present it to the panel of film professionals in a public cinema.

Be Mentored by Film Practicioners

Small class sizes means more time with tutors and individual guidance on your projects. Our teachers are actively involved in the film industry and can offer tips on the latest trends in filmmaking. 

Internship on a Film Set

You will get a chance to take part in filmmaking internship on a professional film set. The internship will grow your network of all-important contacts and set yourself apart in a very competitive career field. 

Festival-worthy Films

You will shoot at least 2 festival-worthy short films on the most popular cinema cameras such as RED Gemini, RED Dragon, Alexa Amira or Sony F55. You cinematography lessons will be taught in professional filmmaking rental house.

festival-worthy films

Your main focus during the year will be to shoot at least 2 short films of festival-quality. You will invest most of your free time developing your final films, which will have higher production value compared to average school films. Through guidance of your tutors, you will prepare your film on the same level as a professional film production. You will shoot your movies with the professional filmmaking equipment at the value of more than 90 000 USD.

what you will study

cinematography specialisation

Below you can see the basic topics which you will complete on the course. You will turn into practice all knowledge acquired in the classroom. During practical exercises, you will create industry-standard showreel and equip yourself with key skills needed to shoot festival-worthy films with professional cinema cameras. The curriculum of the 1 Year Cinematography Course is identical to the first year of the 2 Years Filmmaking Degree Course.

Principles of Camera and Lens Use in Cinematography

  • Invention of photographic techniques
  • Discover and evolution of camera
  • Photography to cinematography
  • Full-frame sensors – history and understanding
  • Properties and characteristics of lenses
  • History of lenses
  • Types of lenses used in industries : zooms, prime, spherical, anamorphics
  • Use of camera angle


  • Features of Lighting in Cinematography in Creating a Visual language
  • Lighting lessons – Night/EXT-INT
  • Lighting lessons – DAY/EXT
  • HMI, Tungsten, Load distribution
  • Shaping of Light, Diff, etc.
  • Safe Setup, Operation and Control of Lighting Equipment

Safe Setup, Operation and Control of Filmmaking Equipment

  • Know how to handle expensive equipement with safety
  • Grip lessons – Slider and Mini Jib
  • Cinematography for Editing

Activities & Responsibilities in Camera Department

  • Knowing the duties and responsibilites of a camera crew position
  • Working with directors

Combining Equipment

Presentation of Dailes/Rushes Demostrating the Use of Different Camera, Lens and Lighting Combinations

Understanding the Relativity

  • Exposure
  • ISO
  • Shutter Speed/Angle

Compositional Theory of Cinematography

Master Classes

Learn directly from professionals from the film industry by listening to their personal experiences as filmmakers.

Consultations with Teachers

You will have consultations with your teachers in order to get best possible result for your final films.

Shooting Excercises

  • Shooting up to 40 short films and scenes of different styles (you will be also allowed to use the video content for creating your high-quality showreel)
  • Designing of Shotlist
  • Preparation for Practical Shooting Exercises
  • Feedback on practical exercises

Shooting of Your Final Films

You will shoot your own 2 festival-worthy films and at the same time you will participate on shootings up to 40 final films of your classmates. 

Various Approaches to Lighting 

  • Presentation of Dailies/Rushes Demonstrating Different Approaches to Lighting 


The emphasis on cinematography specialisation will be given mostly during practical classes and shootings. At the same time, our 1 Year Cinematography Course also includes all basics of general filmmaking to make you understand how different departments collaborate and what are the responsibilities among crew members, which is crucial for your future successful career in the film industry. 


  • Basics of Mise-en-Scene Studies
  • Working with Cinematographers
  • Directing Actors
  • Film Theory
  • Basics of Film History
  • Mood Boards 
  • Master Classes 
  • Consultations with Teachers 
  • Practical Workshops 


  • Writing to Theme
  • Writing Characters
  • Utilizing the Story Framce 
  • Dramatic Dialogue
  • Classic Narrative
  • Alternative Story Structures
  • Working with Genre
  • From Concept to Final Draft 
  • Consultations with Tutors for the Final Film 


Assistant Director

  • Movie Magic Software
  • Script Breakdown
  • Create Shooting Schedule According to Shot List
  • Call Sheets
  • Communication Between Departments
  • Problem Solving
  • Track Daily Progress Against Production Schedule

