This interterm, Professor David Kost’s class
Film Capitals of the World
has taken students to  London and Paris. While in some of the most wonderful places in the world, they’re not only seeing the sights, but also learning a lot.

As part of the class, students are required to keep journals of their vast experiences while across the pond. For example, on the second day,
Nick Eagleston
(BFA/Film Production ’17) learned some of the differences between the American and United Kingdom’s film industry.

“It was surprising to hear how different things are really run here compared to in LA. I can’t say which side I like better. On one hand, the Brits seem to have a lot of perks we don’t seem to have in America…greater connection to their writers, more creative knowledge in their producers. However, they also simply don’t have as large as an industry as we do in the US, and it seems to hurt their budgets and decrease their chances as a global market.”

students in front of big ben

Later on that week,
Nate Friend
(BA/Screenwriting ’18) described a trip the class took to the BBC Studio, and the history he was able to experience while there.

“The BBC is perhaps the most influential corporation in British history. They’ve done everything from radio and news to television programs like Sherlock. The most memorable moment was listening to a radio news broadcast during World War 2, when the Germans were bombing London. A reporter was speaking when he heard a bomb slam into the BBC building. Then, after a pause, the reporter carried on reporting the news without so much as a waiver in his voice. Truly powerful stuff. This building holds a ton of history and holds great importance in the history of London and the hearts of its people.”

Of course, the vast film history of the United Kingdom also was experienced, when the class was able to visit the Harry Potter exhibit.
Meaghan O’Rourke
(BFA/Film Production ’17) was, according to her post, in heaven.

“I loved how they kept everything that they could from the film and put it in this giant exhibit. It really gives us filmmakers (as well as everyone else) a great behind-the-scenes look at all the movie magic that went into the magic of the movies. As a production designer, I think I went to heaven. There was so much to look at, but as a huge fan, I wanted to see everything. I looooved the Great Hall and Dumbledore’s Office. The butterbeer was really good. The special effects section was so cool! I think the best part was the scale model of the Hogwarts castle. I thought the flyover exterior shots were completely computer generated. I had no idea they actually spent many months creating an extremely detailed model (using real cement and plants). That was definitely the highlight of the trip for me.”

students listening to lecture

While in France, the class also visited many sites, and had a special guest speaker that helped with some screenwriting pointers. As
Annalise Tahran
(BFA/Television Writing and Production ’16) explains, it blew her mind.

“He said about five things that stuck with me. Everything seemed to have a climax and a conclusion, and now that I think about it, they even had good characters. A few of my favorite pointers: If you are having trouble writing, try not to do what Bojack Horseman does, but start writing the key points of the plot that you have already figured out, then fill in the rest later. When getting work means losing a relationship, it just isn’t worth it. Michele decided to back out of a project when his friendship with a long time partner was obviously being lost in the process. Especially as a writer, it is hard to find work and knowing when to back out of a job isn’t always easy to recognize.”

In addition, the class also got to visit various film schools, museums, theaters, and music studios,  across both countries! It was truly an amazing experience for them.

students in front of air studios

If you’d like to read more about their experiences, be sure to click on their names above to check out their blogs from the past two weeks. And don’t worry, if you’d like to experience an amazing travel course for yourself, we have quite a few coming up this summer!