Amidst all the paralysis and uncertainty that is indiscriminately crossing every border and pervading every industry, it feels good to sit here and watch the production and pertinacity around me. At MetFilm School we’ve re-opened both campuses to scheduled productions and practical activity, and I’m warmed and inspired to see the diversity of approaches at work.

We have actors learning to act and pulling together incredible show reels all with social distance – it’s the only context in which I embrace the word cheating. We have MA Directing students remotely directing specialist exercises on elaborate sets with actors, cinematographers, and fellow crew correctly observing our Covid-safe production protocols. But in a turn of events I would not have imagined only a few months ago, the director is in France, watching the camera feed in one window, observing the set through another, and issuing instructions through a computer. We have BA students in London and Berlin prepping for the feature films they’ll be shooting in the coming weeks in new and ingenious responses to the virus antagonist in our script.

And I’m just touching the surface.

Meanwhile, 23 Walks, which boasted 17 students and graduates amongst its crew, opened in cinemas across Australia this weekend, and the distributor has now confirmed a September release in the UK. And MetFilm Production has been busy with its next productions, shooting Misha’s Story in Belgium, and readying for a London shoot on The Happenings.

I’m reminded of the phrase, which I think was originally articulated by Gramsci, but later adopted by Greenpeace, “the optimism of the action is better than the pessimism of the thought.” As an industry we are finding ways to shoot within safe parameters, and as ever, our creativity is enhanced by the limitations. Out of this, we will find easier, cheaper, and better ways of producing film and video, and it will be more accessible to new talent and more dependent on their emerging skillsets. And as the world changes, the need for screen content will only increase. There will be more opportunity for our graduates.

Jonny Persey
MetFilm School, Director

For details of how MetFilm School is teaching, in response to the pandemic, see here for London, here for Berlin, and here for ScreenSpace courses.

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