Elizabeth Adejumo is one of the participants on our ninth BFI Film Academy (2020). Having come almost to the end of the academy, we asked her to reflect on her time on the course…
The HOME BFI Film Academy has been one of the best decisions in my life, the only downside are the effects of COVID but that’s fine, all the staff (John, Judith, Ally and Christina) have still been able to give us the best experience ever. I would highly suggest to everyone to sign up for any of the BFI courses. Take a leap of faith and just sign up, you do not have anything to lose. The whole programme has been amazing, the people are amazing, the staff mentioned above are amazing and our guest speakers have been amazing, offering so much useful insight into the history or industry of film.
I enjoyed the shoot day most; I was able to overcome my anxiety with the help of the amazing John and Judith. It was great to get that hands-on experience with the cameras and lighting, it made the whole day worth it. It really gave me a lot to think about when it comes to jobs in the film industry. The shoot day has been such a huge learning curve for me, to trust in my abilities and the decisions of others. My team are the loveliest of people I have ever met, I am glad I was able to meet them in real life and not just over Zoom.
Because the sessions were online it was a challenge to remain focused for so long in the same place. However, they gave us plenty of break times to allow for us to grab a snack and the opportunity to get to know the other participants which helped drastically in the group’s dynamic. The real challenge for me was not being able to meet everyone face to face, but gradually over time and our weekly Zoom calls we have gotten to know each other pretty well.
Overall, the academy has been great so far, I have truly enjoyed my experience. If I could do it again I definitely would. The coordinators have been ever so helpful in ensuring everyone is safe, especially for me as I had a bit of a rough patch at the start. However, due to COVID it has been unfortunate that I have not had as much real life experience as I would like to have had but that is something that cannot be controlled by the academy. Also, they are flexible in scheduling and understand we as students may have other things to do as well. This helped massively as I was able to find a good balance between the academy and my college work so the work does not pile up.
Massive thank you to Christina, John, Judith, Ally, Ellen and to our amazing guest speakers. They have all left such an impact on me and how I will create my future content.