At Screen and Film School Brighton, we love watching our students and graduates working on projects they’re passionate about.
As part of our series on First Semester Documentaries, this week we caught up with First Year BA Hons Film Production student Krisjanis Pauls Birgelis. His film, Supply and Demand, is a gritty, black and white documentary giving the viewer an exclusive look at some of the stories from the streets of Latvia.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I moved from Latvia to the UK at the age of 19, with a dream of working in the film industry and now 2 years later I’m about to finish my first year at Screen and Film School. I’ve also started my own production company with some fellow students and couldn’t be happier with the support that the school is giving me.
How did you approach the filmmaking process for Supply and Demand?
I’ve always wanted to document the neighbourhood and circumstances that I’m from; I’ve always felt like theres so many stories to tell and I wanted to give it a try. The entire film was shot on a Galaxy S8, as that’s all the equipment I had available. I shot it over the period of two days, first getting all the background footage and then doing the interview. No further research went into making it as I had lived in that area for 18 years and knew exactly where to get the shots that I wanted. The interview process was very relaxed, we talked for about 3 hours about loads of things and then I just cut it to bits to actually form a story for the documentary.
What was your favourite part of the process?
Post production – this film is very edit heavy and I take great pride in just how much work I put in to it. Although some things could have been smoother, this was a learning exercise if anything as it was the first edit I did on Adobe Premiere Pro.
What did you find most challenging in this project?
It turned out I had too much footage. As our interview would often just go into rambles, it was then a struggle to actually connect the story. The second biggest struggle was face tracking in the edit. I had to blur the interviewees face to protect his identity, but he would often turn his head and it would lose the tracking. For some parts I had to manually blur his face frame by frame.
What advice would you give to applicants considering Screen and Film School?
Just believe in yourself. Literally, I mean its such a redundant thing to say but the University gives you so much support and the students are so supportive to each other, all it takes is a little bit of faith in yourself and you will succeed.
What’s next for you in terms of filmmaking?
I’m currently in the works of shooting 5 adverts for a modular housing company (my production company work), 2 music videos, and 2 short films. Coronavirus has put everything on freeze, but we are more than ready to get back in as soon as we can.