Exploring the art of film making

Course: Film and Television Production BA (Hons)

6 January 2020

Film maker Solomia Dzhurovska in red jacket with a crew of three filming on Cambridge street

I’m in my third year of study on the Film & TV Production course. I hope to follow a path in film making, or film directing in particular, after I graduate.

My second year of university was very special for me. I co-directed a short documentary about ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) called Tertiary Sound. We worked in a group of just four people: Luca Strujk (my Co-Director), Cristi Tomsa (Director of Photography) and Jared Guy (Editor, Sound Designer and Composer). We didn’t know how big the project would turn out. Almost all of it was shot in ARU’s Ruskin Building TV studio and live drawing room. We recorded some sounds in our bedrooms late at night and went through a series of different experiments with our contributors and researches. This was truly special, because I didn’t know that filmmaking could be so much more than just creating a story and shooting it. We were really experiencing something for the first time and we had an opportunity to show it to others too, which is so valuable and important.

When the BFI London Film Festival included Tertiary Sound in its official selection we didn’t even know that so many people would come to the screenings. This was my first festival that I attended as a filmmaker and the experience was so different and a little overwhelming - so many things were happening at once! Seeing our film on the big screen felt like a different world, every single detail stood out so clearly. And then people came up to us after the screenings to share their thoughts, and there is nothing quite as special as that.

I take a lot of inspiration by participating in film events, film festivals in particular. I get involved with at least two or three festivals each year and every one of them teaches me something different. I’m not afraid to go out of my way and to travel to another town or even country if I know that this experience will shape me as a filmmaker. I received a lot of support from university too. Something like covering my expenses to go to that film event or to travel to volunteer at the film festival in another town meant a lot to me. It allowed me to do things and experience something that probably became crucial to who I am now. And I knew I could rely on this support because the university and my tutors respected my interests and wanted me to do more.

Every summer a few of us from the course (and our tutors too!) would attend Sheffield Doc Fest. I look forward to that event every year.  It is probably the best place for an aspiring filmmaker to be, even if you are not thinking of taking a documentary path. I have met so many interesting people there and cried at so many films - there is nothing that can top that! I wrote a first draft of my story for a Major Project on the train to Sheffield last summer and by the end of the festival I had an outline of a script! Now we are shaping it into a short film, me and my team, and I am very excited to see it come together.

On our course we work in very good facilities and studios and make our films with professional equipment. Our tutors trust us with it, because they know how much we are capable of. And this trust matters, it empowers you, it makes you believe in yourself a little bit more. Every time I step out and work on a film project outside of university - first thing I will be asked is how much experience do I have and I always have an answer that I’m proud of. My course has really equipped me to go out there and shoot with confidence, because it matters the most!

Studying in Cambridge was a little bit strange in the beginning. It’s not a big city, but it felt over-saturated with students. In my first month here I didn’t meet anybody from here. But as I joined various film groups, societies, meet ups, film festivals and even a local choir, I started to expand my understanding of this city and the people who make it so special. I find it easy to work here, to bring people together. There is often something going on and creatives are always looking out to get involved with something new.


Solomia Dzhurovska is studying on our Film and Television Production BA (Hons) course.

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