STUDYING AT THE ECAM
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Nadia Mata Portillo
For someone like me who hadn’t had any contact with the film industry, the ECAM represented an opportunity to work with professionals in the field and learn from them. In addition, the many regular practical exercises allowed me to discover what kind of stories I wanted to tell. And thanks to what I learned through my involvement in the creative process while working on my fellow students’ shorts, I came to understand the importance of teamwork, a lesson I still treasure today.
Roberto Sánchez Bueso
I came to the ECAM knowing almost nothing about film direction. In just a short time, thanks to steady exposure to a combination of practice and theory, I felt that I could hold my own and tell a story behind the camera with a certain amount of skill. Those were three wonderful years which I will remember forever, during which I made great friends.
On the Diploma in Documentary Filmmaking, each student sets out on a long path that will lead them to shape a unique and particular methodology for recreating reality through images and sound. It is a privilege to witness these processes, which begin the very first day of class.
Oscar Durán Bárcena
Film is our medium of expression. The ECAM is the point of departure for channelling that expression. The student’s job is to find themself in the images they produce. The teacher’s job is to help the student find themself.
Carlos F. Heredero
Teaching the history of film, both its overall international evolution and that of Spanish film in particular, provides the essential requirements for learning the language of film and the aesthetic trends, genres, influences and movements that have taken shape since the long-ago year of 1895, as well as the current situation in the industry and the aesthetics of contemporary film. Knowing where we come from, the aesthetic and cultural roots that gave birth to us, enables us to not only better understand present-day film, but also be able to make informed decisions and use our own judgement to distinguish true innovation from run-of-the-mill imitation, genuine personality from generic craftsmanship, real modernity from false imitative posturing. It’s not possible to fully understand cinema today without knowing the films that have made it what it is.
I see the Diploma in Editing as a meeting point, a space in which to analyse how we look at and listen to films, learning from them as the students form their own judgement and a sound method of defending their viewpoint with regard to specific materials. This diploma course focuses on questioning, on inquiry, on trial and error. These are the only ways to venture into a craft which is also an art, into a fascinating territory where there is no absolute certainty or exact science.
My relationship with the school began in 1998 as a student and continues today as a lecturer on the Diploma in Editing. For me, the school was an important meeting place for many of the people who would later become indispensable colleagues in my journey though the world of film. School should be a place where one tries things, experiments, seeks and dreams in cinematographic language, not only its forms, but also its background, its philosophy. A realistic approach, practical as well as theoretical. This is what I dreamt of finding when I came to the school and what I try to convey to students in our editing classes.
School, an environment in which to create and share ideas, stories and projects.
Conversation, a didactic and professional tool.
Technology, the link between creativity and realization.
Teamwork, recognition of others.
Cinema, a combination of images and sounds modified by a narrative.
Iván del Rey de la Torre
The most rewarding part of being an ECAM lecturer is seeing the expression on students’ faces when they first discover Fellini, Dziga Vertov, Martha Rosler, Kiarostami, William Wegman… That open mouth and eyes that say: ‘Is this possible? I want to get started right now!’
I suppose I teach at the ECAM because I really like the cinema, watching it and making it, although there are not two more disparate tasks in the world. This passion is contagious and is the main driving force behind making films. I try to pass on that enthusiasm to my students, to make them ‘immune to discouragement’.