Learning in real time…

Today the UK woke up to a Conservative Landslide victory in the first winter General Election since 1923.

Boris Johnson’s campaign was run on “Get Brexit Done” and this largely resonated with votes in England and Wales who overwhelmingly voted in 2016 to leave Europe. The picture in Scotland is vastly different. the SNP won a landslide victory where they returned 45 seats and an increase of in their popular vote from 977,569 in 2017 to 1,242,380.  The constitution is now firmly back on the agenda within UK politics. Some would argue it hasn’t really disappeared since the 2014 Referendum.

This morning, we set our students, some of them who had voted for the first time, a News Gathering task. the brief was simple…go out and film vox-pops and gauge the temperature of the local population in Cumbernauld. They had to film, edit and deliver the report in a single 3 hour period with the final report being published on our blog.

This is learning in real time.

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Short Cuts: Film Screening

On Monday the 9th December film students, friends and family gathered at the CCA in Glasgow for a night of short films and documentaries produced in the first term by HN Film students at NCL’s Cumbernauld campus.  The programme included Film Noir trailers and Horror films from our HNC students and a range of diverse documentary shorts produced by our HND level.

Andrew Dunn’s documentary feature “Forever Moments” on wet plate photographer Greg McNeill was one of the standout features from the screening and can be viewed above.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be showing other features from the night which will be archived in our Student Films section on this site.

“The Short Cuts event gave us a great opportunity to come together and showcase our student’s work created during a very busy first term. 

In addition to giving the students a professional setting to see their features, the night also gives our current HNC students an insight into the work produced at HND level, and to socialise and celebrate after completing an ambitious programme of projects we piloted this year.”

Michael Grant, Film & Television Lecturer


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James Reid: L’appel Du Vide 88

“My second film, I tried a bit harder, went a bit deeper into the character and came out with a film better than my first effort.

I tackled the subject of male suicide. Which is a subject I feel I owe a bit of thought about. I managed to get a composer called Emily Frances Ippolito to score the full film, which I  think works to great effect during each scene.

Paul Chalmers, the lead actor, really stole the show. On screen he was in the zone, fully committed to the character, then off camera very funny, a charming man who will be going places in the future.”

-James Reid, HND Film & Television.

Going into his HND year James Reid began production on a personal project in addition to his college work. In collaboration with Christopher Mullins he worked up a script which dealt with the difficult subject matter of suicide, which is one of the biggest single killers of males aged under 45 years of age in the UK.

With a completed script he undertook an ambitious plan for what was only his second feature. This involved putting together a crew from his HN classmates, auditioning three actors for the feature’s major roles and securing permission to film at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow as one of the locations.

After the production phase was completed James set to work on the edit and  also secured the services of  composer Emily Frances Ippolito to score the film.

We were all impressed with the tenacity, vision and ambition James displayed throughout all three phases of production and the level of professionalism he brought to all aspects of his second film.  As a result he was awarded the category of “Promising Young Director” at our end of year Film Festival 2019.

After completing his HND in Film & Television at NCL  James secured entry to year 3 of a BA course in Film at Napier University, where he is currently continuing his studies.

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NCL Short Cuts: Film Screening, 9th December 2019

Short Cuts, Poster 2019

Monday 9th of December is the date for a night of short films from NCL HN Film and Television  students, which are being screened  in Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow.

Students across both HNC and HND levels of Film and Television have been invited to show the features they have been working on in the first term.  HNC students have been working in groups to create a Film Noir trailer and a short horror film, while our HND students have been filming documentary shorts on a variety of subject matter.

Both levels have been afforded a full month for the production phase of these features in an ambitious change to Film and Television course delivery this term. 

“We looked at a different model this academic year for curriculum delivery and this involved bringing forward a more project based focus to the first semester.

The main idea behind this was to get the students working in groups before embarking on their Graded Unit and for them to learn through practice.

