Student films


Has anyone been let down by students at the London Film School?

I was recently contacted by one of their students who wanted me in his film - no auditions - and I accepted. He sent me a script and we spoke once on the phone. Since then I've not been able to get in touch with him, even though I've sent a couple of emails.

Is it worth getting in touch with the school in order to suggest they teach their students general manners, especially when they more often than not, want actors to work for no pay?

Thanks for your input!

  • 11 years ago
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I did a couple last year and learned the hard way about student films. They were a joy to work with for the most part, we had fun and got some great showreel footage but I had to fight for months to get my copy the finished films, which was the only reason I agreed to do them. I contacted the head tutors eventually and they were great and sorted it out as much as they could but by then it had become a matter of principal.

On the whole the students were very professional and were just as irritated as me, but I think one or two people didn't pull their weight and it got a bit out of hand.

Now I ask very specific questions if/when I agree to do one. I am very fair and want them to do well, but I am also very firm and let them know exactly what I expect, when I expect it and that I will become an unwelcome pain in the arse if they don't deliver what we agree on, then I leave it up to them if they want to cast me for it.
By keeping quiet you do nobody any favours as this would not be tolerated in the real life industry and they need to learn this

So far it has cut out any unwanted bullshit on both sides and I've had some great footage from a couple of them. Keep smiling! :)

  • 10 years ago
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I've had problems with getting from students way back in the day. I did have there addresses for a few of them. So me turning up on there door demanding the footage scared the life out of them handed it to me there and then.

  • 10 years ago
  • 22

Mm , very mixed views about this. At this time of year I tend to get a few messages form film students who've been though profiles and decided for some reason or other , that I'd be perfect for their up and coming graduation project. Now having had a lovely experience at the national film and television school , I'm always hopeful that this experience can be replicated .
Sadly with most student projects , organisation and consistency with communication and information is incredibly bad .
Only recently I was contacted about a short film. I asked for the script and the audition date . Having been given the audition date , I made arrangements to turn up for the casting .
On the night before the casting was cancelled. No explanation was given , other than there's been a problem . Despite my attempt to get details of a rescheduled meeting , I recieved no information at all. So now I've said I am unavailable . I wa willing to work for basic expenses . That should mean , at the very least I get treated with enough respect to keep me informed about possible changes . If that doesn't happen , then I am not willing be messed about .

  • 9 years ago
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Scott Wickes

Yes definitely contact the film school as its a disgrace when students do this.
I was also on the end of a bad experience last sunday when I agreed to audition for Andrew Fisher of Greenwich university for he's film and no one bothered to turn up or even contact me. And still no contact since. Absolute disgrace as far as I am concerned.

  • 9 years ago
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Mm miscommunication of course can happen . But with so many different ways to contact people nowdays , it's a shame that some students let themselves down so badly by just ignoring messages asking for confirmation of basic information . Because what it does it make it harder for the ones who are full of good ideas and commitment to projects, to bring their ideas to life . It's very much like actors who moan about low pay , then are late on set or haven't even bothered to learn a script properly. We all have our faults and make mistakes . So let's end the subject on a good note . Yesterday's dissapointments are in the past , the year hasn't finished. So there's still plenty of time for all of us to find the right people with the right project . If you approach everybody with the negative attitude from the last project where you we're let down , then everybody might as well pack up and go home right now .

  • 9 years ago
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Scott Wickes

Yeah fair do's... Can't paint everyone with the same brush.. But should defo contact the film school so they know and can maybe teach the people concerned how to treat actors..
Must say I have had very good experiences on a lot of other student films.
Onwards and upwards peeps..!!

  • 9 years ago
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Very recent experience , as in now , current . I was to go to an audition today . But I only received the notification of it yesterday .
Am I wrong to be a little annoyed about this , or am I right to think this is bad manners?

  • 9 years ago
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Elsa Nori

Yes.. :( I am now refusing any LFS projects due to their no respect for actors.
They have promised Footages + Film and in the end they are telling that they cannot give this to me. Luckily, they forgot to make me sign a release form.
Now dealing with Equity.
I have had some nice experiences with students but a terrible one is sometimes enough to disgust you. :(

  • 5 years ago
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Jeremy Reece

Regularly contacted by Bournemouth students offering expenses only. Advise them Equity has negotiated a minimum fee equivalent to the National minimum wage. One of them told me their lecturers encouraged them to go for no fee as otherwise payment 'complicated things'.

  • 5 years ago
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Elsa Nori

Equity has negotiated this minimum fee for the last year of their master..For The "degree" film.. Other films, even made during the last year do not have to be paid (unfortunately for them because less actors will agree to work for free) The reason is that previous projects should ask less time to actors (1,2 days of shooting) but schools do not respect this all the time, I had a shooting of 8 days under terrible conditions with no pay, no copy of the film.. Amazing.
Schools are not always honest with actors, at LFS, its all about their students, advertising their school, actors are just little tools. The good thing is that I have discovered the importance of Equity

  • 5 years ago
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  • 5 years ago
  • 31

i just finished a third LFS project last saturday and like allways was treated with great respect and looked after, in communication aspects it has often been delayed responce but quite understandable as they under a lot of pressure in the making of their film and sticking to time schedules, of course i am only speaking from my own experiance but they are only human and still learning.

  • 5 years ago
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Matt Robinson
Camera Operator

Years ago as a student myself my lecturer got us and most of our college involved in creating a feature film. it was a project he had worked on for a few years and got the greenlight from the college to use it as a chance for all the creative classes to come together and work on a large project. it ended up becoming far bigger than anticipated when the pre-Star Wars Daisy Ridley was cast, we worked alongside her and other professionals to create Scrawl back in 2015.
It showed me early on that you don't need the most experienced people for the job, but the people with the most passion can sometimes be enough. Since then I have always leaned towards projects that I had a big passion or an interest in making, even if that meant taking less pay. personally I believe that student films should be focused on that, and less so with trying to make something thats gonna 'break' them into the industry. take it slow, build your knowledge and let that passion drive you towards an inspiring project.

  • 1 year ago
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