BFI Film Academy students wrap on 10 week production course!

Aimed at 16-19yr olds, Signals’ BFI Film Academy offers the next generation of film makers access to professional equipment, mentorship from industry professionals and the opportunity to build their portfolio by working together in crews to produce their own short film from storyboarding through to editing. Check out the behind the scenes montage below, featuring interviews on set and at the final short film premiere in the Signals studio.

Over the course of 11 weeks the students had hands on workshops and production masterclasses with film industry professionals such as award winning Director Jane Gull (My Feral Heart), Cinematographer Neil Osman (The Little Mermaid) and VFX Artist David Sheldon-Hicks (Bladerunner 2049). With the masterclasses completed, they moved onto hands on workshops with Editor Jamie Pascoe, Sound Recordist Vincent Leleu and Sound Designer Frazer Merrick, where they got to experiment with both professional equipment and software – building their practical skills before moving onto the final stage of the course.

After each student pitched their short film concept to the group, two were selected and individual film crews were formed and various duties delegated. Once the scripts were written, the pre-production stage began with casting, art direction and location scouting all taking place simultaneously. Then, before they knew it, it was all hands on deck for the shooting day!

With both groups using Signals as a location, the building was a hive of activity – with our edit suite being brilliantly converted into a bedroom for the film MUTE. Once all filming was wrapped, the next stage was post-production. The editors, whom had additional roles on the production day, stepped up to the mark and shaped the films into their final forms. MUTE made great use of sound design to convey a party much livelier than the five people they had within the frame, all by adding in crowd/party sound effects. Then embraced their found-footage style brilliantly by choosing a retro aspect ratio and adding in stylised graphics and sound effects.

We finished the project with a screening of both films in our studio to friends and family, and a Q&A with both crews afterwards too…and the customary graduation group photo of course! A huge congratulations to all those who took part, and we can’t wait to see what they get up to next.

Final Films


A found-footage horror film, inspired by ancient stories of Essex witches. This group embraced the tropes of the genre brilliantly by using VHS style glitches, visual and sound effects in the edit to push the stylised aesthetic.


Inspired by the #MeToo movement, MUTE is the story of a voiceless character at a teenage house party. As well as perfecting the two-camera setup technique to capture the character conversations, this group also made good use of sound design – adding all party music and crowd ambiences in post-production.

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