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BFI Film Academy 5: Sophie Howarth

Sophie Howarth is one of the participants on our fifth BFI Film Academy. With the course coming to an end, we asked Sophie to reflect on her time in the academy…

I was absolutely thrilled when I got the call that I had been accepted as one of the final 18 places out of the 60+ applicants and I was even more pleased when the BFI Film Academy met and exceeded my expectations.

At the start of the academy I had next to no practical filmmaking experience, having only made a few short films at college. It was amazing to learn about how to make a film from the professionals themselves as well as collaborating with other young filmmakers who were just as passionate and enthusiastic about film as me. I learnt so many skills during the course including how to use the cameras to get interesting shots, how to make and collect sound, how to create meaning through editing the shots as well as many other useful skills that I’m sure I’ll use throughout my future career.

Additionally, each week we did a film history lesson which I found incredibly interesting. I had never learnt about film in this way before and was introduced to a number of other films that I wouldn’t have watched as I had only ever watched films from the last 30 years. Seeing some of the first films ever created develop through the years into what we have today was both fascinating and inspiring.

My favourite part of the academy would have to be developing the ideas for our short film. As an aspiring writer, seeing the ideas we came up with combine and change gave me a unique insight into how films begin and are shaped into the final script. I also learnt a lot, such as how to recognise what is not needed, how to cut it out and how to make a story and its characters interesting to the audience.

Overall, the BFI Film Academy had been an amazing experience that I’m glad and honoured to be a part of. It’s been brilliant to be taught and given the chance to shape my enthusiasm and passion for film into something me and my group are proud of and I can’t wait to see the final cut on the big screen!

Find out more about our BFI Film Academy, head here.

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