A group of Moving Image degree students have been commissioned to create documentaries by a leading BBC & Channel 4 Filmmaker.


Clio David, who has produced and directed numerous documentaries such as ‘Being Brian Harvey’ and ‘Keeping Britain Alive: The NHS in a Day’, set the students a brief to film an observational documentary during a visit to the College.


As a documentary producer/director for television, Clio is always keen to pass on what she has learned on the job to the next generation of filmmakers. She said, “I didn’t know what to expect, or what level the students would be at - I thought the brief I was setting might be beyond them as it involved quite complex ideas and structure, and they would need good filming and editing skills as well as producing and directing.


I was delighted to meet the students when I set the brief - they seemed really engaged in the stories they wanted to tell and keen to discuss how to tell them in the best way possible to fit with the brief I was setting.”


Six weeks later, Clio returned to the College to watch and assess the documentaries and said, “I was really excited by what they’d produced and surprised at the high level of technical expertise as well as structuring and storytelling they had reached - one student even shot her whole film on her iPhone!


Some of the stories moved me, and I wasn’t expecting this level of engagement with their subjects and contributors. They were funny, too, which always helps! I would be delighted to meet and work with students at Northbrook College again in the future and really look forward to it.”


Sam Rents Documentary Moving Image student Kristina Newman filmed "Life after football", a short eight minute portrait of ex-footballer Sam Rents. The film focuses on how footballers move on after their careers have ended – in Sam’s case, it was injury.


Kristina said, “Clio helped a lot with the observational documentary as she showed us examples of her work and talked through why she chose certain shots and stressed that every shot we use has to have a purpose or a meaning. She explained how you introduce a subject, put in jeopardy (a problem for the subject to overcome) and then the result. Clio also said another main element on making a successful piece would be to use many different camera shots to ensure it's interesting to the viewer.”


Clio started making films at film school at the London College of Printing, and after graduating wrote and directed Shrine, a short film which won the 1995 Kodak Award.


She has created a number of high profile documentaries for Channel 4, BBC and National Geographic, including Cannabis Psychosis, which took a first major look into the effects of cannabis on mental health: www.cliodavid.co.uk