First Week on a New Course

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So the day I’d been waiting for all summer finally arrived, and I have now begun the MA Wildlife Filmmaking course at UWE. It’s only been 10 days and it’s already pretty exciting!

We began on a Thursday morning with the standard sort of university induction you get at the beginning of any higher education course (where the library is, how to catch a bus, who to talk to if you have a mental breakdown etc). After about half an hour of sitting with the other BBC collaborative courses wondering when we would get to the interesting stuff, we finally moved to another room to talk about Wildlife Filmmaking. It became apparent that we’re all going to be pretty busy for the next year, with hectic and unpredictable timetables that will be filled (often last minute) with talks from whichever BBC employees are free to impart some of their invaluable knowledge to us, and the expectation is that we will spend most of our free time developing our own skills or reading (watching) things to help us develop our understanding of the industry. We are expected to act professionally and as if we are BBC employees, and should think of ourselves as a production team, which feels much more exciting than just being on a masters course! The rest of that day was spent absorbing information from BBC employees, as we sat wide eyed at the back of a BBC Natural History Unit meeting seeing what the NHU is currently working on. I think its going to be a fun year…

Since then we’ve mostly been spending our time learning the fundamentals of filmmaking and getting to grips with the kit we’ll be using to make our films. We’ve had workshops on the Sony FS700, sound recording, and today we learned a bit about telephoto and macro lenses – filming some creepy crawlies in a set we’d built in a studio. Now that we’ve learnt the basics of our kit, we’re allowed to take it out on our own to do some filming, so watch this space to see some footage of wildlife shot by yours truly, very soon!

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