Sinking In New York…

During my three months in America traveling as a Nottingham Roosevelt Scholar, I enrolled myself onto a professional development film making course at the famous New York Film Academy (not funded by the scholarship). My main objective was to gain experience with 16mm film cameras as all my previous projects have been shot on HD cameras- usually a Canon 5D Mark II. Shooting on film is a whole new experience, using film is like painting with oil pigments and filming on HD is like using Adobe Photoshop. Where with Digital HD cameras you can press a button and adjust the focus with film it’s a whole drawn out affair; using a tape measure to measure the distance from camera to object, reading the light source with a light meter, calculating what this means to adjust the aperture accordingly and then hope for the best, because there no way of knowing if Its in focus until you process the film and view it!! And before you get to the stage of focusing theres the challenge of loading the film. I was delighted to discover that the years I spent assisting my Grandma thread her sewing machines proved to be quite useful, the technique seems to transfer over to threading film through the cameras!

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I found the 4 week course truly insightful, exhausting but insightful. I was a part of a small class of foreign students, who had traveled from Germany, Brazil, Romania and The Philippines. We quickly became a closely knit team dedicated to each others projects and rotating the various roles so that we each could experience different aspects of the crew. We became firm friends who I hope someday to work with again. Over 4 weeks my class/crew filmed 15 short film projects in 4 weeks ranging from 30 second muse-en scene films, to 3 minutes music videos and short films all shot in and around New York. My final project was a short film that adapted from one of my poems and is called Sinking. I made two versions, one using a 16mm Arri Flex film camera and another using my Canon 5D Mark II. I’m current in the process of submitting to various festival but in the mean time check out these stills from the film.

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