Getting industry experience in film is key – like duh – so it’s great to hear when educational establishments help facilitate exactly that. Here’s a story about film students from Plymouth College of Art getting wild work ops on Dartmoor with a top, top agency.
UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Film, Animation & Media Production) students from Plymouth College of Art recently took advantage of an opportunity to work with directing duo Zhang + Knight on a music video for FRIEND London, an agency that has produced commercials, online content, short films, and music videos, for clients including Google, Adidas, and Nike.
Pre-Degree students Chantal Miles, Drew Graves, Ben Cohen, Billy Langdown, and Katy O’Reilly – who are all aged between 17 and 20, and studying UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design (Film, Animation & Media Production) at the college’s Palace Court campus – answered a call for students to volunteer as Runners and Departmental Trainees for the Zhang + Knight film shoot on Dartmoor.
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Billy said: “Working with Zhang and Knight confirmed for me how much I want to be in that industry. It was so rewarding that even after working all day, I couldn’t wait to get up at 3am the next day again to start filming again.
“The whole shoot was so well-scheduled and planned, it was amazing to be part of such a professional operation. And each day was so varied, there was no repetition.”
The music video, directed by Linden Feng (Zhang) and Hannah Palumbo (Knight), was shot to accompany the release of a new track by rapper ATO. For the four students, this meant three days on Dartmoor, assisting on everything from lighting and set design to steadicam operation.
Drew said: “I spent a lot of the time working as a lighting assistant and learnt so much in a short space of time.
“Getting that kind of practical experience using their industry-standard experience was invaluable. I’d definitely recommend that everyone should take advantage of opportunities like this through the college.”
Chantal said: “I really value the connections that I made with the producers. They were all so friendly, and grateful for our help.
“They told us to get in touch about work any time we’re in London, and were really open about what we had to do to progress in our careers.”
Following the experience, all of the students involved agreed how valuable it had been to experience first hand the pressures and conditions of shooting to deadline with an experienced film crew.
Chantal said that working with Zhang + Knight had confirmed her hopes to go on to study BA (Hons) Film at undergraduate level at Plymouth College of Art, with the long-term goal of going on to work as a Producer for big-budget cinematic television series in the same vein as Game of Thrones.
Alex Jefferson, Production Manager, said: “It is no exaggeration to say that we wouldn’t have been able to complete the shoot as well as we did without the students from Plymouth College of Art.
“The directors and everyone else on the crew had great things to say about Billy, Katy, Ben, Drew and Chantal. We talked about where they plan to continue their studies in future, and if they find themselves in London we’d hire them as runners again in a flash!”
top image: L to R – Pre-Degree students Chantal Miles Drew Graves Ben Cohen Billy Langdown and Katy O’Reilly – Photo by Pre-Degree student Luke Frost