What do we do?
The Filmmakers Society of St Andrews exists with the aim to support filmmakers at all levels within the university by providing guidance, equipment and an opportunity to meet other creatives. The University doesn’t offer a filmmaking course; thus we are the only platform in the university facilitating hands-on productions.
We provide camera, sound and lighting equipment. We organise masterclasses in scriptwriting, directing, cinematography and editing to help our members get a better understanding of the specific roles during the production process. We also provide industry-related and internships workshops for students who are looking for a career in the film industry.
We have our very own online Actors Database where we display the profiles of actors and actresses around the university. We host Headshot Sessions where people come in and have a professional Headshot taken.
How does it work?
The production process is similar every semester:
- Scriptwriting deadline: Students are asked to submit their scripts. We host a workshop before to help them elaborate on their ideas.
- Production kick-off: People read the scripts and come together to create their teams based on script preferences and production roles.
- Auditions/ Actors Database: We either host a joint audition session for all production teams or producers are able to reach out to potential actors through the Database.
- Cinematography workshop: This includes a presentation of all of the available equipment as well as a hands-on session where people have the chance to play around with the equipment.
- Directing workshop: It depends on the individual who is running it. We aim to come up with interactive exercises to give people a better idea of the basics of directing.
- Editing workshop: We have installed editing software on university computers. Members are welcome to edit their films on these computers.
The Filmmaker’s Society of St Andrews was unofficially formed on the 7th of April 2017 following the screening of The Darkroom as a part of the On The Rocks Festival. Yet for the film to be shown and the announcement of the society’s creation to have been made, much had happened in way of circumstances. Originally The Darkroom, the first feature film of the society as well as the vehicle from which the society was formed, was a rejected theatric production for the Mermaid. Despite initial frustrations that naturally come with rejections, the production crew pushed on. They were intrigued by both the constraints and possibilities that a film could provide, perhaps bringing them closer to the original vision of the script than the play ever could.
Thus, after many months of planning, as well as bringing those both experienced and inexperienced in cinematography into the project, the crew filmed The Darkroom during the winter break of 2016. Of course, as with all first-time productions, there were many struggles, mistakes and inefficiencies that come naturally. Yet, this created even more interest amongst the group to pursue filmmaking further beyond one feature film. To accommodate for this desire, as well as to share the group’s passion for the process of filmmaking, the society was created.
We welcome all and encourage our fellow students to join us in our efforts to write the history of the society. In its opening, The Filmmaker’s Society looks towards a bright future, one in which like-minded students would be welcomed, where like-minded cinephiles would congregate, putting their minds together for future projects both personal and grandiose in scale. Though the history may be short for now, it is the hope of the society that its history will be expanded over time by the actions of its prospective members.