Get to know: ScreenSpace’s BA Film and Screen Business
In September 2021, MetFilm School‘s ScreenSpace launches its second undergraduate course: BA Film and Screen Business. In this guest blog, Head of School at ScreenSpace, Dr Lisette Johnston, reflects on an exciting last three years and how our newest course will continue to prepare students for careers in the screen industry.
Three years ago I was Head of a school with no students. ScreenSpace opened in September 2018, aiming to deliver a practical, industry-focused course that would give graduates the hard and soft skills to hit the ground running in the creative industries. We’ve gone from a standing start to 46 students in 2018, and 80-90 in each subsequent cohort of our BA Content, Media and Film Production.
Today, ahead of their graduation, we have students working with the BBC producing feature-length documentaries and getting regular branded content work, which tells me the course structure works and is proven. So, as we launch our new programme – BA Film and Screen Business – we know that we can deliver a great course. The aim of ScreenSpace is to combine the best university student experience and specialist skills that MetFilm School can offer, at a price point most can afford.
Our first-ever cohort of BA Content, Media and Film Production students with award-winning journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker, Sahar Zand, in 2018.
The Business of You
Knowledge and understanding of the industry are key on any ScreenSpace course. You could have the best script, treatment, sizzle reel or full-blown finished film, but if you don’t know how to market/finance/project manage or distribute the idea, it won’t be seen by the right people. Ultimately, we all want our work to be viewed by the widest possible audience. We teach enterprise and entrepreneurship and the ‘business of you’ in the flagship course but we wanted to go further.
My own experience at the BBC, and that of the tutors and industry connections through MetFilm School, tell us that behind every successful idea there is someone with business knowledge, project management skills, ability to understand finance and monetisation. And so the BA Film and Screen Business course was born, and welcomes its first students this September, using the same course structure as its sister course.
Know your audience
BA Film and Screen Business is a course that encourages innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship throughout. We use the audience as our starting point. What does your audience want and what are their consumer habits? What are they willing to pay for and what does that content look like? Our students learn about the screen industries; they develop the business skills to navigate the financial, business and legal challenges linked to content creation and delivery. And each semester they can either develop a business plan linked to the ‘theme’ of the semester or collaborate with the BA Content, Media and Film Production students to help produce or project manage a filmed piece of work.
Each semester also has a unique industry partnership, giving you access to companies and networks that are already part of the industry. Twitter, Amazon Studios, YouTube, Golin, Karmarama and Garden Studios are just some of the brilliant organisations we have worked with in the past three years. Those relationships continue with this course, and we have also forged new links.
BA Film and Screen Business takes the best aspects of what we do at MetFilm School and applies them to a course that helps students understand the complexities linked to business and finance practices, working with real-life briefs. We have tutors working in various fields where a degree like this could take you – production management, company ownership, marketing, distribution, financing and many more.
The ScreenSpace Community
We encourage diversity and inclusion and have tried to go even further with this course: widening participation with industry-focused curriculum, diversifying teaching approaches and having clear and simple assessment criteria linked to industry standards. All our practical classes have a max of 24 students, allowing more opportunity for personal development, feedback and ideas generation. Just as there is no longer ‘one way’ to create content, the business side of the creative industries includes many different roles and paths to launching a successful business venture. It’s going to be an exciting journey.
ScreenSpace is a unique partnership between MetFilm School and the University of West London. Find out more about our new BA Film and Screen Business – starting September 2021.