On 12 June 2023, the master class kicked off with a discussion about short films that led to one participant's question: 'How do you get started?' This became the impetus for both the Master’s workshop and the Bachelor's workshop that followed. Using the opening scenes of 'Big Wednesday' and 'Blade Runner' as examples, the group talked about the importance of conflict as well as of lighting and production design in film storytelling. The students were then challenged to pitch an original idea for a scene of conflict with two characters that they could light and film in the style of 'Blade Runner'.
It took just one day in the master class for two of the ten participants to write a screenplay in collaboration with Elyusha about a difficult discussion between a professor and one of his students: In the age of AI and ChatGPT, who is copying what from whom? The next day, this script was filmed with two students in the leading roles, edited immediately afterwards and then turned over for a stimulating discussion in the group.
Micha Gress, who wrote the script for the short film together with Bernd Welte, said of the master class: ‘We all really enjoyed Kevin and Elyusha's workshop. In less than a week we created a short film and are extremely happy with the result. In addition, they gave us valuable advice for our own projects, told us about their experiences in Long Beach, and gave us fascinating insights into the Hollywood film world.’
Kevin O'Brien was also very pleased with the result, ‘Not only did the short film look good, but the content of the scene was also relevant to the current issues connected to the rise of ChatGPT in academia and around the world. From starting with “Where do we begin?” to a finished scene, we feel it truly showed how working collectively as a film crew can yield excellent results when people collaborate, share, listen and support one another.’