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We made it! The Residential that never was is complete. I want to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to the brilliant students who attended every day of this, what turned out to be, virtual residential. Their patience, enthusiasm, hard work and talent have made this week the success I hoped it would be.

It was always going to be different, and a challenge. A residential course where we’re all stuck at home had the potential to dissolve quickly into farce and frustration if the technology hadn’t worked. The virtual communications, from video conferencing to file exchange to remote screen sharing all worked smoothly and allowed us to converse and collaborate and learn almost as if we were in the same room.

The students that listened and shared and learned from me and each other through every video chat and practical exercise have been brilliant, and the final videos they’ve submitted show they’ve grown as technicians and creatives. Modern filmmaking is a real mix of art and science. They’ve mastered the technical and flown with the creative imagination that will, I have no doubt, take them forward in their chosen future paths.

As for me? Well, I’ve got some marking to do now. But pulling this all together has been a challenge, and I haven’t had a day off for 2 weeks. So I think I’ll take the weekend to rest and reflect on what we all achieved, and be thankful for what we all have. Thanks for following our small part in the everyday work of Shetland Arts and the University of the Highlands and Islands - in far from everyday circumstances. Stay Safe and stay healthy.

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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