Annamarie in Prague

Annamarie is a junior and an SMU Distinguished Scholar who is spending spring 2012 in Prague, the Czech Republic. She is attending the CET Film Production program with SMU Abroad. She is looking forward to working with film students from all over the world at Prague’s highly competitive Film and Television School (FAMU).

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Keeping up


Annamarie in Prague
So it has been a few weeks since I last posted, but since then we have finally come into contact with cameras! Earlier this week we had a 3-day lighting seminar in which we were broken up into groups and given the chance to work on the set at the studio. We rotated roles as director, director of photography, camera operator, and actor, set up the lighting to create the correct atmosphere, and shot each scene on 16mm film. Because lighting is always the most challenging and time consuming aspect of setting up for each shot, it was good to get the chance to work with some equipment before shooting our films in April.

Pan (Mr.) Michael Gahut (middle), our camera technology professor, on the set of our lighting seminar

Other than classes and seminars, I have been getting the chance to get to know Prague now that it is (sort of) warming up here. The past few Saturdays some friends and I have gone to the outskirts of Prague to explore the flea market. Filtering through treasures at flea markets and thrift stores is one of my favorite past times so I love that I have been able to explore the Czech flea market scene. Although there is the usual assortment of people’s old dishes and broken cameras we purchased some quality items: 2 recorders (yes, the instrument everyone is forced to learn in the 3rd grade), neon mohawk wigs, a violin, an old 8mm camera, some Bono sunglasses, tennis rackets, and a glass with a picture of the Charles Bridge.

The flea market in East Prague

I like to think we have had some pretty great successes at the market. Besides flea-marketing we have spent time finding new restaurants and pubs, seeing movies at the theater, supporting one of our friends when he performs (sings/plays guitar) at a local bar, and trying to branch out of the neighborhoods around our apartments and near the school.

Prague castle at sunset

With a gym membership, an apartment, and a pretty solid understanding of the basic layout of the city, I continue to feel more and more like I am a resident here in Prague. Because of that, however, I have yet to do and see most of the “touristy” things the city has to offer. I have not been to any museums, seen the John Lennon wall, gone to the zoo, or explored the interior of the castle grounds, so my friends and I have planned to spend a weekend next month doing as many tourist-targeted activities as possible. I know my friends would question my decision making abilities if I came all the way to the Czech Republic and didn’t step foot near the castle. So a few weeks from now I will post all about those adventures :)

Old Town, one of the more tourist-filled areas, is known for the astronomical clock tower and the gorgeous building facades.

We continue to get busier and busier here, with scripts due next week, meetings with our production manager, and shooting next month the rest of the semester is going to fly by. I just hope I can keep up!!

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