As an instructor it's all too easy to assume that one is right, and that the student is well-advised to heed advice given. After all, you're the instructor, right? Right.
Urs is Moritz Mayerhofer's graduation film, and I was one of the consultants advising him and the other students at the Filmakademie. Urs has also been short-listed for an Oscar, and its a great experience to accompany a film from the oozy uncertainty of concept through to such an unexpected sign of recognition. It's also good occasion to think about the process by which we accompanied his journey. It would be more a euphemism to say that Moritz sucked up all our advice gratefully. He didn't - and that's a good thing. He digested the suggestions, the analysis, and dismissed or implemented in accordance with his inner compass.
Keeping such a compass in an environment of persistent and divergent critique isn't easy. The key is to have an inuitive understanding of your goals, your film and your team. This understanding then forms the criteria with which you can assess the multitude of feedback which comes in from all sides, incessant und inconsistent. All of the consultants at the Filmakademie are practicing artists, and so we're all in the business of doing. As an instructor, its not always easy to resist that urge to do, and rather to ask, enquire and present analysis. As a student, a solid set of criteria allows you to filter the suggestions, the opinions, for valuable feedback. Fortunately, most students at the Filmakademie have a fairly rigid compass.
They also work intensely hard on their projects. Moritz sent me these Making Of videos, and I decided to share them with you here. They convey the depth of exploration that went into winning that intuitive understanding of his content. Enjoy.
the Making Of Urs: Story & Image
the Making Of Urs: Sound & Music
the Making Of Urs: Matte Paintings
the Making Of Urs: Rig