Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Film Academy families!!
What are your hopes for 2019? We think Graham’s got his eye on an Oscar…

Academy Principal Graham Kitchener seems inspired by the giant Oscar at our end of term film screening!

SYFF: The Film Academy Teen Group Trip

Stanley Treshansky reports from the Teen Group’s trip to the Scottish Youth Film Festival in Glasgow

I was so excited when I got out of the car to start the trip to the SYFF in  Glasgow. I signed in and took a front row seat on the coach there next to my friends. The trip there was lovely, the time passed by so quickly after playing Top Trumps, chatting and doing Rubik’s cubes. With five minutes left until the trip finished I collected all of my things, had a quick drink of water and headed off the coach with all my friends to go into the building. We walked towards the end of the building to meet Scott from the SYFF and he told us that it would start in about fifteen minutes. We all went to the cafe and got some snacks and drinks. I had a cup of tea in order to finish properly waking up in time for the events.

First we went into the main auditorium where we got the all too familiar safety speech telling us about fire exits and everything. We also got the overview on the day’s events and schedule.

For the first workshop, I chose the Kevin Guthrie Acting Q & A. We got to hear a little bit about his career and background before asking him questions. He told us a lot of useful tips and advice. This was some of what he said: he told us that film and theatre acting are very different in terms of how to do it and the impact it has on you. He also said that confidence is very important whenever doing anything in life. He told us that just before he walks into the audition room he imagines the door as a cold icy pool and tells himself to take the plunge, and if he doesn’t get it, he doesn’t get it. I found this workshop so inspiring and insightful. It is so awesome to meet a real professional, a common theme in the Scottish Youth Film Festival.

I then went into the Next steps filmmaking panel which had loads of real industry professionals that I got to meet. The event was a similar structure to the previous one. They all told us a little bit about themselves and what it is that they do and then we got to ask them questions. They gave us loads of great pointers on how to get into the industry and also told us about the vast number of jobs you could do that I had never heard of. They told us to do what you love and keep at it. They also encouraged us to get into all aspects of filmmaking. They told us that people are more valuable than money. Some of the careers they told us about were: script supervisor; foley artist; and gaffer. Foley artist was one of my favorites, they make sound out of objects to replicate whats going on in the film.

Then it was lunchtime where I treated myself to a pack lunch and second cup of tea, Yum! I also talked to my friends about what workshops they went to and what they were like.

When lunch was over I went to the Animation Workshop where I continued to learn loads of new things! I learned about how animators animate in 24 frames as 25 at 12 fps, I also learned all about momentum and its effect on how you animate (it is very difficult to animate walking!). We even got to learn about Eadweard Muybridge’s horse animation where he discovered that horses do lift all 4 legs off the ground. I had loads of fun putting this knowledge into practice by making animated films with all of my friends and people that I met there.

We still had a little time before the awards, and decided to use this time looking at the Film Archive (seeing as we were in the ideal place to do so). We found some old footage that was very out of context and dated, looked at the difference, laughed, and saw how history had treated Scotland.

Awards Time!!! It was so awesome to see all of the different films that were entered, some of the 9-12s films were so funny that we couldn’t stop laughing. We got to see the winning film and learn about the outreach program too. At the end off the day, we got to take back the shortlisted award to the Film Academy.

We had a very smooth and quick trip back without any complications.

I wouldn’t have spent the day any other way, it was such a fantastic event and I am looking forward to next year’s 😉

Interested in our weekly classes at The Film Academy Edinburgh? Click here to find out more, and sign up for our new after school classes on Wednesdays!

Stanley Treshansky is an actor and can be found on Facebook at Stanley’s Acting Page.

Photos: Film Academy Shoot Day, November 2018

It was Shoot Day at The Film Academy Edinburgh! The teen group spent the morning filming ‘Rugby’ (working title), and in the afternoon, it was the 9-12s group’s turn for their film, ‘Let’s Save Christmas’.

Click to read more about our Shoot Day here.

Interested in joining our weekly filmmaking classes? Click here to join the mailing list for our new after school classes on Wednesdays, coming soon!


Filming on Location at the Jack Kane Sports Centre in Edinburgh

Ahh, the challenges of movie making! The students had spent the last two weeks at Film Academy Edinburgh learning about filming on location and making shot lists. It was time to put their new found skills into practice!

The Film Academy EdinburghFilm Academy NewsFILMING ON LOCATION: NOVEMBER 2018 SHOOT DAY




Filming on Location at the Jack Kane Sports Centre in Edinburgh

Ahh, the challenges of movie making! The students had spent the last two weeks at Film Academy Edinburgh learning about filming on location and making shot lists. It was time to put their new found skills into practice!

Filming outside Rudolph's Stable: The 9-12s group put their filmmaking skills into practice with  "Let's Save Christmas!"
The 9-12s group put their filmmaking skills into practice with “Let’s Save Christmas!”

We have gadgets for everything in the film industry, but as we’ve all been learning, the one thing we still can’t control is the weather…

Hot Chocolate
Thank you so much, bringers of Hot Chocolate!

