Team Spotlight: Meet Kate, Head of Sparks Film School St Albans

This month, as part of our Team Spotlight regular feature, we met with Head of Sparks Film School in St Albans, Kate Klevit.

Kate shares the role with partner Elliot and together they run Sparks in St Albans, where they help lots of young filmmakers to hone their skills, develop their creativity, build confidence and make their own film productions.

Before Kate launched Sparks Film School in St Albans, she was a highly valued member of the Sparks staff team in Highgate, North London. Starting out as a workshop assistant, progressing to the role of a workshop leader, and gradually taking on more and more responsibility over more than 5 years, Kate knows Sparks Film School inside and out.

She has encouraged hundreds of young filmmakers along the way, sharing her wide range of skills and her obvious love of both films and filmmaking.

Originally from Malibu, California, filmmaking is in Kate’s DNA. She shared with us, “My passion has always been film. I first came to London to study Film and TV at University and I’ve continued to work in the UK film industry since then. I worked on the BFI Film Festival, as well as work on film sets, some post-production and most recently, in location management for film, TV and photo shoots.”

It was through her early work with Sparks that Kate saw the opportunities to inspire the next generation of filmmakers. “I love creating my own films, but through Sparks, I see all the opportunities children have when they create their own stories. There is nothing better and more inspirational than kids finding out what part of filmmaking they love!

One of the reasons I wanted to start a Sparks Film School in my local area was because it’s great getting to see children and teenagers still discovering their passions. They find out all the different roles they can try when making a film as a team. Elliot – my partner – always had a passion for teaching and loves media in all forms, so combining our passion and interests lead us to start this journey together, as a family who just love film.

St Albans is an area known for filmmaking locations, nearby studios and creative industries. There is so much opportunity here for young people to start to take advantage of, so it’s a privilege to be able to train them and, in many cases, be the starting point of their journey into making films. It’s been incredible having young filmmakers with such a passion in media get to learn all about making movies at Sparks Film School St Albans.

It’s also been fun seeing parent reactions when they find out their child actually crewed the whole film themselves. So many of them think we do it for them, but it’s all their own work – all their ideas, imagination, creativity and also, their hard work.”

The next step is to continue to grow our film classes and continue to encourage our young film crews.

Since we first launched, we now have students who come to take part weekly and are starting to really flourish. We love to see students join and stay with us for years, because you can really nurture their skills and map out their progression.

We want to continue to build relationships in the community and become a place that people know and remember. While of course we have lots of ideas of opening other centres and expanding to new areas, for now we want to focus on our current groups.’’

Sparks Film School St Albans offers youth filmmaking, school holiday camps and special events. You can find out more about their programme of youth film courses here >>

Sparks Film School in St Albans is one of 30+ youth film school locations in the UK. Find out more about opportunities to join, or find your nearest Sparks Film School here >>

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