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Welcome back to my daily ramble. It’s Day 3 of the Film Students’ Live Event Production Residential. (Not actually a Residential anymore!)

Today has been tiring but the end is in sight. It’s an odd sort of feeling today because we should, in normal circumstances, be setting up all the cameras and equipment, rehearsing with the bands, sound checking and a multitude of last minute checks before the gig. Instead we’re finding alternative ways to learn, but it would’ve been fun to have been in amongst the buzz of a venue hours before door open.

The Student Night Show at Mareel may have been cancelled, but that hasn’t put the music students off either…Many of them have been taking part in Shetland Young Musician Network (SYMN) performances, a new online group which has formed as a direct result of COVID-19. Our very own Keiba Clubb has been hard at work too, putting together a vast showreel of performances and interviews from the last few years of Student Night.

Meanwhile my film-making students have done all the practice they can and talked through all the theory and abstract ideas I can waffle at them about. Tomorrow, their final assignment for the residential should have been to take the footage they shot and edit it together - finished, polished and perfect, in time to get the Northlink Ferry back to their homes and families. Believe me, after the four days of hard work they put into this residential module, it doesn’t matter how rough the crossing, all the students get a good night’s sleep.

So, no gig, no filming, no rush to the ferry, but they’ve still got a deadline tomorrow. Multi-camera productions like this are often about quick turnarounds and tight deadlines, and we are preparing these students for the real pressures of professional deadlines. So they’re getting the same chance to finish the project. Footage of one of last years songs is being sent to them overnight. Seven angles from 7 different cameras captured a spellbinding performance form Erin Goudie last year. I can’t wait to see how they handle the task. Fast work under pressure. Creativity with a deadline. I’m sure they’ll rise to the occasion and get to the end of tomorrow having a real sense of achievement. For the rest of you, please relax and join in the fun with our look back to the last few years.

Simon Thompson

Shetland Arts deliver a range of music and film modules and courses in partnership with The University of the Highlands and Islands. Discover more about the Contemporary Film Making in the Highlands and Islands BA (Hons) course here.

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