Independent filmmaker Miro Alleyne McCarthy is one of our Sparks Film School alumni.
We sat down with Miro to find out more about his journey as a young filmmaker and his time with Sparks Film School.
Hi Miro! What filmmaking projects have you been working on recently?
Quite a lot! On IMDB, I have three films to my name as of now!
I’m currently working on an installation piece working on three screens called Shattered Tides, which is set on a beach in Barbados. It’s an adaptation of the myth of Sisyphus into two men who have been cursed to create spheres of sand on the beach for as long as they live, and the waves keep washing the sand away. I have written, directed and shot it all in Barbados.
There are a few potential spots I am looking at having this work for an installation in London. I am co-editing this with another filmmaker who I have worked with before and I’m really excited about the project.
Not too long after I left Sparks Film School, I made my first independent film Pie.
I got funding from my local council as I saw there was a grant in the newspaper. Pie is the story of 5 individuals in society around a table who are made up of a grandmother, a bear, someone who eats tic-tacs really loudly, a businesswoman, and a samurai. They have one slice left of the best apple pie in the world in front of them and they have to argue over who gets the last slice.
What were your memories of your time with Sparks Film School?
Oddly, it’s the small things that really stick with me, like when I used to get to the session in the morning and we’d watch small snippets of films I had never seen before which was really cool. Watching new movies really informs my creative practice and broadens my artistic horizons.
I also remember when we would sit down in the session and there were new people, there always seemed to be new people joining and I loved that.
I remember doing a superhero movie, and a Shakespeare play when we did Mixed Media where we actually performed to an audience and it was also a film. It was so cool. I remember the tripods we used, the camera, and the breaks too where we also got to run around and just let off steam and have social fun!
What did you do after you left Sparks Film School?
I left Sparks Film School when I moved to Cambridge, where I did my GCSE in Film Studies.
I then went to London Screen Academy, which was a fantastic opportunity. I went in at 16 and clung to the idea that I would be a writer and director, but I also learned a lot of other skills such as sound mixing, editing, lighting etc. I was at LSA for 3 years and now I’m in the industry and working mostly as a writer, director, and editor.
I feel very busy. I’m starting a new editing company, I’m writing a lot, I’m also creating some music. A lot of the technical skills I have learnt from a mix of Sparks and LSA have transferred to my actual work. I’m so grateful my mum got me into Sparks, as without it I don’t think my eyes would have been opened to how much happens on a film set and the rules behind it all.
Did you keep in contact with anyone from Sparks Film School? Did you make any new friends whilst at Sparks?
When I was coming to Sparks Film School, I actually brought along my friend Jojo, as we were both in drama class, and we had an excellent time.
We both did drama so he had the same mindset as me, and since then he has gone to Bournemouth to study TV production. He has also started his own company called Fugitive Inc doing music and promo videos for events and companies. I think going to Sparks together we both learned that making films together is really fun, and we still work together professionally now!
Do you have a favourite moment of memory from Sparks Film School?
I did some teaching assisting for Sparks Film School and that was a really big and memorable experience, to see the other side and what it was like to teach kids. To also see how joyous children are being able to encourage them to play with their creativity.
That’s one big thing about Sparks is “if you have an idea and a story to tell, we can do it!”. I felt like it was so important and I felt like I could say what I wanted to say and contribute any ideas and it would be listened to.
What advice might you have for someone who is interested in Sparks Film School?
My advice would be to feel like you can say what you want to say because original creative ideas are valuable! Not only to yourself but to the industry. I would also say keep watching interesting movies and not just what’s on at the box office. Keep dreaming!
Find out more…
Find out more about opportunities to join, or find your nearest Sparks Film School here >>