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27th Jun, 2022

Filmmaking students keep their focus during lockdown

Ian Hughes 17th Jul, 2020

FILMMAKING students at Stratford College have refused to let lockdown restrictions interfere with their focus.

Continuing their studies throughout via remote learning, creative media students have been developing their filmmaking skills by using the time to produce their own short films.

The students were set a lockdown inspired assignment by lecturer Sarah Downing in which each had to produce a short film of no more than 90 seconds.

Working individually from their homes, the budding filmmakers had to write and then film and edit their work using the most basic of filmmaking equipment such as mobile phones.

Samuel Aries from Leamington wrote, directed and starred in his film Natural Light.

The 17-year-old’s film tells the story of a young man who, after spending so long inside during lockdown in front of the glaring artificial light of his computer, rediscovers the joy of being outside in the sunshine.

Samuel explained: “I wanted to tell a simple story that everyone could relate to in lockdown. I think we’re all spending so much time inside and staring at a screen that we tend to forget the benefits that nature has to offer.”

As Samuel discovered, lockdown posed its own unique challenges for the filmmakers, not least of which was the lack of opportunity to collaborate with fellow students and discuss ideas, and the inability to enlist the help of others as crew members or actors.

“I missed working in a team bouncing ideas off each other. And I ended up having to act in the film myself while also arranging the camera work and lighting.”

But undaunted, he even found certain advantages in the enforced isolation.

“One thing I did find easier was being able to focus on getting the exact shots I wanted and then editing the film together the exact way I envisioned.”

Samuel hopes to progress to a BBC’s Broadcast Operator apprenticeship when he leaves Stratford and ultimately pursue a career as camera operator or cinematographer.

Visit to watch Samuel’s film.



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