Screen and Film School were thrilled to welcome Jason Wingard last month for an amazing Virtual Masterclass exclusive for students joining Manchester Screen and Film School in 2021.

Jason Wingard is a Manchester based writer-director of feature films including In Another Life (2017) and Eaten By Lions (2018), and winner at the British Independent Film Awards, London Indian Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival and Virgin Media Shorts.

Hosted by Manchester College Principal David Thompson, future students were given the chance to ask Jason questions about his films Eaten By Lions and In Another Life, as well as listen to David and Jason discuss his background, career and ethos on filmmaking. We’ve highlighted some of our favourite quotes below!

On making films with friends for fun:

“It’s not a bad place to start and helps you network… these are people I still work with today. Crews tend to grow together.”

 

On starting out:

“Don’t be afraid to work with people who have better knowledge than you- there’s nothing to be afraid of, they’re more than likely to be happy to share that knowledge. Go and learn from them, and surround yourself with a bunch of people who are like-minded and want to do it.”

“When you make films, people want to see a part of you – when you first start out you’re following your instincts which can help massively with that.”

 

On working with improv:

“I’ve always liked working with improv especially if you go for naturalistic performances what better way to get that than have people say what naturally comes to them.”

“The atmosphere on set has to be very relaxed- there are some actors that are afraid and some really embrace it. The problem with it is you can get something special just that one time so you have to make sure you’re always ready.”

 

On surviving the film industry:

“Filmmaking is a game of survival as much as anything else- its a competitive industry and there’s an endless conveyer belt of people coming in- you’ve got to be up to the fight.”

“Nobody ever knocks on your door with a big bag of money and asks if you want to make a film- there is no fairy tale moment. Even the most successful directors are hustling to make something.”

 

On his top tips for filmmaking:

“If you’ve got good ideas and know how to execute them you don’t need anything flashy- good ideas and execution go along way!”

“Don’t imitate- go out there and make films that you want to make.”

 

A huge thank you to Jason for sharing his wisdom with us, and of course to everyone who took part in this wonderful masterclass!