Well, the end of my first term at the London Film School has come to a close. What a ride it has been! Apart from the surprise of my US Federal Loan being withdrawn since the first day of school, everything else has been wonderful. The London Film School student body elected me as their Student Union Welfare Officer. This role consists of providing paid, volunteer, and internship opportunities to the student body that are presented from internal and external sources. I also had the chance to meet English Film Director and Producer, Danny Boyle. He did a Q&A at our school and talked about the films he made such as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, 127 Hours, the Academy Award winning Slumdog Millionaire, and Director of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. That is one of the benefits of the prestige of my school because well known filmmakers are attracted to LFS and love coming to talk to its students.
Because my academic foundation in Anthropology, I have been finding ways to stay involved with anthropological organizations. I was accepted for an internship with the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Film and Video Archive Department in London. The RAI is the world's longest established scholarly association dedicated to the furtherance of anthropology in its broadest and most inclusive sense. I will be assisting with cataloguing the archives, but I have been brought on mostly to help with the upcoming summer RAI Film Festival. Preparations for the festival are needed and constant stream of ethnographic films are being submitted, which need to be registered and organized. This will give me a chance to get to know the filmmakers and see films that I envision myself directing in the future. It is quite a privilege and achievement for me to be brought on board the RAI.
School has definitely challenged me in many ways. The bar is set quite high at LFS and although in first term the instructors have cut us some slack, they will not be too easy on us next term. In the beginning of the this term, our class was broken up into four groups and our final projects were to create two film on 16mm black and white film stock. My roles on the two films were the Assistant Camera and Editor. However, I also assisted as a Producer. When a final cut of our films were completed we had our films screened on the projector in the school's cinema where the faculty and invited professionals in the filmmaking field critiqued the films immediately afterward. This was quite intimidating because our whole group had to sit in front of the entire audience to listen to the critique. Although the critics were blunt, they meant well and the purpose is to learn how to correct our mistakes in the areas of directing, cinematography, producing, and editing. I found the feedback to be invaluable and l am already looking forward to next terms films.