Film Production experts, tutors Jon-Carlos Evans, Juli Saragosa and Malachi Rempen, tell us how they would approach our Creative Production Masters degree with three possible concepts.
Imagine having the creative freedom, dedicated time, expert guidance, pro equipment and multidisciplinary connections to explore whatever you want in film – from creating a feature film, to deeply researching a topic, engaging with a speciality or developing a business. Well, at Catalyst, graduate and professional filmmakers will soon be able to do all of that – and get an MA in the process (more details here)!
With absolutely no limitations to your self-directed learning experience, the possibilities for your chosen Creative Production Film Masters project are endless. Still, there’s no harm in a little inspiration.
Ahead of the September 2020 launch of the innovative MA, we asked three of our Film Production tutors what exactly they’d choose to do if they were in your shoes.
Screenwriting, Production & Industry and Cinematography tutor
“If you’re a natural rebel like me, you can use the fact that our MA programme doesn’t have any limitations to your advantage.”
I’d find a way to mix narrative cinema and live cinema, which is like live VJing: making dialogue and doing both the visuals and the music live at the same time. I’m already doing a bit of that now professionally, so the MA would be an amazing opportunity to further develop this. There are so many resources in the school for this idea, because it’s already a cinema programme and an electronic music programme. Everything I’d need would be here and I also wouldn’t be hindered by a predetermined curriculum.
That was the biggest problem for me in my MFA. I would turn in projects to one of my professors and he would say, ‘I don’t know how to judge this; this is art, not a cinema piece. We’re looking at narrative projects but what you have is more of an installation.’ That was really frustrating for me because I’d made something and I wanted feedback and a reaction. It was a fixed narrative cinema and documentary programme and there just wasn’t free rein to do whatever you wanted.
If you’re a natural rebel like me, you can use the fact that our MA programme doesn’t have any limitations to your advantage. You can do whatever you want: if it’s something involved with music and images, just do it; if you want to develop a screenplay or a pitch package to make a longer feature film, do it; if you have research, do it. Everything is supported here and that’s the most fascinating and encouraging thing.
Film Sound Tutor, and 1st Year Advisor
“It’d give me the time and space to deepen my practice in an environment that encourages exploration and play in the creation of high-quality work.”
If I were to do a second Masters, it would be to develop a few projects I’ve been working on in my little bit of spare time. It’d give me the time and space to deepen my practice in an environment that encourages exploration and play in the creation of high-quality work. The projects I’ve got on the go would also benefit from the international community and the variety of creative fields at the school. The first is an interactive web-based ASMR piece, that uses acoustic close-ups in an investigation of intimacy and consent on the queer body. I’ve also been slowly writing a speculative fiction feature film script that addresses the #metoo movement. I’m not sure yet where that’ll take me, as it’s still in the beginning stages. But if I had the time and resources, I’d make these projects happen!
Film Production Certificate Lead
“It would be amazing to have the time and space to tune out the noise of the other parts of my life and really focus in on one project.”
If I was taking the Masters in film, I would spend a whole year on a large-scale project. I’ve never made a feature film before, but I’ve got lots of larger projects and several feature films that I’ve written or created treatments for. I’d love to develop, pre-produce and maybe even shoot and find distribution for one of them during the course. I’ve also got two ideas for web series. Some of them are full scripts with the whole season already plotted out, so I’d love to get development help and also use the school’s resources. It would be amazing to have the time and space to tune out the noise of the other parts of my life and really focus in on one project, as if it were my nine-to-five job. That’s a dream. Of course, it’s not just about completing it, but having the extra guidance and collaboration to excel at it.
I have some pilots for Netflix-type shows that I would love to develop and be able to pitch. Another idea would be to do a triptych, or a trilogy of hour-long films – a kind of mini-series, I guess – based in an alternative history of Iceland. One of the web series is a Breaking Bad-esque dark comedy. It’s set in the board game industry and community with a criminal undercurrent. I also have a feature film which is a Cohen Brothers-esque, supernatural murder mystery which takes place in a small town in Germany. Those are probably the low-hanging fruit from which I would choose my project.