Filmmaking Incursion: Laying the Foundations for Our Future


Ellis K (Year 10), Contributor

If you told me 5 years ago that I would be given the opportunity to pursue my lifelong passion in the same place I fall asleep everyday (yes, I mean school), I certainly would not have believed you. I’d even say that if you told me one year ago, I still wouldn’t have believed you… 

 At a certain age in your school life, you become worn out by the routine. Waking up, checking Connect, learning content you won’t remember in about a week, checking Connect again, going home and doing it all again the next day. But every so often, you’ll be reminded why you’re here: to lay the foundations of your future. A future you choose, you pursue, and that you’re passionate about. For me, that passion is film.  

 As far back as I can remember films have been an integral part of my life. I love watching them, analysing them, talking about them. And now, making them. Over this term, the Years 9 and 10 Filmmaking class have been in the process of making their own film. Writing, organizing, and planning our very own films. And last Monday that all culminated, where we had one whole school day to film our projects. No other classes, no other worries, just working on our very own films (Year 10 even skipped their English exam!). So, what exactly did this day look like? 

 I was one of the students that participated in the incursion. I made my own film with the help of my friends, and helped those friends make their own films. Walking around the school, $2000 camera in hand, prop Pokémon cards in the other, I saw the multitude of various projects going on in the school. 20 individual students had been given the opportunity to create their very own film. Which meant 20 unique visions, and they were all put on display in this one day…and put to the test.   

 While I enjoyed every second of filming a project I was passionate about, productivity was the number one priority. A whole day of filming sounds great! 8 Hours of filming your 3–6-minute project, too easy. Well, a third of the day is spent helping other people. No worries, they were helping you too so it’s only fair. 2-3 hours is still plenty. Then, factor in having to set up and pack up each time your allocated filming is up. Getting your camera set up, your actors ready, your lighting set up, your audio checked, the scenes you already filmed checked and your location secured. Suddenly your 2-3 hours have gone down to about 60 minutes to actually film. So, make it count. And believe me, we did. At the cost of running crazily around the Branwhite building for a solid 6 hours. But even then, in the calamity, we were reminded of why we were doing this. We saw students in studio, with costumed actors and crazy-coloured lighting rigs, we saw teachers and students being interviewed about the wildest things, all contributing to individual students’ vision. Even in myself, I saw each thought and concept I had drawn up in my mind weeks ago come to life before my own eyes. By the time the day was done, I had all my clips dumped into my Premiere Pro timeline. I scanned through all my footage. I had just shot a film about whatever I wanted, in my very own way. Granted, we were given the tools. But we were essentially dropped into a sandbox, free to play with whatever ideas and concepts we pleased and turned out our own tive pieces that tell a story WE wanted to be told.   

 As much as I’d love to go on and on about the wonders of being able to create a professionally made film made from my own brain, I think it’s more important to reflect on what I consider the most valuable thing gained from the day: Experience.  

 I was given a taste on what creating a proper theatrical film would be like. Whether it be a 50-million-dollar project backed by a big studio or a small film made independently, it would be chaotic to make, even overwhelming. But above all, it would be creatively liberating, exhilarating and genuinely magical. Yes, you will have to take it seriously and work hard to make sure every piece of the machine is working correctly, but once that machine produces a final piece, a product of your creative vision, it will all be worth it. The foundation of those experiences was laid that day of the incursion. And it will be remembered.