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Film School Interviews | #1 Tomas Conway

Galway Film Centre’s Film School 2015 commences on Saturday September 26th and this annual 8 weekend practical course provides 10 participants with a hands-on introduction to all aspects of film-making.

Galway Film Centre will be interviewing past participants of the course over the next couple of weeks and the first interview this week is with Tomas Conway, who describes his experience on the Film School in 2014.

Before you attended film school had you any film experience?

I did do a course in screenwriting and was in the background of a couple friends films (and If I was really lucky I got to use the clapper board!) But in terms of making films, practically none.

Why did you do the course?

I did the course because I wanted to learn the skills needed to turn my scripts into films. To understand each process from story-boarding to editing. My grand ambition is to become a film director, but I felt to become a good director you have to have a basic knowledge of all the aspects of film, how the camera works, sound, editing, script writing, lighting, auditioning actors, producing etc…and this course covered all these angles. I also wanted to be involved in the making of a film for the first time which this course provided (not one, but two short films!)

Describe your experience on the course.

I had such a great time!  I got to see a script I wrote in the second week of the course become a film on the big screen! And I know most people are thinking that it was probably a film we made in our back garden on our phones, but no, this was a proper short film made with good equipment and great teachers who guided us through the process.  The standard of filmmaking was a lot higher than I expected and our little movie got into a number of prestigious festivals around Ireland (Dingle, Dublin, Monaghan to name a few) and the world! (Cardiff, New York, Edinburgh, Bradford) It even won a shorts category at the GAZE film festival in Dublin which was shown in the Lighthouse Cinema. The class was small and intimate and our teachers had plenty of experience in the industry. I got to direct one short film and be cameraperson on another, invaluable experience for a wannabe director. On top of all that, I got to work with great classmates and crew (You know who ye are!)

What are you up to now?

Since the course, I’ve been quite busy, especially in the writing department. I co-wrote and co-produced a short film for a local business, I’ve just written a feature-length script which has been entered into the Irish Film Board and I’m also in the process of writing and directing a new short film which is in pre-production, hopefully coming to a screen near you!

Was the course beneficial in developing your career/creativity?

Definitely. By gaining the basic knowledge of all the aspects of film and then to be able to practice those skills in the school gave me the confidence and ability to make my own projects and to work on others. I’ve had two paid gigs in film since the course and I wouldn’t have been able to do them without having the skills I learned on the film course. I also have two short films under my belt, one I got to direct and the other I wrote in the course which gives me a lot more credibility in the film world and makes my CV look a lot better then it just saying “I like films“.

For more information on the Film School and any other courses at Galway Film Centre, see www.galwayfilmcentre.ie, phone 091-770748 or email education@galwayfilmcentre.ie

See all information on Film School 2015 at: Film School 2015

Contact Point:
Mary Deely
Training & Events Manager,
Galway Film Centre,
Cluain Mhuire,
Wellpark Road.
Galway City
H91 WP9K

E: education@galwayfilmcentre.ie
T: 091-770748

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