Yes you Cannes: four weeks to filmmaker
The credits have rolled at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with Swedish film The Square winning the Palme d’Or. The Short Film Palme D’Or went to Chinese film A Gentle Night and the top production from a film school student was Paul Is Here by Valentina Maurel from INSAS, Belgium.
The latter prize shows that film students can make a mark on events as prestigious as Cannes while they are still at film school. Good filmmaking is good filmmaking, whatever the director’s background, credentials and budget.
So where does one start out on the path to becoming a filmmaker? Of course there are long-format courses of a year or more, fully-fledged degree programmes and master’s degrees. But what about something shorter to give you a taste, and, crucially, find out whether you have talent for it and a love of it? A course that drops you into the reality of filmmaking, but with an escape route if it turns out not to be your thing? Such courses would also be a great opportunity to develop practical skills for those who have already made up their minds that they want to make movies, and just need to find out how.
How about such a course based at the oldest continuously working film production studios in the world? The Met Film School at the famous Ealing Studios in West London runs a course called Four-Week Filmmaking which offers an ideal place to turn passion into practice. It is a career-focused, practical learning experience running full-time from Monday to Friday for a month, with the objective of producing a short film in collaboration with other students in the class.
The course is suitable for complete beginners and contains input from leading film industry professionals. Maybe the most useful aspect for career progression is gaining practical experience of how the various personnel work together: director, screenwriter, camera operator, actors, and other roles. It’s fundamental to have experience with the industry-standard division of labour within the film world. Students can also use this experience to decide which role would suit them best.
The course covers storytelling through film, interpreting a script, creating a storyboard, operating a camera, editing footage using Adobe Premiere Pro, managing a crew and directing actors. 2017 courses start on July 3, August 7 and October 23.