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Filmmaking and Costume Design students collaborate on short films with Television Workshop

The students worked in teams to plan, shoot and produce a series of short films on location in the Peak District

BA (Hons) Filmmaking students
BA (Hons) Filmmaking students

Students from our BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making and BA (Hons) Filmmaking courses recently travelled up to the Peak District to work on an exciting collaborative project. The whole cohort of students on the new Filmmaking course took over Mount Cook Adventure Centre in Derbyshire, to plan, shoot and produce a series of short films. They were joined by a group of second year Costume Design and Making students, and actors from Nottingham’s renowned Television Workshop, which has trained the likes of Vicky McClure and Jack O’Connell.

This was the first foray into practical filming for the new cohort, and enabled them to put everything they had learnt on the course so far into practise. The students had the chance to try all the different roles required to create a film, from directing and producing, to camerawork and sound checking. They were also exposed to the organisation and time required ahead of the actual filming taking place, and the ups and downs of the whole process and how rewarding it can be.

BA (Hons) Filmmaking students filming on location
BA (Hons) Filmmaking students

Filmmaking student Ellen Olsson thoroughly enjoyed the project, telling us: “It’s so interesting when people from different courses come together, because you don’t realise how much work goes into something. The highlight has definitely been developing an in-depth understanding of all the different roles available in filmmaking. On this course we get to try everything, and so you may change your mind about where you want to focus, based on this exposure to different functions.”

Costume Design and Making student Romy Gyngell explained: “The best thing about working with Filmmaking students has been sharing knowledge, and learning about all the different roles in filmmaking – if we are going to work in that industry in the future, it’s really important to know. Likewise, learning prosthetics and make-up skills has been really useful, as well as learning to be prepared for anything! And getting off campus on placement opens lots of doors, as all opportunities could lead to the development of new skills.”

Fellow Costume Design and Making student Florence Williams told us: “The collaborative project has been a great experience, and I’ve learned lots of news skills, especially in terms of organisation, and the planning and preparation required for costume in film. The best thing about working with students from Filmmaking has been the difference in perspectives on things. In industry, I will be working with people from different backgrounds and disciplines, and so it’s really good to be exposed to those different ideas and perspectives.”

Actor and Television Workshop alumnus Gabriel Jennings commented: “As an actor, it is fun to work with people who are new and fresh. We were all there once, and over the course of the project we became quite a collective. The students have approached everything with a lot of enthusiasm, and it is less mechanical than working on a typical set. The highlight has been spending this amount of time with a large group of people at the age where there is still an element of youthful abandon, which is fun!”

The students filming with a Television Workshop actor
The students filming with a Television Workshop actor

This is one of a number of cross-course projects taking place this academic year, as part of The Collaboratory – an initiative which has been launched in the School of Art & Design to develop collaborative working with the School, and with courses in the College of Art, Architecture, Design and Humanities more broadly.

Michael Marsden, Dean of the School of Art & Design, told us: “The Collaboratory represents an exciting opportunity to support the enhancement of collaborative working both within and beyond the School of Art & Design. Collaboration represents a key part of our School Vision and is inextricably linked to our commitment to drive innovation and change through the curriculum.”

He continued: “Offering a supported testing ground for the exploration of new horizons, The Collaboratory evidences our commitment as a School to drive innovation and change the landscape of an Art & Design higher education.”

Filmmaking Course Leader Jools Ayodeji added: "There is nothing that challenges the creative problem-solving skills of a crew like being on set in the rain and cold for hours on end. You learn more about teamwork, yourself and the industry by being part of a team, all with distinct skill sets; camera, acting, costume, and props. 61 students, 10 actors, six films, four days, one great big bunch of fun!"

Published on 3 December 2018
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Culture; Current students; School of Art & Design