A moment of contentment. My orientation skills come to a deadlock on the level of a goldfish which is circling in its bowl, and even though I kept up the standards during the present road as well, I threw myself into the circle of audience in time. I am full of curiosity while I am waiting for the presentation of Jenő Hódi, scriptwriter, director, producer, the head of the BFA. We are looking forward to a three-hour-paddling and we will splash into the world of character intros, master scenes, subtext and “on the nose” in a few minutes and then into the one-minute pitches of BFA students.
As we analyse certain scenes from different aspects we are present in the own world of the film and in our everyday’s reality at the same time, furthermore, we get to the core of our self-knowledge and insights into characters. When a character appears on screen for the first time, we are constantly able to conclude his/her purposes, personality and attitude to the others. Even if the character speaks in subtext right now and the viewer has to explore the real intentions and thoughts behind the words. But for that reason the person is just felt even more authentic and closer to us because we often take part in similar little games during our lifetime and most people hide his/her real thoughts and feelings in certain life situations. So no wonder that a voice which speaks in a totally sincerely way is instantly prominent among the others – and it could put a scene in a new light in the film’s world too. All this looks like that we face with the phases that happen during our lifetime: that we form a notion about our new acquaintance in a few fleeting minutes or that our life’s main stages change as master scenes our purposes and they awake us to something new in connection with ourselves and our circumstances.
After that we have the opportunity to be an eye- and ear-witness to the pitches: we come to know that it is not worth cutting capers in the plot and there is also no place for “needless gawping” because the audience is ready to delve into the essence of film ideas. In addition, the sky’s the limit for the stories to catch up us in the wave of them and for humour, whirling conflicts and different feelings to run high. The main aim is the implementation and there is no better occasion for the fathers of the ideas to “fish” some new team members.
As I step outside a feeling strikes me that the goldfish inside me made a circle in its bowl which would be never forgotten.
Eszter Csenge Magyar
A lecture with András Bálint Kovács
We were glad to see András Bálint Kovács on the previous screenwriting class as the guest lecturer. The students could talk to him about their screenplays or scenes formerly judged by Jenő Hódi, they could share their ideas with him and ask questions regarding their written works.
András Bálint Kovács took his degree in Hungarian-French-Aesthetics at ELTE (1983), and then 6 years later he got his PhD certificate at Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Faculty of Philosophy). He held classes at such famous foreign universities like Sorbonne (Paris), University of California, Stockholm University or University of Wisconsin. Between 1984 and 1986 he worked as an artistic consultant at Balázs Béla Studio; from 1983 to 1995 he was a member of the editorial staff of Hungary’s leading film monthly, Filmvilág; he also worked at Hungarian Institute of Paris as a headmaster and a cultural councilor (1995-1999); and at the National Audiovisual Archive as founder and director (2003-2009)
He is one of the founding chair of the Department of Film Studies at ELTE. He is the director of the Department and he also holds classes as a professor. He teaches film history of modern cinema, film analysis, film theory and the practice of writing scientific texts. He pursues research mainly in European arthouse films.
He is a member of the Hungarian National Film Fund’s decision making committee since 2011. He has an overall view on Hungary’s film industry, he reads more scripts every single week than we would think, so he has a lot of experience regarding written stories and their cinematizations.
At the beginning of the class he told us that he would be criticizing our works through the aspects he uses when he has to evaluate applications submitted to the Film Fund. He made no bones about our works. There are some of us who have been working on their screenplays for a longer time now, they use what they’ve learnt on the classes successfully (wrought characters, the flow of the dialogs), András Bálint Kovács also noticed these things. He gave very useful advice to everyone. Some of us really got in the swings of writing, some of us need more thinking about the story we would like to tell the audience. Which is not a problem, of course, as no one’s born a pro J.
Fortunately there was enough time to talk about everyone’s scripts, who wanted to hear a professional’s frank and judicious opinion. We are very lucky, because at the screenwriting class we have the chance to learn from experienced people, who also offer us their vocational opinions.
The next class’ guest lecturer is going to be the Academy Award winner István Szabó, who will be talking about the scenes of those students, who didn’t send in their scripts formerly. Those who made a significant change in their scripts after they heard András Kovács Bálint’s suggestions, will also have a chance to discuss their scenes with István Szabó.