Award-winning Seamus McGarvey hosts multi-campus masterclass

10 November, 2023

Screen and Film School Brighton was delighted to recently host a live-streamed masterclass with award-winning cinematographer and college patron, Seamus McGarvey. 

The Academy Award-nominated cinematographer behind iconic films like Atonement, High Fidelity, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Nocturnal Animals, Cyrano and Godzilla took part in a two-hour masterclass hosted at Brighton Film Studios. Over 80 students from Birmingham, Brighton, Manchester, and Berlin had the chance to join the masterclass via livestream, connecting students across different campuses and uniting BIMM University’s community of filmmakers.  

Read more: Seamus McGarvey hosts exclusive live Q&A for Screen and Film School students

Angelique Jacquet, Careers Manager at BIMM University Berlin, shared her excitement: 

“Being able to attend this masterclass was a brilliant learning opportunity for the BIMM University Berlin Filmmaking students. The livestream allowed them to interact with Seamus directly, which they took full advantage of. Being able to learn from industry leaders, as well as their peers at other BIMM University campuses, is something our students look forward to doing more often.” 

Nurturing the next generation of filmmakers 

The event was about more than listening to a renowned cinematographer; it was a platform for students to engage directly with Seamus, providing them with an invaluable experience in their filmmaking journey.  

The masterclass exemplified Screen and Film School’s commitment to nurturing a global community of filmmakers who can learn and grow together. Seamus answered a wide range of questions, spanning his journey from his early career in music videos, alongside our very own Head of Careers, Fiona Adams, to his interactions with various departments during film shoots, including the iconic Steadicam sequence in Atonement 

Students like Luke Grove, a first-year Filmmaking student at BIMM University Berlin, highlighted the value of being able to ask questions directly to one of the leading cinematographers in the industry: 

“I found the masterclass to be super insightful and loaded with great knowledge about the industry.”

Seamus McGarvey, who has previously sponsored a £30,000 scholarship for Screen and Film School, offered his parting advice to the new generation of filmmakers, which resonated deeply with the audience. He encouraged them to draw inspiration from the diverse world around them: 

“Look at the world around you. Take inspiration from every art form. Not only cinema: go to see exhibitions, look at magazines, read, let your imaginations flourish. Listen to music, listen to music while looking at light, listen to music while reading a book. Let all art forms inspire you because they all come together in cinema. Cinema is a moving, organic and expanding organism, and in order for it to reflect us as humans on a daily basis, we’ve got to let it intercede with our day-to-day lives. So that’s what I would say: let the cinema into your life. Watch old movies, think of new ones, and the art form will be in a much healthier state.” 

These words echoed Seamus’s passion for filmmaking, and also emphasised the interconnectedness of different art forms and the importance of taking inspiration from a number of creative mediums.  

Learning from the best in the film industry 

The masterclass with Seamus McGarvey is a perfect example of Screen and Film School’s commitment to providing its students with unparalleled learning experiences. By hosting events that bring together students from various campuses, and even different countries, the school is fostering a dynamic, global network of filmmakers. It highlights the school’s dedication to ensuring that aspiring filmmakers not only receive top-notch education but also have the opportunity to learn from the very best in the industry. 

25 students from our Brighton campus were later treated to a 3-hour, in-person camera and lighting workshop from the cinematographer in the Brighton Film Studios set, where they were able to work directly with him and learn some top tips. Filmmaking student, Izzy Page, was one of the lucky students selected to assist Seamus throughout the session: 

“As a student specialising in camera, it was brilliant to be able to get hands-on experience with a professional DoP. Seamus McGarvey provided us with useful insight into industry practice and advice for working within camera and lighting.”  

Third year student, Ronan McAuley, who also attended the workshop, added: “Seamus was open and generous with his time and it was amazing to see him work and understand his thought process. I can’t wait for him to return for another one!”  

Head of Careers and organiser of this exciting day, Fiona Adams, was delighted with the turn out for both the masterclass and workshop: 

“We were absolutely thrilled to have our patron Seamus McGarvey visit Brighton Film Studios for an in-person masterclass and studio workshop. This was the first time we’ve live streamed a masterclass, bringing all our film campuses together and enabling all students to be able to ask Seamus questions directly. It was very exciting to see everyone getting involved.

“This only got better in the afternoon when Seamus ran an exclusive workshop in the studio. Students were able to work with him and observe his artistry and genius up close first hand – this experience will be inspirational for our students and I’m so looking forward to seeing how they translate this knowledge into their own work in the future.

“Seamus really enjoyed his day with us and was so impressed with the studios and all of the Screen and Film School students, and promises to come back soon!”

A huge thank you to Seamus McGarvey, and to all the students who took part in this amazing event. The future of cinema is bright, and with the guidance of industry leaders like Seamus, our students are well-equipped to make their mark on the world of film. 



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