What an experience! Where do I start? Reflecting back on the ten week BFI Film Academy course has made me realise just how many activities we did, how much I've learnt, and how many opportunities we were given. I could talk for hours about it!
Previous to the course, I had limited practical experience and range of skills but this changed from the moment we began. A number of master classes were held for us in a range of areas of filmmaking, which I found extremely beneficial, which included idea development and script writing with Michelle, camera skills with Carl Davies and a session with Philip Ilson on film festivals. One thing that was reiterated throughout the course was that the most important thing was finishing the course with heaps of experience and skills!
We were also given the opportunity to create a short film in our groups. The producers, Tom and Justine, allowed us to come up with an idea from scratch that we were passionate about and were always there to guide us along the way and provide us with tips that they've learnt in their career. Before our shoot, we completed a practice shoot of a scene from Silver Linings Playbook with two professional actors which allowed us to experience a range of roles involved, making us even more excited to film our own in a matter of weeks!
When we were assigned our roles I was thrilled to hear that my role was Assistant Director. Although initially the thought of controlling a large group of people seemed daunting at first, as well as making sure that the day ran smoothly and on schedule, the experience was really fun and will always stick with me. As well as the experience, we have also been given the opportunity to complete a Silver Arts Award with the help of Louise and Zoe, which is an added bonus and a great way to stand out amongst other applicants for any future training or jobs.
On top of everything else, lots of events were arranged for us. For example, a screening of The Artist - which I'd never seen before but absolutely loved, and a trip to Glasgow Youth Film Festival (my first experience of a film festival) where we attended a panel with industry professionals, a directing and acting masterclass with Tamar van den Dop and film screenings of Korso and For No Eyes Only. The course was concluded with a showcase of our films last week with the BFI groups from Cumbria and Manchester, which was yet another great opportunity to meet other like minded people.
Completing the course has prepared me for what to expect in the future, and I have been inspired to do a lot more filming outside of what I do in school (especially so I can put my new skills into practice!) and I am certain that in the future I want to work in the film industry and keep on learning. Where it will take me, I have no idea, but I know it'll be exciting.