The challenges have been around the areas of collaboration and being able to compromise and as a creative department, we feel it is imperative that students strive to achieve these essential skills”

Alan Moffat: Film & Television Lecturer

NCL Short Cuts,
Monday 9th December, 2019,
Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA),
350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD,
7pm – 11.00pm


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Foundation Apprentices meet their mentor

Seth Hardwick presents some of his work for the National Theatre of Scotland

Foundation apprentices in Creative and Digital Media at NCL’s Motherwell campus met with an industry mentor last week and got a chance to pitch ideas for their forthcoming projects.

Seth Hardwick is a video producer who works with the National Theatre of Scotland and is responsible for the creation of high quality trailers and promotional films, filming and archiving all of their theatrical productions. He has previously worked with NCL Film students during the creation of Shift,  a large scale, multi-media theatrical event created in partnership with Culture NL, and North Lanarkshire Council in 2018.

Groups and individuals pitched varied ideas to Seth during the session including ideas for music videos, website development, theatre promotion, film-making and an audio journey.

Seth, Kim, Adam and the students studying the Foundation Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media.

“It was excellent having Seth come and listen to the students pitches. He gave incredibly valuable feedback that gave the students some much needed industry insight to their projects.

For the students, getting that sort of experience of pitching a project to someone as active in the industry as Seth, while still in school, can only be a good thing in terms of building confidence and encouraging them to pursue their creative ideas.”

Alec Cheer: Film & Television Lecturer

‘Was a real pleasure having Seth with us in college for the afternoon. He shared some of this own work with us and the breadth of his video experience with the FA students in the form of feed back on their pitch ideas.

Seth’s advice was both insightful and humorous, he told me he found the student’s pitches inspiring and is looking forward to seeing all the proposed videos soon.”

Kim Beveridge: Film & Television Lecturer

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Nae Pasaran!: Screening and Director Q & A

Film and TV students from NQ and HN courses at Cumbernauld campus were treated to a special screening of the documentary ” Nae Pasaran!” at the Glasgow Film Theatre organised by the Educational Charity”Into Film“. Felipe Bustos Sierra’s film chronicles the true story of how principled Scottish factory workers at Rolls Royce in East Kilbride managed to ground half of Chile’s Air Force,  in the longest single act of solidarity against Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship.

Q and A session after the screening with Stuart Barrie (center) and director Felipe Bustos Sierra.

Following the screening director Felipe Bustos Sierra and ex-Rolls Royce employee Stuart Barrie were on hand to field questions from the students, about the making of and impact of the film.

NQ and HN Film and Television students outside the GFT

“‘Nae Pasaran’ is an extremely powerful and moving film. I must admit I did shed a tear or two witnessing the archive footage of the atrocities committed upon the Chilean people and how emotional ‘Bob’, the central character, became on learning of the impact his stance made to individuals in Chile in 1973.  

This film gave the students a great insight into the power of documentary film and its ability to create change. I really appreciate the work ‘Into Film’ does and in particular the Into Film Festival that’s currently running at the GFT. It gave staff and students the opportunity to go to a free screening of a non-commercial film in an independent cinema, which was a first for some of the students.​”

-Kim Beveridge, Film & Television Lecturer

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Carrie-Ann Hudghton: Showreel

“My main plan for my showreel is to show off my work as a director and writer. To this end I will need to show footage from projects I have written and directed myself over the last few years.

Thankfully I have worked on some projects in college including my graded unit from last year called Red Room, but also out of college projects like the short film  ‘Dreamcatcher’ and the short documenteary ‘Gamer Shame’.  The biggest genre I have been working in has to be horror as I feel I have more strength in that area since I enjoy watching horror more than any other genre.”

– Carrie-Ann Hudghton: HND Film & Television

For her final year’s showreel, Carrie-Ann decided to highlight her talents as a scriptwriter and director by focusing on solely on projects that she had led through all stages of production.  Three short films made it into the final edit of this reel; ‘Dreamcatcher,’ a personal project produced in-between her NC and HNC courses,  ‘Broken’ a short horror film she produced in her final year and  her HNC graded project, another horror, titled ‘Red Room’.

In the early stages Carrie-Ann initially struggled with the format of her reel and how to structure the footage from each of these features within it, before settling around the idea of producing distinct trailers for each production that would allow her to hint at the story and atmosphere of each feature and show elements of her scriptwriting and directing within the showreel.

