Making Movies in Tallinn

24 film students from Munich and Cologne arrived in the beginning of September to a beautifully warm and sunny Tallinn. This unusual weather made discovering the breathtaking Old Town, the harbor and the many Estonian parks and cafés even more fun. Additionally, the university welcomed us German students with a lot of activities and opportunities to get to know Estonia, like a very nice welcome party with amazing food, or Movie Nights, where you can get to know the local culture by watching Estonian films. Everyone here is very friendly and always willing to help us out – for example when we’re getting lost in the huge university buildings. We mostly spend our time in the BFM building, which is for media and film students, and even that is big enough to not find the right classroom at the first (or fifth) try.

The Old Town is simply beautiful. I’ve never seen such a light in any other city, the colors in the end of summer and beginning of fall is unique the whole world. For everyone who is not spending their semester abroad here, I would definitely recommend a trip in this time of the year.

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With our German lecturer Dirk Hoyer, the Macromedia students have gotten the chance to make a movie on an island called Prangli. We even made a trip to the island to get some inspiration script-wise. It was sunny, but a cold day when we arrived on the boat to get to the island – everyone was still tired and excited. When we got to the island, a small pick-up truck was already waiting for us. We all climbed on the back of the truck and began discovering the beautiful nature. There are 70 people living on Prangli in the Winter, but even though the island is so small, the forest, the beaches, and the ancient church were simply stunning. The island has many historic stories to offer, which include crashed airplanes and vodka-smuggling. After the trip, our writers were so inspired that the two stories for our movie will revolve around Prangli. Although those ideas will make filming very cold, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun and a great experience for all of us.

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Besides preparing for our movie, we enjoy the beautiful city, drink tons of hot coffee („Kehr Wieder“ has the best coffee so far, and the name speaks for itself), and try out new bars every weekend. Karaoke is pretty big in Estonia, but at least I was able to avoid public embarrassment until now. The Russian influence definitely left its mark on some buildings, but in the Old Town, you will mostly find colorful houses, Estonian markets and flower shops run by friendly old women. Now, with the cold winds arriving, it has gotten more uncomfortable to go out, but every trip to the inside of the town is worth it. There are only 400 000 people living here, but you will almost always see big groups of tourists walking through the city center. All of us live somewhere in the 15 minute walking ratio around the Old Town. Without the stormy weather, you can pretty much walk anywhere – but you have to be prepared to get cold. You can also travel to Helsinki in less than two hours with the ferry – a trip that I would absolutely recommend! It is pretty amazing to visit Finnland for a day, the city is lovely, and by the end of the day, you can come back to a much more affordable Tallinn! Living here is far less expensive than in Munich (but pretty much everything is), so this is definitely a benefit of studying in Estonia. So far, we’re not getting bored with this beautiful country – and if we are, there are always movies to make and trips to take.

(All photos are taken by our awesome Cameraman/Photographer Alexander Marcus Müller.)

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