So Elly, why did you apply for the BFI Film Academy at FACT?


I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet new people who are passionate about film just like I am, and I also knew that the Academy would allow me to learn from industry professionals and develop skills that are vital to be successful in the film industry.


What was your favourite part of the experience?


The whole experience was fantastic - we were able to go through the whole process of making a short film from the development right through to the edit. The most enjoyable part of the process was definitely the two filming days for me; we were all able to get stuck in to our roles and experience what it's like to be on a working set. Overall though, my favourite part of the experience had to be meeting everybody involved, whether that was getting industry advice from professionals or making friends with everybody who was part of the academy.


Did you learn any useful skills during this process?


During the whole academy I was able to develop key skills whether they were technical skills like how to use a camera and boom mic, or personal and teamwork skills such as leadership and organisation. I think one of the most important things I learnt though, was how important it is that everybody on your team is focused - if one person isn't listening to an instruction or is talking then the whole shoot could fall behind and of course in the film industry time is money!


Have you had the chance to work on any other film projects since?


Following the programme at FACT, I was fortunate enough to be one of 66 young people from across the country out of over 300 applicants who were part of the BFI Film Academy at the National Film and Television School (NFTS) this year. Here I was able to take part in masterclasses from the likes of Steven Moffat and Noel Clarke, as well as taking on the role of producer for the short film our group made titled The Last Birthday. This film has made it to festivals across the globe including those in America and the Portabello Film Festival in London in September. This is something I couldn't have done without being a part of the Academy here at FACT.


As well as this, as part of my Film Studies A-level which I got a grade A in this year I was able to independently complete my own short film Step Out which I filmed in Liverpool and was well received. I have also gotten involved in some other film projects and taken on some work experience at companies such as Liverpool Live TV.


That all sounds great! So are you still thinking about pursuing a career in film? 


Of course! I am always putting myself out there and looking for ways to get myself involved in the industry. Over the summer I was working at a local independent cinema which has been a great way of seeing the other side of the film industry and what other careers are available. Then in September I moved to London in order to study Film Theory and Production at university, which is a really exciting experience!


What would you say to anyone who's interested in getting involved next time?


To give it a go! You may not think you would enjoy editing but you might really enjoy it - you'll never know unless you get involved with it and that's the same with any aspect of the film industry! There is a pathway for everyone! If you're willing to give things a go it will not only broaden your horizons but it will look really impressive and you're more likely to progress through the industry. For example until the BFI Film Academy I didn't know what a producer really did but now this is a role I would like to pursue in he future!


Applications for this year's BFI Film Academy are now closed, but keep a look out on the FACT website for more filmmaking opportunities.