How to get the most of film school with BA student Christian Stallard
By Elise Czyzowska
13 January 2023
During his BA Content, Media & Film Production degree at MetFilm School London, Christian Stallard began sharing his experience of the course on LinkedIn – mainly as a way of keeping his family in the loop with what he was learning.
However, from projects he’s worked on (including as Solo Camera Operator on the short film Truth or Dare), to the different on-set roles he’s been able to try out during workshops and classes, Christian’s posts do more than just update his family members. They also provide a helpful look into the many ways that film students can push themselves and grow as creatives during their studies.
In today’s blog, then, we’re handing over to Christian Stallard, who’s sharing his three tips on getting the most out of your time at film school…
Network, network, network
At film school, we’re in a unique position compared to a lot of other universities, because of how much our time off can contribute to our studies. From working on my own projects, to helping friends with their own, I’ve had the opportunity to find my unique filmmaking style – and to bring this into my academic projects.
Getting involved with as many projects as possible also means I’ve been able to network, and to build a community of creatives whose work I admire, and who I can trust to work on my own projects in the future.
Every opportunity – from production shoots, to classes, to masterclasses with guest speakers, is a chance to make a new friend and connection, and this is my first tip on making the most out of your time at film school: use your time here as an opportunity to network, meet likeminded people, and build your creative portfolio.
Master your equipment
For me, film school has been the first time that I’ve had access to professional, expensive filmmaking equipment – and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Due to the demand for his equipment, you might not have the opportunity to use it for long in class (after all, everybody wants their turn), but if you have an idea for a project, and fill in the necessary paperwork, you can also rent the kit for your own shoots.
These personal projects outside of the classroom are where you can really find your own style, and where you can begin to understand how your equipment helps to achieve your vision. That’s why my second tip is to make the most of the equipment at your disposal.
Plus, mastering this kit is a great asset on your CV, as well as a huge help when working on professional sets in the future!
Value your ideas
Having a portfolio is key, of course, but by this, I don’t just mean a portfolio of content that you’ve made. I also mean a portfolio of ideas yet to be created.
A good piece of advice that I was given is to ‘explore every idea you have’. Every time I have an idea that I think has legs, I make sure to at least write a PowerPoint pitch further exploring and elaborating on the concept. This way, should I meet someone in the industry, I already have a plethora of ideas to share with them.
Through this portfolio, future collaborators can also understand the work you’ve done, as well as how you go about it. For that reason, my third and final piece of advice is to explore your ideas, and to value them for what they are – special.
A final word from Christian Stallard…
Film school is an amazing opportunity to meet people with similar goals and ambitions to yourself. It gives you the perfect foundation for future success – so long as you make the most of the many opportunities afforded to you. Trust me – it’ll be worth it.
- Christian Stallard studies on our BA Content, Media & Film Production degree in London. This course is also available in Leeds.
- The UCAS Application Deadline is fast approaching – be sure to get your applications in by Wednesday 25 January!