Color Grading

  • Data Management
  • Post-Production Workflow
  • DaVinci Resolve 1
  • Colour Theory
  • DaVinci Resolve 2
  • Practical Exercise

Production Design

  • Introduction to Production Design
  • Visualization Basics
  • Narrative and Décor
  • Shot Design, Style and Atmosphere
  • Mise-en-scene Project
  • Color Theory
  • Visual Language
  • Design Style
  • Props
  • Locations
  • Mood Boards
  • Story Boards
  • Set Design
  • Set Construction

Documentary Filmmaking

  • Research in Documentary Filmmaking
  • Still photos, footage newspapers, online articles
  • Letters, Journals, diaries
  • Archival Research
  • Government Documents
  • Production process
  • Observational Documentary
  • Character-Driven Documentary
  • Interview Style Documentary



Post-production - Editing & Color Grading

  • Data Management
  • Post-Production Workflow
  • DaVinci Resolve 1
  • Colour Theory
  • DaVinci Resolve 2
  • Practical Exercise

Film Studies

English Language


  • This subject is only for students who are non-native English speakers, have not undertaken their final two years of schooling in English and are unable to demonstrate following capacity in English with one the following certificates:
    • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
    • PTE51
    • IELTS 5.5 (Reading and Writing must be at 5.5)
    • or equivalent



Documentary Filmmaking

  • Research in Documentary Filmmaking
  • Still photos, footage newspapers, online articles
  • Letters, Journals, diaries
  • Archival Research
  • Government Documents
  • Production process
  • Observational Documentary
  • Character-Driven Documentary
  • Interview Style Documentary

Drone Cinematography

· Drone theory

· Drone training

· Legislation

Underwater Cinematography

  • The only optional subject which we offer for extra cost
  • The price for our students is 3 500 USD (standard price 5 000 USD)

Action Scenes

  • Security of action scenes
  • Specifics of shooting preparation
  • Stunt coordination
  • Directing shooting
  • Editing
  • Special Effects (SFX)

Czech Language Course

We provide foreign students with lessons in the basics of the Czech language.

program details

What To Bring?

We recommend that all new Prague Film Institute students purchase their own:

  • Portable external drive with minimum storage 2 TB
  • Laptop for self guided learning and post-production practice. Our goal is to teach students how to use their own computer for high quality results. Make sure that you choose a laptop which meets the minimum recommended specification. However, for tasks which requires specialist software tools, you will be also allowed to use Prague Film Institute’s computer equipment. 
ComponentMinimum RequirementRecommended Requirement
CPUIntel COre i7 or AMD Ryzen 7Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9
RAM16 GB32 GB+
Media StorageSSD or RAIDSSD, Direct Attached RAID or NAD RAID (10 GbE)


  • Budget for your films – our school emphasizes the importance of practical learning by making films. Unlike standard classroom education, the cost of practical filmmaking can vary a lot depending on your script and the vision of the director and cinematographer. For teacher-led workshops the school will cover all or most production costs. However, for shooting of your own films you and your classmates must pay yourselves. As part of our curriculum we will teach you how to be resourceful when it comes to production expenses. Even with clever budgeting, we estimate that you will need approximately 5 – 10 000 CZK per semester for shooting your projects and on top of it a budget for your final films at the end of each semester. The school will provide for you a bundle of filmmaking equipment and a transportation van, but all other production costs will be your responsibility. We encourage you to plan carefully about the budget of your short film. Write or choose a script that matches the funds you have available to produce it.

What is Included

We understand that by choosing to study with us you are making a big financial commitment. We want to make sure you understand exactly what your tuition fee will cover when you decide to become a Prague Film Institute student.

  • Lectures, workshops & master classes
  • Teaching materials
  • Qualification BTEC HNC Level 4 in Creative Media Industry (Pathway Film)
  • Equipment (see more here)
    • Industry standard cinema cameras & equipment
    • Full editing suite with post-production software
    • Individual licence to Premiere Pro/Da Vinci/AVID Pro Tool
    • School car for student projects
  • Green-screen and cinema room on-site
  • Professional film internship for high-achieving students
  • Field trips to industry partners
  • Discounts at our industry partners

Not Included

  • Air fare
  • Visa fee & health insurance
  • Living expenses (housing, food, transportation)
  • Production cost for your films (such as locations, actors, fuel) 

Hovewer Prague is still cheaper than many European cities. The capital offers very safe living environment with high rating in housing and healthcare.

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