Learning the Harder Way

2 weeks away from home and my entire life has been enlightened. Now, who would have thought that a film course would actually give me hope for the future.

This past week I have been staying at Debden House, Loughton for a BFI Academy course in Documentary. I went along to the course feeling sceptical, unsure that I would be comfortable in such an extreme environment surrounded by nobodyย I knew beforehand.

The week consisted of great food, master classes with industry professionals, workshops and really passionate people. Everyone had a story to tell and I was so grateful to document some of these.

I was the only individual from Norfolk, so I felt as though I had to represent our whole county in the best possible way. Whilst being on the course I was surrounded by ‘motivational leaders’ who each told me their stories over the week. Some were hard hitting, but helped me understand areas of society that I was not aware of. I met a variety of different characters who stuck by me every moment of the day, even at 3am when I was sick (thanks guys.)

I had a beautiful team for our documentary: 25 Weeks. It was a pleasure to work with each and every one of them. It was a blessing that we worked so well and gelled as if we had known each other for years.

We created a documentary based around the stigma of young carers. We followed Lydia’s story – a now close friend of mine, who was the production manager in our group. We were introduced to Harvey, her twin brother who has Cerebral Plausy. He may have been one of the kindest people I have ever met and it was amazing to work along side such a confident young man who never let his disability get him down.

As an editor I worked along side Emmanuel – another young person in our group and Asim Ali, editor of 24 Hours of A&E. His sincere in-depth approach made it simple and easy to develop my editing skills. He had a creative flare which inspired me to create a new series of documentaries coming later this year. Below is a picture of us together – what a guy?!

I met my partner in crime, the Ant to my Dec and a fabulous friend called Ruby through this course who made me laugh throughout the entireย process. We were called ‘comedy legends’ (believe it or not?!) and I was told on more than one occasion by members of staff to consider a career in comedy, which was a huge compliment to me!

Our motivational leader Zhi and I built up a form of friendship over the course. His story was one that intrigued me the most. We bonded over our music taste, Buddhism and listening to each other. He’s someone who’ve I have kept in contact with since and cannot wait to see again. I miss his little face!

This week I have learned a great deal about myself and others around me. The course has opened my eyes to the media industry in particular and my personal choices for the future. Is university the right choice, or would I be more suited to an apprenticeship/internship?

My dearest moonshines: go out there and explore everything you have ever wanted to do. Don’t be held back by your fears and enjoy life. Meet people and be free.

Peace and love,

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Broadcast Journalism student and lover of all things film! Into Film Reporter, Smooth Radio Street Team, Fly FM presenter Tuesdays 6-7pm & BFI Documentary Alumni

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