She packaged these up with some well chosen stock footage of a retro film-projector that bookends the reel, showcasing titles and credits and utilised three distinct soundtrack choices as background to specific lines of dialogue from her horror features ‘Broken’ and ‘Red Room’. Carrie-Ann’s skills in physical and  post-production effects were also displayed and her inclusion of an animated sequence for her production company ‘Bensam Films” was a nice touch too.

This was a well-considered and nicely assembled reel that showed very good creative practice across a number of production and post-production processes including transitions and graphic design skills, with an attention to detail around all the small but important aspects that really elevate the format of the reel. 

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Ray Tallan, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Lecturer Ray Tallan

Ray Tallan, head of Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland visited NCL’s Cumbernauld campus last week to deliver a presentation to our current cohort of Film/TV students, highlighting the BA Filmmaking course at the Royal Conservatoire.

Two former NCL film students, Duncan Formosa and Colleen Bell have been lucky enough to go on and study at the Conservatoire,  which runs one of the most competitive and acclaimed film courses in the UK.

Ray’s presentation included information on course content, delivery and structure and a chance to see a variety of  features from the graduate’s final year submissions and Ray was kind enough to field a good number of questions from our students at the close of the presentation.

“The prestigious reputation that precedes the conservatoire could be seen as potential barrier for the demographic of student that attends NCL, however as a team we feel it’s important to instil the ambition, aspiration and autonomy necessary to view themselves as contenders for this course and institution. “

Alan Moffat: Film & TV Lecturer

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Meet our new Audio/ Video Technicians: Matthew Hardie & Peter Findlay

Fork Handles…Peter Findlay and Matthew Hardie

The Film & Television department are pleased to welcome Matthew Hardie and Peter Findlay to the team as our new Audio/Video Technicians.

Matthew is an alumni of NCL who began his academic journey in 2015, studying Sound Production and then Film & Photography.  In addition to his academic skills he is also a keen musician and multi-instrumentalist. 

Peter studied HND sound production at NCL and then progressed onto our BA Sound Production course at Cumbernauld campus. In his spare time Peter DJ’s and has a particular interest in electronic music production and remixing.

Their personal experiences here as former students means they already have a clear picture of how both the Sound and Film department’s work, but more importantly, some very specific plans about how the technical side of these courses can be improved going forward.

“It’s great to see two former student of ours in the department’s tech base and these posts are a great opportunity for Matthew and Peter to continue to develop and expand on the skill-sets they acquired through their courses.

They’re both conscientious and approachable and will be an invaluable link between lecturing staff and our student cohorts.”

Michael Grant:  Film & Television Lecturer.

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Maja Engnell: Showreel

“The music for my showreel is written and provided by my friend Saga Wahlström. The music is inspired by Woodkid’s “Run boy Run”. It is quite an up-tempo song with a sort of thrilling feel to it. In the middle of it, there is a slower, calmer part which helps building up to the last part of the song that is the climax.

I’ve built my showreel around the music and have chosen to mix the order of the clips. At first, I had planned to maybe include the clips in a specific film order, but I chose to mix it all together, and make them connect via the dialogue. I am a director and in order to showcase this, I am going to showcase my storytelling abilities with dialogue I’ve written via creative shots.”

-Maja Engnell. HND Film & Television.

Maja chose to highlight the vocational role of a director for her HND reel, showcasing sequences from six features that she directed during her HN course.  During the development of this reel she moved from grouping  sequences specifically from each feature to mixing up the footage, creating a meta narrative that explores the idea of visual storytelling.

She made some very sound creative and editorial choices throughout this process and we  were particularly impressed with the narrative and emotional thread Maja managed to weave into the reel by pulling together dialogue from her selection of films, making the reel work as a standalone feature.

Her choice of shots were dramatic and also aesthetically strong, and her edit had a good pace and dynamic structure which followed the rise and fall of the soundtrack she commissioned especially for this reel.

She also submitted a particularly strong planning and development stage for her Graded Unit Showreel/Portfolio project, which ultimately won her the award for Best HND graded unit at our 2019 Film Festival.


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