Filmmaking has never been more democratic. In this course, you will learn how to communicate ideas and tell powerful stories armed only with a smartphone and a laptop.
In our digital age, filmmaking is no longer the preserve of a well-heeled elite with money, equipment, and technical expertise. Short form video is now a major pillar of the media landscape, made by seasoned broadsheet journalists, independent video essayists, artists, critics, academics, researchers and entrepreneurs: anyone, in short, with a message to spread and a story to tell.
But how do you get from concept to screen? In this interactive, livestream and in-person course taught by the filmmakers at the University of London’s prestigious Derek Jarman Lab, you will learn how to plan, shoot and edit with only a phone and computer. Over three sessions you will make your own three-minute video and screen the film live before an audience of your peers, beginning your journey into non-fiction filmmaking.
Session 1: Pre-Production (Wed 29th June – Online). In the first session we will plan your film concept and write a production plan, as well as getting the best use from your smartphone camera and audio recorder, and explaining issues surrounding rights and copyright.
Session 2: Production and Post-Production (Wed 6th July – Online). In this online session, we will learn the basics of editing with the Blackmagic Da Vinci Resolve software package, and hold tutorial sessions around your individual filmmaking projects.
Session 3: The Screening (Sat 16th July – In-Person). We will meet in-person at the Birkbeck Cinema in Gordon Square for a special screening of the films made during the course. Bartek and Lily will offer feedback and advice for the future to help you develop as a filmmaker.
Filmmaking does not need high production values to have an impact, but it does need good ideas. It is helpful if you come to this course with an idea for a three-minute film that is possible to film and edit in a matter of days. The location for the film may vary from a digital desktop to a physical one, from your kitchen to your local park. You may choose to feature a character, in visuals or just in voiceover (this could be you or a collaborator). You should consider props, stills and found footage. You may find family or friends who are prepared to be in the film, speak or play music for it.
Limits can be productive. We will point you towards a number of successful films that make a virtue of their scant resources, and guide you through the translation of your idea into visual material for editing. We’ll provide guidance on rights and working with copyrighted material. You will learn the basics of editing on the free software Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve. By the last session, you will be ready to screen your film in the cinema.