Understanding what it is you are doing

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I have been teaching for a number of years now and I always find it interesting the student’s perception of what it is they are doing.

Education can be a bit of a treadmill these days.  Some film students started this treadmill aged 4 and are about to get off in 3 years after a degree aged for example 22. That sounds worse than it is. But it is something worth thinking about.  Education is what most people do for nearly the first 20 years of their life. During this time there is always another course to go onto. So you go from school to school, college to university.  Then woah! It stops, I have to get a job, earn money to pay bills!  That is one of the scariest things in the life of most of my students.  I spend a lot of time questioning my students what it is they want to do with there life. I think it is important for them to have goals for the next year of 5 years.

Back to my point about understanding what you are doing.  Everything that a creative arts student does has some value to it, and I’m no just thinking of a monetary one.  The students I support are making films.  These films are films they are entertainment.  They can be entertaining.  I am old compared to my students, nearly 37. I didn’t have the opportunities to make films on a mobile/cell phone, or even a computer. That ability wasn’t in my education. Therefore I believe that because this ability is there for the current student for all of their life. They see their student films as coursework a bit like an essay. 

Which to the child born in the seventies is a bit hard to understand.  I went to university to make bigger better films for 3 more years. I did that and it got me work, knowledge of the industry.

I believe that no film you make at University/film School is just coursework. Well it is but the great thing is, that it has this duality. It can be your coursework work, but it can also get shown at film festivals, get shown on television, and win awards!

If a student can see this and do this when they are studying they are more likely to get a career out of this hard industry.

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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