Developing a Commercial Film Production Ecosystem in Academia with Pedagogy at Its Heart

Fox, Neil ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2959-2877 (2020) Developing a Commercial Film Production Ecosystem in Academia with Pedagogy at Its Heart. In: UIIN: Boundary Spanning Champions Online Forum, 2-3 December, 2020, Online Conference.

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Abstract / Summary

The Sound/Image Cinema Lab is a multifaceted partner, funder, resource and research centre based at Falmouth University's School of Film and Television. It is the outward facing, industry collaborating arm of Film at Falmouth University. It creates, captures and communicates cinematic production, research and pedagogy. Over the past decade it has been responsible for the production, and co-production with national partners, of a series of narrative and documentary, short and feature films that has simultaneously resulted in internationally renowned screen work as well as unrivalled pedagogical benefits for students and career acceleration for graduates. The Lab has fostered its own feature films including the award winning ‘Wilderness’ (2017) and commercial graduate short Backwoods (2020). Most significantly the Lab has invested in, for pedagogical return, features such as Claire Oakley’s iFeatures debut Make Up (2019) released in cinemas in 2020 and Mark Jenkin’s BAFTA winning feature film Bait (2018).

The Sound/Image Cinema Lab work to date captures a decade of working with filmmakers regionally and nationally on supporting independent and micro-budget film production where financial, labour and technical resources have been offered to film productions in return for pedagogical access for students and increasingly, graduates. In the mid 2010s, the development of a filmmaker in residence programme resulted in the university funded feature film ‘Wilderness’ which saw a commercial feature film produced with a 25% professional/75% student crew. This project served as a model for engagement around which a series of partnership and project templates, for example how graduate career development could be supported, were developed whereby pedagogical benefits were central to the return of investment that projects seeking support from the Lab needed to provide, in return for key financial and resource support. 
 
The result is a dynamic filmography with partners including BFI, Film4, Creative England, Screenskills and national and regional producers and production companies, that has seen professional level experiences for under and postgraduates, and graduates, that have increased attainment and career progression speed. This paper discusses how the Lab has consolidated academic research and film production practice into a slate of projects that address vital industry issues such as access and inclusion that are ultimately commercial and financially self-sufficient. This paper also looks at the challenges for growth and sustainability and the limitations on impact that sit alongside unique pedagogical opportunities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > British Film
Education
Film & TV
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Depositing User: Neil Fox
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2020 12:05
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2020 12:05
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/4124

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