Incubation 2.0 – Directing Animated Feature Film

Establish your directing workflows and team culture in real practice developing a scene for your project animated teaser.

March - September 2022
5 projects
11 weeks + online
intermediate to advance experience
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Closed call - Incubation in Progress

This incubation program has been running since 2021. We selected five projects from the initial incubation phase, STORY & ART LABS, and helped fund the production of their animated teasers using UNREAL ENGINE 5. Teasers will be finished by the end of 2023.

Five directors, each working further on animation feature films’ concepts, lead creative teams of scriptwriters, storyboarders, visual artists, animators, and Unreal Engine editors to produce animated teasers.


How it works

Designed for directors, screenwriters, board artists, and art directors to work hands-on with industry professionals as mentors on their skills and work processes to embrace the industry’s art of character-driven storytelling.

The series of development labs connected into a single program focuses on the essential experience of directing a sample scene based on an existing feature film treatment.

The residential labs work seamlessly as a unified program based on the teamwork of small groups of artists who gather around a director and the project to work on. Each team will be led by internationally recognized and experienced supervisors, including lectures and one-on-one consultations with the guest supervisor.

Before the residential labs, online lectures and homework with consultation with the mentor will take place via remote sessions. This is to ensure our mentor is familiar with your project and that you receive a series of questions and feedback before you join the lab. The homework also ensures everybody involved is on the same page before meeting in the lab.


Program includes

  • Three Storytelling labs by accomplished animation storytellers focusing on a) Synopsis consulting, b)  Writing Characters, c) Writing a Scene
  • Two Art labs by accomplished animation artists focusing on a) Character Design, b) World Building
  • One Storyboarding / Animatic lab by accomplished board artist and a director focusing on directing final storyboarding works.
  • Directing 3D artists when executing your concept art during production.
  • Professional supervision and consulting of your projects
  • Team collaboration with your colleagues and the mentor
  • Follow up online project consulting with a supervisor after the residential lab
  • Follow up feedback to an international expert panel (distributors, producers…)


On completion of the lab you will

  • develop the very heart of your story, characters, design and visualise key storytelling elements in a fully developed detailed and storyboarded scene,
  • enhance your team-development processes and workflow,
  • enhance your skills as storytellers and directors,
  • gain valuable guidance from professionals through screenplay writing, art direction, directing drama to final touch of what it takes to pass the art to animation production,
  • get a stamp of credibility for your project in the eyes of potential co-producers.



Writing synopsis

The first Story lab is a residential meeting with a professional screen writer, each director per a single day, to ensure the existing synopsis has all requirements to tell a story in 500 words. The session is collaborative and renders necessary planning of each director for the following intensive labs.

Writing characters

The intensive residential continuation of the Story lab with focus on writing characters, whom they are, what makes them tick, what’s their motivation, what’s their relationships, how do they collide. Prior to meeting in the residential lab, online lectures and consulting take place with a homework to ensure the preparation for the lab. Upon meeting in the lab, directors and writers write and act out their characters before the audience of their fellow participants each day to grow into the very mentalities through acting and drama. The goal is to learn to understand how essential is to know your characters in a character driven animated feature films. The participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with character design artists in creation of their characters in visual forms. The key to being a director of animation is to understand and utilise the very essence of the visual medium – the artists.

At a glance

  • Lenght: 4 weeks residential
  • Dates and place for Writing synopsis: 10.4. – 15.4.2022 in Prague
  • Dates for Writing Characters: 24.4. – 6.5. 2022 in Cesky Krumlov


Prior to the residential labs, online lectures and assigned homework consulted with the mentor will take place via remote sessions.

In the residential lab you will start with characters based upon your own project, and go through the process of exploring and developing their visual personalities, refining how they look individually and as an ensemble.

You will help you to explore, refine and ultimately enhance the unique flavours of your characters and how they will best support and reinforce the stories that they are telling.

You will learn to go beyond appealing designs to achieve results that are suitable for design in motion – animation. You will have the opportunity to experience preparation your designs for production and later directing a 3D artist.


