The BFI Academy is a nationwide program open to young people from anywhere in the UK and from any background, the BFI Film Academy offers a real chance for talented 16-19-year-olds to be part of our future film industry.
In this weeks guest blog, BFI Academy Student and Director Wylie Queenan details how it went on set with his film crew – translating their idea off the storyboard and in front of the camera.
I’ve only ever had one big scheduled shooting arrangement in my life, and I can definitely say with confidence that this shoot was much more professional and I had much more enjoyment doing this, thanks to the amount of planning and preparation we had done.
As an aspiring Director, I’m trying to find my own ground in how I direct people who help me bring a vision to life and this was a challenging project because the initial idea wasn’t mine to begin with so I was effectively controlling someone else’s work. When it came to shooting however, I didn’t feel over or under-powered and felt like I had the exact amount of control that I should have had. While our assistant director was in charge of keeping the crew in check, I was mostly paying my attention to the actors and helping them bring their performance to life in the way I envisioned it. I would also help out with the arrangement of what we were going to shoot, and where we would point the camera, but not too much as this was the main responsibility of the D.O.P. and camera crew, so I felt I had the correct amount of control there. Being the Director for the day was interesting and I believe the shoot went very well, we were able to shoot everything we needed and more!
I have learnt a lot from this experience, not just for my skills, but also how the entire process works
I definitely enjoyed working with the rest of the crew, and because we had planned so much in advance, no one had any problems knowing what they were doing meaning we all enjoyed the experience. There were only a few moments where one or two members would feel out of place or was unsure of what they needed to do at the time, but overall, everyone was happy. I have learnt a lot from this experience, not just for my skills, but also how the entire process works. I understand how the different job roles of individuals fall into place and where and when it is appropriate to communicate. Because I now understand the many processes behind the individual roles during shoots, I am much more aware of what I need to plan for in the future. For future shoots, there will need to be much more arrangement on time-management and scheduling with consideration for our limitations, and a personal goal for me is to finalise all my ideas into the script, rather than just writing them down as rough notes.
The entire process for me so far has been extremely brilliant, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of coming together with creatives to put this project together. Now the final product is in the hands of the Editors, sound engineers and I. The shooting day was absolutely fantastic, and is definitely a step in the right direction not just for me as a Director, but for all of us.