Welsh Broadcasting Trust

M.A Directing Documentary, NFTS

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.

 

Bryony Wigley 2

 

film coordinator on a humanitarian aid expedition

In January 2018, I was the film coordinator on a humanitarian aid and wildlife conservation expedition to Kenya, championed by the Scientific Exploration Society and led by renewed explorer Colonel Blashford-Snell (OBE). The expedition collaborated with Mt Kenya Trust and El Karama Conservancy to administer dental and medical aid, distribute reading glasses & schools books and to research further into human/wildlife conflict in the area.

Filming the expedition and working as film coordinator was challenging at times, but enjoyable. There were certainly a lot of people and cameras to help and assist and I was really impressed with what people produced. 

The main technical challenge, I personally faced on the expedition, was charging batteries and having to be constantly aware of where my next power source would be. I experienced solar power packs not working, extension cables packing up and an influx of people using generators, which just destroyed my batteries. I had to take a risk and conserve my batteries, only using my camera at the most vital parts of the expedition until I could get to a larger power source. I also managed to lose my lens cap whilst at the school and have no doubt that it will become a special memento to a child!

Other challenges included, working with the natural light, filming in the dark and staying as still as possible, especially on the safari trucks and trekking through the mountains!

Despite these challenges, I am pleased to say that there is some excellent footage and I am now in the process of editing it. 

This expedition was all about team work and using everyone’s skills and abilities together. I got the opportunity to use new equipment, meet new people, and assist in finding solutions to human/wildlife conflict and change people’s lives for the better. I was privileged to have the opportunity to go be offered this career changing opportunity, without the funding and support of the Welsh Broadcasting Trust, I would not have been able to go. So, I say a huge thank you for helping support me. I am extremely grateful your kindness and believing in me.

oznor

Charlotte Austwick 2

Cinema Jam/NFTS short course ‘How To Be A Successful Producer’

I attended the Cinema Jam/NFTS short course ‘How To Be A Successful
Producer” at Tileyard Studios, King’s Cross in October 2017. The course
was an informal seminar based 2 day event by prolific producer, Stephen
Woolley (The Crying Game, Interview With A Vampire, Carol) based on
his 35 years’ experience as a film producer. Stephen took us through
each stage of film-making: Development; Finance; Shoot; Post-Production;
Sales & Marketing, in an ordered, but informal manner, pointing out that
each of these overlap and affect one another implicitly. Stephen added
much needed colour to proceedings by relaying personal anecdotes on each
part on films that most of us knew.
I loved Stephen’s open and reasonable manner. He was very candid and
indeed encouraged us to ask questions on each matter as they occurred to
us.
interested in his ideas on Development and Finance, which he made very
simple, even though it seems very complex. He also took the frighteners
out of certain aspects of producing that have always put me off doing
so. It was interesting to hear his views on the EIS/SEIS schemes and how
they relate to his productions. I would certainly
recommend this course to anyone wanting to get a better insight into
high end cinematic film-making. I am applying this model to
my new company’s development strand, and hopefully it will work as well
as Stephen’s own model for his films.

Cwrs Sinema Jam / NFTS ar ‘sut fod yn gynhyrchydd llwyddiannus’

Mynychais gwrs Sinema Jam / NFTS ar ‘sut fod yn gynhyrchydd llwyddiannus’ yn stiwdio Tileyard, Kings Cross, Llundain ym mis Hydref 2017. Roedd y cwrs ar ffurf seminar yng nghwmni’r cynhyrchydd Stephen Woolley (The Crying Game, Interview With A Vampire, Carol) ac wedi ei seilio ar 35 mlynedd o brofiad cynhyrchu ffilmiau. Arweiniodd e ni drwy bob cam o gynhyrchu ffilm: datblygu; ariannu; ffilmio; ôl-gynhyrchu; gwerthu a marchnata , gan ddenu’n sylw at sut roedd yr elfennau yma’n gorgyffwrdd ac yn effeithio ar ei gilydd. Roedd y seminar yn hwyliog, gyda Stephen yn rhannu storiâu difyr oedd yn berthnasol i’r camau yma.

Roedd arddull sgyrsiol, agored Stephen yn apelgar ac roedd yn annog ni fel mynychwyr y cwrs i holi cwestiynau. Fy mhrif ddiddordeb oedd dysgu mwy am ddatblygu ac ariannu ffilmiau. Llwyddodd i esbonio’r broses gymhleth yma mewn ffordd syml, ddealladwy. Roedd gen i ddiddordeb clywed ei farn ar gynlluniau EIS/SEIS a sut roedden nhw’n gweithio yng nghyd-destun ei ffilmiau e. Buaswn yn hyderus y cynnig ei gwrs e i bobl sy’ â diddordeb dysgu mwy am sut i gynhyrchu ffilm sinematig.Dw i wrthi’n gweithredu ei fodel gwaith i ochr fraich ‘datblygu’ fy nghwmni newydd, gan obeithio y bydd mor llwyddiannus â model gwaith ffilmiau Stephen.

Cinema Jam/NFTS How to be a successful producer

I attended the Cinema Jam/NFTS short course ‘How To Be A Successful
Producer” at Tileyard Studios, King’s Cross in October 2017. The course
was an informal seminar based 2 day event by prolific producer, Stephen
Woolley (The Crying Game, Interview With A Vampire, Carol) based on
his 35 years’ experience as a film producer. Stephen took us through
each stage of film-making: Development; Finance; Shoot; Post-Production;
Sales & Marketing, in an ordered, but informal manner, pointing out that
each of these overlap and affect one another implicitly. Stephen added
much needed colour to proceedings by relaying personal anecdotes on each
part on films that most of us knew.
I loved Stephen’s open and reasonable manner. He was very candid and
indeed encouraged us to ask questions on each matter as they occurred to
us.
interested in his ideas on Development and Finance, which he made very
simple, even though it seems very complex. He also took the frighteners
out of certain aspects of producing that have always put me off doing
so. It was interesting to hear his views on the EIS/SEIS schemes and how
they relate to his productions. I would certainly
recommend this course to anyone wanting to get a better insight into
high end cinematic film-making. I am applying this model to
my new company’s development strand, and hopefully it will work as well
as Stephen’s own model for his films.