Tag Archives: york st john

Third Year! – Blog Post

Hello ūüôā

I’m back on the blog after an incredible Summer and am well and truly settled into my last year of university. The pressure’s high but I think I’m enjoying that really. There’s so much work but it’s modules I’ve chosen or a dissertation I’m choosing to write so I’m way more focused. And knowing it’s the last year helps a lot too.

My dissertation is about the impact of the 80’s Brat Pack teen movies and John’s Hughes on modern cinema. Handed in my proposal for it last week so should be getting feedback on that tomorrow. Hope that they think it’s a good idea.

The Breakfast Club

We’re also working on a film at the same time, which should be finished before Christmas. I’ve got the role of editor for this one, excited to try editing a fiction piece for the first time. I have had some success editing docs (Multiple Lives is up for an RTS student award, which is exciting!) but I’ve never been the main editor for fiction. We’re pretty early on in the process, but our film is about an old couple and how they deal with the wife having to be put into a home. The two of them used to bond over watching old romantic movies and this link allows them to feel like they are still together. If we get good actors for this, it’s gonna be emotional.

I’m in charge of the online support for the film so I’ll be making up a website for it as soon as we have a title sorted, so please look out for that soon. There’ll be a twitter and a facebook too, so follow and like away as soon as you can and help support us.

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My first short film – The House

It could have done with a little bit longer in the sound edit, but we had a tight university deadline. Let me know what you think, and if you like it subscribe to my channel for upcoming films, including the mind-reading documentary ‘Behind The Illusion.’

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Back on the blog.

Hello, unfortunately not had chance to update this blog in quite a while. I have once again been crazy busy.

Anyways, what I’m up to at this point is updating my CV. We had a guest speaker today and I do feel really motivated, and also slightly terrified. I did enjoy the realistic yet optimistic attitude though. I completely believe you can get somewhere in this industry if you put in the work, same as anything really. But yes, re-drafting my CV and hopefully get it sent out so I can try and get some work experience in 2012.

Update on my projects..

– My first film The House wrapped last week! We are currently finishing off editing, just the music to sort out now. So sad that there’s so much music I would like to use, but darn copywright laws. Ah well, there’s actually good stuff on royalty-free websites, you just have to drift through the hilariously bad stuff to get to it. All going well I will be able to have it up online by the end of the week, would love to get feedback on it.

The shoot went pretty well, although unfortunately our producer didn’t manage to secure locations that we needed so we needed to make some last minute changes to the script/structure. Ah well, it still looks good. Although I do think it was obvious that the script that was written was meant to be much longer. Our uni is making us limit the film to 7 minutes, although this film could probably do with about 10 to 12. But there’s nothing we can do about that, just go tot make it the best it can be.

Working with actors… I was really quite nervous as it was my first time working with actual actors and they were both so great, they made it so easy. They were also impressive actors and responsive to my directions, which is great. It was interesting to see how the guy who plays our main character Ben, Nathan Unthank, dealt with his first screen performance. It’s so different from the stage, where most of his work has been so far, so much more repetitive than anyone ever expects. But he dealt with it fantastically.

– My next project, the documentary about illusionist Chris Rawlins, got comissioned and begins filming the week after next! It has a name now… Behind The Illusion. Just sorting out filming dates and still coming up with ideas for that, very excited. I’m directing again, I must have some sort of addiction to stress and lack of sleep. I absolutely loved directed The House, but I can’t lie and say it wasn’t stressful. This should be much more relaxed. I’m very excited for the interviews, as I’m genuinely interested in finding out how somebody learns the art of mentalism (the real word for it.) I’m also excited about some creative ideas we have brewing for it, and I have a team who seems committed to making it look really great while I concentrate on the content. I wonder if anyone else has taken on directing the documentary AND the film… Hmmm…

Apart from that, we have lots of assignments in soon. An essay on the film adaptation of Dicken’ Great Expectations as well as creating an online collection of documents and stuff about ‘The House.’ Also I have an idea for a film brewing, so I’m going to write a treatment and send it to my screenwriting tutor and see what he thinks. Then I make an attempt at my first solo script, eek.

Sorry this post is really text heavy, I’m just so tired and really wanted to get this out there! I won’t go this long again, I swear. Stay tuned for ‘The House.’ ūüôā

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University film courses in the UK?

As I mentioned earlier, one of my inspirations for starting this blog was being at one of the 4Talent open days (which you should look at if you are an aspiring young media… person? They have great open days that can link you to work experience placements and inspiration events, as well as longer internships) and when I was there, I met a young girl who was asking the speaker what sort of Film course you should be aiming for if you want to learn the tricks of the film trade. I mouthed to her that I could give her some answers and afterwards I told her all about my own course at York St John, and I¬†realized¬†just how lucky I actually am.

