Starting Film Studies and Production in September

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tomkins666
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Hi all!

I've just accepted an offer to study Film Studies and Production at Queen's Belfast University.
I'd love to get in some studying before starting in September, as I haven't studied a media or related course at A-Level. Also, summer plans have gone out the window (still not giving up hopes of becoming a goat farmer in the Pyrenees).
Does anyone who has studied/is studying film studies/production have any recommendations for books/textbooks/online courses etc. that would be useful or relevant? Especially anyone who has experience with the QUB course!
I've read some of the mainstream (but v interesting!) film theory and screenwriting books including 'Screenplay' and 'Save the Cat' and am currently doing the UEA's 'Introduction to Screenwriting' course on Futurelearn. With this in mind maybe something more practical based or focused on other aspects of film-making would be useful.

Thank youuu
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Vexper
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Your summer is best spent making a short film rather than reading more books and watching videos about film production, nothing is more beneficial than doing it yourself. You could even do a documentary on something interesting in your local area. Just do something, rather than read reams of stuff you'll never put to use or forget.

https://vimeo.com/207630463 as some inspiration for you.
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tomkins666
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Thanks! I'm writing lots, including bits I'll be able to make entirely in my house. Luckily my brother is a willing volunteer for acting. I'm keen to get a head-start in modules relating to the film industry and history of film, that can't be practised. I agree that the best way to learn practical skills is to practice them! Thanks for reminding me of that
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Vexper
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(Original post by tomkins666)
Thanks! I'm writing lots, including bits I'll be able to make entirely in my house. Luckily my brother is a willing volunteer for acting. I'm keen to get a head-start in modules relating to the film industry and history of film, that can't be practised. I agree that the best way to learn practical skills is to practice them! Thanks for reminding me of that
I'd like to say that although you may be excited, those modules are generally useless. What will really get you into the film industry (if that's truly your goal) is being as practical and proactive as possible, everyone I know who prioritised theory and history of film went nowhere. Those are more the people who enjoy film and reviewing film, not making film. People who made short films, wrote scripts etc and entered competitions and contacted producers and rounded local actors together made it. It really is one of those courses where the strong survive, but the strong aren't actually those willing to read hundreds of pages like you might studying Law. It's those who get out of their head and make something that someone else can watch or read. The earlier you start creating, the easier it gets, the more connections you make and the more credits you get.

It's not the best time with Coronavirus but there's absolutely tonnes of themes/topics you could explore in one setting or in isolation. You just need to have an interesting script and be very useful with space. I was on a film-making club in uni and we made some awesome stuff. Our key film across the years was based around someone starting martial arts for the first time (BJJ) and their progress which we followed for just under 6 months. It was a big undertaking, but awesome. We partnered with a local gym to do this too and got free classes for helping promote the gym for the film

I'd suggest watching Beau Miles on Youtube, he does some interesting local film-making.
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tomkins666
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(Original post by Vexper)
I'd like to say that although you may be excited, those modules are generally useless. What will really get you into the film industry (if that's truly your goal) is being as practical and proactive as possible, everyone I know who prioritised theory and history of film went nowhere. Those are more the people who enjoy film and reviewing film, not making film. People who made short films, wrote scripts etc and entered competitions and contacted producers and rounded local actors together made it. It really is one of those courses where the strong survive, but the strong aren't actually those willing to read hundreds of pages like you might studying Law. It's those who get out of their head and make something that someone else can watch or read. The earlier you start creating, the easier it gets, the more connections you make and the more credits you get.

It's not the best time with Coronavirus but there's absolutely tonnes of themes/topics you could explore in one setting or in isolation. You just need to have an interesting script and be very useful with space. I was on a film-making club in uni and we made some awesome stuff. Our key film across the years was based around someone starting martial arts for the first time (BJJ) and their progress which we followed for just under 6 months. It was a big undertaking, but awesome. We partnered with a local gym to do this too and got free classes for helping promote the gym for the film

I'd suggest watching Beau Miles on Youtube, he does some interesting local film-making.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. I'm very aware that it's my own fear of being awful that's preventing me from taking things from screenplays, storyboards and plans to reality that's holding me back the most. I need to get over myself and make some utter rubbish to learn anything haha. However, I'm lucky to have such keen and talented friends who I can work in collaboration with so I have absolutely no excuse!

Your martial arts film sounds super interesting. Is there somewhere I can watch it?
And I will check out Beau Miles!
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torikstone
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(Original post by tomkins666)
Thanks again for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it. I'm very aware that it's my own fear of being awful that's preventing me from taking things from screenplays, storyboards and plans to reality that's holding me back the most. I need to get over myself and make some utter rubbish to learn anything haha. However, I'm lucky to have such keen and talented friends who I can work in collaboration with so I have absolutely no excuse!

Your martial arts film sounds super interesting. Is there somewhere I can watch it?
And I will check out Beau Miles!
I've been making short films for over 4 years and the best thing is to accept that it won't be perfect, just to get out there and try. It's the only way to get better.
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torikstone
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They sent out an email with info about what we will be reading and short films we can watch for Film Studies and Production, just to prepare ourselves.
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tomkins666
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(Original post by torikstone)
They sent out an email with info about what we will be reading and short films we can watch for Film Studies and Production, just to prepare ourselves.
Oh great, that's perfect! When was it sent out though? I didn't get my offer until a week or so ago and I haven't had the email.
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torikstone
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(Original post by tomkins666)
Oh great, that's perfect! When was it sent out though? I didn't get my offer until a week or so ago and I haven't had the email.
It was sent out yesterday by Sian Barber. They recommended that we read "Film Art: an Introduction" by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, "The History of Cinema: A Very Short Introduction" by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, "Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts, 5th ed." by Susan Hayward, and "Alex Cox's Introduction to Film: A Director's Perspective" by Alex Cox.
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tomkins666
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(Original post by torikstone)
It was sent out yesterday by Sian Barber. They recommended that we read "Film Art: an Introduction" by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, "The History of Cinema: A Very Short Introduction" by Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, "Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts, 5th ed." by Susan Hayward, and "Alex Cox's Introduction to Film: A Director's Perspective" by Alex Cox.
hmm how odd. I'll send an email.
Thanks for listing them
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