A Lecture in Budapest Film Academy (BFA) with Péter Miskolczi

Budapest Film Academy invites lecturers on a regular basis. Yesterday’s guest was Péter Miskolczi, who held a nearly three-hour exciting and powerful lecture on the possibilities in filmmaking. Péter Miskolczi is a multiple award winner Hungarian producer, member of The European Film Academy (EFA), Head of Sundance Central-European Workshop. He has been producer of numerous Hungarian films and co-operations, such as Taxidermia, Asterix and Obelixin Britain, Copying Beethoven, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

BFA again made good on its word yesterday, by inviting a guest who is not only a well-respected professional but a good teacher who can pass on his knowledge. Péter Miskolczi and Jenő Hódi (Head of BFA) were having a friendly chat, while answering most of the questions we did not dare to ask. We are terrified to recognize possibilities.

But we have many of them. We have it all to become real filmmakers, who work in the business. Péter Miskolczi encouraged us to do so. To ask and to work as there are professional filmmakers in Hungary who can help us. There are producers who are looking for good ideas. And there are funds open all year aiming to see everything from ideas to scripts. Hungarian National Film Fund always welcomes scripts and Péter Miskolczi or another member in the jury will read them all. Yes, they will.

During the lecture we could gain information about the possibilities of script development. How to show juries that you are capable of the job? Is it worth shooting a short film or an art movie? Although there is no current scholarship for short films, there are festivals and cinemas who welcome them. Both experts put emphasis on the fact that everyone needs to have credits in this business. How can you get credit if you do not even have a scene ready? Who to work with if you are a novice writer, director or producer and you still want to get governmental support?

What is next if the script is developed? What comes after all? What are the crucial steps from handing in a pitch to selling and advertising? What are the responsibilities of the producer, the director and the writer? What are the financial risks if you are doing a co-production? And why is it all important for a writer?

As a BFA scriptwriter it was very useful for me to have an insight into the working stages and responsibilities of producers and directors as well. I consider it essential to know more about my future collegues’ job, since a writer is not only a writer; a director is never simply a director. They develop projects, assemble a tender dossier. If we do not know enough about each other’s jobs, it seems harder to make the first step towards realization of an idea. And what is the good bak zsuzsanews? That road is predictable and offers a standing ground.

Bak Zsuzsanna
Budapest Film Academy student