Emma Coleman in front of the sea with waves behind her her

Alumni Interview / Behind The Screen / filmmaking

Behind the Screen: Emma Coleman, Filmmaking Top-Up Graduate

7th March 2024

Welcome to Screen and Film School’s interview series Behind the Screen, where we sit down with our promising students and graduates to delve into their creative world.

This week, we’re taking a look at the journey of Emma Coleman, a passionate filmmaker who recently graduated from our Filmmaking Top-Up degree and has harnessed her talent and dedication to excel in the world of film.

Explore our Filmmaking Top-Up degree

If you’re keen to learn more about how our Top-Up course can elevate your skills and propel you towards a full honours degree, Emma’s story is sure to ignite your creative ambitions. Join us as we explore her experiences, insights, and the invaluable opportunities that await aspiring filmmakers like you.

Graduate Insight

Why did you decide to study the Filmmaking Top-Up at Screen and Film School?

I decided to join Screen and Film School because I went to the Open Day and found it to be very impressive. It ran through the courses in detail and gave good examples of what the classes are like.

What filmmaking experience did you have before enrolling on the course?

I had experience in a number of roles, but all were quite brief. I did both acting and AC work on professional sets in Ireland before joining Screen and Film School. I also studied film production for two years before joining the top-up year.

Emma Coleman's crew - Screen and Film School Filmmaking Top-Up Graduate

What was your favourite experience whilst studying with us?

My favourite experience during the year was getting to shoot the grad films. There was one, in particular, that was a big challenge to produce, and I thought more than once that it wouldn’t go ahead. The day we got the green light to film was a huge achievement, which made the shoot so much more enjoyable! Getting to be on that set and see the film finally come to life in the way we hoped was amazing.

What were the most valuable things you took from the course?

Throughout the course, I learned a lot about working with child actors and the restrictions that come with it. My main job as a producer was to make sure the set was safe for everyone to work on, so making thorough risk assessments was essential.

Emma Coleman on screen

I also had to research the paperwork and legalities involved with working with child actors and ensure all the necessary precautions were taken. One of the most important things I learned was that anything is possible on a small budget if you prep enough before the shoot.

What are some of the projects you’ve been involved in now that you’ve completed the Top-Up?

When I finished at Screen and Film School, I moved back to Ireland and started working in the film industry almost right away. I have been hired as cast PA for a feature film, as well as a stand-in/AD for a TV series.

What advice would you give to students joining the Top-Up?

The advice I would give to students joining the top-up course would be to take full advantage of the equipment and talent that you have access to. I would say to use the equipment and facilities as much as possible and to make as many connections as you can. Chat to everyone!



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