Top director passes on her skills to college students

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Young filmmakers at Stratford College were thrilled to receive a few tips from a top director during a recent visit to the campus.

Coventry-based film director Debbie Isitt dropped by to teach Creative Media students about her improvisational filmmaking style.

Debbie, whose credits include Confetti and the Nativity film franchise, said: “The process of making a film is a really wonderful experience. As a director, I take the cast and crew on a journey that’s physical and emotional, and work with talented people on a project that everybody feels a sense of ownership over.”

Keen to encourage the students to experiment with improvisational filmmaking, Debbie stressed to them the importance of knowing exactly what story a director wants to tell before any improvisation takes place.

She said: “I don’t make up the story on set; we only improvise the dialogue. The story has to be very carefully conceived, structured and controlled. The actual words that are spoken aren’t as important as the subtext and the story.”

During her visit, Debbie also talked to students about the real-world challenges they may face in the industry and how they can successfully overcome them.

“While it’s good to be optimistic about the industry, I think it’s important to know about the hardships as well. That way, you can develop tenacity as well as technical skills.” She said.