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Bradford College

Behind the scenes with our film students at the end of year Film Showcase

Meet Haider Mahmood, Jack Snowden, Daisy Polk, and Matt Robin, four students at Bradford School of Art who are studying for a Foundation Degree in Arts Film and Media Production for the Creative Industries (FdA).

We spent some time with final-year FdA Film and Media Production students Haider, Jack, Daisy, and Matt and delved deeper into what they enjoyed about the course and what their daily routines were like leading up to the end-of-year showcase, which is a culmination of the students work over the past year.

The showcase took place in May at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and screened a range of films and videos that were produced by students over the course of the year, from Level 2 and 3 Creative Media Production courses and Level 4 and 5 of the FdA Film and Media Production for Creative Industries course.

The collection involved productions such as short dramas, comedy sketches, documentaries, music videos and a reality show, all written and produced by the students.

Karl Sherwin is one of the College’s Programme Leaders and Lecturers. He told us a little about what the showcase meant to the students.

“The showcase was a celebration of the good work students have been doing. In general, screening a film allows the filmmaker to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of their work by seeing it presented in its final form.”

“It also allows other people to enjoy work made by the next generation of creatives and experience things that they would not usually see. The films are not otherwise available to watch at present, so another benefit of going to the screening was to see films that for the most part cannot be seen anywhere else.”

Haider added “The films form part of the archive of student work that we are building at the School of Art, and can also be used by the students. Many of the films were produced as a part of various modules and assignments during the academic year.”

Jack tells us what the average day for him looked like in the lead up to the big event.

“We’re normally at College from 9am-5pm. Pre-production would have been done the day before, so we set up all our equipment from 10am-11am. We then make sure our actors are ready with costumes and makeup for whatever scenes we’re shooting that afternoon.”

“After lunch at 12:30pm, we shoot for a few hours, just pure lights, camera, action. After the scenes have been shot, we tidy up at around 4pm and put all our equipment away, ready to finish for 5pm. That’s a typical day in preparation for the Film Showcase.”

Haider explains how they decided to work on a documentary together with Higher Education Music Students called ‘EP Law’ which was shown at the screening.

FdA Film and Media Production students Haider, Jack, Daisy, and Matt

“We documented the music-making process and produced a film which was also shown at the showcase. The documentary is very much focused on the students making ‘The Fairly Bleak’- An EP (extended play) consisting of three songs performed by the band.  We all worked so well together, and made such a good team. This created an incredibly positive documentary that really focuses on how the degree students made music, had fun and get to spend time together as a band.”

Enjoying your course is such an important aspect of learning, as it is what keeps you motivated for your future career path. Karl told us “The film students have a range of aspirations, each completely unique, and we strive to support them in working towards these aspirations whatever they might be.”

Talking about what he enjoyed most during his course, Matt says, “I like the creative aspects of the course and how we get to use the TV studio and professional equipment and lighting. It’s nice having access to pieces of expensive equipment that we normally wouldn’t be able to afford or use ourselves.”

“I love having a chance to work with such a variety of cameras and tripods. And the fact that we get to use the Macs for editing is just so cool,” adds James.

Another highlight for the students is being taught by tutors who are also practicing filmmakers themselves.

“I feel like with Karl it’s really good because he does filmmaking in his personal life too,” highlights Haider. “So, he can look at our projects and tell us about improvements from a different angle. I think that’s the biggest advantage because Karl has a filmmaker mindset”.

Daisy describes the course as “Fun and creative”. “You’re able to express your creative freedom and turn your ideas into a reality”, she continues.

The course is designed to embrace collaborative practice and encourage students to work across different disciplines, enabling them to create high quality content in a number of ways. The end of year showcase is one of the ways this creativity is expressed to students, peers and family.

Find out more about our FdA Film and Media Production for the Creative Industries

Bradford College