Study UK, an event managed under British Council Malaysia, is back in Malaysia with another exhibition to provide a more hands-on insight into education in the United Kingdom for international students. A seminar on film-making and the many styles and concepts used during production will be held as part of an effort to guide students in choosing their career paths or to simply broaden their horizons with experiences shared from people in the industry.
One of the bigger local exhibitions for education in the UK, Study UK boasts 89 exhibitors from universities, colleges, and schools with their representatives ready to answer questions and assist. It is open to all – from primary school up to post-graduate – as the focus of the event is a reflection of its core value, which is discovering yourself. And discover yourself you will, with the many seminars and abundance of information all jam-packed in one weekend! The exhibition will be on 18th & 19th March, and it will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
One of the highlights of this year’s event is a seminar with speaker Warren Harrison, the Associate Dean of School of Design, Culture, and The Arts at Teesside University with a background in production of RTS and BAFTA-winning programmes. His interactive lecture is titled “Thinking Cinematically: It’s Time for Show and Don’t Tell” and it explores approaches to communicating story through image and sound, rather than dialogue. It is seminars like this that makes Study UK a source of creative input too. We’ve asked him several questions to get some insight into his knowledge and experience.
Would being business-minded assist filmmakers in achieving more success? How important is it to possess this skill?
Very much as well as having a producer that you can trust. Crucially, film-makers are asking funders to make an investment and so there needs to be an understanding of cost. At the script development stage a producer is needed to help both the creative development of the script as well as looking at what the film will cost to make based on the script. In this last aspect, a producer can help to refine the story approaches with the budget in mind if necessary. Good producers are worth their weight in gold in helping film-makers realise their work as well as being a ‘critical friend’ and to see the project to completion. At Teesside, we have two very talented producers who are academic staff; they work internationally to see films brought to the big screen and their passion is just as strong as that of the film-makers they work with to achieve success.
How important is it to perform thorough research before starting a project?
I’m not aware of any successful film-maker who does not undertake considerable research in the development of a film. Research enables originality; how can you make anything new and innovative if you have not looked at what has been done before? Also, film-makers need to understand their subject matter in order to build a convincing narrative. A great example would be Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar; Nolan worked closely with Kip Thorne, a theoretical physicist in the development of the film’s scientific concepts and visualising the wormholes that are a key aspect of the film’s story.
Why the focus on audio and visual as opposed to the conventional practice of making a point through words i.e. dialogue?
Film is first and foremost a visual medium and so must engage the audience in this way predominantly, otherwise why bother making a film? We also need to remember that film was born as an art form without dialogue; in the silent era the language of film was being formed through innovators like Chaplin and Eisenstein, it is on the shoulders such as theirs that we work upon. An over-reliance on dialogue to explain what is happening undermines the image; the audience can see and hear, so why tell them again? This also relates to the art of acting; let the actor act frightened rather than tell us ‘I’m frightened’; the look of fear on a face is something we are all familiar with; we do not need to be told, but shown.
To hear more from the man himself, book yourself to join “Thinking Cinematically: IT’s Time for Show and Don’t Tell” on 18th March, 1:30 – 2:15pm at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Hall 5, Seminar Room 2. Pre-register for the event at my.edukexhibition.org/en and stand a chance to win a lucky draw with prizes that include movie and retail vouchers! For more information about this seminar, visit their event page.
Seminars like these are useful and applicable not just to film fledglings, but also to those already well-versed in the industry or even to mere fans of moving pictures, since it sheds light upon something that is seemingly obvious, but often escapes the minds of those in the world of cinema.
There are a myriad of other seminars at the exhibition too, with futurist ones such as “You Will Create the Technological Future” and specialised academic ones such as “Making Science of Sport: Careers in the Field”.
An exhibition of this scale and diversity offers students an opportunity beyond just surfing the cyberspace for information. Being able to interact with people in academia and the industry helps humanises all experiences in discovering their true calling, and is a great start for those still looking for a path to tread.
If you want to find out more about Study UK, check out their website, or their Facebook page for a more complete list of seminars. Interested in advertising your events? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org