The Pedagogy of NFS

The foundation of the pedagogic approach at NFS is “constraints release creativity”. This approach gained prominence at the Danish Film School in the 1980s, and is based on the observation that most artists and filmmakers will develop their talent more effectively when given clear parameters to work within as opposed to a “blank slate” where anything goes. The deliberate use of constraints will create an environment where creativity can flourish.

 

A primary instrument for practicing this form of pedagogy is the production exercise – known in Danish and Norwegian as “penneprøve” (which literally translates to “pen test”). This form of production exercise will consist of a very specific set of conditions the students have to work with; these conditions can include things like theme, dramatic requirements, genre, number of characters, type of location, and so on. The students will work under very tight restrictions early on in their studies, and gain increasing levels of freedom as their technical competence and artistic confidence increase.

 

In all the production exercises the student teams work according to the Triangle model. This model, which is established at other international film schools, emphasises the Director’s role as the creative leader of a project while at the same time giving the students a forum and set of tools to develop their collaborative skills.

 

Film production at NFS
 

NFS operates with three triangles:

  1. First Triangle consists of Director, Screenwriter and Producer
  2. Second Triangle consists of Director, Cinematographer, Digital Visual Designer, and Production Designer
  3. Third Triangle consists of Director, Editor and Sound.

The teams are set by the school.

 

Another key element in these production exercises is the “right to make mistakes”. The students know their production exercises will never be shown outside a film school context, and this rule exists specifically to encourage them to take risks and experiment secure in the knowledge that what they make will only be used to help them develop their artistic talents. The purpose of the exercises is never for the students to showcase their skills, but to allow them to develop them in a safe environment.

 

In addition to production exercises, the students have a series of classes, workshops and exercises within their own discipline where they learn and develop their craft and are prepared to enter in to the film industry upon graduation. There are also a series of sessions, mandatory for all, where they are given a common language to communicate with each other and other filmmakers, through immersion in dramaturgy, visual storytelling, developing a personal artistic philosophy, and so on. There are also several trips and workshops which introduce them to other Nordic schools and filmmakers and encourage them to reflect on their place as emerging European filmmakers.

 

All these elements are very challenging, both for the students and the teaching staff. A key success factor is the admissions process, where a great deal of effort is expended to identify not only the most talented applicants, but also those applicants whose talents will benefit the most from the pedagogical approach practised at the Norwegian Film School.

Sist oppdatert: Tor Magne Roaldseth 17.10.2016

20©09 Høgskolen i Lillehammer, Postboks 952, 2604 Lillehammer | Fakturaadresse | Telefon: 61 28 80 00 | E-post: post@hil.no |L