Pietro Germi, Michelangelo Antonioni, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Vittorio Storaro and – more recently – Liliana Cavani, Marco Bellocchio, Paolo Virzì: they are just some of the “famous” students of the Experimental Center of Cinematography (Csc) in Rome, which since 1935 to date he has trained entire generations of directors, actors, screenwriters, editors, sound technicians. Thanks to the collaboration of exceptional teachers such as Giuseppe Rotunno, Piero Tosi, Andrea Crisanti, Roberto Perpignani who, each in their own field, have made the history of Italian cinema. A tradition that continues and that currently sees professionals of the caliber of Giancarlo Giannini, Daniele Luchetti or Maurizio Nichetti among the artistic directors of the School based in via Tuscolana, across the street from Cinecitta-Istituto Luce, in a combination that makes the southwestern quadrant of the capital a valuable piece of the Roman audiovisual district. But the geography of the Csc – which since 1949 can also count on the precious work of conservation and restoration of the national film library – goes beyond regional borders, with or five branches located in the rest of Italy, and national, with a sixth “creature” just born in Spain.
Training of young people
Through the National Film School, the Csc organizes three-year courses (limited number and with compulsory attendance) in 10 different specializations in the world of cinema, issuing a diploma which is equivalent to a three-year Dams degree and which is highly coveted on the job market. As confirmed by the principal Adriano De Santis: «As soon as they leave the center, our students are immediately employed. In the last two years – he adds – in some departments we have not been able to graduate enough students with respect to market demands. Thanks above all to the spread of seriality ». Just the TV series are currently the main outlet for screenwriters, costume designers, sound technicians and – stresses De Santis – “even the insertion of the directors has become faster”.
Currently – considering the first year of the three-year period 2020-2022, the second of 2019-2021 and the third of 2018-2020 – the students in the Rome office are 231. Divided as follows: 15 for the costume course, 18 for photography, 18 for assembly, 27 for production, 53 for acting; 18 for direction; 24 per screenplay; 19 for students scenography; 28 for sound and 10 for visual effects supervisor & producer. This is the latest addition to the CSC house, a course – as the principal tells us – which “allows you to add special effects also to managerial and production effects to the skills of technicians”.
Like all universities and educational institutions in Italy, the National Film School is currently struggling with the coronavirus emergency. And with the challenge of e-learning, which for some courses is easier, for others less so. For example, the workshop part, “which however – De Santis says – represents almost all the lessons”. But we are working hard. For screenplay and production, the teaching activity has moved on the web through the various platforms that allow you to go live. For assembly, the solution often passes from Skype for lessons and from the links of the works sent by email.
For years, the Experimental Center has also meant film senza limiti streaming production. Not only taught but also applied in the field thanks to the work of Csc production which in the last decade has moved along three production lines. The first concerns the students’ courts, which can be of two types: the workshops (6) and the exercises (6) of the second year, which are shot in Rome and surroundings with a budget of 10 thousand euros; the diploma essays (always 6), which have twice the budget and a free location.
The second area of production consists of the first works for the ex-students’ directorial debut, in which the ex directing student stands behind the camera and his former colleagues in general are the department heads for screenplay, photography, scenography. , costume, acting, editing, sound. Films that go around the festival and in some cases are also awarded, such as Valerio Mieli’s Ten Winters or Marco Danieli’s Girl of the World.
Third and last line of production and audiovisual services for external orders, for example commercials, promos and videos for ministries, institutions, bodies. With some of whom (the Mibact and Istituto luce-Cinecitta) the relationship is in fact on the agenda.
A mention also for the Netflix miniseries ” The Eddy “, created by Jack Thorne.
The most important name among those involved, however, is that of Damien Chazelle, former director of “La La Land”, executive producer of the miniseries and director of the first two episodes.
At the center, a jazz club in Paris and a whole series of misadventures affecting the various characters that revolve around the club.
Divided into eight parts, “The Eddy” is an interesting miniseries with several voices, in which each episode has the name of a different character who becomes the protagonist of that particular episode. An imperfect experiment (in the central episodes the rhythm drops excessively) but successful, thanks to a good overall staging, capable of enhancing above all the numerous musical performances. To be seen.