Hey there, how are you today? 😊
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This post will consist of my thoughts and experiences during the 1st term back at University! I study Digital Film Production and I am currently in my second year. Side note – I shall warn you that my opinion regarding my course which you’ll read in this post is a little bitter as I personally feel it isn’t quite what I expected although I am persevering with it nonetheless to simply sustain my degree, now that that’s out the way lets crack on!
My first day back in October was insane, I turn up expecting half of my class to have left the course due to it not fulfilling their expectations and yet I was wrong, even more people had joined replacing the ones that had left. There are 180 (maybe more) people in my class… It’s a lot when you’re only used to about 30 at the max! Aside from this our first Unit was called ‘Creative Collaboration’ which meant that the Film course would also connect/work with the other courses that run within the University which consisted of: Music, Sound and Post Production. You can now imagine how packed out this room was right?? We all just about squeezed in as it was held in a huge hall/auditorium but for someone (like me) who gets extremely anxious in large sums of people – Oh god. Help…
Basically it was a scary first day back and we were all thrown into the deep end of a brand new unit where we met hundreds of new people right there and then, which was very challenging but I did it so yay! *Brownie Points* – From there I discovered that we would attend Uni 3 days a week, create 3 short films for the ‘Creative Collab’ unit but also that we had another unit called ‘Approach To Narrative Film’ aka Script Writing. The majority of the class was probably quite excited for this unit but if you’re someone like me and have never written a script or narrative before, oh boy oh boy are you in for a treat.
Lets break this down, shall we:
Unit 1 – Creative Collaboration; Music Video, Non-Dialogue Film, Documentary + Reflective Essay
We had 3 weeks to complete each film, during the overall 9 weeks we were meant to slowly write our Reflective Essay. After the first 3 weeks of making the Music Video we handed in the piece to fulfil that deadline thus the same with the second and third project although the third deadline included handing in the essay too.
Unit 2 – Approach To Narrative; 5-7 page script, 2-4 page scene + Analytical Report Essay
During those 9 weeks we were also meant to be writing our 5-7 page script and 2-4 page scene. Although we still had two extra weeks after our final film deadlines to thoroughly finish working on the ‘Approach To Narrative Film’ unit as well as begin and complete the Analytical Report Essay, which was handed in on our final day of term – 18th December.
Each of these modules count towards your final grade, although it doesn’t amount to the official degree grade as our work is only counted for in the third year – Basically first and second year is just a portfolio build up and you gain grades but they aren’t relevant to the final outcome. Considering my bitterness towards my course if you couldn’t already tell, I actually received really good grades for everything I created! Which I am very proud of just a shame it doesn’t count towards the degree. I have included the grades for my films below to give you a perspective of what film lecturers deem to be either satisfactory or substandard, although keep in mind that each project is meant to meet the required brief targets therefore if you neglect one your grade will instantly drop. For example, the “Non – Dialogue” piece wasn’t supposed to have a music track playing continuously through out the film, only 30 seconds at the start or end therefore our grade dropped slightly.
- The Music Video: https://vimeo.com/187894076 Grade: C
The first project back at Uni wasn’t too great, I wasn’t happy with the idea and the Director of the group (personally) didn’t take any other team members thoughts into consideration. I played the role of the Producer and have never had to take on so much unnecessary work for a simple student film before. I am not overly happy with the outcome of this final piece, I shall include the link for you all to see if you wish but don’t expect it to be like a typical music video as it was meant to be more of a artistic/concept piece… Just don’t judge to harshly haha!
- Non – Dialogue Film: https://vimeo.com/191438311 Grade: C+
For this short film I had a lovely crew and thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the Director, the brief was to create a narrative without dialogue which focus’s on the soundscape of the piece. I was the Producer for this film but as we only had a small crew so each of us had to take on multiple roles to get the job down, I ended up being Cinematographer for some parts and Editor for the most part but again working very closely with the Director so that I thoroughly understood the idea and look he was going for.
- Documentary: http://bit.ly/2fXWeYV Grade: B-
This was an interesting piece, I had a huge crew and they were all so lovely I had a lot of fun working on this film considering everything went pear-shaped! My role was Assistant Camera so for once I could sit back and relax, not having to organise everything. For our idea the documentary was simply going to be about photography and how a certain photographer started out and all the generic questions viewers would want to know answers to if they ever wanted to pursue a career in Photography themselves. The film crew turn up at the set location to begin shooting some scenes of the photographer taking snaps of our model, everyone is there including the model accept the main role – The Photography. Basically they never showed up and my team had to conjure up an idea right on the spot, we had a model therefore decided to make a Documentary about modelling! In the end I believe it turned out better than our original idea which I’m quite happy with as it was a quick improvisation.
- Reflective Essay
This essay was for us to reflect on everything we had learnt over the passed few months and demonstrate what we did, what went wrong, what went right and how we could apply this to the film industry (real world). I received an A- for this Essay, which I am ecstatic about!! 🎉😇
- 5-7 Page Script
Simply consisted of writing my own story but laying it out in script form to then be made into a film, the unit was designed to teach us how to write a script and learn the steps/process it takes. My idea was about “A young girl that seeks more from her everyday life when she stumbles across a foreign object which spirals her world into a fantasy realm that she never believed could truly exist.” I received a *Not Yet Received* grade for this piece.
- 2-4 Page Scene
The Scene is rather self explanatory, my course had to conjure up a single scene from a larger narrative script – Where it wouldn’t necessarily have an end or at least that is how I wrote mine I think there was an option of being able to create an entire short film. My idea was about “A girl searching for her brother across a beach at night, in the distance she sees a figure, a boy but it’s not her brother but does he know where her brother is?” I received a *Not Yet Received* grade for this piece.
- Analytical Report Essay
Final piece for the term was the Approach To Narrative essay, explaining that we understood what a narrative is, how it works, how to write one as well as narrative theories (history) but also explaining about our two scripts – What research we did to help us conjure up the ideas etc etc. fairly self explanatory. I received a *Not Yet Received* grade for this Essay.
To summarise my first term back at University , I wasn’t too keen on the start although I feel that maybe it was a tad overwhelming and I simply needed to let things settle down before jumping to conclusions, it’s been tough but we all got through it! If you are interested in starting University, this is an example of what it’s like in terms of modules, units and projects as well as the essays which you will probably always have to do no matter what Uni you attend.
I have most certainly blabbered on long enough, hope you’re all having a wonderful and beautiful day – Till next time, stay groovy ✌️
– Thank you for reading –