Meet Barney, 11: Passionate Young Filmmaker and Sparks Film School Student

Young filmmaker Barney, age 11 (nearly 12!), is a student at Sparks Film School in Dulwich, where he works as part of the film crew in Studio 4 (our filmmaking classes for ages 11-14).

Barney is a longstanding member of the Sparks Film School Dulwich crew, having first started filmmaking from the age of 7.

Find out more about Barney’s time as a young filmmaker and as a Sparks film school student. 

A group of young filmmakers stand on their indoor film set. One holds a clip board, two can be seen behind the camera, sitting on a tripod

Tell us about when you first joined Sparks Film School as a young filmmaker…

When I first joined Sparks I was around 7 years old. I was a little bit nervous to start with.

I wanted to join because I really liked movies and I wanted to make my own films. Sparks Film School was the perfect place to start making my own movies and make new friends who had the same interests I did. I have been a Sparks member for nearly 5 years now!

Two young film students stand in a corridor. One is holding a clapperboard up to the camera. The other (an actor) stands behind. They are approximately 11-12 years old.

How would you say you’ve developed as a young filmmaker during your time at Sparks Film School?

I’ve definitely gotten better as a filmmaker in every single way. I know what I’m doing now with the camera and when I’m directing. And I really like the editing too.

Mainly, however, I’ve been able to speak up and contribute to ideas more than I did before, as when I started Sparks Film School, I was quite shy. I wanted to stay behind the camera when I first started, whereas now I am more interested in being one of the actors in the film and performing in front of the camera.

I’m a lot more confident with those things now and don’t feel as shy anymore. I feel really focused when acting and I’ve really grown in confidence since I joined.

Tell us about your experience of the filmmaking process with Sparks…

I really enjoy making films with Sparks! I love the stage of coming up with ideas as part of a team. It’s really fun to work with my friends like that.

The first film I made is one of my favourites as it was a really funny film, and also so much fun to make, especially in the editing phase! I enjoyed watching the other students act in a comedy, and it inspired me to try acting the following term, which I now love and have an interest in pursuing.

A young filmmaker holds a DSLR camera around his neck and points it to shoot. A young actor in a dinosaur mask stands next to him, they are outdoors besides a patch of green lawn and a wooden fence.

What would your advice to a new student be?

I would say to talk to and have fun with the other students, and make friends! Everyone is really friendly and even though I was quiet when I first started, I made friends easily and now I have a whole crew to make films with.

How would you say you’ve developed personally at Sparks Film School? 

I have started to speak up a lot more often. When you make movies at Sparks, we usually vote on the idea we are going to go with for the film. When I have spoken up before and my idea has been chosen, I am so proud of myself because I can look back now and think ‘Hey, I came up with the idea for that movie!’.

Being with Sparks as a young filmmaker has really helped me with my confidence and teamwork skills when working as part of a crew.

Two young filmmakers are editing on a Mac computer. They are approximately 11-12 years old and ear headphones. They are looking at the screen and smiling.

Barney is a crew member with Studio 4 at Sparks Film School in Dulwich, where he has progressed from starting filmmaking classes as a Studio 2 crew member.

About Sparks Film School

Sparks is a film school for ages 5-18.

We help young filmmakers to develop their skills, talents and confidence. We have over 30 youth film schools around the UK.

Find out more about Sparks or our filmmaking, photography and animation courses.

You can also watch lots of Sparks Film School productions – including many of Barney’s – on the Sparks Film School YouTube channel.

Learn More about Young Filmmakers at Sparks Film School…

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