Young Film Talent Descend on Bournemouth
Producers, directors, sound technicians, lighting specialists and camera supervisors descended on Bournemouth for 2 weeks in August as part of the Bournemouth Screen Academy (BSA) Summer School hosted by the Arts Institute at Bournemouth and Bournemouth University Media School.
The film talent came in the form of 30 15-year old students from 6 schools around Dorset including Kings High School, Bournemouth; Porchester School, Bournemouth; Royal Manor Arts College, Portland; Bishop of Winchester School, Bournemouth; Oakmead School, Bournemouth and St Edwards School, Poole. The students spent an all-inclusive 2 weeks learning all aspects of the film industry, while living in the Halls of Residence at the Institute.
The aim of the BSA Summer School was to introduce students to the opportunities available to them within the film industry, and the courses available within higher education. Funded by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries, the Screen Academy network is endorsed by the UK film industry as providing the best education and skills development for the future workforce at a further, higher and postgraduate level. The courses endorsed by the Bournemouth Screen Academy include BA (Hons) Film Production; BA (Hons) Animation; BA (Hons) Scriptwriting; BA (Hons) Modelmaking for Screen and Stage; MA Post Production; and MA Creative Media Practice.
The students worked on 6-minute short films from scripts they had written during their Summer Term at school, using a range of equipment including Mini DV cameras to practice on, Standard 16 film on Bolex Cameras and Super 16 on an Arriflex SR2. With the assistance of course leaders, technician tutors and film undergraduates, the students directed professional actors and actresses including Gillian MacGregor, a British actress who will be filming opposite Martin Kemp in a remake of the horror film ‘House on Straw Hill’. She commented “It’s great working with the children – They are very serious about their films and aren’t afraid to tell us exactly what they want from us.” And while the days were spent filming on location around Dorset, the student’s evenings were filled with energetic activities including rock-climbing, volleyball and theatre visits.
The end result of the 2 weeks was a premiere to rival that of Hollywood. Attended by both the Mayor of Poole and the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, the films were screened in front of an invited audience, who spoke highly of the talented new filmmakers. Phil Peel, Course Leader on the BA (Hons) Film Production course at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth was instrumental throughout the 2 weeks teaching the students everything they needed to know for professional filmmaking. He commented “It was a great event and the films are fantastic. The students have thoroughly enjoyed their foray into the world of the professional filmmaker, and who knows, we could all be witnessing the talent of the next Spielberg or Coppola.”
With the success of this inaugural Summer School, is seems that Dorset may become the creative centre for emerging film talent. As David Hanson, Director of the BSA commented “The work produced throughout the two weeks has been of exceptional standard for students who had never operated a camera before, let alone directed professional actors. Their commitment to the films and their enthusiasm over the 2 weeks has been an inspiration to us all. After such a successful inaugural Summer School, I have a feeling next year’s Summer School will be eagerly anticipated.”
Future initiatives for the Bournemouth Screen Academy include mentoring schemes for students, graduates and staff; curriculum development; practitioners in residence; and bursaries to assist young people when entering BSA courses.