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In order to give our graduate students international learning resources and a cross-cultural learning opportunity, to understand the latest drama methods and writers work methods, to expand the international vision of graduate students, and to promote the internationalization of postgraduate training, "Beijing Film Academy - University of Southern California Workshop" was carried out between December 4, 2016 and December 18, 2016 in Los Angeles. Under the leadership of Professor Liu Xiaolei from the Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies and Li Chen from the Department of Directing, eight MFA students from the academy went to the University of Southern California for a two-week exchange program.

During the visit, University of Southern California carefully gave guidance on the scripts, comprehensively introduced the writer work methods of Hollywood; during this period, students also had close contacts with Hollywood studios where they visited and studied. The participants of the workshop consisted of graduate students from the Department of Directing and Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies, and they spent a pleasant and enjoyable time together.

1. Solid and innovative teaching by screenwriters

On December 4, Los Angeles, the first day of the workshop, Professor Don and Dave from the School of Film Art at the University of Southern California gave us a detailed study of the workshop. The two professors were also very prestigious veteran screenwriters, and the two participate in the screenwriting of a dozen of films. The professors divided the eight students into two groups, and the students followed the two instructors in discussion based small class teaching.

The film discipline of University of Southern Californiaranked first in the United States and was closely linked with the Hollywood film production system. It had students all around the country, Spielberg, George Lucas were alumni of the School of Art of Southern California University. In teaching, the educational mode of screenwriters of Southern California University was advanced and mature, had its own rigorous education system and open and innovative educational philosophy. Therefore, in the workshop teaching, the two professors also adopted themode of education ofUniversity of Southern California. First of all, in the first day, the writer's inner story was dug to mobilize the deep feelings; two professors arranged for three tasks about memories. During the story seminar, the wonderful narration by students from Beijing Film Academy moved and impressed their tutors from University of Southern California

In the subsequent study, the mentors started from emotion and began to teach the writing of specific drama plots and different types of conflict construction methods, students were taught from the props to the linesin coordination with a large number of writing exercises. The learning process was solid and effective and students gained a lot. In the afternoon, the tutors would use the classic films for analysis from the perspective of screenwriting and teach the laws of drama.

After the second day of study, the University of Southern California arranged a welcome dinner for the students where teachers and students gathered and had a warm exchange.

2. Closer understanding of the Hollywood studio's work mode

On December 9, 2016, Los Angeles time, under the arrangement of University of Southern California, all the members of the workshop went to Warner Brothers Studios to visit and study.

Founded in 1918, Warner Bros. Pictures is one of the world's largest film and television entertainment production companies, and it is also the third oldest established film company in the United States. Its famous works include the Batman series, the Superman series, the Hobbit series, the Harry Potter series, the Lord of the Rings series, the Hobbit series, Gravity, Inception, and Interstellar, and many films are world renowned and have won the Oscar Award.

In the nearly four hours of the visit, the students were shocked for three times at Warner Brothers Studio. They were shocked for the first time by the dozens of studios here, and they had to take a tour bus to visit the dedicated forests, towns and other shooting bases. Then they were shocked by the exquisiteness of the production, in the studio there were dedicated carpentry workshops, iron workshops and other well equipped prop workshops; the short New York street witnessed the shooting of many classic street views thanks to its complete facilities and reasonable layout. It’s still frequently used;We were lucky to enter the sitcom studio in use, and according to the introduction, it only took two hours to completely change the exquisite French bedroom scene to another scene. The visitors were shocked for the third time for the long history of the culture of Warner Bro. Studios.

Warner Bro. Studios had carefully crafted venues to introduce Warner's history and culture, including the Warner Film Museum, the Stunt Hall, the Costume Museum, the Large-scale Car Exhibition Hall, the visitors had a more comprehensive understanding of the film and it was a rare experience.

3. One-on-one diagnosis of scripts by students of Beijing Film Academy

During the second week of the study, the workshop discussed and guided the students 'own scripts in a targeted manner and most of them were short film scripts to be directed by students from the Department of Directing and long outlines to be prepared by students from the Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies. Those upcoming scripts to be used had some difficulties and misunderstandings. In the discussions between the tutors and the students, the authors of the script fully absorbed the views and ideas from different angles and revised their own creations, making it a great opportunity for progress.

At the closing ceremony on the last day, the tutors and the students shared the fruits of the two-week program. The instructor provided more long-term guidance to each student and continued the guidance in the form of e-mail. The exchange and learning activities of the workshop were successfully concluded even the visiting students were reluctant to leave.

Hu Qiang
Zhi Hongwei
Qian Jun
Professor Xie Fei, Department of Directing of our school, …