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Filmmaking BA(Hons): What our students say

Student profiles

Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.

Becky Weston

Name: Becky Weston
Course: Filmmaking BA(Hons)
Year: third year

"Early on in my art foundation course at Leeds College of Art, or perhaps even before, I built a very blinkered vision; I wanted to study at Knights Park – Kingston's reigning art campus. I'd experienced its energetic atmosphere at open days, heard murmurs of its impressive reputation and had a tutor who regularly sang about it. It seemed an elusive goal at the time, but it was the only one I wanted.

I instantly felt content in the filmmaking environment, but soon realised that I had, in my determination to get onto the course, neglected to consider what my role would be within it. Fortunately, the filmmaking tutors were willing and well equipped to help the clueless and confused, and I gradually discovered my strengths. I have changed my mind and direction so many times throughout my first two years – dabbling in directing, lighting and creating experimental, narrative, live action and animated films – that I am lucky to be on a course that allows its students both space to experiment, and much needed guidance. It is a course that celebrates individuality and encourages self-discovery and self-motivation.

Perhaps because of the small size of the course, it has been easy to form connections and initiate collaborations with other creative minds. Now, a strong network of filmmakers exists that will undoubtedly be a great source of help and inspiration to me beyond University. I particularly enjoy the fact that the majority of our lessons take place in the FMS (film making studio), rather than a lecture theatre or classroom – it is an altogether more liberating learning experience.

Being in London, and taught by practising filmmakers, I have been fortunate enough to experience professional film sets and contribute to several film festivals. These experiences, and the wisdom of the tutors, have been invaluable in helping me to understand who I am as an artist and filmmaker, and I hope that my third year will be a satisfying cumulation of everything I have learnt here."

 

Henry Gray

Name: Henry Gray
Course: Filmmaking BA(Hons)
Year: First year

"I come from a strong background in the visual arts, having pursued it throughout school and then gone onto a foundation course in Art and Design at a well-respected art college in Edinburgh, my hometown.

"While I'd always loved film, I hadn't until that point had the opportunity to truly experiment with it for myself. I found that, given the chance to do so in such an open and creatively buzzing environment, it became clear that film was the medium I wanted to move into.

"I'm delighted that Kingston's Filmmaking BA(Hons) course offers the same creative, open environment that I came from before – with tutors willing you to push your ideas further and try new things rather than letting you stagnate. It's a course that constantly challenges you to think outside the box, to try to find new solutions and ways to express yourself through the medium, all the while slowly but surely building up your technical expertise.

"With my personal background in art and art film, I've found that my films tend to have experimental leanings and, indeed, the tutors are encouraging of this approach – not that narrative or more traditional film approaches are frowned upon. It is this desire to challenge and experiment in whatever aspect of the medium you wish to explore that is really valuable about the course.

"Already I've had the previously unfathomable opportunity to show work at the British Film Institute, and the ties this course and the tutors have to filmmakers and artists in the UK are invaluable, frequently meaning students can get excellent experience in a variety of areas, or get their work shown in amazing locations.

"I'm looking forward to the next two years of my course, and whatever direction my work will go."

 

Casper Hart

Name: Casper Hart
Course: Filmmaking BA(Hons)

 

"This year at Kingston has been eye opening for me and I've progressed by being given enough room to develop with my work whilst having a very strong safety net of tutors. I've also been able to learn through trial and experimentation without worrying too much of failure, as risk taking is encouraged.

"The course leader and staff team are made up of practitioners who themselves are well-founded in the filmmaking sector. They put in a lot of time to make sure you know what you're doing and help expand on your ideas, also offering a gateway into the industry that starts in the first year that I've had the privilege of taking part in. So far this year I have helped out on two professional film shoots in central London that involved the tutors, and that I've been able to capitalize on and receive further work off the back of the initial introductions set up by the course leader.

"In addition to work experience we get the opportunity to make regular visits to the BFI, for screenings of films that would not otherwise be available to me. These visits and other extra curricular day trips to galleries/events have helped expand my view on the idea of filmmaking and increased my vocabulary around it. The year as a whole has increased my confidence in my own work and given me the incentive to get out there and really go for it. The well thought out curriculum mixed with the friendly attitude of staff and classmates really helped me relax into the year. The resources are excellent and the course here also promotes dialogue between the year groups. A great choice for creative practitioners."

 

Name:  Courtney Argyle
Course: Filmmaking BA(Hons)

Kingston University gave me a perspective on the importance of film. I began to see the potential it has to do more than simply entertain, it can change the way people see situations or people. The course gave me freedom to explore different filmmaking techniques and find my love for documentaries and realistic character driven film. I cannot help watching insightful films rather than normal mainstream Hollywood films now! Now I'm watching and caring about films most people are labeling ‘strange' or ‘pointless' because the messages are presented in such unexpected and confusing ways. Day to day I am watching films which ask the viewer to untangle their purpose, films which have beautiful artistic ways of handling difficult and interesting contents. I guess I now have a very different perspective on visual arts and my own direction as a filmmaker.

 

 

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