Meet Emmi, 16: Sparks Film School Student and Young Filmmaker

Young filmmaker Emmi, age 16, is a student at Sparks Film School in Balham, where she works as part of the film crew in Studio 5 (our filmmaking classes for aged 14-18).

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

Tell us about when you first started as a student with Sparks Film School?

I joined Sparks about a year ago and I found Sparks gave each student a lot of attention and care. This was great for me as I was completely new to everything so it allowed me to grow my skills and develop as a filmmaker really quickly!

Emmi is lying on a wooden floor, next to some green school lockers. She is holding a camera in a low angled position, she is smiling and joking with a collaborator who stands by her side. There is an upright tripod in the background.
Emmi on set with a Studio 5 collaborator, shooting a low angle from the ground

What interested you about film before you joined?

My family have always had family movie nights since I was around 6 years old. Whenever we watched a really good film, there was always that really great feeling of ‘Wow. That was magical’. For me, I joined Sparks because I wanted to be part of that world and maybe recreate that feeling for others and give that experience to someone else. Whenever you watch a really good film it resonates with you for a long time afterwards which is such a unique feeling. To be a part of replicating that for someone else would be crazy!

Two young filmmakers stand behind a camera lining up a shot. They stand behind the desk. One young filmmaker (Emmi) is positioning the camera, the other is looking on, holding a clapperboard.

How would you say you have developed as a filmmaker in your year with Sparks Film School? 

Before I started I had never even touched a camera before. I have become more comfortable with the camera, and therefore more comfortable with the kinds of shots I want to achieve. When I first joined I was keeping things very simple, whereas now I think my class and I have become much braver and creative with the shots and techniques we use. 

Brave is an interesting word. Talk to me more about how you’ve found bravery with Sparks?

When I first joined I hadn’t done anything like Sparks before, I hid behind the things I knew I could do. But I started to really try new things and experiment, even if they didn’t work. I have become creatively brave during my time with Sparks and I’m wanting to experiment more and more as a filmmaker.

Studio 5 filmmakers smile for the camera during the filming of a scene. There are three young filmmakers clearly in shot, behind a DSLR camera on a tripod. There is also another young filmmaker holding a clapperboard standing outside of the frame, we can see her hands and the clapperboard. An instructor also watches on.
Emmi, with some other Studio 5 filmmakers

What’s been your favourite film production or project you’ve worked on with Sparks?

My favourite and my group’s favourite has definitely been a film we called ‘Chair Farm’.

We challenged ourselves to not use any actors, so we thought let’s make a film about chairs! It sounds so silly, and it was, but It was actually really difficult. For example we had to use fishing wire to make the chairs move without being seen on camera! It was the first film I made with Sparks and it was really challenging and different. However I really enjoyed the process and it made us focus on the whole production and the process of film, especially different kinds of shots and camera tricks! Everyone loves ‘Chair Farm’!

Can you tell me about any other films you’ve made with Sparks?

I actually really enjoy the little task we do at the end of every lesson where we have to make a mini film using only a couple of shots. This term we did one inspired by Alfred Hitchcock where we tried to replicate his style, which was so much fun as as a film student I just love his style. 

Studio 5 filmmakers were invited to watch the recording of Mark Kermode’s show at the BFI. They enjoyed meeting the guests after the show

Have you any advice for a new member joining Sparks Film School?

I think being yourself is so important. Whether that’s in discussions or in the filmmaking process, everyone has their own spin on the same idea which I think is so important as the film will always be influenced by everyone’s individuality. This makes the end product at the end so much richer and unique, as everyone has brought their individuality to the film. 

Do you think Sparks is an environment where everyone can be themselves?

Oh yeah, 100%. For me, I was really shy at the beginning. Now however, everyone is so comfortable with each other and I’ve made good friends, even the newer students have settled in really quickly and have been welcomed with open arms!

Find Out More…

Emmi is a crew member with Studio 5 at Sparks Film School Balham.

We offer filmmaking classes for ages 5-18 around the UK, where you can register for a free trial class.

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