Megan Hartey is in the second year of her Film degree.
What attracted you to Kent?
Kent was high in the league tables; you could combine film theory with practical work; and it was possible to do a placement year.
I came to an Open Day and liked the campus, particularly the fact it had its own cinema. The film talk was different to all the other talks I’d heard. The lecturers were honest about the level of work and its challenges. They explained it wasn’t just about making movies but understanding why you’re making them and why people want to watch them. I liked that, because it made me feel that I would be pushed to achieve what I was capable of.
How was your first day?
Before I came, I joined a Facebook group for people intending to come to Kent and we arranged to meet up when we got here. I definitely recommend doing that.
Moving-in day was, scary, there were people everywhere! But everyone's in the same boat so you get to know each other quickly. I lived in Parkwood, which has a real community feel.
How are your studies going?
Looking back, I don’t think I appreciated first year enough. The lecturers were lovely and we were given time to get to know them and the course. In second year, a lot more is expected of you but the lecturers are happy to offer advice and support to help you improve. Then, if you work hard and rise to the challenge, your marks improve and you feel great.
So far, I have studied the silent film era, Hollywood studios in the 30s and 40s, cinematography and lighting, documentary, screenwriting and a film theory module that included psychoanalysis, feminism, and genre theory. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the theory module; it helped me to think about film in new ways. I also did some
practical work, making student films for the first time, which was fun. I’m planning on studying online video and a module on working with actors. There’s lots of choice.
Any other course highlights?
I enjoy the way lecturers and seminar leaders work with us, they treat us like adults. Also, there are great trips on offer. I went to a horror film festival in Bilbao, where we met some of the directors whose films were being screened. It was great to discover Spain and its culture, particularly its film culture.
The School of Arts is a real community. If you need actors for your films, you ask the Drama students; if they need show-reels they ask us; and if you are looking for help with set design you talk to the art history students. I’ve made lots of friends in the School. We are also invited to guest lecturers by professionals in the arts, which are always very interesting.
Are the facilities good?
The library is very good, with an excellent DVD collection. There’s also technical help if you need it.
And the social life?
At first I was shy, but once I got to know my housemates, we would go to the gym together; the classes are fun, I did kick-boxing and ballroom dancing as well as spinning and yoga. Honestly though, most of my spare time was spent either making films or just hanging out and getting to know everyone.
Tell us about your internship?
I'm going to Australia for six months to work in Fuzzy Media, a small film company in in Mulgrave, a suburb of Melbourne. I’ll be doing a little bit of everything, assisting with filming, animation and editing. They make a lot of documentaries, which is good for me because that's one of my main interests. I feel very lucky to have found them; it’s a fantastic opportunity and very exciting.
I am interested in documentaries and some of my favourite films are based on real events. I’m working on a documentary on scientology, and have enjoyed the research and planning involved in getting that off the ground. I am also attracted to producing, and enjoy screenwriting and possibly directing. We will see.
What advice would you give to someone considering Kent?
Go to an Open Day, you’ll discover if Kent is the university for you.