Hello! My name is Grace Harrington and I’m a recent ICTheatre graduate. While I was at ICTheatre, I acted in two short films produced by Screen and Film School students. One was a silent film called Missing Piece, and the other one was called Safe House – a zombie apocalypse short film.
During my training, I tried my best to expand my knowledge about the acting industry as much as possible. This included trying out for lots of short films – not only to get experience of filming and sending self-tape auditions, but also to experience different working environments with different types of people.
How did you become involved in Missing Piece and Safe House?
During my final term, students from Screen and Film School met with ICTheatre students to discuss the short films they were making for their final projects. We got to hear their ideas, and I got to speak to the film students directly to see their vision.
I applied to a few via email after that meeting as I thought I would be a good fit for some of those films, and I also had a look on Facebook as they had lots of short film listings there. Coincidentally, some of the short films I applied to via Facebook also happened to be by Screen and Film School students!
How did you approach collaborating with students from Screen and Film School?
After auditioning and being cast, I was excited to see how different directors worked, so I approached the directors with my usual positive attitude – it was important to me that they understood that I was enthusiastic to help make their vision a reality. I always arrived on set focused, but open to critiques and changes, as the creative process evolves and sometimes it’s important to support new ideas.
How was the experience of working on this project?
Acting in these short films gave me two opportunities to try out different methods of acting. For the silent film, Missing Piece, I had to really focus my attention on my body language and my facial expressions as I didn’t have any words to help me act. I haven’t yet seen the final edited version of it but I’m sure it’s going to be beautiful, and I’m excited to see it.
By contrast, Safe House made me think about how to convey tension and chemistry in a scene. I was only in the flashback scene, so I didn’t get to work with the darker side of it, but my scene still had to fit into the surrounding narrative. It’s a very cool concept and I really enjoyed working on it.
For Safe House, my hair and make-up were done by students on the Hair and Make Up for Screen course at Screen and Film School. It was really fulfilling having students from different BIMM courses come together and produce art.
What do you think the benefits are of working with students from another creative discipline?
I really enjoyed collaborating on these short films as they really opened my eyes to different types of theatre. Everyone was so lovely, and it was a real joy to be a part of the filming process.
I’m interested in doing more acting work like this in the future, as my biggest takeaway from this collaboration was the fulfilment you feel learning together and working together to create a piece of art. The pride you feel in your art can feel greater when you’ve accomplished it together.
Why do you think collaboration is so important in the creative industries?
Being able to collaborate is an important skill to have, and I only learned this by putting myself forward for opportunities and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
The network you create at university with the other students learning their craft can carry through to your professional career. I will probably see some of the same directors and creatives out there in the industry – and you never know who is going to give you your next job, it could be someone you worked with at BIMM!
It’s a great feeling to have already built a network while still at drama school, and my advice to current and future ICTheatre students would be to make sure you take advantage of these opportunities that are right in front of you while you’re training!
For more information on BIMM University, including auditions and how to apply, contact us at [email protected]