Student Profile: Pursuing my passion in college

Student Profile: Pursuing my passion in college
Student Profile Ben Kavanagh, 2nd Year, Film and Screen Media, UCC. Interview: Sarah Ryan

Interview: Sarah Ryan

I decided I wanted to pursue filmmaking in college after taking an optional film/media class in transition year. I ended up enjoying it more than any other academic subject I ever studied in second-level education.

I liked that this course claimed to provide a balance between the academic and practical aspects of filmmaking. I’ve found that Film and Screen Media is gifted with some great lecturers who really seem to care about the students and help when they can.

If I could change one thing about my course, it would be that there would be more emphasis placed on practical filmmaking. I know I can only speak for myself, but I love to create content and I wish there was more of a support to do that in the course.

For me, the best aspects of college life are the social life — the nights out and the class parties — and the opportunity to focus almost entirely on an area you actually have an interest in.

In secondary school, I was forced to take part in maths, biology, other subjects that I really just did not care for. However, in college, I’m able to take on modules and subjects I have a genuine desire to learn from.

After college, I’m aiming to pursue a career in commercial directing, particularly advertisements and music videos.

I find it to be the most rewarding line of work in the industry and it allows you to experiment with many different styles and techniques that long-form filmmaking just doesn’t provide. I feel that it’s a great way to hone your skills and to find a voice for yourself as an artist.

If I had to give some advice to incoming students, I would say to make an effort to be outgoing and open to your classmates. You’re in a unique position where everyone surrounding you is interested in the same topic you’re studying and most of the social work and ice-breaking is done in the first two weeks, so from there on, it’s plain sailing.

These are people you’ll be spending the next 3-4 years of your life with, so it would be nice to get along with them. Also, don’t be too caught up in the academic side of things — college is a time for trying new things and meeting new people, it’s not just about the results.

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