Why You Should Be Applying For The BFI Film Academy Bristol

Copyright: Bex Rose

Copyright: Bex Rose


Molly Perryman took part in the BFI Film Academy earlier this year and wishes she could do it all over again.

It wasn’t until I decided to study media for A-Level two years ago that I learnt there is much more than meets the eye to filmmaking. Although my media studies didn’t take me physically into the industry, it did help me find the opportunity I was hoping for. That’s when I found out about the BFI Film Academy Bristol.

there is always a chance to learn a new skill

When applying there are two options – the Watershed course that specialises in documentary and event management and the Bristol Old Vic course that specialises in live action (dramas etc) and animation.

My background in music and audio meant that I was lucky to get a spot on the Bristol Old Vic course in the sound department. Being in the sound department didn’t mean I couldn’t have a go at other things like camera work or editing as there is always a chance to learn a new skill, especially as there are regular master classes from industry professionals. Not everyday can you say that the editor from the first series of ‘Breaking Bad’ taught you how to edit.

Now, if you’re thinking about applying and feel the same as I did then here’s a little more detail:

Copyright: Jon Craig

Copyright: Jon Craig

The Watershed course that specialises in documentary and events management involves working in smaller groups to produce a short documentary that will feature on Rife Magazine (yes, this magazine you lucky people). The events management side of things will allow the opportunity to have a go at marketing, communication as well as actually hosting a event. Last year the theme was a night in Tokyo which featured the film ‘Lost In Translation’ followed by an awesome Japanese inspired party. Here is the ‘behind the scenes’ of the one night in Tokyo event: One Night In Tokyo

Copyright: Bex Rose

Copyright: Bex Rose

The Bristol Old Vic course that specialises in live action and animation involves working as one big production crew (like in the movies) to create a short film that includes animation elements. This particular course explores a range of roles within a film crew from storyboard artist to director of photography and more.  Last year the ten minute film was made around the emotion of grief. Here is the ‘behind the scenes’ of ‘This Too Shall Pass’: Behind The Scenes

My top three tips for applying for the BFI Film Academy Bristol

1. Be yourself

You don’t have to be studying media to take part but having an interest in film, like writing, art department  really helps…

2. Be flexible

Have a first, second and third choice of a role you’d like to try as being flexible in the industry really does help.

3. Enthusiasm helps

Not everyone gets a chance to take part as there are limited spaces so really show your passion and that you are ready to conquer the course!

wish I could do this course every year

Copyright: Jon Craig

Copyright: Jon Craig

It’s amazing how a large number of people come together to make a film sometimes as little as two minutes or two hours, both takes a lot of planning and skill. This opportunity so beneficial and worth the time as you not only gain more knowledge of the film industry but the chance to use new equipment, find a new skill (for me sound recording on set) and make a bunch of new friends that share similar interests. I wish I could do this course every year.

The deadline this year for applications is on Monday 3rd November so don’t hang about!

To find out more visit the BFI Film Academy Bristol website and let us know what you think @rifemag