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2024
Jun
08
MetFilm School London Undergraduate Open Day

Metfilm School

More than just a degree with Midnight Adams

By Elise Czyzowska

09 January 2024

Speaking about her time on BA Practical Filmmaking (Three Years), London student Midnight Adams highlighted the variety of the course. ‘Having knowledge of each department helps me to communicate with them’, she explained, ‘I think knowing a bit of everything is the key to appreciating everyone, and understanding how hard the whole team works’.

Now in her final year of her degree, Midnight Adams is preparing for her final Graduation Project. Having discovered a passion for producing, and becoming known as a ‘Kit Room Regular’, she has used every minute of her degree to grow and advance as a filmmaker, and in today’s blog, she’s giving YOU an insight into her time on the course…

On BA Practical Filmmaking, you get the chance to explore a number of roles – where do you feel most comfortable?

What I’ve really liked about the degree is that I had so much time over the first year to get to know everything. I spent most of that time gaffing – which has given me a lot of respect for the lighting team! – and then at the start of this year, I moved first into casting, and then producing.

The more I worked in producing, the more I just felt comfortable and happy in the role. As always, it takes a lot of practice, and after every project I like to sit myself down and sort through what went well, and what didn’t.

At this stage, I think being able to self-reflect and criticise yourself is the fastest way of improving. I have so many examples of times when I’ve messed up – but better at university than on a £60 million feature!

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Do you have a favourite short that you’ve produced so far?

When I first started producing, there was a lot of me saying ‘no’ to crazy suggestions – but the more confidence you have, and the more practice, you begin to realise that what was impossible is actually just a few extra boxes on a risk assessment. Believing in a project is key.

If I had to pick a favourite…. My first music video, Insaan, was the first time I really felt like ‘oh, I can do this’.

We were shooting in four different locations across two days, and I had a crew of over 25, plus the actors, and another 20 or so extras. Basically, it was a logistical nightmare. But that’s also when I realised how much fun producing can be; you’re given this tangled knot, and you have to unravel it into something that makes sense.

I have no idea how we pulled it off, but it looks epic. There’s not a single moment which isn’t gorgeous. I guess that’s when I realised that this might actually be the job for me.

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Watch the music video for INSAAN, a Midnight Adams Production

What made you decide to study our Three-Year programme over the Two-Year option?

When I arrived at the School, I had only turned 18 a month prior, so I still felt like a bit of a kid. I think the three-year degree is good for people who are a bit younger – and who maybe have less of an idea of what exactly they want to do.

For me, it gave me the amazing opportunity to undertake internships and build industry connections, both within the School and beyond. I’ve now interned at four companies, and each one has been so enlightening in its own way.

It also gives you a chance to hop on more projects and, for me, it even let me produce two of last years’ Graduation Projects – so now I know how the whole process works, and will be super prepared for my own! I’d definitely recommend this to anyone on the three-year programme.

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Can you share a little about how you’ve approached networking at MetFilm School?

I think that the network I have built has become my most valuable asset from my time at MetFilm School.

My first recommendation to anyone would be to find a good producer – and make friends with them – because once you prove yourself to them, you will never be out of jobs. I know exactly who I want to prioritise now for every role – especially when it comes to paid gigs.

I’ve been working a lot more over the past few months on paid jobs in the industry, and it’s been amazing, because for the first time I’ve been able to turn to my Production Designer or DOP and say, ‘hey, can you do a paid job for me?’. They’re so professional, so of course I’ll bring them back time and time again.

I actually have an excel spreadsheet of half the people from the School, with what they do, their daily rates, contact details… That way, I always know who to call.

I’d definitely work with these people again. In fact, my writer for my Graduation Project is a MA Screenwriting Graduate, Luke Norton, who I’ve worked with on at least eight projects over the last year!

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Behind the scenes with Midnight Adams

Speaking of your Graduation Project… what have you got in the works so far?

As with everything, I’ve ended up super prepared! We started development over the summer, and just recently had the first draft of the script.

We also launched our crowdfunding campaign on Greenlit (a platform I highly recommend!). What has been great about this is that it’s really given everyone the time to understand the story and create the world. We’ve been able to really support the writer to explore different channels and elements of the world we’re creating.

I’ve also managed to save quite a bit of money from my part-time job, and we’re hoping to crowdfund another £5k, which will give us a lot to play with. Of course, everything is up in the air – we’ve been talking about private screenings, renting a mosque… anything is possible right now!

In terms of the story itself… It’s something really close to my heart. I don’t often make films that come from me and my creative ideas, but this one is. I suppose it’s my version of a love letter…

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And finally, what advice would you offer to anyone preparing to join film school?

Make friends! And not just in your year – reach out to MA students, other BA students, graduates, everyone! My door is always open – and I love when people reach out just to enquire about things. I had an exchange student who’s just arrived in London reach out recently, asking about finding on-set work. It was totally unexpected, but suddenly I have a new connection.

Also, take up some hobbies outside of film! This industry is so all-encompassing, and it gets really exhausting, and fast. For me, I do running and weightlifting, and when I need an escape, I go travelling for a week or two.

These things keep me grounded, and stops me from just working all day every day. I’ve seen people who never leave the sphere of film – I guess it’s their passion, but I do think it’s healthier in the long term to have a hobby where you can meet other people and not be talking about risk assessments and scheduling all day long!