Since October 2013 I have been a participant in the BFI Film
Academy run by Eastside Educational Trust.
On this course I have been able to take part in master classes in
different aspects of film making taught by industry professionals
at various locations such as Three Mills Studios and the London
Film Sound School.
The aim of the course was to allow young people to experience
what is like working in the film industry and to do this they made
us create our own short films.
Sound & Foley at London Film Sound School.
I learnt about Audio Post, ADR, Sound FX and Design and
• We were taught about the history of sound in film and
found out that most of the sounds we hear in films are
actually re-recorded in post-production.
• We were able to experience what it is like using
equipment such as boom poles by recording a group of
people rehearsing a scene from a film.
• We got to try and re-create Foley sounds using props
from inside the studio for a short video sequence from
the BBC series ‘The Bible’.
Master classes cont.
Lighting and Cinematography at Three Mills Studios
This was really exciting as a lot of famous films have been made at the
studios, for example, Attack the Block, Fantastic Mr. Fox, iLL Manors and 28
Days Later. The studios were also the rehearsal grounds for the people
involved in ‘The London 2012 Olympic Games’.
We were tasked with filming a short piece in the studio which had to include
a list of shots from an establishing shot to an extreme close up.
Were then given a tutorial in cinematography and lighting by one of the
• We learnt about the risk that come with using lighting equipment and
were made to wear gloves because the lights get really hot really quickly.
• We took turns using the lights and cameras to set up a dramatic shot and
convey feeling and tension in the shot.
Master classes cont.
We went to Hackney Community College to do an editing class with a
member of the Eastside team named Morgan who is an experienced
Morgan first taught us some of the basics of Premier pro which was
good as it gave me a chance to brush up on my skills and then he went
into more advanced things like creating animated titles, I found this
very interesting and feel like I have a deeper knowledge of how to use
Premier Pro now.
We also got to mess round with some shots from Indiana Jones which
was fun for me as I haven’t seen the films so it was interesting trying to
edit scenes together even though I didn’t know which order they were
supposed to be in.
Not only did I get to take part in classes and learn a lot but I was also
given the opportunity to talk with professional film makers and
industry professionals for example independent film director Destiny
Destiny gave us a real insight into the industry and explained that one
of the hardest things about being a film maker is getting funding for
your film, especially if it is a feature length. She also told us that
getting your film seen once it is made is very hard as well. She told us
about her own personal experiences with one of her own films, Tight
Jeans, where she entered it into many film festivals only for it to be
rejected numerous times. She told us that at times like these not to
despair as an opportunity will always come a long and for her it did as
her film was selected to be shown at the BFI 52nd London Film Festival
in 2008 and it was also voted the best short film shown at the London
Film Festival by The Observer Newspaper.
Opportunities & Events
While on the course the mentors always provided us with information about
opportunities and events in film and media that we could get involved in. For
example the ‘We the People’s’ festival that took place at the BFI late last year.
A representative of the National Film and Television School (officially the world’s
best film school) came in to tell us about a residential they are having for 16-19
year olds in April. This residential will allow young people to learn about a
specialized craft and gain experience in it as well as provide networking
We were also told about a range of other residential courses happening around
England in different areas such as documentary, screen writing and this one in
animation and visual effects.
We also given this website called My First Job in Film which displays a range of job
opportunities for young people from work experience placements and internships
to permanent and part-time positions.
Range of Careers
The BFI Film Academy provided a lot of useful information about careers in film and
television and opened my eyes to diverse range of positions available. Aside from the
well-known roles such as directors, producers, editors, cameramen and the cast, there
are a variety of other necessary people involved in the production and post
production of a film for example,
• Technical Positions such as grips and riggers who make sure the camera and
recording equipment are all fit for use.
• Art department who design and create the sets and props for the film.
• Sound mixers and Foley artists who are responsible for how the music and
dialogue in the film sounds as well as creating sounds for the film from footsteps
to heads being smashed open.
• Post Production includes a range of positions. There are editors who are
responsible for making sure the narrative of the film is present through the
sequence of the film, visual effects artists and colour graders who are responsible
for the overall visual look of the film, they are the last people to touch the film