My LFA Experience
The London Film Academy (LFA) is a film school located in Fulham that runs various short and full time practical courses.
I took the intensive one year Postgraduate Diploma in Filmmaking and graduated in September 2017. I really enjoyed my time there and I believe this was the perfect foundation to build my career on.
Tutors that taught me include Robin Vidgeon (Past President of BSC), Mervyn Gerrard, Jonathan Harvey, Andrew Speller, Rebecca Knapp, Carolina Giammetta, Richard Kwietniowksi, Lee Herrick and Kay Stonham etc.
I attended masterclasses organised by LFA from Jan Harlan, Philip Sindall, Daniel Conrad Cooper, Neil Mcenery-West, Jean-Philippe Gossart and Alex Stein (1st AD). I also attended lots of industry events and screenings at the British Film Institute (BFI) and the London Short Film Festival (LSFF) etc.
We used industry standard cameras, lighting and sound recording equipment which provides immediate transferable skills for future work.
‘Supershorts’ is the 2-minute film project that is completed in one day, where everyone writes and directs a film. The films were shot on Super 16 and we each had to work in different roles as director, 1st AD, DOP, camera op, focus puller, clapper loader, sound mixer & boom operator for 8 films. I directed ‘The Replacement’ on first day, which proved challengeing because the crew were working together for the first time. By the end of Supershorts, I learnt to be disciplined and act within my role, communicating my ideas and trusting others to do their work which I think is the true essence of collaboration.
‘Film Project 1’ (FP1) is the 4-minute film project where everyone writes a script and then pitches to the whole class. Interested directors choose the script they like and go through two pitching panels comprised of tutors, management and industry professionals. I like this system because it prepares you for a very competitive industry. Four films were green-lit, roles allocated based on career interests and then we started pre-production. From sending out casting calls, location scouting, shot listing, budgeting, scheduling, camera tests, auditions and reheasals, we had regular production meetings where we’re guided in the right direction. This support proved very vital and also got us thinking about the audience for our films, festivals and marketing. They set the tone for how to make films.
During shoots, tutors dropped by to help with troubleshooting and also ensure we were doing things properly. We mostly worked as crews of 12, which allowed me to watch and learn as my classmates carried on with their responsibilities. Filmmaking Diploma 30 (Dip 30) shot some ambitious films and I learnt from the successes and failures. We regularly held debrief sessions where we recieved constructive cristism on our performance and also raised issues to improve the system.
‘Film Project 2’ is the 8-minute film project with similar pitching and pre-production processes to FP1. However, we were restricted to using only external locations which pushed us to expand our vision, ultimately increasing poduction value.
Amongst all the films I worked on, I had the opportunity to produce two short films namely, ‘The Puppy Conversation’ and ‘Devil’s Song’. I learnt many important lessons like acquiring permits, insuring (cast, crew and equipment), signing contracts, licensing music, leading a team and feeding cast & crew good and happy food.
LFA Credit List
The Replacement (Writer/Director), Terrence Stamp Documentary (Producer), The Puppy Conversation (Producer), Devil’s Song (Producer), Frank’s Lament (Director of Photography), Taken (Writer), Becoming Amy (Writer), Red Night (Camera Operator), The Daydremer (Camera Operator), Behind The Lights (Camera Operator & Trailer Editor), Crime & Punishment (1st Camera Assistant/Focus Puller), Primrose (2nd Camera Assistant/Clapper Loader), Heaven’s Not All That (Gaffer & Trailer Editor), Tataros (1st Assistant Director), Chocolate (Editor), The Gun Decides (Sound Mixer), The Samurai’s Journey (Sound Mixer), Deadly Clientele (Sound Mixer), Victoria (Boom Operator) and Flawed (Boom Operator).
LFA equips you with an industry standard framework to plan and execute film projects and I feel ready to take on the world. I plan to make local and international films that will transcend borders and unite mankind. Hang around and follow me on this journey. Thanks to Dip 30 and LFA for an amazing film school experience.
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