The global pandemic forced the film industry to adapt its practices. The primary driver of these changes was the economic imperative for production to continue. Similarly, film production courses had to deploy new methods to enable student films to be produced. Through this proces new and often creative working methods were devised. This necessity for change also allowed for a critical reassessment of standardised industrial filmmaking – this emphasised that until this point there had been a general unwillingness to reflect upon the industrial production and educational norm, with its ecological unsustainability, exclusive practices and embedded hierarchies. So, the imposing of ‘restrictions’ in fact became an opportunity for creative discovery and to rethink practice related possibilities. In this paper the authors will draw on their experience of teaching MA Film Practice, at Arts University Bournemouth, and the need to reimagine disciplinary engagement and devise new curriculum components. This process transformed restrictions into ‘creative parameters’. It also focused the course’s practice based research ethos and enhanced the student reflexive and reflective development. These innovations are now embedded in the course’s structure and have facilitated a departmental debate concerning ‘standardised’ working methods (copying historical normative models), and how we can foster a more inclusive and inventive learning environment. Further to this, the graduating students, now emerging reflective practitioners – more socially, ethically and conceptually aware – can potentially affect new standards and approaches to film production, and in doing so promote original and diverse work, as well as embracing inclusive and ecologically sustainable methodologies. This paper will consider the instructiveness of this academic innovation and its potential to inform future film practice.
Dr. Andrew Vallance is MA Film Practice course leader and Associate Professor at Arts University Bournemouth. He studied his master’s and PhD at the Royal College of Art. His thesis considered film and memory. He is also an artist, curator and writer. He co-founded Contact with Simon Payne and together they have developed numerous projects initially Assembly: A Survey of Recent British Artists’ Film and Video, 2008-13 (Tate Britain) and most recently the publication Film Talks: 15 Conversations on Experimental Cinema.
Robert Hardcastle is Senior Lecturer in Film Production at Arts University Bournemouth. His practice-based interdisciplinary research is about devising creative methodologies to explore sounds role in the creation of place and identities, and to provide new perspectives by re-imagining and re-enacting silenced or missing voices. Robert has worked as a sound designer and re-recording mixer, most recently on television documentary films.