Documentary Filmmaking Courses
8 June 2015

First Time At Film School: My Experience of the Two-Day Intensive Filmmaking Course

By Danny Kelly | Categorised in News

The thought of developing a new craft can be an exciting, yet daunting prospect. I myself come up with potential new hobby ideas on a regular basis, but often without the knowledge of how best to begin. Learning basic filmmaking skills from somewhere other then the Internet has always been on the list, which is why I was pleased to be enrolled on Met Film School’s Two Day Intensive Filmmaking course last month. Having been working here for four months now, this was a great opportunity to be on the receiving end of what the school offers, and to satisfy dormant creative urges.

The weekend itself is as every bit intensive as I had imagined. Over the two days participants are given a crash course in a widespread amount of skills, encapsulating basic theory, camera operating, sound, script engagement, scene and actor directing, time management and editing. To say it is a lot to take in would be an understatement, but in the company of likeminded novices, the experience is exciting, fascinating and positively challenging. It is certainly an eye opener to the filmmaking intricacies that we so naïvely take for granted when passing judgment on the media we consume.

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A scene set up for an OCD character who works within a contemporary office. The idyllic backdrop was a joke we developed to act as juxtoposition to our panicked and frantic protagonist. 

The structure of the programme is simple: day one is core theory, followed by the re-interpretation and filmed creation of an existing scene script, which you will then edit. Day two sees small groups collaborate with the end goal of creating a short film from a four-scene script. This is no easy task, and one that required good communication, an open mind, imagination, confidence in your ideas, decisive planning and a willingness to put a shift in all roles on the set.

Met Film School has been running this course for a long time and this is evident in the fine-tuned operation of the course. Four tutors separate across the entire group and each provide useful guidance, but at the same time give you a platform to experiment. This is perhaps one of the beauties of filmmaking: in making creative decisions there is not always a right or wrong way of doing things, the important thing is to test your ideas. This is an ethos that my group definitely exercised, and on the whole, we were happy with the results.

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Some fellow students colloborating on the editing process.

Over the weekend I tried to make a point of asking my fellow students what they found impressive about the course, and the general consensus amongst many was a positive response to the approachable tutors, the accessibility to part of Ealing Studios for shooting and the professional and flexible actors that are drafted in to star in your shoot.

If, like me, dipping a toe into the vast waters of filmmaking has been on your to-do-list for quite some time, I highly recommend looking into one of the regularly run courses. You won’t leave as Spielberg, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. My learning experience may just have been successful enough to warrant a sequel.

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