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ACTING    WRITING    PRODUCING    FILM    TV    SOCIAL MEDIA

COURSE DETAILS

Welcome to Catalyst! Do You Have Stories to Tell?

Storytelling is our global currency. It's how we learn, connect, inspire, and shape our world. Catalyst aims to provide storytellers with the knowledge and opportunities they need to create and share their stories.

 

Our Story Institute program is a step-by-step pathway of meetings, classes, workshops, festivals, and social events designed to develop your story producing skills, showcase your work, advance your career opportunities, and grow your professional network. Previous students have gained jobs, signed with agents, sold projects, and made career partnerships. Catalyst is where relationships are made.

Who Can Register?

All creators, writers, directors, actors & producers. No previous experience is required. Ages 17 and older are welcome to attend our professional classes shown below. For ages 9-17, please visit our Youth Camp page here.

Institute Registration Includes:​

  • Access to in-person classes & events in Tirana, Albania

  • Access to our virtual library of over 100+ educational seminars & virtual events from the United States

  • A general meeting with our industry team to discuss your career path, goals & projects

  • Your career profile & project info listed in our content database for global industry executives to discover

  • Potential inclusion in our production lab program where a teams of Albanian storytellers will produce projects to be screened at events and festivals in Albania and the United States

​​

Types of Courses 

​Catalyst is not a traditional film school. Our courses focus on practical production knowledge and career experience. We currently offer three types of in-person courses in Tirana: acting, writing, and producing. Each course has 8 classes on a rotating schedule. Each class is 2 hours in length (so 16 hours total for an entire course). You can choose to do 1 course, 2 courses or all 3 courses. More details below.

The Class Teachers

​Catalyst teachers are industry professionals from the United States who each have over 20+ years of experience working for major networks such as HBO and Netflix, as well as smaller independent projects and social media content. All teachers will be present in-person in Tirana.

Cost

  • $25 for 1 person to attend 1 class ($100 to attend 4 classes, $200 for 8 classes, etc.)

  • A limited amount of scholarships are available by request. Click here to submit your request.

  • Each class is 2 hours in length

  • You do not need to pre-select which class you want to attend when you buy a class ticket

  • You can buy class tickets online or in-person at the door

Location

In-person classes are held at Destil in Tirana. Each class holds a maximum of 40 students.

Scholarships

​Scholarships are available on a limited basis to those who can demonstrate a financial need. To request a scholarship review meeting, please fill out the scholarship request form here.

Class Topics

The following topics will be covered:

ACTING

 

  • Practical acting (how to take direction, the craft, how to read and prepare for your role – how to study the script)

  • Auditions (virtual, in person, getting accepted to audition, where to find, know your role)

  • Working with Directors / How to take direction

  • TV vs film vs theatre acting

  • Acting for social media

  • How to breakdown a scene and determine the character arc

  • When and when not to improvise

  • Creating a backstory

  • Finding your personal sense of self in your craft

  • Where acting fits in the bigger picture of the industry process

  • Voice and movement exercises

  • Emotional grounding & trust of your craft

  • How to listen in a scene

  • Cold reading

PRODUCTION

  • Working with Agents, Managers & Lawyers

  • Budgeting for production, contract basics, IP & fiscal responsibility

  • Working with Guild & Unions

  • The differences between Studios vs Networks

  • How to collaborate with creatives

  • How to tell a director how to shoot it without telling a director how to shoot it

  • Line producers make the world go round; everyone needs to understand what this role does and how what they do will relate to this role

  • Production overview (walkthrough of all jobs on a production)

  • Storytelling 101

  • Producing short form and social media content

  • The set versus the production office (how to run both, chain of command, how to make the tough decisions, delegation, etc.)

  • How TV Really Works

  • Pitch decks

  • Showrunning

  • How to raise money

WELLNESS

  • How to maintain a healthy creative lifestyle balance (discipline, schedule, rent, etc.)

  • Dealing with harassment (long hours, food on set, sexual, emotional, etc.)

  • How to critique/give feedback

  • Professional development (expectations, behavior on set, maintaining connections, marketing yourself, how to say no to people [knowing when the answer is no and how to make as few people hate you as possible])

  • How to deal with social media content and feedback
  • What notes are, how to interpret them & how to deal with feelings of being attacked emotionally

  • Your support team (manager, agent, etc.) and tips how to grow your career

WRITING

  • Attention to detail in writing your story

  • Breakdown scenes in a film & breaking a series

  • Character development

  • How to “kill the baby” & letting go of ideas

  • What are loglines and how to make one

  • How to write short form and social media content

  • Script coverage

  • Script formatting

  • Pitch decks & summaries

  • The basic structure of storytelling

  • The process of story drafts (what to do with them? action lines, silent movie, visuals, dialogues, character breakout, etc.)

  • Tricks for breaking through writers block

  • What an assistant director does with your script

  • What happens to your script after you're doing writing it. How does it end up on screen?

  • How to begin your story notes and script

  • Agents, managers & lawyers

  • How to sell your script

Film Clapboard

SCHEDULE

July 2024
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course-schedule

SCHEDULE BY COURSE

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ACTING

WRITING

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PRODUCING

CLASS CHECK-IN

Documentary

OUR TEAM

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Pamela Cederquist

Pamela is a multitalented writer/director who has written for Mindhunter (Netflix) and been an assistant director on Law & Order (NBC), among many other projects in her 50+ year career.

Skilled in theatre, film production, and television, Pamela graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film in New York & studied at Polakov School of Design.

She now loves living in Tirana and is excited to work with Albania's upcoming generation of TV and film storytellers.

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Migi Jaku

Migi Jaku is a distinguished Albanian director and producer in Tirana, Albania. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and Television from the University of Arts in Tirana.

Migi’s work delves into themes of cultural identity, memory, diversity, and self-expression, reflecting her deep commitment to storytelling that resonates with a broad audience. Her extensive experience includes serving as a First Assistant Director and Production Manager on numerous projects across Albania and Kosovo.

In 2022, Migi produced and directed her debut short film, "Everyone is Invited." Currently, she is working on her upcoming short film, "E-Albania."

 

Additionally, she has been selected to develop her future documentary, "The Last Women," at the Varan Verité workshop, which will take place between Mostar and Tirana in 2024.

Migi remains an active and influential figure in the film industry in Albania and Kosovo, continuously contributing to its growth and evolution.

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Lidion Kulla

Lidion Kulla is a journalist, author, and anchor man at Scan TV in Albania. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, he has built a reputation for insightful reporting, compelling storytelling, and authoritative anchoring. His work reflects a deep commitment to delivering accurate and engaging content to his audience.

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Philip Gilpin, Jr.

Born in Boston, MA, Philip started his 20+ year creative career exploring theatre & film while earning his BS in Physics and Mathematics at Boston College.

 

Philip moved to Los Angeles and learned the inner workings of the industry as a business affairs analyst at HBO where he worked with on major series including “The Sopranos”, “Sex and the City”, and “The Wire”.

 

Philip has also served on the Board of Governors of the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences. 

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