The Twelve Days of Christmas

In the penultimate week of term, Oz challenged the students to create their own interpretation of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, taking inspiration from the University. In just three hours, this was the finished product – enjoy!

Danielle’s Placement at Tinker Taylor

One of the companies we have been delighted to establish a placement link with this year is Tinker Taylor. Part-time student Danielle Breach has spent two months working in their offices and has written the following blog about her experiences:

As part of the MA I am currently studying at the University Of Birmingham, I am required to undertake a work placement with an industry-related company for a minimum of eight weeks. The idea is to learn first-hand how working within the film and television industry really is, as well as gaining experience that’ll become invaluable when applying for work once graduated. Students are sent to a variety of companies of varying sizes up and down the country, taking on a range of roles. Whilst the benefits of undertaking a placement are immeasurable, the majority of the class have only really worked at a personal level beforehand, and the idea of working alongside professionals can be quite daunting! Nobody is really sure what to expect before they start, or the kind of tasks they’ll be asked to undertake. 


Fazeley Studios in Digbeth

Initially, Sam invited me to spend four weeks at her company, Tinker Taylor, to help out with some editing. For me, this seemed like such a great opportunity, because not only would I be gaining insight into how a professional company actually works, but I could also learn practical skills that would help me when editing my own university projects. I spent a few hours watching the shoot of the project I would be helping to edit, which was a completely new experience for me. Up until then, I had only been on shoots with classmates, so it was strange to see the difference in pace and professionalism. The project seemed perfectly fitting too, as it was a range of instructional modules for a local social media company – and social media is something that my course focuses on a lot. With such a pertinent project, I was excited to get started and see what I could gain from the whole experience. The following week I headed down to Fazeley Studios, unsure of what to expect and ready to start my four weeks at Tinker Taylor. 

After being shown to my desk and introduced to everyone, I was working on the project straight away. There was a lot to learn as I was doing things I had never done before, and it felt so strange being in a professional environment after a year of being in the uni editing suite. It was also a shock to experience a proper working day – after five years of being a student, it was a big salutation to the real world! As well as learning practically, I got to observe what goes on behind the scenes in such a company, which is obviously something you don’t really get to experience beforehand. The level of planning and organisation was on an entirely different scale, and it was interesting to see just how many elements change when filmmaking is at a business level. It was also a different kind of pressure knowing that the work has to meet the demands of a fee-paying client, rather than a lecturer!

Helping to edit the JC Social Media project taught me so much about the editing process as a whole. I used software that was completely new to me, picking up little tricks and skills that I know I can utilise in the future. Overall, the whole experience has been great! Whilst initially the idea of a placement can seem scary, the amount you learn about the industry in such a short period makes it one of the most beneficial and interesting aspects of the course. I am just so grateful to Sam for allowing me such an insight, allowing me to learn from some amazing people and to work on such an interesting project!

Danielle Breach

Read the original blog here:

Making The Most Of Your Guided Editing Project

FTV students have the opportunity to produce two films as part of the MA: the 5 minute guided editing project and the final dissertation, which is a 20-25 minute documentary. The guided editing project offers the chance to really get to grips with the filming equipment and editing software before embarking on the dissertation, although it can still be quite daunting to sit down in front of a Mac and start cutting together what is, for many, their first film!

There have been some great 5 minute pieces this year, including Christiana Ioannou’s ‘Obsessed with Salsa’. Christiana initially planned her film as a piece that would show how people get hooked on salsa dancing, but since completing it has been asked by both the Dance Club Latino Society and Latin Motion UK if they can use her work for promotional purposes! This is great news and an example of how work submitted for the MA can also be used as part of a wider portfolio.

So, if you’re struggling with an idea for your guided editing project, why not follow Christiana’s example and try approaching a charity, a university society or an organisation who are running an event you could cover? Not only will it make an interesting film, but it could lead to opportunities for your work to be circulated further.