It also reminded me of when I was looking for a university course. There was even a time when I didn’t even know you could do a course like this. There are many different names for this kind of course, and you might not think yours is the right one. For example, my course is Film and TV Production, but it most definitely is not just a production course, which, for me, makes it sound like something that churns out camera¬†operators¬†etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not what I was looking for. And I assume that people who are willing to take a risk with taking this kind of course, want to aim high. You have to if you want to get ahead.

So, I’m going to make a sort of checklist for any young people about what they should be looking for in a film course. My course is definitely not perfect and could do with a huge boost in¬†organisation¬†between some of the lecturers, but aside from that it definitely has all of these vital aspects:

  • Get practical – We all want to get our hands on some really cool equipment. And that is important. If you get to an open day and you’re not being shown the equipment that they use, get out of there. The equipment needs to be a focus of the course, not just an odd novelty. I strongly believe one of the best ways to learn is through experience (and making mistakes.) You need to be able to make projects. It also what is most likely to be drawing you to the course, so it’s lots of fun. Although it can be very, very stressful. But that’s the job! But once you know how to use a camera, how to set up a mic, a lighting kit, how to edit together something to a professional standard (we use Avid) then you have all the tools you need to go out there and start working on projects of your own
  • But theory is important too! – Ideally, the theory will compliment what you’re doing in the practical side of things. For us, we get a lecture and a workshop for each module (Screen-writing, Fiction and Documentary.) The workshops are held in TV Studios so there is the option to¬†practice, as well as having smaller group time with the tutors, which is always helpful, as they have lots of industry experience (ideally.) If you don’t know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, there’s no point. It’s great to look at a film and be able to work out why they make certain decisions. Film is an art form, it’s all about meaning. And to convey meaning, you have to learn about how. It obviously isn’t all thrilling if you’re not the most academic person, but it’s really hard to be wrong.
  • Be able to book out the equipment – On our course, we are able to book out the kit for our own projects. We have to get permission and go through loads of paperwork, but it’s worth it. There’s no better experience out there than arranging your own project and getting it done.
They’re pretty much the main three things that I think a good film course needs. I’ve met some people who have hardly ever used a camera. There’s nothing wrong with somebody deciding to go for all practical or all theoretical, but personally, I don’t see the point.
Hopefully this has been helpful to somebody looking for which UK film course to go for. Good luck! And don’t¬†hesitate¬†asking me any questions.
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What do I do?

So I’m still settling into my blog ūüôā

I’m just setting out the main structure of my blog, as I’m planning on keeping this up! I really don’t want this to be something I start and then don’t finish.

So you have the main blog here, then you have a little section about me where you can get in touch with me and find out a bit more. Then I have my projects, which is sort of my online CV. It will have my past projects up in full as well as details of what I did on them, and tell you what projects I’m currently working on, which I’ll be talking about in much more detail here. So yeah, take a look at what I did last year. There’s not too much that I’m putting up at this point. I will probably make some posts featuring some of the other projects where I can talk about where it went completely wrong! But the two that are on there are two that I’m proud of. One because it was the first project I completed and liked, and the second because I am just genuinely proud of what we achieved.

As for upcoming projects, that is what I am very excited about! My main focus is the short film that I am directing called The House. We shoot in one months time, which in film terms is nothing! I am feeling very prepared in terms of how I imagine the complete picture of the film, I’ve completed the shot lists and prepared some storyboards, but that doesn’t mean we’re in any place to shoot yet. It has been very difficult as we¬†received¬†our groups for this project at the end of last year, and have had to try and work on this project throughout the summer, with everybody spread out throughout the country… It doesn’t work that well. But we’ve done what we can, and from the sounds of it more than what a lot of other groups have done. But when I return to¬†university¬†tomorrow, we’re going to have to crack on! We need to find actors and make sure the locations we are thinking of are suitable. Then we have the scheduling, which isn’t the most fun but it isn’t until that’s done that I feel like it is really happening. Finding actors is also scary, as up to this point we have acted in each others projects. But this year is going to be a lot more professional (I hope.) I sort of see last year as a tutorial on the basics of everything.

Other thing’s I’m working on:

  • We have to put forwards ideas for a new documentary. My main idea involves following the life of young illusionist Chris Rawlins. I filmed some work for him during the summer, when he played the York Opera House, and he has agreed to be in the doc if it gets green lit. If they like my idea I’ll have to pitch in front of the whole year.
  • I was approached on twitter recently by the Hamilton Panthers football club to help make a short film to represent them. I haven’t heard from them in a couple of days, but it pays to be patient. I find this project very exciting as they approached me to do it. It really does show how social networking and branding actually does work, and is definitely one of the driving forces for me to create this blog. I love the idea of just instead of just a boring CV list, I can send them here and hopefully in time this will look more and more professional and involving. I like how people can get straight to the information they need, but read more if they are interested. And hopefully they will see by my¬†commitment¬†to this just how determined I am in everything I do.
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