Film student, Max Rowland, successfully completed her Diploma last year and is ready to get cracking on her Advanced Diploma in 2019!
At the half way point of her studies, film student Max Rowland, reflects on why film school has been the right decision for her and offers advice to anyone wondering if it is also right for them.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about studying film?
If you are someone who has found the learning techniques of high school or university difficult, if you are an individual who has a voice and an opinion and are brave enough to put that out into the world, then film school is the place for you. You learn so much, not only about film, but also about yourself and how you look at the world. There are so many different paths film school can take you down, you're bound to find something that clicks!
How has your time been at AFTT so far?
Studying at AFTT has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had thus far. AFTT has connected me with some of the most amazing people, including industry contacts, teachers, and friends. I have gained a wealth of knowledge over the past year, and have discussed with peers how great it is to actually be able to see the things you've learned when watching films and being able to pick out techniques and such that you hadn't noticed before.
What have been your favourite projects that you have worked on?
By far my favourite project would have to be The Short, the first year thesis film. The experience of putting together and working with both peers and teachers on the pre-production of our first major film was so informative and interesting. Then into the following weeks of directing your own short, and working on everyone else's, working full days four days a week, was really something i've never experienced before. It was a very difficult but rewarding process, and through the long hours on set in different roles, everyone was able to get a feel for a range of potential jobs they could pursue. I had the opportunity to develop my skills when working as the DOP on a peers short, and was able to identify my weakness in an understanding of lighting, something I was able to talk to teachers about and participate more actively during future lessons.
What are some of the key lessons you have learnt during your first year at AFTT?
Despite the wealth of hands on knowledge that had been accumulated over the year, I would have to say that the most important lesson I have found to be one of attitude. The teachers at AFTT all share their experiences and passions with us, and throughout all of this the overriding message has been this: work hard. Something that may seem simple, but when working in an industry that is naturally filled with many ups and downs, remembering to never feel discouraged and to work your hardest, even on projects that may not be passion projects, is something that can be hard to remember, but having teachers who are so passionate about their work, and preach the importance of hard work is definitely a great motivation.
What has been your favourite piece of equipment that you have worked with so far in your studies?
Working with the Ursa Mini's on the Short was an amazing opportunity, using such quality cameras that we can reference on CV's and show reels for future employers is something that will definitely help in future employment.
What are you most looking forward to in your second year at AFTT?
I’m most looking forward to growing as a person and as a film maker, to developing my skills further and having the opportunity to continue working and learning in such a great environment. Last year at AFTT was the biggest year of personal growth for me, I can’t wait to see what next year holds.
What are your favourite things about AFTT?
Friends would have to be one of my favourite things about AFTT. It may seem odd, as 'friends' isn't something you attend film school for, but I was lucky enough to be part of a class that feels more like a little family, and the friendships I have formed will follow me into both my personal future and my professional future, I have no doubt that after AFTT I will remain in contact with a large majority of my peers, and am so excited to continue working in the field with them. The people I have met at film school are all motivated, talented, amazing individuals, and being surrounded by them always encourages and inspires me to be the best person I can be, I have learnt so much from them and been able to experience AFTT to it's fullest with peers that are equally as excited to learn and enjoy school. I think the fact that AFTT can so easily cultivate such an easy going and happy learning environment, and encourages working together rather then working against one another is a testament to how this school goes out of its way to be more then a school, but a network of people all pushing each other forward and rooting for each others success.
To learn more about studying film, click here.