Film Made Me is a new series from Screen and Film School Brighton, exploring how the wonderful world of film has influenced the lives of people in our community.
From students to staff, industry partners, and graduates- film is an inspiring medium that has a unique ability to shape who we are and who we become… Are you ready to tell your story?
Alex Hobden: Head of Second Year
Screen and Film School Brighton’s Head of Second Year, Alex Hobden, has had a strange and varied ride through the industry; from watching his first film, Return of the Jedi, in the cinema at 9 months old, to introducing our brilliant students to the professional world of filmmaking from day one of their higher education experience.
His first look behind the curtain of film came after his parents allowed him to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street as a young boy, “I had come down from my bedroom feeling unwell and they were watching it on TV. It totally terrified me!” Following a sleepless night, his Mum had the genius idea of heading down to their local video rental shop and bringing home a copy of The Making of A Nightmare on Elm Street. This not only subdued his nighttime fears of Freddy Krueger, but also served as the spark that ignited a life-long fascination with the world of Filmmaking.
His first professional steps into the industry came in the form of creating music videos for his band in the early 2000’s. “No money, no time, but plenty of youthful enthusiasm and strange ideas. I used to love building strange contraptions like motorised 360 degree camera platforms,” he remembers. When the band had run its course he utilised his filmmaking skills to get work on corporate, charity and educational video production as a freelancer. Alongside this he also set up a company manufacturing specialist microphones for natural history filmmaking, “This was a lovely project for me as it perfectly combined my interest in sound, filmmaking and the natural world.” A particular highlight in his career was seeing one of his bespoke microphones being used to record whales on Blue Planet 2. “It featured in the ‘diaries’ section at the end of the show. The filmmaker held my microphone aloft and in dismay at the murky water proclaimed: We can’t see them but we can hear them!”
“The best piece of advice I ever received: You might want to take the lens cap off mate!”
Alongside his music career and career in film and video production, he also somehow found time in his busy schedule for a part-time career in education, teaching film for primary schools to universities and everything in between. “Two years ago I applied to be a tutor at Screen and Film School Brighton, somewhere I had wanted to work since it opened. I was lucky enough to get the job and 1 year later I was Head of Year. It is my dream job in education and something that I feel the last 18 years of my life has been leading me to. I love it!” His favourite part of his role as Head of Year is watching his students develop into well rounded, creative professionals ready to jump into the industry. “It’s an honour to be part of that journey… what could be better than that?”
Creative industries can be famously challenging to manoeuvre through, and Alex’s career in film has been no exception: “Working in this industry can provide wild highs and challenging lows. My biggest challenge was having the courage to keep chasing what I wanted to do even when times were hard.” It’s all worth it in the end however, he states: “If you want it enough, however high you are aiming, and you’re willing to keep fighting for it, it will happen! Be hungry! Take every opportunity that comes your way. Ask questions, be inquisitive. Eat, sleep and breath your passion!”