former BLC student, Aaron Daniels, 28, studied media Level 3 from 2017 to 2019.
His infectious personality made him the ideal student to co present the College’s BLC Fest with our Principal, and his hard work and dedication also culminated in him winning the coveted “Media Student of the Year” title, at BLC’s end of programme Awards Ceremony.
Aaron, good to hear from you! Tell us what happened straight after leaving BLC in 2019? After finishing the Media course at BLC I started a degree in Film production at the University of Salford. I’m now in my third year and It’s going really well, I’ve made so many friends and developed skills even further. I have been making films that have been showcased on streaming platforms (paus.tv) and for a LGBT cinema event held at Chapeltown Picture House, Manchester (inline with Manchester Pride).
How did the pandemic effect your studies? At first all of my classes were moved online, however within the next year classes were moved to a mix of practical and online so that we could practise with high-end kits and still make the films we wanted. Classes are now still partially online.
How did the BLC course prepare you for the degree? The course helped tremendously with gaining essential skills such as team-working and communication, but also the ability to explore creativity in all areas of media. This has helped a lot within my degree, especially during the pandemic, as we had to revert to creating a short film on our own during lockdown. The short film and music video I made in college helped with this greatly! Not only this, but some of the research done during the BLC media course has helped me to already know how to reference to a University standard, whilst researching for film ideas. The course also gave me further confidence to speak in front of people during presentations.
When starting the degree how did your existing media skills compare to other students that had come from different study programmes such as A Levels?
Compared to students who were studying an A level within media, I feel I had an upper hand in the practical aspects of film production and felt comfortable being within a similar environment to college. I feel the vocational programme made the step from college to University almost non-existent in terms of the transition to Uni life and change of learning style.
What’s your course like? The film course at Salford has amazing facilities as it has its own dedicated equipment stored for collecting and renting out high-end cinematic kit for free! There are workshops all the time, as well as guest speakers from some of industry’s best, current/upcoming filmmakers and there’s always someone available to help with any issue, whether that be course related or personal.
In reflection are you pleased you took a leap of faith, leaving a good job to study media as a (slightly) mature student? Absolutely! I would no way go back and tell myself not to do it. It was the best thing I could have done to reshape my career and follow a passion, learn more about myself, who I am and what hobbies/interests I have, as well as making some amazing friends along the way.
Do you keep in contact with any of your old crew from BLC? Occasionally we do all have a natter on our group chats on socials, although at the moment we all seem to be very busy doing all sorts!
Tell us about the projects you’ve been working on and the collaborations you’ve made? Over the past two years I’ve helped with the making of four short films, each one slightly longer than the other, carrying out varying roles across each one. Within these projects I’ve been a Writer, Producer, Director, 1st Assistant Director, Camera Assistant, and can’t wait to see what else I’ll explore in my final year. The films I’ve made so far have consisted of emotional dramas (A Jaunt of Woe, The Heart That Pours, No Longer Alone) and a light-hearted subtle LGBTQ+ comedy (Show Yourself), and I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful cast and crew.
What ambitions do you have for the future? Over the past 3-4 years of doing the course at BLC and now the course at Salford, I have also been inspired to potentially delve into a career in education and perhaps one day will assist in teaching within the Media industry. Why learn a craft and not share that knowledge with others? We shall see!
If you would like to study Media at BLC, visit: https://www.blc.ac.uk/subject-areas/media/