Paolo Chianta - Filmmaking Diploma Graduate
"I left high school in July 2002 and began the LFA Diploma course in September 2002. Despite being the youngest student and having very little previous experience I found the course immensely accessible and encouraging".
After graduating in July 2003, Paolo produced a short film, wrote one and directed another. He was then employed by Fresh One Productions as a researcher on Jamie Oliver's 'Jamie's School Dinners' and began to help on shoots as directors' assistant, producer's assistant, boom operator and camera operator/director. One of his short film scripts attracted the attention of director Rajan Khosa ('Dance of the Wind'), with whom Paolo has now developed a feature film with. He has also written another low-budget feature which is currently in pre-production.
Interview with Paolo Chianta, HOTCOURSES MAGAZINE 2005...
Why did you choose to do this course?
I chose the LFA course because it offered training in all aspects of filmmaking, from directing to sound, photography to editing. I was writing but wanted to find something practical I enjoyed. I initially had no interest in production but the course showed me exactly what it entailed and I realised that I was falling in love with producing.
What was your favourite aspect of the course?
My favourite aspect of the diploma course was the fact that the LFA essentially lets you form four seperate production companies for both the 5min and 10min films and lets you get on with it, providing help when necessary. Leaving us to our own devices for the films was the best possible form of education in that respect.
What did the course cover?
It covered everything: screenwriting, directing, producing, editing, lighting, camera, sound, distribution, copyright... Everything. There were tutorials - mostly practical, some theory - actual filmmaking, trips to post-production houses, camera rental places, film screening, Q&As. It showed us the complete filmmaking process, from conception of an idea to distribution.
Please take us through a typical lesson...
There were no typical lessons at the LFA. All tutors were working professionals, either hugely experienced or filmmakers who were just starting to make waves. This gave us a wide variety - education from both ends of the industry. It was invaluable. For example, our first directing tutor was a hugely experienced TV director who taught us the basics and essentials of directing. Our next was an up-and-coming feature film director who had directed one feature, several shorts and was full of passion and inspiration.
How do you intend to build upon your new found skills?
By working. I started working while still at the LFA (which was somewhat tiring) and have been working nonstop since, sometimes on several projects at the same time. After producing a short at the LFA I have worked on several more in production, produced some promotional DVDs, a training video for the Samaritans, production manager on a feature and am currently working on a Film Four-funded Cinema Extreme film. My screenwriting has also been hugely supported and I have been working with Rajan Khosa (Dance of The Wind), developing a feature. The LFA taught me multi-tasking and that even the seemingly impossible is possible. You just need to believe it is.
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