An early start. Time to get my work hat on, down a cup of tea and head to Campus East where the Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media department is based. The week usually starts with a lecture. Whether it’s getting into the nitty gritty of cameras and lenses or learning about current issues in the industry, a well-designed mix of theory and practice comes to life in the lectures. The lecturer slideshows often use real-life industry case studies and also clips and images from films/tv shows to exemplify their points.
A great bonus of studying a Film and Television degree is the screenings! At least once a week there is usually a screening of a movie or TV show that is related to the topic of that week. My most memorable screenings have been: Prisoners, Blade Runner and Slow West. The screenings allow you to see successful examples of filmmaking techniques or industry issues that really make learning come to life. We then discuss and debate the film or TV show that has been screened in the seminar.
It’s time to put what was learnt in the lecture and screening into a seminar. We have a discussion-led meeting about certain topics and issues which is guided by a lecturer or other staff member. The seminars are a great way to discuss opinions, have debates and look deeper into subject material. My favourite debates are about representation on screen and the future of the film and television industry. The seminars provide a safe space to express yourself and learn how to articulate points of view.
Practical time! At least once a week there is a usually a practical which is an opportunity to put theory into practice. We have a hands-on workshop session where we get to experiment with equipment.
One of the most interesting practicals so far has been using the Steadicam. It’s a piece of kit that attaches to the body and allows a camera to be operated smoothly without the need for a tripod. Using the Steadicam was challenging as it’s very heavy and requires a lot of practice to get a smooth shot but I always love a good challenge. In this course there are plenty of them!
Every so often, we put our learning to the test in a group activity. We take out equipment from the department and go out into the world to film a sequence. One week we were learning about how to cover a scene. In groups we had to mimic a scene from a Western movie, shot by shot. These activities have helped me to become more familiar with equipment and learn how to work as a member of a crew which has come in handy when making more ambitious short films.
Now time to relax, do some course related reading and maybe even treat myself to a night out in some of York’s 365 pubs (one for every day of the year!).