Lab Includes

  • Character design and development of min of 2 key characters
  • Design and how-to design for animation as well as 3D production lectures by an accomplished animation professional
  • Lectures and one-on-one consultations with the guest supervisor
  • Professional supervision, consulting and art direction of your project
  • Team collaboration between your colleagues and the mentor as the most essential learning experience
  • gain valuable feedback from top design and animation artist


At a glance

  • Length: 2 weeks residential + 10 hours online
  • Date: 1.5. – 13.5.2022 in Cesky Krumlov


Prior to the residential labs, online lectures and assigned homework consulted with the mentor will take place via remote sessions.

You will take a chunk of your story, a scene, which is scripted in the Story labs, and touch upon all the same things they would do to create the design packages necessary for production: storyboards, prop designs, environment designs, FX design, shot plans.

At the end of the lab, you will have several art pieces showing your understanding of how to break down a portion of a film, and design all the elements necessary to be able to move into production. The preference is to structure the experience as a pre-production of a small part of a big feature film, where you get to experience designing all aspects of production (props, sets, environments, characters, FX, etc.)

In the first week, you will focus on designing key environment within your narrative. You will create some supplemental material that clearly shows your process and design choices. Everything from style and design, to props, graphics, staging, composition, lighting, and color will be discussed.

The focus during the second week will be on using one the design ideas to create complete piece which informs following 3D artists how to turn your vision into a production asset. At the end of the two weeks, you should have everything you need to finish an impressive pitch presentation of the project on your own.

Lab includes

  • develop images based on the concept prompts brought to the lab
  • create at least one pitch-ready portfolio image
  • discuss how designs will affect budgets and schedules, and how your designs will be used by other departments down the line in production.
  • enhance your visual art skills for storytelling
  • enhance your team-development processes and workflow
  • gain valuable feedback from top concept artist


At a glance

  • Length: 2 weeks residential + 10 hours online
  • Date: 22.8. – 2.9. 2022 in Cesky Krumlov


You will take the script, character and concept art from previous labs and bring all the works of your teammates into a single unified film experience in a format of a timed storyboard or animatic.

Collaborate with concept artists from the Concept Art lab to ensure your camera captures the shots in an environment consistently, use pose sheets from the Character Design lab to capture the very essence of the characters within the board compositions and story action. Learn to interpret script from writers and follow director’s notes. Work with a scratch voice over to give the final output life.

Lab includes

  • develop storyboards based on the concept prompts brought to the lab
  • create a full animatic or timed storyboard
  • discuss how camera, editing, composition influence the film language and emotional energy
  • enhance your visual storytelling skills
  • enhance your team-development processes and workflow
  • gain valuable feedback from top board artist
  • Length: 2 weeks residential + 40 hours online


At a glance

  • Length: 2 weeks residential + 10 hours online
  • Date: 28.8. – 9.9. 2022 in Cesky Krumlov

Who is it for

A film director with a team of writers, art directors, concept artists, storyboard artists and producer with projects of feature film.

Selection criteria

  • Presentation of the project
  • Your artists portfolios to demonstrate expertise and experience in the field of visual art
  • Motivational letter
  • Emphasis on career motivation and vision for a project and the artists
  • Own creative team
  • Teams of at least two per a lab will receive priority

Fees and funding


  • 3 500 EUR per participating artist in a selected lab

Price includes

  • Participation fee for residential and online
  • Accommodation

General conditions

  • Possibility to pay in instalments.
  • We advise participants to apply for scholarships for participation fees and/or travel costs in their countries, as many public film funding bodies are usually supporting such training costs.
  • The fee covers the fee of the course. The fee does NOT include board and travel.

Funding for Czech employees and freelancers

Czech Labour Office (Úřad práce) offers to cover up to 85% of the course fee within the so-called POVEZ II project (Support of Vocational Training for Employees II). See the details and conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

The fee of 30% off the course price applies when canceling 45 days before the start of the course into which one gets accepted.

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