I came to the National Film and Television School with less experience than my fellow 7 course-mates, however I had a passion for storytelling and a strong empathy for people, so I had a foundation upon which to build new technical skills and to find my own style of film-making.
I made 3 films in my first year: A “Poetry” film, a “Moment of Truth” film, and an “Investigation” film.
The Poetry film was the first film I had ever made, and I used a lot of sound design, music and visual metaphors to lead the audience through a story that is not explicitly told. The film, which was set in Gower, Wales, got a very positive response from tutors and fellow students from all departments. I was developing my camera skills in this film, and focussing on creating interesting and alluring cinematography.
My Moment of Truth film was also set in Gower, and followed a particular character and his troubled past, as he awaited results to see if he was cured of a serious illness. It’s interchangeably light and dark in tone, and has a positive ending. In this film I got to practice filming with vulnerable characters, earning trust and forming bonds with people I didn’t know, and I tried to intuitively film scenes of actuality to get the truest emotion out of the story.
My Investigation film was about how long distance running can help mental health, and it ended up being about a girl’s psychological journey of endurance both mentally and physically through life and through a 50km trail run. This film was a big challenge to make, as much of the filming was outdoors in stormy weather, and I had some difficulties with the story, but through editing, delicate sound design and music, the film came together and received good feedback. This is the film that I made the most mistakes on, but probably learned the most from.
I am now working on my graduation film, using the skills that I learned in my first year to make a documentary about a female dance group for women who are in opioid addiction recovery in the USA. The film shoot went really well and I have some powerful stories. We are currently editing, and the film is slowly but surely starting to take shape.
The £2,500 given to me by Ymddiried went towards the fees for my MA, and took a huge amount of financial pressure off me, so that I could focus on getting the most out of the course. This was vital, because coming to the NFTS is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’ve stretched myself creatively in so many ways, met some incredible people, enhanced my network, and developed my style of film-making.