Life as a Film Student

Life as a film student began September 2013. As most Freshers or just students in general can agree, joining the collective class of “student”, moving home, making new friends and managing money is a scary one, but for me there was other pressures too. Joining the course meant it would be my first real connection to the film industry with professional, fancy equipment I’d never heard of, being around lecturers and tutors who were in fact industry professionals themselves and not forgetting socialising with your course mates who seem to know everything about everything already! This course was important and I had to make it work.

There was so much stress and so much anxiety in my first year! And for people experiencing the same thing: don’t worry, don’t panic it does get better.. Promise!

Here are a few tips, that I wish someone had given me when I went into first year:

Tip Number 1: Make Many Friends (on your course) and Network! This has two benefits as firstly they’ll be similar to you and from this you’ll make friends for life! Secondly, by making these friends for life it means you have a production team right there and contacts for the future!

I am very privileged to have such awesome course mates (3 of them now I actually live with and work with on university projects) and I have actually found people like myself who will let me ramble on and on about films without being told to shut up.

Tip Number 2: Work hard! This is sort of a given, but I know many students who don’t, particularly in first year. This isn’t a bad thing of course, but by working hard, this can open many doors for you later on!

For example, I am a nerd, I worked hard and got 71% (a first) in year one. Because of this I am part of 20 people in my year chosen for a BBC Broadcast Production programme and get to visit the BBC for industry practice. I was also asked by one of my lecturers to help him on a feature film. And I won a cool award that looks like an Oscar! But the important thing here being is that my group and I got recognition for our hard work and use that for future advantage.

Tip Number 3: Research and Extra Curricular! If you want to write screenplays, write! If you want to edit films, research software, get hold of it and edit! If you want to be a camera operator, get a camera and shoot! The list goes on! If you don’t know what you want to do yet, that’s OK too. Maybe start researching and try different things.. but the more clued up you are the easier it will be. As the saying goes: Practice makes perfect!

Tip Number 4: Make Films, Laugh and Have Fun! Of course the cheesy, frequently stated final tip is to have fun! Film making, no matter how stressful, should always be enjoyable!

I hope this helps (someday if anyone reads it)! Feel free to tweet/DM me on Twitter on @MarthaShaw17 for any advice/questions anyone may have!

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