Rafael Kapelinski at
Bucharest International Film Festival

The Story Spectrum:
A Different Way of Looking at Story Development and Fiction Directing

Practical Filmmaking Course


Course Tutor: Rafael Kapelinski (Crystal Bear at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival for Butterfly Kisses)
Number of participants: 20  |  Duration of activities: 8 hours in total
The masterclass will be held in English.

This course is suited for anyone with some prior experience of filmmaking, including screenwriters and actors, who want to explore the possibilities inherent in dramatic storytelling. Covering every aspect of directing, from preparation to shooting and post-production, the course features a variety of camera and directing exercises and it offers the opportunity to work with your own choice of material. The course also includes presentations designed to help you understand how a wide range of existing scenes have been directed, with examples from international and mainstream cinema.

Learning Outcomes
You will develop a strong understanding of a director’s responsibilities, and experiment with several techniques to help you relate intention to practice.
Also, you will gain the ability to direct and shoot an effective dramatic scene with professional actors under extremely low budget conditions.

DAY ONE (SATURDAY, September 4th, 2021)
11:00am – 12:30pm:

Introduction to The Short Story Spectrum Framework: Poets versus Engineers
12:45am – 14:00pm:

Developing a Dramatic Story: The Story Spectrum Four-Step Process.
Ten Minutes That Changed My Life Exercise
15:00pm – 17:00pm:

Ten Minutes That Changed My Life Exercise Continued
Structuring a Dramatic Scene and Moving A Story Along The Spectrum
Homework: Five Picture Game
Learning objectives:

The Story Spectrum allows the students to understand different approaches to story development in cinema. The students will be able to identify their own filmmaking style against the backdrop of the increasingly complex film industry. Also, the students should be able to understand the basics of economic storytelling that include time compression and identifying turning points.
DAY TWO (SUNDAY, September 5th, 2021)
MORNING: The Story Spectrum Framework

11:00am – 12:30pm:

Review of The Five Picture Game
Four Directing Skills
12:45pm – 14:00pm:

Directing for Internal Monologue
Photographing Thought
Q & A
Learning objectives:

The students should be able to apply an optimal point of view in telling a cinematic story. Also, they should understand the concept of narrative forward movement and how to achieve it.

RAFAEL KAPELINSKI –  www.rafaelkapelinski.com 

Rafael is a London-based, award-winning writer/director, media lecturer, screenplay development and new media technology consultant. A graduate of the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, The London Film School, and the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw, he has created some of the most distinctive short and feature films that have won over twenty-five international awards at top-tier festivals such as Cannes, Oberhausen, Austin, New Horizons and Brest. His feature debut Butterfly Kisses (BBC Films/Film London/Microwave/Blue Shadows Films) won the Crystal Bear at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival and consequently, Rafael was long listed for the British Independent Film Award for Directing. His feature project Up on the Roof won Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Cinefondation Residence Award. His short To Bury the Horse was a finalist in the 2011 Bosh Stiftung Competition. He also worked as script supervisor on Nina Gantz’s BAFTA-winning short animation Edmond (over fifty other international awards). In March 2021 he finished his psychological feature drama titled A Woman at Night produced by Paradox Films (UK) and Haven of Peace (USA). At present he is in pre-production with a feature-length drama Budapest Diaries. He has taught fiction directing and story development at the London Film School, The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and the Krzysztof Kieslowski Film School in Katowice. He is the author of The Story Spectrum: www.thestoryspectrum.com.

Suggested Reading Material:

BROWN Blain: Cinematography (Focal Press 2002)
CAMPBEL Joseph: The Hero with a Thousand Faces (Princeton University Press 1973)
EGRI Lajos: The Art of Dramatic Writing (Simon and Schuster 2003)
MACKENDRICK Alexander: On Filmmaking (Faber and Faber 2006)
MURCH Walter: In the Blink of an Eye (Silman James Press 2001)
ONDAATJE Michael: The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film (Alfred A. Knopf 2004)
REISZ KAREL: The Techniques of Film Editing (Focal Press 1968)
RUSSELL Ken: Directing Film (BT Batsford 2000)


Bucharest International Film Festival invites students and young professionals – directors, screenwriters, and actors to apply for this unique chance to discuss their stories and ideas with an international top guest. The masterclass will be free of charge to selected participants.

You will need to provide until August 25th, 2021, sending to mirona@biff.com.ro:

  • A biography (max. 3000 characters) outlining your professional experience and achievements, including filmography;
  • Reasons why you would like to be part of Rafael Kapelinski’s masterclass in a one-minute self-tape.

Selected participants will be notified by August 31st, 2021, at the latest.
For more information, do not hesitate to contact us: mirona@biff.com.ro |  +40726.694.435