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Visual Media Production - Making Short Fiction Films

Summer School of Humanities, Social Sciences, Communication and Arts, 10 ECTS
Humanities, social sciences, communication and arts

Institution Aarhus University (AU)
Campus Aarhus
Duration 4 weeks
Tuition per term (Non-EU/EAA/CH) 1360 EUR
Tuition per term (EU/EAA/CH) 552 EUR

This is a hands-on, learning-by-doing production course, in which participants will make two short fiction films with guidance and feedback at every stage of the creative process. The main focus is on storytelling, and for the final project (a 4-7 min. film), considerable attention will be given to developing a viable concept and then working up a storyboard/shooting script before production begins. 

Students will work in teams of approx. five participants per group and will gain experience with script development and such tasks as casting, location scouting, directing actors, camera work, lighting, sound recording, editing, etc. They will also meet such challenges as identifying and resolving storytelling problems as well as organizing and executing complex tasks while working as a team under the pressure of tight deadlines.

The conceptual framework for this course will be a non-formulaic narrative model based on the view that short film storytelling can best be described in terms of opposing properties that balance and complete one another in a dynamic interplay. An approach of this kind is not only tailor-made to the short film rather than designed for the mainstream feature film but also more open than the standard sequential models and also better suited to catching the most common beginner mistakes when short films are produced by student filmmakers.

There will be instruction in the use of our semi–professional cameras and editing program, and no previous experience with production equipment is necessary.

After a few introductory lectures, the course will consist primarily of group work with feedback from the teacher. There will be no exam per se.  Grades will be based on the productions and a report, 6-8 pages per participant. Each student will write one of the following sections of the report: a) script development; b) directing; c) camera work; d) editing; and e) the results of an audience test. This course can count as a HUMfag and all discussions will be conducted in English.

The first class meeting will be held on July 18 and the last one on August 12.

Between those dates, there will be work virtually every day. The reports will be due on August 19 but will be sent to me as electronic files and participants in the course will not have to remain in Aarhus after August 12.Required readings include a selection of articles and booklets by R. Raskin, provided as handouts:
  • 2015 “Ten Commandments for student filmmakers making short films,” Aarhus University
  • 2014 “On short film storytelling,” Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, Vol. 4, No.1, pp. 29-34
  • 2013/2014 Seven narrative paradigms for student filmmakers, Aarhus University
  • 2011 The Art of the Short Fiction Film. Guidelines for Student Filmmakers, Aarhus University
  • 2011 (april) ”Identification: a four-phase model,” 16:9, 9. årgang, nummer 41
  • 2009 “Kortfilm,” Medie- og kommunikationsleksikon, S Kolstrup et al (editors), 1. Udgave, Samfundslitteratur, pp. 260-261. Int’l students will not be expected to read this text.
  • 2006 “On pacing in the short fiction film,” Journal of Media Practice, Vol. 7, No. 6, pp. 159-160.
Richard Raskin has written several books on short film storytelling and frequently gives seminars at int’l short film festivals and at film schools throughout Europe. He has served on juries at festivals in France, Belgium, India, Holland, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway and Denmark and is the editor of the peer-reviewed journal Short Film Studies published in the UK. Two short films based on his screenplays have been produced with funding from New Danish Screen and have won a number of awards, including the Grand Prize at the biggest short film festival in China. He is the co-founder of the filmmaker education called Multiplatform Storytelling and Production where he also teaches a hands-on production course every year.

About the Degree

This is a summer course that counts 5 or 10 ECTS. 


  • You must be enrolled in a university programme at the time of the AU Summer University
  • If you are applying for admission to AU Summer University courses at the Master level, you must hold a relevant Bachelor's degree (or as a minimum 180 ECTS in your study programme
  • The application deadline is March 15th


The tuition fee varies from course to course. Find the price on the individual course page. Find more information here

For Further Information

You can find more information on the programme here
If you have any questions regarding the programme please write


Application date
Mar 15
Start date
Jul 18


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