The forecast was so variable it kept the week a bit more exciting than we might have liked as the big day approached. Thankfully we were lucky, with a full day of autumn sunshine.

The weather was a little chilly but we were well prepared with the help of our unsinkable parent volunteers Karen and Paul, who put up a shelter tent for the equipment, and were joined later by Yasmin in keeping everyone supplied throughout the day with some excellent and warming hot chocolate. Thank you, Karen, Paul and Yasmin: you really saved the day!

The Teens film: ‘Rugby’ (Working Title)

2007 Rugby World Cup balls
Three elusive Rugby Balls, or ‘props’, as we in the film industry call them 😀
Photo: gepiblu, via Wikimedia, [CC BY-SA 2.0]

With the equipment all ready to go and a big shot list to cover, the teen group still needed three rugby balls as props for their film (working title: ‘Rugby’!)

Luckily, our friends at the Portobello Rugby club stepped in, and another parent volunteer, Annabel, drove like a (ahem) fast but sensible person to fetch them, assisted by trusty six year old Tommy, who carried one of the rugby balls himself. Thanks Annabel and Tommy, and thank you Barry and the Portobello Rugby Club!

The next hero of the day was our acting tutor Rachael, who has been coaching the students in acting skills worthy of their future careers as Hollywood film stars, and encouraged some great performances from the kids. Nice job by all involved!

The teen group filming 'Rugby'
Teens: “So… we all act like rugby players, right?”

Filming on Location: Putting the Teen Group’s Skills into Practice

Teenagers filming on location in Edinburgh
The teens group filming on location: putting their camera skills into practice. Photo: Marj Demaude

The beautiful autumn weather gave the crew a great opportunity to learn about outdoor filming on location, working with the long shadows and low angled sunshine.

The breeze also made things tricky at times for the teen group’s sound recording, but that’s exactly the kind of real world challenge the kids learn to work with in The Film Academy.

The teen group’s final shot was filmed as a drone sequence, an exciting chance to experience how another piece of professional film equipment is used in practice.

It was a race against time for the teen group, getting as many of their scenes as possible in the can, fuelled by more of that well-timed hot chocolate, and they almost pulled it off.

The teens all did a great job, but in the end they were out of time with one scene left: another common experience in real world filming. They will now have the challenge of working around this in their regular weekly Film Academy classes at Edinburgh College.

The 9-12s film ‘Let’s Save Christmas’!

In the afternoon, it was the 9-12s group’s turn for their film, ‘Let’s Save Christmas’, and the scene couldn’t have been more different.

Gone were all the rugby props, and instead our filmmaking mentor Glenda had transformed a small garage area at the back of the sports centre into the most Christmassy scene you could imagine:

The 9-12s group film: "Let's Save Christmas!"
I think Christmas is saved!
Small Santa holding the clapper
Good job holding the clapper, Santa!

Awesome job, Glenda, and if Christmas ever really does need saving, we know who to call!

Once all the props, set dressing, cameras, sound equipment and crew were in place, there wasn’t a lot of room left for Rudolph and the cast, but the kids did great work and we wrapped all three scenes just 15 minutes over schedule.

Good job everyone. We can’t wait to see the results!

Our Thanks to:

Interested in joining our weekly filmmaking classesClick here to join the mailing list for our new after school classes on Wednesdays.

Our August filmmakers!

Our August Summer Camp students graduating from The Film Academy Edinburgh!

Congratulations to our August filmmakers!

Join us now to be a part of our weekly after-school filmmaking academy in Edinburgh from September:


Excitingly, on 13 June Gordon MacDonald of the Scottish National Party, submitted a motion in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, in support of the Film Academy Edinburgh. Woohoo! The motion was supported by 13 other MSPs.

Maybe we should ask them if they’d like to enrol?!

Here’s the link: The Film Academy in Scottish Parliament!

And here’s what they said:

Motion S5M-12772: Gordon MacDonald, Edinburgh Pentlands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/06/2018New Film Academy for Edinburgh
That the Parliament welcomes moves to launch a permanent film school, the Film Academy Edinburgh, which will provide filmmaking schools for young budding filmmakers; understands that this will build on the short courses currently available for children to learn about filmmaking; recognises that Edinburgh is home to the world’s oldest continually running film festival and that filming in the city region generated £16.1 million in terms of economic impact in 2017, which is a 109% increase on 2016; thanks the actress, Shauna Macdonald, the BAFTA winner, Douglas Dougan, and the editor, Chuck Cumming, for supporting the plans of Edinburgh filmmaker, Graham Kitchener; appreciates the value in children learning film, which also teaches collaborative working, communication skills, confidence-building and development of skills in organising and planning, and recognises that the ambitious plans would see children aged between nine and 18 learn how to turn their ideas into films and master skills that could later benefit the burgeoning Scottish film industry.Supported by: David Torrance, Kenneth Gibson, Clare Haughey, Stuart McMillan, Jeremy Balfour, Richard Lyle, Stewart Stevenson, Gillian Martin, Jenny Gilruth, Ash Denham, Bill Kidd, Colin Beattie, Tom Arthur