Education has always been central to my artistic practice as a filmmaker. My focus is on story and storytelling. As a good teacher will tell you, when you teach you are the student. So, a big thanks to all my students who over the years have been my teachers, many now successful filmmakers in their own right.
Henry and the Animals
I taught directing classes built around production. You have to make to be a film maker. Students had a chance to learn by doing, ranging from technical roles to production – building confidence, teamwork, communication, working with professional actors and discovering their areas of interest. Out of such classes came projects such as SFCC’s Henry and the Animals.
Over the last decade I have taught BFA, BA and Associate degree students in Film and Cinematic Arts at Santa Fe University of Art & Design (SFUAD), Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). I taught a range of classes at the 200, 300 and 400 levels on Directing I & II, Directing for Performance, World Cinema I & II, Ethics in Cinema, Video Production, and Producing & Directing Independent Film. They are a mix of lecture, workshop, and production-based classes filming on campus and on location.
In the UK, my commitment to education took many forms from mentoring master’s degree students on a one-to-one basis, to University guest lecturer, to running more elaborate workshops, to Duchy Parade Films taking in High School and undergrad students to intern on company productions.
One of my favorite of Duchy Parade Films’ projects was The Last Coiner – creating a website, videos and production for a photo-graphic novel as well as being part of research & development for the Coiners Feature Film. Working with students from several colleges, we created a series of instructional videos on the process. You can see examples of the training videos at:
The Last Coiner – Creative Process
The Last Coiner – Make-up
The Last Coiner – Costume
Last Coiner – Actors
Duchy Parade Films developed unique and specific creative educational projects aimed at generating a passion for story, film viewing, and production. These productions often involved an interesting or original use of technology, multi- and mixed media forms.
For a long time, I’ve been interested in bringing together professionals and those starting out on their film journey on productions such as Bittersweet, working with schools to create a graphic novel around Britain’s abolition of the country’s involvement in the slave trade.
The Lost Princess was a several-month long summer school for young people in Goole, East Yorkshire. They wanted to shoot in the silent film style and the project took a large number of young people on a training journey from script to screen, then to a premiere.
Visions of Vilnius & Yorkshire was an international co-operation between filmmakers from Yorkshire, UK & Vilnius, Lithuania. Supported by Screen Yorkshire and numerous partners, it was an opportunity for 10 filmmakers to screen their work, study together and experience the difference in approach to story between filmmakers from Western and Eastern Europe.