25 March 2021

It has been a delight to welcome back recently students and tutors to ‘in person’ film training sessions at school. Last Saturday saw members of both the Film Unit and the Film Academy working with tutors to learn first-hand how to use cameras, sound and editing equipment and to hold discussions about films that, for much of the year, have had to take place remotely. There is certainly no substitute for working together, face to face.

At the same time, the restrictions have encouraged Abingdon’s community of filmmakers to become more resourceful. Students have been making use of whatever cameras and editing equipment they can get their hands on, including mobile phones, but also old VHS or DV cameras hidden at the back of parental cupboards that have been dusted down and pressed into service – with some engagingly retro results. AFU tutors have also created a series of nine video tutorials for students at Abingdon and our partner schools, covering everything from “What’s in the camera bag” and “How to film a portrait of a place” to “An introduction to editing” and “Setting up an interview”. These guides have been shared with staff in our partner schools in the hope they might serve as a useful resource. Finally, our filmmakers have found zoom sessions to be surprisingly effective ways of sharing students’ work in progress with tutors, and allowing one-to-one or small group tutorials to take place efficiently.

For all that, nothing boosts creativity for filmmakers quite like being in the same room as each other – even if, as in these photos from last Saturday’s session on how to light an interview, it’s a rather murky (but well-ventilated) one!

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