The Importance of Collaboration: A Conversation with Ben Hampton

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your journey as an MA filmmaking student at Central Film School?

I started my MA Filmmaking degree with some prior industry experience from a range of production levels. Most of my acquired skills before starting the MA programme were self taught or learned through experience. My experience was in a wide range of crew roles including work as runner, AD, Assistant Camera, Videographer and Editor. When I joined Central Film School I was looking to refine my skills into a more specialist role to see what future solo role I would like to undertake in my career.

What inspired you to pursue an MA in film education, and why did you choose Central Film School in particular?

I wanted to build upon my prior rough filmmaking knowledge to ensure that my understanding of filmmaking was backed up with academic learning and understanding. My aim was to increase my technical skills to ensure that I could work on a variety of professional sets.

What were some of the key skills or knowledge you gained during your time at Central Film School?

I learnt how important collaboration was in the whole process of filmmaking. Prior to Central Film School, I would simply get the call when a shoot was taking place and then simply turn up and do the job. I now understand the whole process from pre production to post production and the systems and processes that happen throughout the duration of filmmaking.

How did studying at CFS prepare you for the industry?

By utilising my network of fellow filmmakers in my cohort, I have been lucky enough to work with my fellow alumni professionally and collaboratively on a number of different projects. Whenever I am in need of a gaffer, cinematographer, AD etc. I can rely on the network I obtained during my studies at Central Film School.

What advice would you give to prospective students considering studying at Central Film School?

Make the most of being able to spend quality time collaborating with your peers on projects. Make sure you identify people who are like-minded enough to work with you on your projects moving forwards. Also, do spend as much time as you can engaging in extracurricular activities in and outside of Central Film School, this will allow you to gain experience and learn the workflow of fellow filmmakers.

In your opinion, what sets Central Film School apart from other film schools or educational institutions?

I think the expansion of the school in the past few years puts Central Film School in a strong position moving forward in the industry. I love the access to equipment at all times, which can be used throughout your studies. Having an on site kit and camera room allows this access to learn through doing, which is my favourite way to learn.

If you could only watch one thing for the rest of your life, which film or TV box set would you pick?  

The Rocky box set. I can enjoy the first 2 as good films, enjoy the third and fourth with a beer, and have a long sleep throughout the 5th film!