The Socumentaries: Film Making Soc

Natalie Mallory investigates Film Making Society for Impact Features

Having never made a film in my life – and barely being able to work my phone camera, let alone a cinematic one – I decided to take a look into the exciting world of the Film Making Society.

The first person I met from the society was Head Writer Tim Shelley. Having specialised in screenwriting, Tim was keen to talk up about the fun, yet lengthy process of film making, from the script writing itself, to the Director’s final edits. He told me that a usual session in the society consists of splitting into groups and creating a film from a prompt given by the group leaders. Alex Cook, a new arrival to the Film Making Society, said, ‘on our first session we were given envelopes with a place, a character and theme. So for us it was a lamppost, a detective and the theme was noir. It was really fun to try out all the equipment- which I’d never used before.’

The camera equipment is always provided, with some belonging to the society itself and others belonging to the society leaders, so if you’re thinking of joining, all you need to bring is yourself (plus the £5 membership fee.) However the President, Dominic, told me, ‘most members end up getting their own cameras as it allows them more creative freedom and means they can get used to how they work.’

However, if you’re like me and you have no idea how to hold a camera let alone use one, there’s always a battle-hardened cameraman hanging around to help, which is just as well as the new cinematic cameras usually cost £50 just for the course on usage! However, the President of the society, Dominic, is no stranger to cameras and is going to be teaching the society members for free.

The President, an enigmatic filmmaker who had directed musicals such as ‘The Producers’ and ‘Anything Goes,’ was excited to jump on board and discuss his society. ‘This year I tried to take it in a new direction so, whereas last year there was a lot of theory, this year you can just have fun and get stuck in.’ Hearing about his success at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, directing a musical, (plus his amazing experience watching The Room the Musical— look it up!) I had to know more about their future projects.

Dom tells me that a couple of years ago, during snow delays at the train station, he noticed how the very British reaction was to complain. This gave him the idea that during the Apocalypse, the British reaction would most likely be to complain. This then lead to the creation of The Deadline: A zombie-comedy, with python-esque style of jokes and a very British reaction to the undead rising up at university. The Film Making Society are planning to begin filming in December, on campus, just after lectures finish- so if you’re interested in gore-ing up and getting your Zombie on, you can get in contact with them to become an un-dead extra.

“Everyone has the opportunity to get their films made”

Moreover, every year the Society take part in a 24hour film making project. This event involves writing a script, filming and post production editing, all completed within 24 hours. It runs as a competition, so the members split up in to groups and compete to win with best film- which appears on YouTube.
Talking of YouTube, the boys have created their own channel Rogue Quill, where they will be uploading new film and videos (including the Deadline) so watch this space!

Everyone has the opportunity to get their films made. Whether you’re a writer with a great script, or a budding director, all you have to do it turn up to the pitch night in November (date unconfirmed) pitch your idea and sit back as the society members vote on which projects they want to work on. So whether you’re the President or a Fresher you have equal opportunities to make your film! Tim also told me he is planning to pitch his new script ‘Monificence’ a heart-warming tale of human kindness, revolving around the day of a pound coin. Once finished he plans to post it on the YouTube channel.

Also worth mentioning is Tim Shelley’s screenwriting workshops which run on Mondays from 2pm. Free to all society members, Tim is able to teach budding-writers everything they need to know about character/plot development and the essential industry know-hows.

All in all the Film Making Society seems like a great place to have fun, mess around with cameras and immortalise your terrible acting forever on YouTube. And for only a £5 membership, you learn the essential skills that could one day lead you to an Oscar! If Matt Damon and Ben Affleck can do it- so can you!

Natalie Mallory

Image: Natalie Mallory

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