Footscray City Films teaches cinematography with an emphasis on heart and soul
16.08.2018

Footscray City Films teaches cinematography with an emphasis on heart and soul

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Footscray City Films project their heart and soul into producing the finest filmmaking courses for their students.

They embrace the hands-on approach of cinematography, editing, directing, producing, and undertaking make-up design for screen and film art direction.

They have plenty of exciting projects up their sleeve, which includes their open day, their Global Film Project that incorporates a Los Angeles study trip for students, and their new feature film – a large-scale, collaborative project that they’re eager to release next year.

“It’s been a collaborative process – the students and myself have been working towards writing, directing, and producing a feature film that will actually be released,” explains Timothy Spanos, the Head of Film and Television at FCF. That’s really exciting, the one we’ve planned for this year is sort of like a cult film, and we’ve hired some very notable Australian actors to work with the students and myself on that for release next year.”

Footscray City Films also proudly endorses the creation of short films, since they’re a great learning experience for students and provides them with practical experience into filming their own narratives.

“You actually have to put so much into a short film straight away. You’ve got to know the characters within the first ten seconds,” Spanos says. “You haven’t got a lot of time to tell the story and explore things, so it’s good training if you want to go on to something that’s going to be a feature-length production. I always encourage students to make as many as possible.

“Students can walk away with short films and hopefully put them into film festivals, because short films actually have a longer life than a feature film. A feature film plays at the cinemas for a couple of weeks then it’s on VAD and DVD within six months, whereas a short film can go on at a film festival for two years.”

The students at Footscray City Films are well-known for being a hard-working crew who instill their passion into their filming, and as a result, they’ll be travelling to Los Angeles as part of the Global Film Project. “There’s about 20-25 students going from the age band of 18 to 67,” Spanos says. “We’ve got four documentaries and a couple of narratives that are actually going to be made over there within the seven weeks we’re staying.

“We’re working with the New York Film School, which is in Los Angeles. We’ll be attending a bunch of film industry events as well as making the short films. We’re talking about where we are going next year too, so it’ll be an annual thing.”

Since the relationships formed on set are special and last for years, students are given the opportunity to build amazing networks. “We have ex-students who are still working together when they met here 20 years ago, there’s a great network of students who are always up for helping each other and working on each other’s projects. We teach to collaborate in the creative process, and that’s the good thing about going to FCF, we’re very hands-on and it’s all about getting product out there.

“It’s all about being an artist and actually telling a story, captivating and engaging an audience and establishing that work and getting your work out there. Art is a reflection of life and reflective of the society we live in.”

Encapsulating Australian stories through filmmaking is very important to Spanos, who believes that more people need to actually go and see Australian films since they have plenty to showcase. “Australian films have a lot of heart and soul, and there are so many people making so many different types of films.

“Australia’s isolation from the rest of the world is making it become more creative, I think because we’re so open but we don’t get an influx. We’re not begging for English and American influences anymore, we’ve got our own.”