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  • Elise Paris

The beginning of something wonderful.

Updated: Jan 28

Hello reader,

Welcome back to my blog. I hope you are well and haven’t shrivelled up like a raisin in this ungodly heat. At least today has been breathable, ay?

I’ve been meaning to write a new post on here for a while, but I keep finding reasons to put it off. The last month or so has been a strange concoction of very dark days and very exciting ones. Of course I’m not willing to discuss all those online, but there is some positive news I want to focus on in this post, as I hope it will be an interesting topic for other young people who are interested in a film career. Also I’m just really excited to talk about it!

For as long as I have known that I want to make movies, I have also had no fucking idea how to make movies. I couldn’t ever afford expensive equipment or enrolment in a fancy film school, I don't really know anyone in the industry, or anyone that would even be interested in collaborating with me and I really struggle with ‘putting myself out there’. As a young teenager, I looked to the internet for advice on how to break my way into this industry. University was almost instantly crossed out as an option, as the phrases ‘over-qualified’ and ‘waste of time and money’ didn’t really tickle my fancy. I extended my search to inspirational quotes from the likes of Tarantino, but was greeted with statements like, “When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, no, I went to films.” Well, thats great for you Quentin, honestly it is, but we're not all be white men in Hollywood, so what about me?

I was and still am willing to work hard and make my way from the bottom upwards. I took online courses. I applied endlessly to Runner jobs, Film Studio Assistant roles and even Apprenticeships with TV Studios like Channel 4. Every time, I got so close but fell at the final hurdle when they asked me, “so, what experience to do you have?” As my ‘gap year’ turned into 2 gap years and I continued working full time, whilst trying to find time for my social life and family, I’ll admit my inspiration began to fade. I burned out. On many occasions I questioned if I really was that passionate about film. I considered taking up an easier career path and maintaining film as a hobby. But whilst this temporarily felt like a great weight off my shoulders, it never sat quite right with me. I want a career in film, I knew that for sure. So I quit my job. I took the winter of 2018 to hide myself away and focus on what makes me really happy; my family and my love for film. I made time for old movies I had been meaning to watch for a while. I invested hours upon hours into crafting this blog and reaching out to filmmakers online, which is something I’m incredibly glad that I did. Most importantly though, I began to research universities with good Film courses all over again, and this time, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. Two years previously, I had only seemed to come across ‘Film Studies’ courses, that focused heavily on theory and research. This is a fine pursuit for some, but I always wanted a more hands on, practical course that would allow me to create a portfolio of work and get real world experience. Maybe I had been looking in the wrong places before, or maybe they just didn’t exist then, but this time, I found a few courses that really inspirited me and were everything I had been looking for.

So after months of open days, comparing and contemplation, I submitted my personal statement to four universities. At times, whilst I waited on their response, I did doubt whether this was exactly what I wanted, or rather a last hope kind of call. But when I received the news that all four universities had offered me unconditional places, I was over the moon.

So, starting this September I will begin my Film BA (Hons) degree at Oxford Brookes University. This course will allow me to learn the craft of screenwriting, directing and producing for films, as well as network with other aspiring, retired and professional filmmakers and whats more, I’ll get to visit film festivals across thew world. Granted, its not the most original way of entering the industry, and yeah maybe in 4 years time I’ll be in exactly the same position I am in now, but at least I’ll have spent 4 years doing what I love, finding my voice and making collaborative friends, as opposed to sitting around waiting for my ‘lucky break’.

Either way, I hope to use this blog as a way of documenting my own portfolio progress, as well as a platform to discuss topics that occur to me along the way, but most of all, to share my experiences with other aspiring filmmakers, so that it might serve as a source of information when considering if studying Film at university is the right option for you.

I’m really looking forward to this adventure that I am about to embark on and I hope, especially in light of some recent events, that I can start to live my life to the fullest and achieve all my wildest dreams.

Here’s to success and happiness for me and everyone I know.

That’s all for today,

More posts coming soon!

Elise, out.

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