This year Long Road was the lead organisation in the delivery of the BFI Network Academy for Cambridge. It was one of 48 courses across the UK providing the opportunity for young people aged 16-19 to gain essential skills to enter the film industry. Barney Oram, Lens-based Media teacher, who led the event, reports:
“The academy took place over the October half term, and 17 participants from across the region took part, from Kings Lynn, Brandon, Bury St Edmunds, Ely and Cambridge. What all participants had in common was enthusiasm for making films, even if they had varying degrees of experience.
“A key element of the Academy is the opportunity for young people to interact and be mentored by industry professionals. As an outstanding provider of Film and Media courses, our Lens-based Media department was able to contact ex- students who are now successfully working in the industry. This included the project mentors: award-winning director David Winstone, camera operator Bradley Stearn and award-winning short filmmaker Ryd Cook. The participants had a week to plan and shoot a short film with the support of their project mentors. Alongside this they also had vital input from sound recordist Stevie Haywood and composer and sound designer Henri Salonen. For many of the participants it was the first time working in a crew and with professional actors.
“As part of the course, participants attended a screening of Virus of Fear at the Cambridge Film Festival and heard the lead actor discuss the role. They also had a behind the scenes tour of Warner Brothers Studio and a screening of the British silent film Underground with live piano accompaniment by renowned pianist John Sweeney.
“Overall they have had a range of fantastic experiences which have provided them with an insight into the film industry as well as an chance to access future opportunities with both the BFI and BAFTA.”
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