Why did you apply for the BFI Film Academy at FACT?
I wanted to learn more about the film industry and what it took to actually make a professional short film. I also wanted to meet new people that had a similar interest in film, just like me! I can now use it for my CV, and potential employers can see that I have a genuine applied interest in making films.
What was your favourite part of the experience?
I loved filming days. We had two days of intense filming in between pre production and post production and in those two days we got to go out on location and film what we had been planning - it was amazing to see our hard work finally in motion. What I also loved about the filming days is how nothing is set in stone; we had the opportunity to film other things as well as what we planned so we had freedom to explore new paths.
What kind of things did you learn?
I learnt many new skills, some of which have helped me with my filming outside of the BFI. The main thing that I learned is one of the most important things in filmmaking; I underestimated how crucial sound is to filmmaking, learnt not how to use a boom and also how to edit the sound and sync it up with the motion image. If the sound isn’t right then the whole film is off balance and wont be enjoyable to watch for the audience.
I also learnt that ‘time is of the essence’ when filming as each scene can take three or four attempts with different shots and angles so the assistant director is very important to make sure that you don’t spend hours on one scene when you should really be filming the next shot.
Have you worked on any other film projects since then?
I have worked on lots of different filming projects since the BFI Academy at FACT. I have recently made a short film called The Goal of Perfection which is about a young girl who is looking for perfection until she receives a letter from her mother, which guides her back in the right direction.
My short film was done for my final year Media Studies project and was a lot of fun to do. It was the first short film I had done on my own; I was the writer, director, editor and cinematographer and had full control of what happened within the story. I put my short film up on an indie film website and it was number one in the charts for two consecutive weeks and still, seven months on from the release, is floating around in the charts, currently in fourth!
I have also been a part of the BFI Documentary Residential in London. This is a nine day course, for 40 young filmmakers to create five unique documentaries. I was the Producer for our ten minute documentary on arranged marriages. In addition to making the documentary, we attended numerous master-classes, workshops and meetings with top film companies and professionals (I actually held an Oscar!).
Are you still thinking about pursuing a career in film?
I am still very passionate about pursuing a career in film, and am constantly looking for things to get myself involved with. I have just finished college with brilliant grades and am going to take a gap year and spend it being involved with creative arts. After being involved with film for over two years I am hoping to move onto trying theatre opportunities as I have had experience in music videos, documentaries and short films, and I am hoping to try something new this year. If anything, the BFI programme has made be want to succeed in this industry more.
What would you say to anyone thinking about applying this year?
Get involved! People recognise people who have a true passion for something and who are willing to go the extra mile to get it. I am so grateful for my opportunity to be involved with the BFI Academy and have learnt so much about what it takes to make it. I was fortunate enough to get my dream role while on the BFI porgramme as not only the scriptwriter but as the Director, and I also met some really great people and industry leaders. Even if you’re not 100% sure what its all about, if you have an interest in film its worth getting involved.
Need any more inspiration to get your application in? Click here for more information and to download the form (deadline for applications: 25 September)