My Top 3 Tips For First Year Film and Television Students
If I had the opportunity to revisit the first year of Film and Television Studies, there are undoubtedly a few things that I would do differently. Not because I think my first year was terrible, just so I could make it better.
1. Take Essay Plans to Tutors
My personal tutor discussed this with me at our last meeting before exam season. I did this once but I really would recommend doing so with every essay (and I plan to next year). Your module tutor won’t be able to give advice on/mark drafts but they will happily take a look at your plans. This helps to make sure that you are working along the right lines and also allows you to clear up any queries you may have. In turn, this will more than likely help to boost your essay grades up!
2. ALWAYS Take Notes During Screenings
The majority of the time, each film studied on the course is screened twice. My advice here is: ALWAYS TAKE NOTES. Use the first screening to just watch the film and familiarise yourself with the piece but make sure to take comprehensive notes in the second screening. I did this about 80% of the time and I regret not doing it for the other 20%, especially for revision purposes. Having a full set of comprehensive notes during exam season would have been a lifesaver.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Not Understanding
There were times in first year where it felt as though everyone understood certain concepts but me. Granted, I had never studied film and television before this point but I still felt a little bit stupid. However, in hindsight, the tutors are there partly for this exact reason! Ask them to clarify anything that you don’t understand. They really won’t mind and there are probably other students with the same queries. Even those who have studied the subject before will have gaps in there knowledge when transitioning to degree level work.
I hope these tips will be of use to first years’ coming into the department in the autumn. Hopefully, they may also be of use to those of us entering second or third year. After all, there is alway time to improve!