First Blog Post on Film Annex!

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I’ve just got on my train to work, work being that of a University lecturer in film production. I have decided to write my first blog for Film Annex. Blogging is something I have done off an on for years now. But this one is different; within this blog I will write about current film trends, my point of views and also my film work. This is also the part where I state that these views are my own and not that of Staffordshire University.

 Over the last 15 years I have made films, help make films and taught best practice in making films.

Ok so that’s the introduction out the way. How did I get here? Well I was born in 1976 in rural Somerset. No actually I mean how did I get to Film Annex; Film Annex has been slowly building up for in the background of my life and through my students.  Through your students! I hear you ask. Well yes. Being at a university in these modern times is about sharing information.  It's a two way process. Lots of learning takes place outside of the lecture theatre.  I started to notice through their Facebook and Twitter feeds that they had joined Film Annex and also were having some success with the website, with views and making money from it.

So far I have started to create channels of my students work that I can find on here, and if you are reading this and a graduate or current student please get in touch.

 Students from Staffordshire University and my course are the following

Mark Kuczewski

Sorcha Anglim

Jack Tew

Amy Hill

Andy Salamoncyk

Jon White

Andy Parker

Tim Orchard 

That’s to name a few; they have some great films they made on there when they were students, as well as more recent projects they have done since university.

So I got here through my students who came to Staffordshire University to learn about film and programme making, get artistic with it. 

I teach a 3-year undergraduate programme that is all about making moving image work. That can be short films, documentaries and experimental work.  I think that some of the success that our students have had on film annex is due to the intensity of our courses.

As first year students we put our students straight into production on starting the course.

On the third week they are in production learning how to make a film. This is what the students want. Filmmakers want to be learning from doing rather than sat around being told how to do it. 

As a young filmmaker at 19, I went to university to make more films, rather than having to get a job! I think that young filmmakers still go and do this now. Though the playing field has changed somewhat for them. 

As a filmmaker you learn from doing, more than anything else, the more you make the better you get.  Our students will have made 8 films as a producer/director by the time they graduate. They will have also have worked on a lot of their fellow students  films as well. Meaning that after 3 years of making films they should be at a highly competent standard for the industry.

We at Staffordshire University have been doing this over the last ten years.  With lots of success.  In the last few years we have been able to showcase this work online via websites like YouTube, Vimeo and Film Annex.  Which is what my next blog will be about what to do with student films? And how they are much more than learning tool now.

About the author


Daniel Hopkins (b.1976) is a Filmmaker, Sound Artist based in Warwickshire, UK. Daniel Hopkins work is concerned with the landscape around his everyday life. Current films and sound pieces have been about the environment, noise pollution and travel. His Movement series of films are about travel and the landscape whether…

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