Letter from the 2021/22 Committee
Dear members and freshers,
Welcome back to UCL after what we hope has been a good, relaxing summer! We're looking forward to what the new year will offer with our long-awaited return to campus.
At FilmSoc, we've been working over the summer on various projects. As you may have already noticed, we've changed our logo. Designed by Jatin Naru, a FilmSoc member, it blends the essence of filmmaking, celluloid, with our portico. We hope you like it as much as we do!
- 16mm Film Project
- Film Studio & Equipment Bookings
- Forum Update
- Vacant Committee Positions
- Filmmaking Opportunities
16MM FILM PROJECT
A recent project we’ve been working on has been getting our relic of a camera – an Arri 16 BL – working again, after many years (if not a decade or two) of disuse. We were successful, and it’s been used in the past few days for our 2020/21 Term Film ‘Smiley Face’. Introduced into the society in the late 60s, it was initially used for our newsreels, and subsequently short films too. It was also the camera Christopher Nolan used for his first short films and for ‘Following’. In fact, its repair was arranged and financed by him and Emma Thomas when they visited the society back in 2017. Now, after a month of further repair, fiddling and testing, we’re overjoyed to have this gem of a camera functioning in the society once more. Not only does the camera boast noteworthy history, but the results hold up – many of the crew from the shoot refused to believe that the stills from footage were actually taken on the camera. Accordingly, we plan to put it to good use; one film per year shot on 16mm (on the 16 BL specifically) will be our aim. Our hopes are that this will give our members a unique and distinctive understanding of the foundations of cinema after spending some time with the camera.
We will be hosting workshops throughout the year on the use of 16mm film, so if you are not a member yet, do join us to learn all about our Arriflex and the art of celluloid filmmaking!
FILM STUDIO & EQUIPMENT BOOKINGS
We have good news about our studio, too; it will finally be reopening! After ventilation works were finished in early September, we are now able to use the space again.
We have also been working on a new set of online services to make studio and equipment bookings easier. From now on, inventory.uclfilm.com (which will launch very soon) will enable you to easily check if and when the studio and equipment are available.
Our Studio & Equipment Officers, HD (email@example.com) and Jamie Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org) are always available for any questions you may have.
For the Freshers and members that don’t know, if there is ever anything that happens within in the society, it will be on the forum (forum.uclfilm.com) – it really is the best way to stay up to date and involved. We frequently post Film Bids, updates, activities, and more there. If you have film-related questions, feel free to post them, and our members will be able to help you out! Logging into the forum will reveal all of the parts available to you – do not be fooled by its barren appearance at first glance.
While working on the website for the inventory, we’ve also been working on an update, making it faster and easier to access through UCL API. Unfortunately, it’s still unavailable (start of term teething issues), but you should soon be able to log in with your UCL ID, as well as with your previously registered account if you prefer.
We’re also hoping to set up a weekly digest of the forum in order to solve the main issue our members reported last year, which is the lack of notifications. Stay tuned for more on that!
The good news doesn’t stop there: our weekly screenings will be returning to the campus this year. After a successful streaming run last year, being able to host them in-person once again feels great.
For those members that are still abroad, we will be streaming the films on the forum (forum.uclfilm.com) as well. To check which films will be screened when and where, and to book tickets, take a look at our booking website (book.uclfilm.com) or our calendar (calendar.uclfilm.com). (Sadly, events will still be ticketed this year – sorry!).
VACANT COMMITTEE POSITIONS
Last year, FilmSoc’s Blog Editors-in-Chief Tomi Haffety and Pihla Pekkarinen, together with the amazing team of writers, managed to attend the world’s most important film festivals (you can check out their coverage of last year’s film releases by visiting blog.uclfilm.com).
We have a vacant position for Editor-in-Chief, so if you are interested in being able to watch the latest films many months ahead of their release, or just love writing about your favourite films and TV shows, please consider applying for this role in the election we will be holding soon (we just need to sort out some details with the Union first!).
We also have two vacant positions for Workshop Producers. If you like reaching out to industry professionals, managing talks and organising Q&As, then think about nominating yourself for this role! You can check out the incredible work Mugamba Wilkins and Felicia Hu (last year’s Workshop Officers) did by visiting our forum (forum.uclfilm.com) and looking in the ‘Activities’ category. All of our workshop recordings are there for your benefit. It’s a great way to meet filmmakers, producers, directors, and more professionals in general.
The Marketing Officer and Archive Officer positions are also vacant! We would need to fill the first one ASAP, so please get in touch if you want to join the committee.
For the Freshers and new members who might not know about how the production side of our society works, here’s some info that might interest you.
Each term, we offer various filmmaking opportunities for those that purchase the production membership. For our Drama productions, you can take part in our three Term Films (which do not require any experience!). Bids for different crew positions will be published throughout the term. Script submissions for the Term 1 film will be opening soon, so pay attention to our forum and social media (especially Instagram) to find out more. Producer bids have already opened, with the deadline being October 4th. You can find more details here.
You can also submit your script or production to receive an Affiliate grant. This means that we will review the script and help you put together a crew, as well as finance your production and anything else you might need. The difference between this and a term film is that this is a co-production, meaning that you retain more creative control at the cost of a reduced budget.
For our non-fiction productions, bids for documentaries will also be announced throughout the term.
Lastly, we already have some filmmaking opportunities available for our members.
UCL Drama Society reached out to us to collaborate on the trailers for their Term 1 production ‘Machinal’. We'll need to put a crew together soon to film three 1 minute teasers, to be done before October 22nd. If you like set design, this could be a very interesting project for you, as the play is set in the 80s. We've been told by the team at UCL Drama that we can go as crazy as we want with the trailers, so it's also a great opportunity for members to experiment with cinematography.
We'll also be in charge of the Welcome Fair stream this weekend and we're in need of 4 crew members for camera operating and video mixing. It's a great opportunity for learning how our professional TV equipment works, especially if you're interested in participating in Varsity 2022’s broadcast.
Please email us at email@example.com to get involved in any of these two projects!
So, the TLDR is:
- We have changed our logo, looks great.
- The studio and equipment bookings have returned and they are here to stay.
- Our forum works better than ever.
- FilmSoc screenings return to UCL campus!
- There are vacant committee positions for Blog Editor-in-Chief, Workshop Producer, Archive Officer and Marketing Officer.
- The production membership opens up a lot of filmmaking opportunities!
- We’ve got a WhatsApp group!
- Please get in touch to participate in the ‘Machinal’ trailer shoot or the Welcome Fair stream.
We are looking forward to meeting you soon at the Welcome Fair and all of the Freshers events. You can find out more about when these events will happen by checking our calendar (calendar.uclfilm.com). Come say hello to our Welcome Fair booth on October 3rd!
All the best,
The 2021/22 FilmSoc Committee